Photography

The Most Astonishing Photos That Won Awards In 2015

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2015

The travel arm of the National Geographic Society received more than 17,000 entries, with one image making it to the top spot: a spectacular photo of divers suspended in the water as they swim near a humpback whale. It was shot by Anuar Patjane Floriuk, from Mexico, near Roca Partida, an island off the west coast of Mexico.

Titled “Whale Whisperer”, Floriuk told National Geographic: “The photo wasn’t planned … 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.”

 

Grand Prize – “Whale Whisperer” by Anuar Patjane Floriuk

Whale Whisperer

Anuar Patjane Floriuk / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

Second Place – “Gravel Workmen” by Ahmed Al Toqi

Three gravel workmen are looking through the window glass at their work place.

“Three gravel workmen are looking through the window glass at their work place.” – Ahmed Al Toqi Ahmed Al Toqi / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

 

Third Place – “Camel Ardah” by Ahmed Al Toqi

Camel Ardah, as it is 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.

“Camel Ardah, as it is 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.” – Ahmed Al Toqi Ahmed Al Toqi / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

Merit – “Romania, Land of Fairy Tales” by Eduard Gutescu

White frost over Pestera village in Romania.

White frost over Pestera village in Romania. Eduard Gutescu / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

Merit – “White Rhinos” by Stefane Berube

The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good picture of the endangered white rhino … In the morning I woke up to all three rhinos grazing in front of me.

“The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good picture of the endangered white rhino … In the morning I woke up to all three rhinos grazing in front of me.” – Stefane Berube Stefane Berube / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

Merit – “Catching a Duck” by Sarah Wouters

Two boys are trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall

“Two boys are trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall.” – Sarah Wouters Sarah Wouters / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

Merit – “Sauna in the Sky” by Stefano Zardini

A sauna at 2,800 metres high, in the heart of Dolomites, Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps

“A sauna at 2,800 metres high, in the heart of Dolomites, Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps.” – Stefano Zardini Stefano Zardini / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

Merit – “A Night at Deadvlei” by Beth McCarley

The camelthorn trees are believed to be about 900 years old, but have not decomposed because the environment is so dry

“The night before returning to Windhoek, we spent several hours at Deadveli [in Namibia]. 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.” – Beth McCarley Beth McCarley / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Now in its seventh year, the Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomy photo contestreceived a record number of entries: over 2,700 from 60 countries, across a range of categories.

The overall winner was French photographer Luc Jamet with his picture of the drama of the total solar eclipse of 20 March 2015, 100 metres above the wintry valley of Sassendalen in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard.

Overall Winner – “Eclipse Totality over Sassendalen”, by Luc Jamet, France

The total solar eclipse of 20 March 2015 seen from Svalbard – one of only two habitable locations that were able to witness totality – just 16 seconds after it began. The image shows totality about 100 metres above the large valley of Sassendalen situated on the only permanently inhabited island of the Norwegian archipelago. Venus can also be seen in the photograph, as a bright spot in the upper left of the image.

“The total solar eclipse of 20 March 2015 seen from Svalbard – one of only two habitable locations that were able to witness totality – just 16 seconds after it began. The image shows totality about 100 metres above the large valley of Sassendalen situated on the only permanently inhabited island of the Norwegian archipelago. Venus can also be seen in the photograph, as a bright spot in the upper left of the image.” – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 Luc Jamet / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Runner Up – “Sunderland Noctilucent Cloud Display” by Matt Robinson, UK

Thought to be formed of ice crystals, the clouds occasionally become visible at twilight when the sun is below the horizon and illuminates them. They are usually bluish or silver in colour, but sometimes appear orangey-red or red when they are on the horizon, as seen in this photograph.

“Taken on 7 July 2014 from Seaburn Beach, Sunderland, in the north of England. The photographer had seen nightly displays of noctilucent clouds for up to seven days prior to taking this shot … Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere and form above 200,000 feet. Thought to be formed of ice crystals, the clouds occasionally become visible at twilight when the sun is below the horizon and illuminates them. They are usually bluish or silver in colour, but sometimes appear orangey-red or red when they are on the horizon, as seen in this photograph.” – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 Matt Robinson / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Winner – “Silk Skies” by Jamen Percy, Australia

Green reflection of the aurora in the snow and captured this breathtaking shot of the piercing blue light show coursing through the night sky

“Taken in Abisko National Park in Lapland. The photographer had all but given up on seeing the aurora after spending many hours atop a mountain waiting to catch a glimpse of them. As he stumbled down the hill he saw the green reflection of the aurora in the snow and captured this breathtaking shot of the piercing blue light show coursing through the night sky.” – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 Jamen Percy / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Highly Commended – “Sumo Waggle Adventure” by Arild Heitmann, Norway

The vivid green aurora swirls across the night sky, countering the stillness of the Lomaas River and the snowy trees aligned on its banks. The photographer went the extra mile to achieve the beautiful shot, immersing himself in the river for over two hours in waters of a temperature of -15 degrees [celsius].

