Since 1888, National Geographic Magazine has published some of the world’s finest photojournalism. It was one of the first magazines to print color photography in the early 20th century and in the 1930s, began allowing their photography staffers to use 35 mm cameras. This started an interest in nature photography and photo essays among hobbyists with an aim of capturing National Geographic’s quality level. It wasn’t until 2006 that National Geographic Magazine finally opened its doors to amateur photographers with their annual photography competition. Since then, the competition has been incredibly fierce with submissions coming in from eighteen countries worldwide.
This year’s winner is Anuar Patjane Floriuk from Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico. Floriuk says the photo was a happy accident: “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 is Floriuk’s prize-winning photograph and 10 of National Geographic’s chosen best photographs of the year.
First Place Winner: “Whale Whisperers” by Anuar Patjane Floriuk
Second Place Winner: “Gravel Workmen” by Faisal Azim
Third Place Winner: “Camel Ardah” by Ahmed Al Toqi
Merit Winner: “A Night at Deadvlei” by Beth McCarley
Merit Winner: “Catching a Duck” by Sarah Wouters
Merit Winner: “Romania, Land of Fairy Tales” by Eduard Gutescu
Merit Winner: “Highlanders” by Bartłomiej Jurecki
Merit Winner: “White Rhinos” by Stefane Berube
Merit Winner: “Kushti, Indian Wrestling” by Alain Schroeder
Merit Winner: “Sauna in the Sky” by Stefano Zardini
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