Elia Locardi is Back

National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year

National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year

The winners of National Geographic’s 2017 Nature Photographer of the Year have been announced. This year, Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan comes away with the grand prize for his wildlife photo, “Face to Face in a River in Borneo.”

Bojan’s winning photo was selected ahead of over 11,000 total entries for the coveted award. His image features a male orangutan peering from behind a tree as it is about to cross the Soyoner River in Borneo, Indonesia. To capture the image, Bojan waded out into the water to a depth of about five feet when he discovered the orangutan. He had an interesting take on the irregularity of the situation:

While looking for wild orangutans in Tanjung National Park, Indonesia, we witnessed this amazing sight of this huge male crossing a river despite the fact there were crocodiles in the river. Rapid palm oil farming has depleted their habitat, and when pushed to the edge these intelligent creatures have learned to adapt to the changing landscape. This is proof considering orangutans hate water and never venture into a river. I got into the five-foot deep river to get this perspective.

Bojan's photo not only captured the grand prize but also won first place in the wildlife category. The other categories in this competition were landscape, aerial, and underwater. The photos were judged on creativity, quality, and composition and were required to have been taken within the past two years. Minor editing was allowed, such as color correction, dodging, burning, and cropping. However, anything beyond basic adjustments to the image would disqualify it from the competition. 

For winning, Bojan will receive $10,000 and a feature in National Geographic’s magazine and Instagram page. The other category winners will each receive $2,500. Below are some of the other winning images of this year’s competition.

“Mother’s Love” by Alejandro Prieto, Wildlife, 2nd Place

"White Fighters" by Bence Mate, Wildlife, 3rd Place

"Macaque Maintenance" by Lance McMillan, Wildlife, Honorable Mention

"Great Gray Owl" by Harry Collins, Wildlife, People's Choice

"Fluorescent Anemone" by Jim Obester, Underwater, 1st Place

"In Your Face" by Shane Gross, Underwater, 2nd Place

"Flying Fish in Motion" by Michael O'Neill, Underwater, 3rd Place

"Predators on a Bait Ball" by Jennifer O'Neil, Underwater, Honorable Mention

"Drift" by Matthew Smith, Underwater, People's Choice

"Firefall" by Karim Iliya, Landscape, 1st Place

"Dushanzi Grand Canyon" by Yuhan Liao, Landscape, 2nd Place

"Illuminate" by Mike Olbinski, Landscape, 3rd Place

"Cold and Misty" by Gheorghe Popa, Landscape, Honorable Mention

"Kalsoy" by Wojciech Kruczynski, Landscape, People's Choice

"Rock Pool" by Todd Kennedy, Aerial, 1st Place

"From Above" by Takahiro Bessho, Aerial, 2nd Place

"Drip" by Greg C., Aerial, 3rd Place

"Life After Life" by Agathe Bernard, Aerial, Honorable Mention

"Meandering Canyon" by David Swindler, Aerial, People's Choice

Levi Keplar's picture

Levi Keplar is a wedding and portrait photographer and educator. He currently owns and operates his studio, Katie & Levi Photography, with his wife and is based in the Wichita, Kansas area. He has a passion for both the technical and the business sides of photography and helping others to grow in those areas as well.

Log in or register to post comments

Great photos. Especially the Orangutan. Thanks!

Scary? He looks like The titular character from "Harry and the Hendersons"! :-)

Of course I would! :-)

so wait, he was wading in a croc infested river and came across a orangutan ? ya, no thanks. he is lucky he was not eaten. that's what the look on his face was saying "what the hell are you doing in the water, don't you know it's full of crocs"? yes he wins.

Love all the shots except the tidal pool drone shot - seen that done by every instagram photographer.

incredible stuff