A beautiful image of a humpback whale taken by photographer Reiko Takahashi has claimed the top prize in the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year competition for 2018.
The image, titled “Mermaid,” was captured off the coast of Japan’s Kumejima Island. A panel of judges picked it from among more than 13,000 entries in three categories, which include nature, cities and people.
“It was a special scene for me, to be able to take a photo of the calf, completely relaxed in gentle waters,” Takahashi told National Geographic. “I really cannot believe it. It was my dream to win. I am honored and it will be the driving force for my future shooting.”
Takahashi will receive $10,000 for her winning photo.
See the rest of the winners below, as well as all of the other entries at the contest website.