The 2017 Nat Geo Nature Photographer of the Year Winners are Here and Amazing
Selected from over 11,000 entries, a wildlife photo of an orangutan crossing a river in Indonesia’s Tanjung Puting National Park has been selected as the grand-prize winner of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest. The photo, titled “Face to face in a river in Borneo,” was captured by Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan of Singapore. He has won $10,000 and will have his winning image published in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine and featured on the @NatGeo Instagram account.
Bojan took the winning photo after waiting patiently in the Sekoyner River in Tanjung Puting National Park in Borneo, Indonesia. After spending several days on a houseboat photographing orangutans in the park, Bojan learned of a location where a male orangutan had crossed the river – unusual behavior that he knew he had to capture. After waiting a day and night near the suspected location, a ranger spotted the orangutan the next morning at a spot a few minutes up the river. As they drew near, Bojan decided to get into the water so the boat did not scare the primate. About five feet deep in a river supposedly home to freshwater crocodiles, Bojan captured the photo when the orangutan peeked out from behind a tree to see if the photographer was still there.
On capturing the photo, Bojan said, “Honestly, sometimes you just go blind when things like this happen. You’re so caught up. You really don’t know what’s happening. You don’t feel the pain, you don’t feel the mosquito bites, you don’t feel the cold, because your mind is completely lost in what’s happening in front of you.”
Karim Iliya of Haiku, Hawaii, won first place in the Landscapes category for a photo from Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park; Jim Obester of Vancouver, Wash., won first place in the Underwater category for a photo of an anemone; and Todd Kennedy of New South Wales, Australia, won first place in the Aerials category for a photo of a rock pool in Sydney at high tide.
The judges for the contest were National Geographic magazine’s senior photo editor of natural history assignments, Kathy Moran, National Geographic photographer Anand Varma, and photographer Michaela Skovranova.
Contestants submitted photographs in four categories – Wildlife, Landscape, Aerials and Underwater – through National Geographic’s photography community, Your Shot. All of the winning photos, along with the honorable mentions, may be viewed at natgeo.com/photocontest.
1st Place/Grand Prize:
A male orangutan peers from behind a tree while crossing a river in Borneo, Indonesia.
An adult Caribbean pink flamingo feeds a chick in Yucatán, Mexico. Both parents alternate feeding chicks, at first with a liquid baby food called crop milk, and then with regurgitated food.
Two grey herons spar as a white-tailed eagle looks on in Hungary.
A Japanese macaque indulges in some grooming time on the shores of the famous hot springs.
A great gray owl swoops to kill in a New Hampshire field.
Shortly before twilight in Kalapana, Hawai’i, a fragment of the cooled lava tube broke away, leaving the molten rock to fan in a fiery spray for less than half an hour before returning to a steady flow.
Sunlight glances off mineral strata of different colors in Dushanzi Grand Canyon, China.
A summer thunderstorm unleashes lightning on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Morning fog blurs the dead trees of Romania’s Lake Cuejdel, a natural reservoir created by landslides.
Sunset illuminates a lighthouse and rainbow in the Faroe Islands.
Blue-filtered strobe lights stimulate fluorescent pigments in the clear tentacles of a tube-dwelling anemone in Hood Canal, Washington.
Typically a shy species, a Caribbean reef shark investigates a remote-triggered camera in Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen marine protected area.
Buoyed by the Gulf Stream, a flying fish arcs through the night-dark water five miles off Palm Beach, Florida.
Preparing to strike, tarpon cut through a ribbon-like school of scad off the coast of Bonaire in the Caribbean Sea.
A Portuguese man-of-war nears the beach on a summer morning; thousands of these jellyfish wash up on Australia’s eastern coast every year.
In Sydney, Australia, the Pacific Ocean at high tide breaks over a natural rock pool enlarged in the 1930s. Avoiding the crowds at the city’s many beaches, a local swims laps.
Snow-covered metasequoia trees, also called dawn redwoods, interlace over a road in Takashima, Japan.
On the flanks of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai’i, the world’s only lava ocean entry spills molten rock into the Pacific Ocean. After erupting in early 2016, the lava flow took about two months to reach the sea, six miles away.
Migratory gulls take flight from a cedar tree being washed downstream by a glacial river in British Columbia, Canada.
Green vegetation blooms at the river’s edge, or riparian, zone of a meandering canyon in Utah.