Selected from over 11,000 entries, a wildlife photo of an orangutan crossing a river in Indonesiaâ€™s Tanjung Puting National Park has been selected as the grand-prize winner of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest. The photo, titled â€œFace to face in a river in Borneo,â€ was captured by Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan of Singapore. He has won $10,000 and will have his winning image published in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine and featured on the @NatGeo Instagram account.
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 â€“Â 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.
On capturing the photo, Bojan said, â€œHonestly, sometimes you just go blind when things like this happen. Youâ€™re so caught up. You really donâ€™t know whatâ€™s happening. You donâ€™t feel the pain, you donâ€™t feel the mosquito bites, you donâ€™t feel the cold, because your mind is completely lost in whatâ€™s happening in front of you.â€
Karim Iliya of Haiku, Hawaii, won first place in the Landscapes category for a photo from Hawaiâ€™i Volcanoes National Park; Jim Obester of Vancouver, Wash., won first place in the Underwater category for a photo of an anemone; and Todd Kennedy of New South Wales, Australia, won first place in the Aerials category for a photo of a rock pool in Sydney at high tide.
The judges for the contest were National Geographic magazineâ€™s senior photo editor of natural history assignments, Kathy Moran, National Geographic photographer Anand Varma, and photographer Michaela Skovranova.
Contestants submitted photographs in four categories â€“ Wildlife, Landscape, Aerials and Underwater â€“ through National Geographicâ€™s photography community, Your Shot. All of the winning photos, along with the honorable mentions, may be viewed at natgeo.com/photocontest.
1st Place/Grand Prize:
A male orangutan peers from behind a tree while crossing a river in Borneo, Indonesia.
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