WASHINGTON (Aug. 3, 2015)—Selected from more than 17,000 entries, an underwater photograph of divers swimming near a humpback whale taken by Anuar Patjane Floriuk of Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico, has won the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest grand prize. Floriuk wins an eight-day National Geographic Photo Expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two. Shot near Roca Partida, an island off the western coast of Mexico, the winning photo is titled “Whale Whisperer.”
“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.”
Faisal Azim of Chittagong, Bangladesh, placed second for his photo “Gravel Workmen.” He will receive a six-day National Geographic Photo Expedition: Winter Wildlife in Yellowstone for two. The third-place photo, “Camel Ardah,” was shot by Ahmed Al Toqi of Muscat, Oman. He wins a six-day cruise for two from Schooner American Eagle and Heritage. Seven merit-prize winners will receive a $200 (USD) gift certificate to B&H Photo and the National Geographic Masters of Photography course on DVD. All winners will receive a subscription to National Geographic Traveler magazine. The winning photos may be viewed online on the Traveler Photo Contest website.
“National Geographic Travel celebrates and illuminates destinations around the globe, and it was exciting to see that same theme captured in the contest entries,” said Maggie Zackowitz, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine. “I was blown away by the creativity of the photographers.”
This year’s contest received more than 17,000 entries from photographers around the world. There were four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. Judging consisted of two rounds of evaluation based on creativity and photographic quality.
As grand-prize winner, Floriuk will embark on the National Geographic Sea Lion for the Costa Rica and the Panama Canal Photo Expedition, an eight-day voyage with a National Geographic photographer and a team of photo instructors. Tracing the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Panama, guests on board the vessel will explore the Manuel Antonio National Park, Osa Peninsula, Isla de Coiba and much more on the way to the Panama Canal. The trip is provided by National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the National Geographic Society, which offers guided trips spanning all seven continents and more than 80 destinations.
About National Geographic Travel
National Geographic Travel is the travel arm of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, founded in 1888. National Geographic Travel creates authentic, meaningful and engaging travel experiences through National Geographic Traveler magazine; National Geographic Expeditions; National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World; digital travel content; travel books; maps; and travel photography programs. National Geographic Traveler (eight issues per year) is the world’s most widely read travel magazine and has 17 international editions. National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the Society, offers a variety of unique travel experiences led by top experts to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents. Travel opportunities include family and student expeditions, active adventures, private jet trips and voyages on the six expedition ships in the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet, as well as photography workshops, expeditions and seminars. The National Geographic Travel digital group shares its inspiring and authoritative digital content such as trip ideas, photo galleries, blogs and apps with its @NatGeoTravel community of 10 million. National Geographic Travel books bring readers curated travel advice, photography and insider tips. Follow National Geographic Travel @NatGeoTravel on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.