2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

Cities 1st place – and Grand Prize winner
Photo and Caption by Weimin Chu / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | GREENLANDIC WINTER
National Geographic has revealed the Grand Prize winner of this year's Travel Photographer of the Year contest. Photographer Weimin Chu has taken home the Grand Prize award—as well as 1st place in the Cities category—with a moody image from a small fishing village in West Greenland. The caption of the winning photo reads:
Upernavik is a fishing village on a tiny island in west Greenland. Historically, Greenlandic buildings were painted different colors to indicate different functions, from red storefronts to blue fishermen’s homes—a useful distinction when the landscape is blanketed in snow.
In addition to Chu's winning photograph, National Geographic has announced the winners, runner-ups and honorable mentions in three other categories: Cities, Nature and People.
The above gallery takes a look at the final photographs from each of the categories alongside the photographer, title and caption of each image. In addition to a full gallery of images on its own site—which allow you to download the winning photographs as wallpapers—National Geographic has a feature on the winning image and the photographer behind the camera.

Photo credit: images used with permission from National Geographic
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

Cities 2nd Place
Photo and Caption by Jassen Todorov / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | IN THE AGE OF AVIATION
There are four runways at San Francisco's International Airport (SFO). This is a rare look at the approach end of runways 28 left and right. I had dreams of documenting the motion at SFO and [arranged] permission to fly directly overhead. What a windy day it was. Winds atSFO were 35-45 miles per hour, which meant a bumpy flight, and itwas much harder to control the plane while photographing. The flight was challenging, but it was also so thrilling that I couldn't sleep for several days afterward.
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

Cities 3rd Place
Photo and Caption by Sandipani Chattopadhyay / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | STREETS OF DHAKA
People pray on the street in Dhaka, Bangladesh during Ijtema. Bishwa Ijtemais one of the major Islamic religious gatherings which is [observed] annually in Dhaka and millions of Muslims visit [during this time]. Dedicated prayer grounds are not [large] enough to handle this huge number of people, so large numbers of people come to [Tongi], the main street of Dhaka. All the ground transportation and [pedestrian crossings] are suspended during that time.
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

Nature 1st Place
Photo and Caption by Tamara Blazquez Haik / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | TENDER EYES
A gorgeous griffon vulture is seen soaring the skies in Monfragüe National Park in Spain. How can anyone say vultures bring bad omens when looking at such tenderness in this griffon vulture's eyes? Vultures are important members of the environment, as they take care of recycling dead matter. Vultures are noble and majestic animals—kings of the skies. When looking at them flying, we should feel humbled and admire them.
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

Nature 2nd Place
Photo and Caption by Danny Sepkowski / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | Geometry of the Sun
What happens before a wave breaks? That question has been my assignment this past year. On this particular day, I decided to shoot the sunset on the east side of Oahu, Hawaii. About 100 photographers were out in the morning, but I had the evening to myself. The textures from the trade winds [created] subtle colors from the west and blended well using my 100mm lens. I had to look into my viewfinder while this wave was breaking. Not an easy task when a wave is about to crush you.
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

Nature 3rd Place
Photo and Caption by Scott Portelli / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | DUSKY
Dusky dolphins often travel together in great numbers in the deep canyons of the Kaikoura, New Zealand in search of food. They glide through the ocean effortlessly, coming up only to breathe. Dusky dolphins are fast and will often keep pace with a speeding boat. I waited on the bow of the boat as the Dusky dolphin almost broke [through the surface]. Their elegance and streamlined bodies are built for speed and maneuverability—accentuated by the smooth, clear water of the New Zealand coastline.
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

Nature Honorable Mention
Photo and Caption by Jonas Schafer / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | KING OF THE ALPS
A herd of ibexes in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland cross a ridge above Lake Brienz. Their powerful and impressive horns show who the king of the Alps are. Ibexes are ideally adapted to live at dizzying heights. The continuing ridge path and the rising fog show the natural habitat of these animals. After a few hours of observing the animals, I spotted the ibex herd on one side of the ridge. Several ibexes stopped at the transition [to view the world around them].
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

People 1st Place
Photo and Caption by Huaifeng Li / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | SHOWTIME
Actors prepare for an evening opera performance in Licheng County, China. I spent the whole day with these actors from makeup to [stage]. I’m a freelance photographer, and the series “Cave Life" is a long-term project of mine. In China's Loess Plateau, local residents dig holes in the loess layer [to create cave living spaces, known as yaodongs] and use the heat preservation properties to survive cold winters. This series mainly records the life, entertainment, belief, labor, and other [daily] scenes of the people living in the caves.
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

People 2nd Place
Photo and Caption by Yoshiki Fujiwara / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | DAILY ROUTINE
This photo was taken at a public park at Choi Hung House in Hong Kong. When I visited during the afternoon, it was very crowded with many young people taking pictures and playing basketball. But when I visited at sunrise, it was quiet and a different place. [The area] is [designated] for neighborhood residents in the early morning, and there was a sacred atmosphere. I felt divinity when I saw an old man doing tai chi in the sun.
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

People 3rd Place
Photo and Caption by José Antonio Zamora / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | HORSES
Every year on the feast of Saint Anthony the ceremony of the purification of animals, called Las Luminarias, is celebrated in Spain. In the province of Avila, horses and horsemen jump over bonfires in the ritual that has been maintained since the 18th century. The animals [are not hurt], and it is a ritual that is repeated every year. To make the photo, I moved from Seville to San Bartolomé de Pinares because I am very interested in photographing ancestral rites.
2019 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners

People Honorable Mention
Photo and Caption by Navin Vatsa / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest | MOOD
I captured this layered moment during sunrise along the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi, India. This boy was thinking silently, and visitors were enjoying the loud musical chirping of thousands of seagulls. The early morning golden light from the east mixed with the western blue light, creating a [ethereal atmosphere]. I am a regular visitor [here] and have photographed this place for the past three years. Now, many national and international photographers have begun visiting [too].


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