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This photo of a tornado has been chosen as the best image of 2015 by National Geographic

The photo, entitled ‘Dirt’, was shot by James Smart in Colorado last spring.

DIRT Grand Prize and Nature Winner: “DIRT". Jaw-dropping, rare anti-cyclonic tornado tracks in open farm land narrowly missing a home near Simla, Colorado. Source: James Smart/National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest

BEATING 13,000 OTHER entries, this photo, taken by James Smart, has been chosen as the grand prize winner of the 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest.

The photo, titled DIRT, was shot last spring when Smart spent 15 days chasing storms with his brother and some friends who are meteorologists.

The award-winning photo was taken on the last day of the trip, just outside of Simla, Colorado.

“The tornado was slowly getting bigger as it picked up the dust and soil from the ground on the farmland,” Smart said.

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.

Winning the grand prize means Smart will win $10,000 and a three-day trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC, where he will participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January.

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National Geographic describes the seminar as “a behind-the-scenes photography experience like no other”.

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