Winners and Honorable Mention Photos 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sublicensing, sale or resale is prohibited. REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as listed below, and must be accompanied by proper caption.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest are subject to paid licensing. Mandatory requirements for photo use: 1.Include proper photo credit and caption as listed below 2.Reference the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest 3.Provide prominent links to the contest URL (If photos are displayed in a gallery, there must be at least one link to our site with each image): http://www.natgeo.com/travelerphotocontest 4.Include a mention and link to the grand prize: “A ten-day trip for two to the Galápagos Archipelago with National Geographic Expeditions”  Images may be found here: https://foxgroup.box.com/s/cepp64p273ggj4o2ui7iwvgs46ykpnsy

The Best Travel Photos of the Year


There’s no doubt when it comes to photo comps, Nat Geo has got some pull. 

Case in point: The 15,000 entries they received as part of their 2017 Travel Photographer of the Year Contest. You can see all the winners below, including the winning shot of Colima Volcano by photographer Sergio Taprio. Taprio says that although he’s been shooting volcanoes for over 15 years, the winning photo that he entered was a “once in a lifetime shot.” You can see the moments leading up towards the winning shot here. The volcano in question is one of the most active in North America, sitting on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. In an interview with Nat Geo, Tapiro says that he loves the volcano so much he’s since built a restaurant in the very spot he took the photo, so he’ll never have to be far from viewpoint. You can read more about Tapiro’s winning shot here, or go check out the other 15, 000 entries here (the People’s Choice winners are pretty spot on).

Grand Prize, and 1st Prize Nature Category. Photo and caption by Sergio Tapiro Velasco / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

The Power of Nature

“Powerful eruption of Colima Volcano in Mexico on December 13th, 2015. That night, the weather was dry and cold, friction of ash particles generated a big lightning of about 600 meters that connected ash and volcano, and illuminated most of the dark scene. On last part of 2015, this volcano showed a lot of eruptive activity with ash explosions that raised 2-3 km above the crater. Most of night explosions produced incandescent rock falls and lightning not bigger than 100 meters in average.”

Photo and caption by Moin Ahmed/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Tongi Railway Station, Gazipur, Bangladesh

“The photo was taken on 23rd of July 2016 at Tongi Railway Station, Gazipur, Bangladesh. I was there taking photos and waiting for a moment. A train from Dhaka toward another district had reached and stopped at the platform for 5 minutes for lifting passengers. It was raining. Suddenly I found a pair of curious eyes looking at me through the window, and on his left an umbrella had been put to protect from the rain. I got the moment.”

Photo and caption by Hiromi Kano/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Kabukurinuma, Osaki, Japan

“Swans glide over the water in Kabukurinuma, Osaki, Japan, a protected wetland. Since many of Japan’s wetlands have been lost, this area has become a rare wintering place for birds and may be a last paradise for them. I was particularly impressed by the swans, and careful not to disturb them when taking pictures. I took into account wind direction and shutter speed to capture the strength and elegance of their flapping wings.”

Photo and caption by Tarun Sinha/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Rio Tarcoles, Costa Rica

“This image was captured in Costa Rica when I was traveling from Monteverde to Playa Hermosa. As you cross over this river, you can stop and peer over the edge of the bridge. Below reside over 35 gigantic crocodiles, relaxing on the muddy banks of the river. I wanted to capture the stark difference between the crocodiles on land and in the water. In the murky waters, the body contours of these beasts remain hidden, and one can only truly see their girth as they emerge from the river.”

Photo and caption by Clane Gessel/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Torres Del Paine National Park, Patagonia

“My dad and I traveled to Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia earlier this year, and we wanted to see something off the beaten path. After a 10-hour drive and traversing a long, dirt trail, we finally came upon the marble caves. We chartered a boat to take us closer, and I waited for the perfect light to capture these intricate blue swirls. The extra effort it took to reach the caves was worth it.”

