Photography

Spectacular Winning Photos From The 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

The winners of the 27th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest were announced yesterday. The winning photographs were selected from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments.

Selected from nearly 18,000 global entries, Anuar Patjane Floriuk of Tehuacán, Mexico, took home first place for his amazing underwater shot, titled “Whale Whisperers.” Floriuk won an eight-day National Geographic Photo Expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two. 

“The photo wasn’t planned,” Floriuk said. “I was taking photos near the head of the whale, and all of a sudden she began to swim toward the rest of the diving team. The divers gave the whale and her calf space, and I just clicked at the moment when the flow and composition seemed right.”

Below are the top ten winning photos:

Grand Prize: Whale Whisperers:
Grand Prize_Whale Whisperers
© Anuar Patjane Floriuk / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Whale Whisperers by Anuar Patjane
Category: Outdoor Scenes
Location: Roca Partida, Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico
Camera: Sony DSC-RX100
Focal Length: 10.4 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec
Aperture: f/1.8
ISO: 200

Diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf while they cruise around Roca Partida … in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico. This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life, so we need to accelerate the incorporation of the islands into UNESCO as [a] natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing.

Second Place: Gravel Workmen:
© Faisal Azim / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
© Faisal Azim / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Gravel Workmen by Faisal Azim
Category: Travel Portraits
Location: Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Camera: Nikon D800
Focal Length: 24 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec
Aperture: f/5
ISO: 500

[This] gravel-crush working place remains full of dust and sand. Three gravel workmen are looking through the window glass at their working place. Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Third Place: Camel Ardah:
© Ahmed Al Toqi / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
© Ahmed Al Toqi / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Camel Ardah by Ahmed Al Toqi
Category: Outdoor Scenes
Location: Badīyah, Ash Sharqiyah, Oman
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Focal Length: 17 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec
Aperture: f/9
ISO: 200

Camel Ardah, as it called in Oman, is one of the traditional styles of camel racing … between two camels controlled by expert men. The faster camel is the loser … so they must be running [at] the same speed level in the same track. The main purpose of Ardah is to show the beauty and strength of the Arabian camels and the riders’ skills. Ardah [is] considered one of the most risky situations, since always the camels reactions are unpredictable [and] it may get wild and jump [toward the] audience.

Merit: A Night at Deadvlei:
© Beth McCarley / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
© Beth McCarley / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

A Night at Deadvlei by Beth McCarley
Category: Sense of Place
Location: Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Focal Length: 16 mm
Shutter Speed: 25/1 sec
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 3200

The night before returning to Windhoek, we spent several hours at Deadveli. The moon was bright enough to illuminate the sand dunes in the distance, but the skies were still dark enough to clearly see the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds. Deadveli means “dead marsh.” The camelthorn trees are believed to be about 900 years old but have not decomposed because the environment is so dry.

Merit: Catching a Duck:
Merit_Catching a Duck
© Sarah Wouters / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Catching a Duck by Sarah Wouters
Category: Spontaneous Moments
Location: Nong Khai Province, Thailand
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Focal Length: 120 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 400

Two boys are trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall. Nong Khai Province, Thailand.

Merit: Kushti, Indian Wrestling:
© Alain Schroeder / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
© Alain Schroeder / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Kushti, Indian Wrestling by Alain Schroeder
Category: Spontaneous Moments
Location: Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India
Camera: Nikon D800
Focal Length: 99.8 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/10 sec
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 1600

Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling. Wearing only a well-adjusted loincloth (langot), wrestlers (pelwhans) enter a pit made of clay, often mixed with salt, lemon, and ghee (clarified butter). At the end of a workout, wrestlers rest against the walls of the arena, covering their heads and bodies with earth to soak up any perspiration and avoid catching cold. This relaxation ceremony is completed with massages to soothe tired muscles and demonstrate mutual respect.

Merit: White Rhinos:
© Stefane Berube / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
© Stefane Berube / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

White Rhinos by Stefane Berube
Category: Spontaneous Moments
Location: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda
Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
Focal Length: 50 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 400

The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good photo of the endangered white rhino. Skulking through the grass carefully, trying to stay 30 feet away to be safe, didn’t provide me the photo I was hoping for. In the morning, however, I woke up to all three rhinos grazing in front of me. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda.

Merit: Sauna in the Sky:
© Stefano Zardini / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
© Stefano Zardini / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Sauna in the Sky by Stefano Zardini
Category: Outdoor Scenes
Location: Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, Italy
Camera: Nikon D750
Focal Length: 17 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/3 sec
Aperture: f/6.3
ISO: 1600

A sauna at 2,800 meters high in the heart of Dolomites. Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps.

Merit: Highlanders:
© Bartłomiej Jurecki / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
© Bartłomiej Jurecki / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Highlanders by Bartłomiej Jurecki
Category: Travel Portraits
Location: Poland
Camera: Nikon D800
Focal Length: 24 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/5000 sec
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO: 250

Traditional haymaking in Poland. Many people continue to use the scythe and pitchfork to sort the hay.

Merit: Romania, Land of Fairy Tales:
© Eduard Gutescu / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
© Eduard Gutescu / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Romania, Land of Fairy Tales by Eduard Gutescu
Category: Outdoor Scenes
Location: Bran, Brasov, Romania
Camera information unavailable

White frost over Pestera village.

To see more photos, check out the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest site.

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