The winners of 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest have been officially announced. This year, the judges had a task of selecting the winners among more than 11,000 entries from all over the world. The grand prize winner is Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan from Singapore, who captured an orangutan crossing a river in Indonesia’s Tanjung Puting National Park. We’re presenting you with the winning photo, along with the gorgeous winning images in all the categories of this prestigious contest.
The contest consists of four categories: Wildlife, Landscape, Aerials, and Underwater. The photographers submitted their work through National Geographic’s photography community, Your Shot.
Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan was selected as the overall winner. This has earned him not only the title of the Nature Photographer of the Year, but also a $10,000 prize. Additionally, his photos will be published in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine and featured on the @NatGeo Instagram account.
As National Geographic writes, 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.
As Bojan explains, he felt completely caught up as he was trying to get the perfect shot:
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.
Apparently, the patience and effort have paid off and have brought Bojan the main prize.
As for the winners in the other categories, they include:
Landscapes: Karim Iliya (Haiku, Hawaii)
Underwater: Jim Obester (Vancouver, Wash.)
Aerials: Todd Kennedy (New South Wales, Australia)
Take a look at the winning photos, People’s Choice and Honorable Mentions of all four categories:
If you’d like to learn more and see the winning images and the honorable mentions, make sure to visit the contest website.