Winners of National Geographic Travel Photographer Of The Year 2018

The winners of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest have been revealed, showcasing some of the most incredible scenes of wildlife, natural wonder, and culture found on our strange little planet.

The grand prize was taken home by Reiko Takahashi for her tail-side photograph (above) of a humpback whale calf cruising the seas off Japan’s Kumejima Island, aptly titled “Mermaid.” Along with the title and glory, Reiko also pocketed a $10,000 prize.

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Grand Prize winner: Reiko Takahashi / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

“It was a special scene for me, to be able to take a photo of the calf, completely relaxed in gentle waters,” explained Reiko. “Most of the time, the calf stayed close to her mom. At one point, the calf began jumping and tapping its tail on the water near us—it was very friendly and curious. Finally, the mother, who was watching nearby, came to pick up the calf and swim away. I fell in love completely with the calf and it’s very energetic, large and beautiful tail.”

You can check out a selection of the winners and runner-ups.

Second place, Nature: Hao J. / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest


Third place, Cities: Gaanesh Pasad / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest


People's choice, Nature: Niklas Weber / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest


Third place, Nature: Marco Grassi / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest


First place, Cities: Hiro Kurashina / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest


Second place winner, Cities: Enrico Pescantini / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest


People's choice, People: David Cheung / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

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