Published: 13 August 2015 by: Ginny Cumming

The Grand Prize went to “Whale Whisperers” – 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.” Photo © Anuar Patjane Floriuk / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

This exquisite underwater photograph of divers swimming near a humpback whale and her newborn calf is the winning photo from the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

Shot near Roca Partida, an island off the western coast of Mexico, “Whale Whisperers” was taken by Anuar Patjane Floriuk of Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico.

“The photo wasn’t planned,” says Floriuk. “I was taking photos near the head of the whale, and all of a sudden she began to swim toward the rest of the diving team. The divers gave the whale and her calf space, and I just clicked at the moment when the flow and composition seemed right.”

This year’s contest received more than 17,000 entries from photographers around the world. They were four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments.

As grand-prize winner, Floriuk will embark on an eight-day National Geographic Photo Expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two.

Discover more: The winning photos can be viewed online at: www.natgeo.com/travelerphotocontest

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