We have a winner! The Reader’s Choice Award

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The blue is leaving. Photo: Iván BerriosThe blue is leaving. Photo: Iván Berrios
The three-week voting period for the public to choose its favorite photo among the 40 finalists in the 5th Patagonia Photo Contest came to a close on Tuesday, December 1.
We knew this would be a difficult election. Altogether, 3,848 votes were cast among the 10 finalists of the four categories: Outdoor Sports, Travel & Culture, Nature and Climate Change. You can still view these remarkable photos here
But let’s move on to what we have all been waiting for, the photos that received the most votes. 
In third place, with 234 votes, is “Silhouettes at Lake Esmeralda” by Pablo Hidalgo
Silhouettes at Lake Esmeralda. Photo: Pablo HidalgoSilhouettes at Lake Esmeralda. Photo: Pablo Hidalgo
Coming in second place, but only by a hair more at 241 votes, is “The dream of the kid” by Luis León Álvarez.
The dream of the kid, in 2nd place. Photo: Luis León ÁlvarezThe dream of the kid, in 2nd place. Photo: Luis León Álvarez
And in first place, the image that most captivated the readers of our magazine, with an astounding 975 votes, is "The blue is leaving" by Iván Berríos, which is not only an excellent photograph from an aesthetic perspective but also imparts a strong message about the alarming impacts of climate change.
Iván Berríos, known in the Instagram universe by his popular account @etpic, thanks to this tremendous photo will now get to enjoy two days together with a friend the luxurious 5-star Ocio Territorial hotel in Castro, Chiloe, as well as go kayaking and trekking with the tour operator Chiloe Natural. The Patagon Journal crew sends its congrats to Ivan!
Overall winners still to be determined
For the rest of the finalists, remember our all-star panel of judges is still determining the Patagonia Photographer of the Year, the first and second place winners in each category, and three honorable mentions. The remaining prizes are exceptional: from an ecotourism journey in Tierra del Fuego Island for 6 days to gift certificates at the Patagonia stores to sustainable sunglasses from Karün to photo books from Tompkins Conservation and there are subscriptions and magazines from Patagon Journal. Read more details about the prizes here
This year the contest has six judges, they include Australian wildlife photographer Chantal Henderson, who has been photographing Patagonia since 2002 including co-founding a research institute about orcas in Peninsula Valdes; John Weller, a photographer, writer, and filmmaker from Colorado specializing in environmental issues; Claudio Vidal, co-founder of Far South Expeditions and a co-author of numerous books and field guides on birds and fauna in Chile and Patagonia; the veteran Chilean photographer Nicolás Piwonka, who has collaborated with several television programs and published numerous books featuring his photography over the past four decades; Romina Bottazzi, co-founder of Fundacion Protejamos Patagonia in Peninsula Valdes and a director of Bottazzi Whale Watch; and Pablo Valenzuela Vaillant, a contributing editor to Patagon Journal and one of Chile’s top photographers, with more than a dozen books published, most recently focusing on abstract photography and minimalist landscapes.
The winners will be announced at an online special ceremony in January and all of the forty finalists will then be put on display for 6 months at a spectacular virtual gallery on the website of Fundación Telefonica.