Photographers exploring the hottest deserts and deepest oceans in the world went head-to-head throughout National Geographic's 12-week Traveler Photo Contest. Yesterday, the winner was announced: photographer and SCUBA diver Anuar Patjane Floriuk, for his snapshot of a humpback whale family suspended off the Mexican coast. “The photo wasn’t planned,” Floriuk says. “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.” Floriuk's moment of photographic intuition has landed him the competition's Grand Prize, an eight-day National Geographic Photo Expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two.
Second and third place go to Faisal Azim's photo of Bangaladeshi gravel workers and Ahmed Al Toqi's action shot of a camel race in Omar. Check out their images and the seven merit winners (in no particular order) below.
Learn more on the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest website.