Whalebone’s 2021 Photo Contest Winners Are Both Stunning And Inspirational

Super stylish hand-printed-t-shirt-brand-turned-print-magazine Whalebone has just unveiled the winners of their annual photo contest, and these stunning photographs couldn’t have us more psyched to capture our own upcoming summer adventures. The contest, now in its second year, bills itself as a celebration of “the amazing humans who point and shoot all sorts of cameras” and featured six different vaguely defined categories which included: Water, Human, Joy, Adventure, Weather, and finally Motion — all of which were judged by an all-star cast of photographers including legendary hip-hop photographer Mel D. Cole, adventure photographer Krystle Wright, and underwater photographer Mike Coots.

The six winning photos are currently available as prints for purchase with proceeds going in support of both the winning photographers as well as No Kid Hungry, a non-profit that seeks to end childhood hunger in the United States. We’ve included each of the winning photos below as well as the corresponding captions from the photographers. If you want to purchase a print be sure to head over to the Whalebone Print Shop, which offers a variety of sizes for each.

We’re planning on using these photos for inspiration as we document our first post-covid quarantine road trips, but we’re probably going to stop short of putting any sea creatures on our faces. We’re not ready for that much excitement (if that’s what you want to call it) yet.

Grand Prize Water — Michael Francis Connelly “Hide ‘n’ Suck”

Michael Francis Connelly

Spending so much time with octopuses has definitely changed how I see them. Instead of sushi, they have become unreal photo props for me now. This was after I spent some time free diving reef, learning about them, and handling them with some amazing, out of this world water people, out on Oahu, Hawai’i.

I bonded with these amazing eight-limbed beings, to the point where they have become my favorite animal to come across while in the water, and to always return safely to the reef. — Michael Francis Connelly

Grand Prize Human — Tyler Schank “Harmony House Hugs”

Tyler Schank

Gracelynn Noland, 6, and her grandmother Janet Noland hold hands and touch foreheads through a plastic cover as they say goodbye Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, after their visit in a garage at Harmony House assisted living facility in Superior, Wisconsin. Janet and her husband Frank were surprised to see their grandchildren and even more surprised to have the chance to hug them. “They can do that every day!” Janet said of the experience. — Tyler Schank

Grand Prize Joy — Sultan Ahmed Niloy “Enjoying the biggest festival Durga Puja”

Sultan Ahmed Niloy

Children are enjoying the biggest Bengali festival which is Durga Puja. It’s a very big ritual for Hindu community people in Kolkata, India, and Bangladesh. — Sultan Ahmed Niloy

Grand Prize Adventure — Mark McInnis “Mulcoy’s World”

Mark McInnis

All credit goes to my brother, my hero, and my favorite surfer, Josh Mulcoy, for this photo. He has towed me into a lot of memorable images over the years, but this one simply takes the cake. — Mark McInnis

Grand Prize Weather — Daniel Pullen “Tidal Pool”

Daniel Pullen

Storm Surge from Hurricane Teddy spinning off of the coast of Cape Hatteras pours into the bottom floor of this cottage in Avon, NC. — Daniel Pullen

Grand Prize Motion — Siddharth Kaneria “Wall of Death”

Siddharth Kaneria

The photograph is of Daredevil Stuntmen at “Well Of Death” performing in their car. Hundreds of spectators crowded around a circular pit to witness daredevil drivers in cars & motorcycles performing stunts in a vertical pit known as the “Well of Death.” Once a sight at festivals across northern India, the practice is now waning but that doesn’t stop festival-goers and stuntmen from capitalizing on the few remaining Wells of Death in the country. The Photograph is one of the biggest “Well of death” which exists in India. It is said that only 6 of this kind is in practice. — Siddharth Kaneria