Photo and caption by Reynold Riksa Dewantara/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Mount Bromo, East Java, Indonesia

“Mount Bromo volcano is a small but active volcanic cinder cone on Java, Indonesia. Early [in] 2016, I happened to be in Mount Bromo during the increase of seismic activity [which] triggered the alert status to the second highest.”

Photo and caption by Yutaka Takafuji/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Tamba, Japan

“This photograph was taken in the evening hours of a humid early summer day in the forest of a small remote village in the Tamba area of Japan. It beautifully captures the magical atmosphere of princess fireflies carpeting a stairway leading to a small shrine revered by the local people.”

Photo and caption by Rodney Bursiel/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Tavarua, Fiji

“I recently traveled to Tavarua, Fiji to do some surf photography with pro surfer Donavon Frankenreiter at Cloudbreak. I’m always looking for new angles and perspectives. The usual surf shots have all been done, so we decided to get a little creative. Makes you look twice.”

Photo and caption by Shane Gross/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Gardens of The Queen

“Gardens of the Queen is a remote marine area south of Cuba. Caribbean reef sharks are usually shy, so I placed my camera on a rock where I know they frequent and used a remote trigger to click away as they came in and bumped my camera around.”

Photo and caption by Misha De-Stroyev/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Lofoten Islands, Norway

“This football field in Henningsvær in the Lofoten Islands is considered one of the most amazing fields in Europe, and maybe even in the world. The photo was taken during a 10-day sailing trip in Norway in June 2017. We arrived to Henningsvær after a week of sailing through the cold and rainy weather. Upon our arrival, the weather cleared up. I was really lucky that the conditions were suitable for flying my drone, and I managed to capture this shot from a height of 120 meters.”

Photo and caption by Michael Dean Morgan/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Besakih Temple, Bali

“Besakih Temple has been known as Bali’s ‘mother temple’ for over 1,000 years and is perched 1000 meters high on the southwestern slopes of Mount Agung. Here, Balinese often come to offer up prayer and take blessing from the temple priests, or ‘pemangku,’ who reside there.”

Photo and caption by Julius Y./National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

“Museum visitors curiously watch Rembrandt’s painting ‘Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild’ [which gives] the illusion that the people on the paintings too are curiously watching the visitors.”

Photo and caption by Jobit George/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

New Delhi, India

“A beautiful photo of a father and son sitting in white traditional attire with beautiful blue sky on the day of Eid al-Fitr in a mosque in New Delhi, India. The photo shows the beautiful bond which these two generations have been building up in a very simple and lovable manner.”

Photo and caption by Andrzej Bochenski/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

“New buildings rise from the desert floor near Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.”

Photo and caption by Tetsuya Hashimoto/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Gifu Prefecture, Japan

“This building is a 20-minute drive from my office — it’s a functioning apartment complex in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, where people live. The modern style of the building is a strange contrast to my sleepy country town, and for a long time I couldn’t quite capture its character. The woman dressed in red was perfectly consonant with the mood of this image. Without her, I couldn’t have made this image.”

Photo and caption by Andy Yeung/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Whampoa Garden, Hong Kong

“The Kowloon Walled City was the densest place on Earth. Hundreds of houses stacked on top of each other enclosed in the center of the structure. Many didn’t have access to open space.This notorious city was finally demolished in 1990’s. However, if you look hard enough, you will notice that the city is not dead. Part of it still exists in many of the current high-density housing apartments. I hope this series can get people to think about claustrophobic living in Hong Kong from a new perspective.”

Photo and caption by F Dilek Uyar/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Konya, Turkey

“Whirling Dervish in an historical place of Sille Konya, Turkey. The ‘dance’ of the whirling dervishes is called sema and is a symbol of the Mevlevi culture. According to Mevlana’s teachings, human beings are born twice: once of their mothers and the second time of their own bodies.”

Photo and caption by Norbet Fritz/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year

Stuttgart, Germany

“The modern interior of the city library in Stuttgart. With its wide-open space in the center, where natural light comes from through the windows on the top, it has a very unique atmosphere where you can broaden your knowledge.”

See the rest of the entries here.

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