Aviation Photo Wins National Geographic Grand Prize

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Click to see the full-size image at NationalGeographic.com

From 6,000 photos submitted to a National Geographic photo contest, the grand prize this week went to an aerial shot of two aerobatic aircraft, shot by Evan Peers of San Carlos, Calif. "Sean Tucker and his son, Eric, were flying a photo shoot with Sean's new Challenger III biplane in Salinas last May," Peers told AVweb on Wednesday. "He had space in his Seneca photo plane and invited me to come along." Peers, an avid airshow fan and amateur photographer, had met Tucker at a local event. For the grand prize, Peers got to choose a trip for two from National Geographic Expeditions, and he and his wife will spend 12 days in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.

National Geographic said in its news release that the goal of the fourth annual Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest is "to inspire an appreciation for the planet's beauty." Aspiring photographers were asked to submit an entry in one of six categories: action/energy, animals/wildlife, arts/music, family/community, nature/weather and travel/cultures. National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson chose two finalists in each category, which were then posted online, and a public vote chose the winners. Peers' photo won its category, then Richardson named it the overall winner. "Every time I came back to the powerful scene of colorful aerobatic airplanes flying full tilt straight into the lens the more I fell in love with the image," Richardson said. "Color, light and composition helped this picture win, but it was also the great spectacle, captured tack sharp and without a scrap of wasted space or energy."