One most incredible photo was selected from thousands of pictures presented in three main categories.

A winner of National Geographic Photo Contest has been announced. The honor to be called 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year was given to Anthony Lau from Hong Kong.

Thousands of participants presented their best photos across various categories but the victory was granted to the incredible Lau’s “Winter Horseman”. Lau took the photo in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China after an early morning hike. He and his travel companions were going back to their hotel for breakfast and encounted an amazing picture – a team of riders was driving a herd showing off their skills.

“The snow was getting heavier, the wind was getting stronger, the morning snow was getting thinner and the light was moving away from its optimal position,” Lau said. “I knew I only had a couple of shots to get the best out of this encounter. With a bit of luck, one of my final attempts managed to capture the moment when one of the riders charged out from the morning mist along with his horses.”

The photo contest of National Geographic Travel offers three categories: Nature, People and Cities. First-, second- and third-place prizes were awarded in each category. Lau’s “Winter Horseman” took the first place in the People category, while Takashi Nakagawa from Tokyo with his “Ben Youssef” stood out in the Cities category and Hiroki Inoue from Japan presented “Wherever you go, I will follow you!!” in the Nature category.

Takashi Nakagawa said about his photo: “Even though there were a lot of people in Ben Youssef, still here was more quiet and relaxing compared to the street outside in Marrakesh. I was waiting for the perfect timing to photograph for long time.”
“Romance is in the air. It was the time of day immediately following sunset. I heard a voice. “Wherever you go, I will follow you” the voice says”, revealed Hiroki Inoue.

Winners got a Sony a6300 camera supplied by B&H Photo for the first place, National Geographic’s The Art of Travel Photography course on DVD for the second place and a National Geographic book for the third one. Besides all winners received a subscription to National Geographic Traveler magazine.

A gallery of winning photos is available on the National Geographic Travel website.

As a 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year, Anthony Lau has also won a seven-day Polar Bear Photo Safari for two at Churchill Wild–Seal River Heritage Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, where he will enjoy guided excursions to photograph polar bears and other wildlife against a dramatic landscape of snow and ice.

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