Mermaid, Japan, 2018

“I was fortunate to have encountered a humpback whale with her calf on my first day snorkeling near Japan’s Kumejima Island. Most of the time, the calf stayed close to her mom. At one point, the calf began jumping and tapping its tail on the water near us—it was very friendly and curious. Finally, the mother, who was watching nearby, came to pick up the calf and swim away. I fell in love completely with the calf and its very energetic, large, and beautiful tail.”

2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year – Grand Prize Winner

Location: Kumejima Island, Japan
Photograph Date: 2018
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200
Available Sizes: 70cm to 100cm

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About the Photographer

Reiko Takahashi

Reiko Takahashi is an award-winning photographer. She spent at the Sanriku sea coast in Japan until graduated high school. She grew up watching the sea all day. Because she loved the sea, it was natural to focus the camera.

“We live on the land, but the view underwater is different-living organisms, plants, minerals-are all slightly different"-she says. "I think being underwater is a similar to climbing Everest- it is not a place where we can easily go. For me, it is a special and sacred place. The sea accounts for so much of Earth and is a place of adventure, where we can experience of the Third Kind".

She quit a semiconductor engineer in 2017 and started a journey to photograph the seas around the world.

In 2018 She was awarded "The Grand Prize of the National Geographic Travel Photography of the Year".

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