I had no qualms that we Pakistanis have grown into a selfie loving nation lately but it seems that some of us have taken it to a level above. It was indeed an achievement for Pakistan to not only participate in an international photography competition organized by Wikimedia Foundation, a Non profit organization based in California, but also win the best international picture title in 2015. The awarded natural monument was of Shangrila Lake.

This year again, Pakistani Photographers have geared up and shown an overwhelming response in the competition by sending 8000 photographs submitted by 1200 contestants thus outnumbering all other countries in terms of participants and securing third largest chunk in number of submissions.

Interestingly the idea is novel as it aims to document world’s natural heritage under the free license of Creative Commons. The competition is called Wiki Loves Earth which entertains 7000 participants from 26 countries with more than 75,000 photographs submitted during the month of May.

The ultimate objective of this drill is to picture as many natural monuments under the free license and also to create awareness among the general public regarding their share in protecting the nature. All pictures under this competition can be reused for any other purpose but will mainly be used along with the articles on Wikipedia and other projects of Wiki. This can be termed as a smaller version of the “Wiki Loves Monuments” Competition which is arranged by the Guinness Book of World Records being the largest photography competition in the world.

Wiki Loves Earth was held between 1st to 31st May 2016 and the winners have still not been finalized but top ten pictures to represent Pakistan have been selected by the jury. All these pictures are breathtaking and highlight the real beauty of Pakistan. Kudos to the local photographers for bringing out the essence of our nation.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words… Please have a look, support Pakistan and decide which one is the best!!

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Duiker Peak, Hunza. — Photo by Mudassir Ahmed

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Nanga Parbat, Diamer. — Photo by M. Awais

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Phandar Valley, Ghizer. — Photo by Muzaffar H. Bukhari

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Katpana Desert at Skardu. — Photo by RgyalChan Karim

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Naran, Kaghan Valley. — Photo by Talha Hanif

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Chitral National Park. — Photo by Tahsin A Shah

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Rama Lake, Astore. — Photo by Faiza Lalwani

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The Karakoram mountain range, Astore Valley. — Photo by Najeeb Mahmud

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Siri Paye, Shogran, Kaghan Valley. — Photo by Adeel ur Rehman Mughal

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The Karakoram mountain range, Hunza Valley. — Photo by Irfan Tahir