National Geographic has revealed the winning images for its acclaimed Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 competition. Taking the throne is Mexican photographer Sergio Tapiro Velasco whose stunning photo dubbed The Power of Nature features an erupting volcano with a perfectly-timed lightning strike. A panel of judges rummaged through over 15,000 photo submissions from photographers in approximately 30 countries. Categories for the contest included: “Nature,” “People” and “Cities.”
“When I looked on the camera display, all I could do was stare,” Velasco told Nat Geo. “What I was watching was impossible to conceive, the image showed those amazing forces of nature interacting on a volcano, while the lightning brightened the whole scene. It’s an impossible photograph and my once in a lifetime shot that shows the power of nature.”
Take a look at select images above and head over to Nat Geo’s official website to view the full list of winners.