The winner of this year's National Geographic Travel Photo Contest is a picture of a tiny village in Greenland where the building colours signify their function

Chu Weimin/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestPhotographer Weimin Chu’s ‘Greenlandic Winter’ earned this year’s Grand Prize.

The grand-prize winner of the 2019 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest has been announced, and the photo is a beautiful glimpse of a less-visited corner of the world.

Titled “Greenlandic Winter,” photographer Weimin Chu’s shot captured a small family walking along the snow-covered streets and past the colourful houses of a remote Greenlandic town called Upernavik.

According to Visit Greenland, buildings in the country were traditionally colour-coded to signify their function – from red shops, black police stations, yellow hospitals, and blue fish factories – to make them easier to identify through the snow. For Chu, this history made for a stunning photo juxtaposing the starkness of the fishing village’s natural surroundings with the vibrant colours of its old homes.

National Geographic also named winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions in the competition’s Cities, Nature, and People categories.

Scroll down to check out the 11 finalists.


Grand Prize Winner and Cities category winner: ‘Greenlandic Winter’ by Weimin Chu

Chu Weimin/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestChu’s photo captures the northwestern Greenland fishing village of Upernavik.

While spending three months in Greenland capturing what life is like in the icy, snow-blanketed country, Chu took the 2019 Grand Prize-winning photo of the colourful houses of a northwestern fishing village called Upernavik.

According to Visit Greenland, buildings in the country were traditionally colour-coded to signify their function – from red shops, black police stations, yellow hospitals, and blue fish factories – to make them easier to identify through the snow. For Chu, this history made for a stunning photo juxtaposing the starkness of the fishing village’s natural surroundings with the vibrant colours of its old homes.

For his win, Chu received $US7,500 and a post on National Geographic Travel’s Instagram account, according to National Geographic.


Runner-up, Cities: ‘In the Age of Aviation’ by Jassen Todorov

Jassen Todorov/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestTodorov captured his second-place photo at San Francisco’s International Airport.

According to National Geographic, Todorov was granted permission to fly over the approach end of two runways at San Francisco’s International Airport (SFO).

As he wrote in the description of his photo, Todorov himself was flying the plane while attempting to capture the perfect shot. He noted that winds at the airport were 35-45 miles per hour on the day of his flight, so “it was much harder to control the plane while photographing.”


Third place, Cities: ‘Streets of Dhaka’ by Sandipani Chattopadhyay

Sanipani Chattopadhyay/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestChattopadhyay’s photo sjpws people praying in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Each year, Bishwa Ijtema, a major gathering of the Islamic faith, takes place in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Millions of people visit the city for the holiday.

According to Chattopadhyay’s description of his third-place photo on to National Geographic, “dedicated prayer grounds are not [large] enough to handle this huge number of people.” As a result, people pray in the middle of the city’s main street, temporarily suspending traffic and pedestrian movement.


Winner, Nature: ‘Tender Eyes’ by Tamara Blazquez Haik

Tamara Blazquez Haik/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestBlazquez Haik’s shot captures a griffon vulture in flight.

Blazquez Haik captured first place in the Nature category with this stunning photo of a griffon vulture soaring over Spain’s Monfragüe National Park.

“Vultures are important members of the environment, as they take care of recycling dead matter,” Blazquez Haik wrote in her photo description. “Vultures are noble and majestic animals – kings of the skies.”


Runner-up, Nature: ‘Dreamcatcher’ by Danny Sepkowski

Danny Sepkowski/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestSepkowski’s ‘Dreamcatcher’ depicts a wave breaking in Oahu, Hawaii.

Sepkowski took photos on the east side of Oahu, Hawaii, at sunset when he captured a photo of a wave just before it began to break.

In the photo’s description, Sepkowski said he had to “look into my viewfinder while this wave was breaking [which is] not an easy task when a wave is about to crush you.”


Third place, Nature: ‘Dusky’ by Scott Portelli

Scott Portelli/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestPortelli’s photo came in third place with a sleek photo of a dusky dolphin in Kaikoura, New Zealand.

According to National Geographic, Portelli waited on the bow of a boat in the canyons of Kaikoura, New Zealand, to photograph a dusky dolphin as it broke through the surface of the water.

Portelli noted that dusky dolphins are fast enough to “keep pace with a speeding boat,” making the clarity of his photo all the more impressive.


Honorable mention, Nature: ‘King of the Alps’ by Jonas Schäfer

Jonas Schäfer/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestSchäfer photographed a herd of ibexes in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland.

According to Brittanica, ibexes are suited to live in the high altitudes of the Swiss Alps. Still, Schäfer said some members of the herd stopped to overlook Lake Brienz as he snapped this photo of the ibexes in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland.


Winner, People: ‘Showtime’ by Huaifeng Li

Huaifeng Li/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestLi’s winning photo depicts a trio of actors preparing for an opera performance.

With sunlight streaming through the windows, Li captured three actors as they prepared for an opera performance in Licheng County, China.

According to his photo description, Li travelled to this location to photograph residents of the Loess Plateau who “dig holes in the loess layer [to create cave living spaces, known as yaodongs] and use the heat preservation properties to survive cold winters.”


Runner-up, People: ‘Daily Routine’ by Yoshiki Fujiwara

Yoshiki Fujiwara/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestFujiwara captured a man practicing tai chi at Choi Hung House in Hong Kong.

Although this public park at Choi Hung House in Hong Kong is packed with people in the afternoons, Fujiwara explained in the photo description that it was virtually empty at sunrise.

“I felt divinity when I saw an old man doing tai chi in the sun,” Fujiwara wrote.


Third place, People: ‘Horses’ by José Antonio Zamora

José Antonio Zamora/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestZamora shot this photo of horses leaping over bonfires.

Since the 18th century, horses and horsemen have jumped through fire during the feast of Saint Anthony’s Las Luminarias ritual, according to National Geographic.

Zamora said he relocated from Seville to San Bartolomé de Pinares to capture the ceremony, which is said to purify the animals. He noted that the animals are not hurt during the annual festivities.


Honorable mention, People: ‘Mood’ by Navin Vatsa

Navin Vatsa/ 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo ContestVatsa took a photo of a pensive child on the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi, India.

In his photo description, Vatsa said he regularly visits this spot along the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi, India. On the day he shot “Mood,” thousands of seagulls flocked over the water as visitors looked on.

One boy took advantage of the serenity of the early morning to think and reflect, and Vatsa was there to capture the moment with a stunning image.

To view all of the pictures from the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest, visit the website here.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.