Winners of National Geographic 2015 Photography Contest Travel on Expedition including Costa Rica

National Geographic has recently announced the winners of its 2015 Photography Contest. Winners were selected from more than 17,000 entries. Taking the grand prize is an underwater photograph of divers swimming in close proximity to a humpback whale. The photo was taken by Anuar Patjane Floriuk of Tehuacán, Mexico. As part of the grand prize, Floriuk wins an eight-day expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two. The winning photo, which is entitled “Whale Whisperer,” was shot near an island located off the western coast of Mexico.

Floriuk states that the photo was completely unplanned. He was simply taking photos near the head of the whale, when the whale suddenly began to swim near the diving team. Floriuk waited until he deemed the composition and flow were right and then clicked at that precise moment.

As the grand-prize winner of the photography contest, Floriuk will enjoy an eight-day cruise on the National Geographic Sea Lion during the Costa Rica and Panama Canal Photo Expedition while accompanying a National Geographic photographer and photo instructor team. During the expedition, the Floriuk and the team will trace the Pacific coasts of Panama and Costa Rica, while enjoying such famed destinations as Manuel Antonio National Park, Isla de Coiba, Osa Peninsula, and more.
Second and Third Place Photography Contest Winners
Taking second place was Faisal Azim of Chittagong, Bangladesh for his photo “Gravel Workmen.” In recognition of his prize, Azim will receive a six-day National Geographic Photo Expedition in Yellowstone for two.

Ahmed Al Toqi of Muscat, Oman took the third-place prize for his photo “Camel Ardah” and will receive a six-day cruise for two.

In addition to the top three prize winners, seven others were also awarded merit prizes, receiving $200 gift certificates to B&H Photo and the National Geographic Masters of Photography course on DVD. In addition, all winners will also receive a subscription to National Geographic Travel magazine.

The photo contest, which is held in celebration of the many destinations around the world, featured four categories: Outdoor Scenes, Travel Portraits, Spontaneous Moments, and Sense of Place. Judging was comprised of two rounds of evaluation based on photographic quality and creativity. All winning photos may be viewed on the Traveler Photo Contest website.

James Drews

James Drews

Vice President, Sales. Age 43 Prior to co-founding VESTA GROUP, James moved to Costa Rica in 1996 and began his real estate career here by co-founding Dominical Realty. In 2001, the company obtained a Coldwell Banker independent franchise, and three years later partnered with another Coldwell Banker franchise in Costa Rica to become Vesta Group, the Master-Franchise-holder for the entire country. As a member of the Global Association of Realtors and the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors, the Master Franchise has already grown to ten (10) offices throughout the country, with several more currently in process. James is married to a Costa Rican, and proud father of 3 daughters ages 7,10, and 20. James, is well respected among the local and foreign community, and carries high ethical standards, and a hard working family man that seeks to provide his customers with the best level of service possible. James goes out of his way to seek out new frontiers that are ahead of the wave, and specializes in rural and remote farmland, developing land and collecting legacy type of properties. Surfing big waves, fishing, hiking, and travel are favorite pastimes. Daily goal is a new discovery. Approaching 20 years of living in Costa Rica, James knows his territory well, and has much love for his new country and it's people, and will guide you well, and share his resources and local knowle​d​ge with you to make your new venture successful.​ ​