The time has come again for National Geographic to remind us how lame our travel photos are (yes, even that one taken next to Erik Estrada's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame): the famed National Geographic Traveler has revealed the winning photos from its 2015 Traveler Photo Contest.
Selected from over 17,000 entries in four categories, including Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments, the winning photos were evaluated based on creativity and quality.
The grand prize-winning image, shot on the island of Roca Partida (just off the western coast of Mexico), is titled "Whale Whisperer." It's an underwater display of divers swimming next to a humpback whale, shot by Anuar Patjane Floriuk from Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico. Floriuk wins a National Geographic Photo Expedition for two to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal.
Check out the winning images below (note: merit winners are in no particular order).
Grand Prize: Whale Whisperers
Anuar Patjane Floriuk
"Diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf while they cruise around Roca Partida … in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico. This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life, so we need to accelerate the incorporation of the islands into UNESCO as [a] natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing."