Winners revealed: National Geographic Traveller Photography Competition 2020

Announcing the winners of our prestigious annual contest, selected from more than 4,500 entries across four categories.

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Published 27 Aug 2020, 00:07 BST
Performing the haka, Ua Pou island, French Polynesia.

Performing the haka, Ua Pou island, French Polynesia.

Photograph by Hadriel Torres

The grand prize winner of this year’s National Geographic Traveller Photography Competition was Hadriel Torres, who snapped the prize shot at the Matavaa O Te Henua Enana arts festival, held on the remote Marquesas Islands. The celebration of local music, dance and crafts showcases the lively traditions of this Pacific archipelago, attracting delegations from all six inhabited islands, as well as tourists.

Here, the haka (a ceremonial dance of powerful gestures and stamping) is performed by the local dance group on the small island of Ua Pou while awaiting the arrival of the neighbouring islands’ canoes. The shot, entered into the ‘People’ category, was selected as the overall competition winner from more than 4,500 entries.

Pat Riddell, editor of National Geographic Traveller (UK), said of the grand prize winner’s photograph: “The shot was a clear winner with the judges, capturing the energy and the power of the dance against the backdrop of the stunning location. The immediacy and sense of place is captivating; you can almost feel the stamping of feet and hear the rhythmic chanting. A well-deserved winner.”

As the grand prize winner, Torres will travel to Mexico courtesy of National Geographic Journeys, operated by G Adventures, on the Cultural Wonders of Mexico tour — a new, nine-day itinerary exploring the cuisine and culture of the country. Each category winner will receive a Manfrotto Befree Advanced Aluminium Travel Tripod.



Some of the world’s most iconic photos are portraits and it’s no wonder — people make a travel experience. So, we were after images that deftly show us the human side of a destination.

WINNER: Hadriel Torres — Performing the haka, Ua Pou island, French Polynesia

The judges said: “The energy captured here is electric, and the details — from the faraway rock towers to the tensed, raised limbs and ceremonial accessories of the performers — show masterful composition and technical ability. The sense of place is powerfully conveyed. A worthy overall winner of our grand prize.”



From Bristol to Bogotá, cities provide endless inspiration for photographers. We were looking for dynamic images that capture the spirit of a city and offer a glimpse into the urban world.

WINNER: Jordan Banks — The Soho building on Odaiba artificial island, Tokyo, Japan

The judges said: “A mature, dynamic and striking image with excellent use of colour. The solitary person adds an artful detail to the overall image.” 


Mother Nature can be a generous subject, but capturing her beauty isn’t easy. We wanted images that showcased the natural world in all its glory, executed with flair, creativity and technique.

WINNER: Annapurna Mellor — Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh, India

The judges said: “The depth of this image is terrific: you can keep looking into it and finding new levels. I want to be there, experiencing that view, and that’s what landscape photography is all about.”


Animals don’t play by the rules, which makes capturing those fleeting moments all the more rewarding. This category celebrates the most outstanding shots of the animal kingdom.

WINNER: Francesca Page — Spotted eagle ray, near Cocos Island, Costa Rica

The judges said: “The deep blues of this photograph create a sophisticated, calming image. It’s a wonderfully spare composition, and the simplicity of the lines of the ray are sublime.” 

The four category winners were selected from over 4,500 entries. 

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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