Grand-Prize Winner and Nature Winner
Photo and caption by Shikhei Goh
Arrows of rain seem to pelt a dragonfly in Indonesia's Riau Islands in "Splashing,” the winning image of the 2011 National Geographic Photography Contest. To capture the photo, photographer Shikhei Goh took advantage of “superb lighting” and a friend spraying water on the dragonfly to simulate rain. The result is a "very striking macrophotography image that rose to the top of the nature category for me because of its originality, beautiful light, rare action in a close-up image, as well as its technical perfection," said Tim Laman, one of three National Geographic magazine photographers who judged the contest. "You can almost feel the dragonfly's experience of bracing itself against the water," said judge Amy Toensing. "When I look at it, I want to say, Hold on tight little buddy!" The insect's plight also appealed to judge Peter Essick, who said the photograph gives the dragonfly a "character us humans can relate to." "It's rare indeed to see a photograph that causes the viewer to feel a bond with a member of the animal world seemingly," Essick said, "but maybe not, so unlike our own." Editors’ Note, January 12, 2012: This caption has been edited to accurately reflect how Goh took the picture. The original caption said that Goh had taken the picture in a sudden rainstorm, which he has done in previous occasions—but not for the winning photograph.
Location: Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia