Wagner Araujo of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has been selected as the grand-prize winner. Araujo has won a 10-day National Geographic Expedition to the Galápagos for two aboard the National Geographic Endeavour. His winning photo, “Dig Me River,” captures Brazilian Aquathlon participants running into the Rio Negro.
“I photographed it from the water and my lens got completely wet, but there was so much energy in these boys that I just didn’t worry about it,” said Araujo.
Max Seigal of Boulder, Colo., placed second for his image “Thunderstorm at False Kiva” and won a spot in a National Geographic Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, N.M. Third place went to Yanai Bonneh of Negev, Israel, for his image of cheetahs, captioned “Say Cheese.” His prize is a six-day cruise for two on a Maine windjammer schooner. Seven merit prize winners received a print of their photo, matted and framed by the National Geographic Imaging Lab, and a $200 gift certificate to B&H Photo.
“Every year the task of judging the contest gets tougher. The quality of photos increasingly gets better — and the range of imagery more diverse. It’s exciting to see the emergence of such huge numbers of imaginative photographers,” said Keith Bellows, National Geographic Traveler magazine editor in chief.
The 25th annual photo contest received more than 15,000 entries from photographers around the globe. Contestants submitted photographs in 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. The three winning photographs along with the seven merit winners and the People’s Choice winner can be viewed on the Traveler Photo Contest page.
The grand-prize winner will travel to the Galápagos accompanied by a diverse team of naturalists and will experience up-close encounters with unique species such as domed giant tortoises, sea lions, flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. 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 60 destinations.