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2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

National Geographic Traveler magazine has selected the winning shots for this year’s Traveler Photo Contest. It’s a series of images of our world that dazzles your eyes and stirs your imagination. The 2015 Traveler Photo Contest judges reviewed nearly 18,000 photographs, and ten pictures won top prizes.

Winner of the first prize, Anuar Patjane Floriuk of Tehuacán, Mexico, won first prize for his underwater shot of divers swimming close to a humpback whale near Roca Partida, an island off of the western coast. Floriuk will receive an eight-day photo expedition for two to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for a photograph of divers swimming near a humpback whale off the western coast of Mexico.

“The photo wasn’t planned,” said Floriuk “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.”

Here, National Geographic has shared all of this year’s winners, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Captions by the photographers.

Grand Prize: “Whale Whisperer”

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. Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane Floriuk /National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

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. Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane Floriuk /National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

Second Place: “Gravel Workmen”

[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. Photo and caption by Faisal Azim/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

[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. Photo and caption by Faisal Azim/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Third Place: “Camel Ardah”

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. Photo and caption by Ahmed Al Toqi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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. Photo and caption by Ahmed Al Toqi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

“A Night at Deadvlei”
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. Photo and caption by Beth McCarley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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. Photo and caption by Beth McCarley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

“Catching a Duck”

2 boys are trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall. Photo and caption by Sarah Wouters/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

2 boys are trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall. Photo and caption by Sarah Wouters/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Kushti, Indian Wrestling

Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling. Wearing only a well-adjusted loincloth (´†langot†ª), wrestlers or ´†Pelwhans†ª 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. Photo and caption by Alain Schroeder/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling. Wearing only a well-adjusted loincloth (´†langot†ª), wrestlers or ´†Pelwhans†ª 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. Photo and caption by Alain Schroeder/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

White Rhinos

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 infront of me. Photo and caption by Stefane Berube/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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 infront of me. Photo and caption by Stefane Berube/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Sauna in the Sky

A sauna at 2.800 mt high, in the heart of Dolomites. Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps. Photo and caption by Stefano Zardini/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

A sauna at 2.800 mt high, in the heart of Dolomites. Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps. Photo and caption by Stefano Zardini/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Highlanders

Traditional haymaking in Poland. Many people continue to use the scythe and pitchfork to sort the hay. Photo and caption by Bartłomiej Jurecki/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Traditional haymaking in Poland. Many people continue to use the scythe and pitchfork to sort the hay. Photo and caption by Bartłomiej Jurecki/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Romania, Land of Fairy Tales

Whitefrost over Pestera village in Romania. Photo and caption by Eduard Gutescu/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Whitefrost over Pestera village in Romania. Photo and caption by Eduard Gutescu/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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