Colorado Tornado Photograph Wins 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Posted on December 29, 2015

Dirt tornado in Simla Colorado

This amazing photograph of a Colorado tornado named DIRT has won the 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest. The photo was taken by James Smart of Melbourne, Australia. He won $10,000 for the photograph.

Smart was chasing storms in Colorado with some meteorologist friends on the day he captured the large tornado. The photograph was taken near Simla, Colorado.

Smart says in a statement, "The tornado was slowly getting bigger as it picked up the dust and soil from the ground on the farmland. It wasn't moving very fast, so we kept getting closer as it tracked next to the home as you can see in the image. Driving down a Colorado dirt road, we were lucky enough to be on the west of the tornado, so it was front lit. This really helped to get great detail out of the image and the perfect light for the sky and foreground."

Some of the other winning photos include a a photograph of an orangutan in the rain using a taro leaf as an umbrella and a photo of a cheetah scanning the lands in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

You can see all the winning photographs here.

Photo: James Smart/National Geographic


More from Science Space & Robots


  • Fire Ants Build Sinking Eiffel Towers When Trying to Escape


  • Study Finds Praying Mantises Kill and Eat Small Birds


  • Researchers Investigate Explosion of Sea Pickles off Northwest Coast




  • Ancient Giant Croc-like Creature Had Serrated Teeth Like T. Rex


  • Rat Lungworm Found Throughout Florida Say Scientists


  • Ancient Wasp Species Discovered in Amber Named After Ziggy Stardust