Every year, the National Geographic Traveller (UK)‘s prestigious Photography Competition showcases incredible travel photography from around the world. Featuring animals, landscapes, and everything in between, the recently revealed winners of this year’s contest are nothing short of spectacular.
Renato Granieri took home the grand prize for his stunning shot of embracing king penguins. Set against a striking snowy backdrop, the piece pairs an eye-catching aesthetic with intimate subject matter. “This entry stood out from the first moment we saw it, probably because of the stark white background that forms the environment in which these penguins live,” Chris Hudson, the competition’s head judge, explains. “There is, however, an element of tenderness about it all to contrast this, and in the composition Renato has managed to capture a touching moment with the highest technical and compositional standards.”
In addition to the grand prize, winning categories include Portfolio, Urban, People, Action, and Video. Shot in over 5 countries and featuring sites ranging from manicured gardens and busy cafes to icy tundras and sand dunes, these selections illustrate the diverse beauty found across the globe.
You can learn more about the awe-inspiring winning photographs of the National Geographic Traveller Photography Competition below.
“My theme is based on the four classical elements of nature (earth, wind, fire and water). The images are designed to be viewed together as a set of four and have been arranged using colour theory, with red/green and yellow/blue diagonally opposite each other as per a colour wheel.”
“I was lucky enough this year to have a work trip to New York. With my one spare day, I headed south from my hotel and just started walking, hoping to see something interesting — I had no idea that practically everything I saw would be photo-worthy, and pretty much fell in love with the city that day. Making my way back from the Williamsburg Bridge, I turned the corner of Elizabeth and Prince, and there it was — this huge dog, hilariously trying over and over again to get its head through the window to sneak a bite of a customer’s meal. I captured the shot just before the dog’s owner turned to get him down.”
“I took this shot while staying with a Kazakh family in Western Mongolia for a week during winter. They hunt with a female golden eagle at this time of year; usually hunting foxes and, very occasionally, wolves. They treat the eagle as part of their family and care deeply for this majestic bird of prey. This image captures what to us seems rather incongruous — the hunter resting at home with his eagle on one side and the family cat on the other.”
“The temperature was incredibly low, somewhere in the region of -20C. I was attempting to photograph dog sledding using a snowmobile to track ahead of the dogs, which wasn’t working. The problem was that the snowmobile would leave tracks in the snow. In the end, I opted for racing ahead of the dogs and crouching in the snow while they charged towards me. I’d capture a few shots before diving out of the way, so as not to get run down. It was pretty scary, but well worth it.”
‘Lost in Cuba’ by Timur Tugalev
“The smiles and contagious temperaments of locals I met on my trip felt like the true heart of the island. It’s a place of wonders and legendary colonial cities.”