The National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest has launched and is accepting entries in three categories: people, places and nature.

The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 (£6,170) and a trip to the National Geographic headquarters in Washington DC to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2015. The first place winner in each category will each receive $2,500 and his or her winning photograph will be published in National Geographic magazine.

The closing date to submit photos is 31 October. IBTimes UK has selected some inspiring early entries.

National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Arctic Hi Five by Colin Mackenzie: Svalbard, northern NorwayColin Mackenzie/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Above Big Sur by Douglas Croft: Baronda Trail, Big Sur, California/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Painted Ladies by Daniel Kudish: Oaxaca, MexicoDaniel Kudish/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
A Treee Dreaming by Christian Spencer: Strezlecki Desert, AustraliaChristian Spencer/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
From the Sky by Montse Grillo: Tenerife, Canary Islands, SpainMontse Grillo/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Sunward by Hasan Baglar: Nicosia, CyprusHasan Baglar/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Searching by Yusuke Sakai: "Glass eel fishing season starts in Japan in the winter. Hunters illuminate the water with a mercury lamp from onboard and scoop up eel fry gathering in the light with a small net. During the new moon, hunters search for glass eel and wander about with many lights in the estuaries."Yusuke Sakai/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Dreamscape by Francesco Riccardo Iacomino: Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, IcelandFrancesco Riccardo Iacomino/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Searching for Love by Spencer Black: Blue ghost fireflies in Brevard, North Carolina. These fireflies stay lit and only hover about a foot off the ground./National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Hello by Misty Gage: Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, WA, United StatesMisty Gage/National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest