National Geographic Reveals 2015 Photo Contest Winners

From 13,000 entries submitted to 2015’s National Geographic Photo Contest, a photograph of a tornado titled “Dirt” won the grand prize.

Photo of the Year

This winning image was captured by Australian photographer James Smart. The photo was taken last spring in the US while he and his brother spent two weeks storm-chasing in Simla, Colorado.

Here’s what Smart has to say about his winning photo:

“The tornado was slowly getting bigger as it picked up the dust and soil from the ground on the farmland. It wasn’t moving very fast, so we kept getting closer as it tracked next to the home….Driving down a Colorado dirt road, we were lucky enough to be on the west of the tornado, so it was front lit which helped to get great detail out of the image and the perfect light for the sky and foreground.”

Here are the category winners…

Places Winner: “Asteroid” by Francisco Mingorance


This photo was shot in Cardeñas, Andalusia, Spain.

People Winner: “At the Playground” by Joel Nsadha

People Winner

This photo was shot in Kampala, Central Region, Uganda

Honorable Mention: “Hill and Crosses” by Hideki Mizuta (Lithuania)

Hill and Crosses

Honorable Mention: “From Generation to Generation” by Jackson Hung (Taiwan)

From Generation to Generation

Honorable Mention: “Orangutan in the Rain” by Andrew Suryono (Indonesia)


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