Huffington Post   First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 03:25 PM ET

The National Geographic International Photography Contest 2009, taking place now, attracts thousands of imaginative and amazing photos from around the world. People can still submit up to six photos in three categories -- People, Places, and Nature -- until October 31.

Aside from submitting your own photos, get more engaged in the contest by voting for your favorites on National Geographic's site, downloading lovely wallpaper, and/or checking out past winners! This year's winners will receive a digital camera kit, get their photos published in the magazine, and gain direct entry into the Worldwide International Photography Contest.

We've featured a sampling of some of the submitted photographs that National Geographic is sharing with us exclusively -- from a frozen coyote to a natural gas crater in Turkmenistan: check them out and vote for which you think should be the winning shot!

Chandra Tal (Lake of the Moon), India
Chandra Tal (meaning the Lake of the Moon) is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 meters (14,000 ft) in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh (India). The name of the lake originates from its crescent shape. What drives people to Chandra Tal is the natural beauty, the peace and the azure blue waters. There is nothing around but the stillness, as if nature has come to a halt. Sitting here takes you to a world in which you have never seen before; being here brings the magic of life back to you.I was lucky enough to follow this lionfish into a huge ball of baitfish. Very exciting moments as the baitfish swirled to avoid being eaten. Photograph and caption by Dhurjati Chatterjee.
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