2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Winners

The 27th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest was announced today. Selected from more than 17,000 entries, a photograph of divers swimming near a humpback whale has won the 2015 grand prize.

Photographers submitted pictures from around the globe in four categories, including: Travel Portraits; Outdoor Scenes; Sense of Place; and Spontaneous Moments.

Here's a look at the winning photos, comprising first, second, and third-place and seven merit winners, with captions written by them (merit winners are in no particular order).