The annual National Geographic Photo Contest produces some of the best pictures from around the world, and the 2015 results are perhaps some of the most awe inspiring of all. The competition has been held for 27 years now, and is open to submissions from both professional and amateur photographers.
Over 17,000 photo entries from every corner of the Planet were submitted to the 2015 categories for Travel Portraits, Sense of Place, Outdoor Scenes and Spontaneous Moments.
The first place winner of the 2015 National Geographic competition was photographer Anuar Patjane Floriuk. His photo of divers swimming near a humpback whale and her calf off the western coast of Mexico wowed judges enough to earn the winning title. The first place prize is a photo expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two.
Floriuk, who lives in Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico, said, “The photo wasn’t planned. 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.”
Check out Floriuk’s photos as well as other winners from the 2015 National Geographic Traveler photo contest below.
First Place Winner: Whale Whispers
Photo Credit: Anuar Patjane
Second Place Winner: Gravel Workmen
The gravel-crush work place is always swirling with sand and dust. These hardworking gravel workmen stare through a dirt-coated window at their place of work in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Photo Credit: Faisal Azim
Third Place Winner: Camel Ardah
Camel Ardah is a traditional style of camel racing where two camels ridden by experienced men race to the finish line. Interestingly, the faster camel loses, meaning there is a great deal of control involved. The sport is focused on emphasizing the beauty of camels and the skills of the riders.
Photo Credit: Ahmed Al Toqi
Merit Winner: White Rhinos
This photo was taken at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda. The photographer explains, “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.”
Photo Credit: Stefane Berube
Merit Winner: Catching A Duck
Two young boys attempt to catch a duck at the stream of a waterfall in Nong Khai Province, Thailand.
Photo Credit: Sarah Wouters
Merit Winner: A Night at Deadvlei
Photo Credit: Beth McCarley
Merit Winner: Kushti, Indian Wrestling
Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling. After the workout ends the wrestlers lean up against the sides of the walls and cover themselves from head to toe in the clay, salt, lemon and ghee mixture to soak up sweat and prevent catching a cold.
Photo Credit: Alain Schroeder
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Merit Winner: Sauna In The Sky
This sauna is located at 2,800 meters high in the heart of Dolomites. Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps.
Photo Credit: Stefano Zardini