Winners of Travel Photographer of the Year 2018 are revealed

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The winners of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest have been announced, with Japanese photographer Reiko Takahashi taking the prestigious grand prize.

Takahashi won the $10,000 prize after her photo of a humpback whale calf, titled Mermaid, was selected by a panel of National Geographic judges from more than 13,000 entries. The image was taken off the coast of Japan’s Kumejima Island.

Takahashi left her long-time office job to pursue her passion for underwater photography, and traveled to Kumejima Island to photograph humpback whales with their calves.

“It was a special scene for me, to be able to take a photo of the calf, completely relaxed in gentle waters,” said Takahashi. “I really cannot believe it. It was my dream to win. I am honored and it will be the driving force for my future shooting.”

The National Geographic Travel Photographer contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers, with entries accepted in three categories: Nature, People and Cities. Winning photos were selected in each of the categories, with Takahashi’s photo winning the Nature category.

You can see some of the winning and commended images below, and all of the winning and honorable mention photos can be viewed at National Geographic's website.

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Grand Prize winner: Reiko Takahashi / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

Grand Prize winner: Reiko Takahashi / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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Second place, Nature: Hao J. / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

Second place, Nature: Hao J. / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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Third place, Cities: Gaanesh Pasad / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

Third place, Cities: Gaanesh Pasad / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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People's choice, Nature: Niklas Weber / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

People's choice, Nature: Niklas Weber / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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Third place, Nature: Marco Grassi / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

Third place, Nature: Marco Grassi / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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First place, Cities: Hiro Kurashina / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

First place, Cities: Hiro Kurashina / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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Second place winner, Cities: Enrico Pescantini / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

Second place winner, Cities: Enrico Pescantini / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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People's choice, People: David Cheung / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

People's choice, People: David Cheung / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest