Forgetting the likely presence of crocodiles and mosquitoes, the winner of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest ignored these perils to capture the Grand Prize shot above.
"Face to Face in a River in Borneo" features a male orangutan peering from behind a tree while crossing a river in Indonesia. The photo, which also won first prize in the Wildlife category, was taken by Joghee Bojan of Singapore.
Bojan took the image in the Sekoyner River in Tanjung Puting National Park. He had spent days on a houseboat photographing orangutans and had learned of a spot where a male orangutan crossed the river, an unusual behavior he wanted to capture. When he heard the orangutan has been spotted up the river, Bojan got into the water so the boat wouldn't scare the primate. Bojan took the photo when the orangutan peeked out from behind a tree to see if the photographer was still there.
“Honestly, sometimes you just go blind when things like this happen," Bojan said. "You’re so caught up. You really don’t know what’s happening. You don’t feel the pain, you don’t feel the mosquito bites, you don’t feel the cold, because your mind is completely lost in what’s happening in front of you.”
Naming it "Firefall," Karim Iliya shot the first place winner in the Landscapes category, above, just before twilight in Kalapana, Hawaii.
Iliya writes, "A fragment of the cooled lava tube broke away, leaving the molten rock to fan in a fiery spray for less than half an hour before returning to a steady flow."
In "Fluorescent Anemone," the first-place winner in the Underwater category, fluorescent pigments in the clear tentacles of a tube-dwelling anemone are stimulated by blue-filtered strobe lights. The image was taken in Hood Canal, Washington, by Jim Obester.
This photo called "Rock Pool" by Todd Kennedy won first place in the Aerials category.
Kennedy says, "In Sydney, Australia, the Pacific Ocean at high tide breaks over a natural rock pool enlarged in the 1930s. Avoiding the crowds at the city’s many beaches, a local swims laps."
Aptly captioned "Mother's Love," this image from Alejandro Prieto shows an adult Caribbean pink flamingo feeding a chick in Yucatán, Mexico. "Both parents alternate feeding chicks, at first with a liquid baby food called crop milk, and then with regurgitated food," Prieto explains.
Prieto's endearing photo earned second place in the Wildlife category.
Takahiro Bessho earned second place in the Aerials category for this dreamy image of snow-covered metasequoia trees interlaced over a road in Takashima, Japan.
Sunlight glances off mineral strata of different colors in Dushanzi Grand Canyon, China. Yuhan Liao's image above captured second place in the Landscapes category.
Shane Gross captured an up-close and personal image to earn second place in the Underwater category.
Gross writes, "Typically a shy species, a Caribbean reef shark investigates a remote-triggered camera in Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen marine protected area."