Selected from more than 11,000 photos, a wildlife photo of an orang-utan crossing a river in Tanjung Puting National Park in Indonesia was selected as the winner of the National Geographic Nature Photographer 2017 Grand Prize of the Year. The photo, titled “Face to Face in a River in Borneo”, was captured by Singapore’s Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan. He has won $ 10,000 and will have his winning image published in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine and @NatGeo Instagram account.
Bojan took the winning picture after patiently waiting in the Sekoyner River in Tanjung Puting National Park in Borneo, Indonesia. After spending several days on a barge photographing orangutans in the park, Bojan positioned himself at the spot where a male orangutan had crossed the river – an unusual behavior he had spotted. After waiting a day and night near the suspected location, a ranger spotted the orangutan the next morning at a location just minutes upriver. Bojan decided to dive into the water so the boat would not scare the primate. At about 1m50 deep in a river supposed to harbor freshwater crocodiles, Bojan captured the photo when the orangutan glanced behind a tree to see if the photographer was still there.
Capturing the photo, Bojan said, “Honestly, sometimes you go blind when things like that happen. You are so caught off guard. You really do not know what’s going on. You do not feel the pain, you do not feel the mosquito bites, you do not feel the cold, because your mind is completely lost in what is happening in front of you. “
Karim Iliya of Haiku, Hawaii, won first place in the Landscapes category for a photo of Hawaii 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 jump category for a photo of a rock pool in Sydney at high tide.
The judges of the competition were National Geographic magazine’s natural history photo editor Kathy Moran, National Geographic photographer Anand Varma and photographer Michaela Skovranova.
Participants submitted photographs in four categories – Wildlife, Landscape, Antennae and Underwater – through National Geographic’s photographic community, Your Shot. All winning photos, as well as honorable mentions, can be viewed on.