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.