“The vivid green aurora swirls across the night sky, countering the stillness of the Lomaas River and the snowy trees aligned on its banks. The photographer went the extra mile to achieve the beautiful shot, immersing himself in the river for over two hours in waters of a temperature of -15 degrees [celsius]. Upon exiting the river his wet waders froze almost immediately causing him to ‘waggle’ over to his car like a sumo wrestler and inspiring the name for this photograph.” – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 Arild Heitmann / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

People and Space category

Winner – “Sunset Peak Star Trail”, by Chap Him Wong, Hong Kong

Campers shelter from the wind next to old stone cottages looking up to Sunset Peak, the third-highest mountain in Hong Kong, standing at 869 metres tall. Above the mountain and at an even further distance from the campers, the stars appear to flash across the night sky leaving trails in their wake but are in fact portraying the movement of the Earth on its axis.

“Campers shelter from the wind next to old stone cottages looking up to Sunset Peak, the third-highest mountain in Hong Kong, standing at 869 metres tall. Above the mountain and at an even further distance from the campers, the stars appear to flash across the night sky leaving trails in their wake but are in fact portraying the movement of the Earth on its axis.” – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 Chap Him Wong / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

“Morning Shift” by Jan Košťál, taken in Sitakunda, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Labourers were taking barrels with gasoline from old vessels, using the high tide for easy transportation. This controversial industry is probably the biggest of its kind in the world.

“The photo was taken in the shipbreaking yards on the Bay of Bengal, near the city of Chittagong. Labourers were taking barrels with gasoline from old vessels, using the high tide for easy transportation. This controversial industry is probably the biggest of its kind in the world.” – Jan Košťál Jan Košťál / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

“Dog Walker” by Johanna Siegmann, taken in Malibu, California, USA

Leslie is a professional dog walker, who also offers boarding services. She can walk up to 20 dogs at a time, although on this day she ‘only’ had 12. Here she is driving them to a dog park, where they will be allowed to run around, unleashed. The hardest part of her job, from what I witnessed, was unraveling the giant macramé knot of leashes created when the dogs weave in and out around each other

“Leslie is a professional dog walker, who also offers boarding services. She can walk up to 20 dogs at a time, although on this day she ‘only’ had 12. Here she is driving them to a dog park, where they will be allowed to run around, unleashed. The hardest part of her job, from what I witnessed, was unraveling the giant macramé knot of leashes created when the dogs weave in and out around each other.” – Johanna Siegmann Johanna Siegmann / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

Landscape Photographer of the Year – “Mt Kenya 1934” by Simon Norfolk

 Lewis Glacier on Mt. Kenya. The flame line shows the Lewis Glacier’s location in 1963.

“Mapping with a pyrograph, the melting away of the Lewis Glacier on Mt. Kenya. The flame line shows the Lewis Glacier’s location in 1963.” – Simon Norfolk Simon Norfolk/INSTITUTE, United Kingdom, Winner, Landscape, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Young Wildlife Photographer – “Ruffs on display” by Ondrej Pelánek from the Czech Republic

On their traditional lek ground – an area of tundra on Norway’s Varanger Peninsula – territorial male ruffs in full breeding plumage show off their ruffs to each other, proclaiming ownership of their courtship areas.

“On their traditional lek ground – an area of tundra on Norway’s Varanger Peninsula – territorial male ruffs in full breeding plumage show off their ruffs to each other, proclaiming ownership of their courtship areas.” – Wildlife Photographer of the Year Ondrej Pelánek / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Winner, 15-17 years old – “Flight of the scarlet ibis” by Jonathan Jagot from France

 Scarlet ibis – the most beautiful birds

“Jonathan has been sailing round the world with his family for five years, and for the past three years he has been taking wildlife photographs. It was when they anchored off the island of Lençóis on the coast of northeast Brazil that he saw his first scarlet ibis – the most beautiful birds he had ever seen.” – Wildlife Photographer of the Year Jonathan Jagot / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Winner, Underwater – “A whale of a mouthful” by Michael AW from Australia

A Bryde’s whale rips through a swirling ball of sardines, gulping a huge mouthful in a single pass. As it expels hundreds of litres of seawater from its mouth, the fish are retained by plates of baleen hanging down from its palate; they are then pushed into its stomach to be digested alive. This sardine baitball was itself a huge section of a much larger shoal below that common dolphins had corralled by blowing a bubble-net around the fish and forcing them up against the surface

“A Bryde’s whale rips through a swirling ball of sardines, gulping a huge mouthful in a single pass. As it expels hundreds of litres of seawater from its mouth, the fish are retained by plates of baleen hanging down from its palate; they are then pushed into its stomach to be digested alive. This sardine baitball was itself a huge section of a much larger shoal below that common dolphins had corralled by blowing a bubble-net around the fish and forcing them up against the surface.” – Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Michael AW / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Second Prize, Long-Term Projects – Kacper Kowalski

What is the natural environment for humans? Is it an untouched, virgin landscape? Or is it a landscape that has changed, adapted to human needs

“Kacper Kowalski is a pilot and a photographer. Side Effects is a documentary project about the complex relationship between humans and nature. The photos were shot either from a paraglider or a gyroplane, some 150 meters above the ground, mainly in the area around Gdynia, in Poland. In this work, Kowalski explores answers to questions that deeply interest him: What is the natural environment for humans? Is it an untouched, virgin landscape? Or is it a landscape that has changed, adapted to human needs?” – World Press Photo Contest 2015 Kacper Kowalski, Poland, Panos Pictures / Via worldpressphoto.org

Comments

comments

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top