By Nadia Hughes
February 16th, 2016
A picture is worth a thousand words. This simple and elegant image tells a thousand stories. A million words caught in the blink of an eye.
This image hangs outside my office, and I get to see it and think about it everyday as I arrive to work. I had the privilege of meeting Cary Wolinsky a few years ago and hearing about how it came to be. It took a long time to negotiate with a silk dyer to allow Wolinsky to photograph his wife in their home. The silk dyer finally agreed to the portrait of his wife, but insisted she be in purdah. With his finger on the camera’s button, Wolinsky saw the couple’s young daughter pop into the frame. She was a small yet powerful gift that added a multitude of layers, making this photograph one of my all time favorites among our vast National Geographic collection.
By Kristin Dyak
February 12th, 2016
“Tyrone Turner takes us back to 2012 with a sincere portrait of a quilombo village man in rural Brazil during the Bumba-meu-boi festival. Turner reveals purity and depth in this man’s gesture and eye contact. You get a real sense of his personality and character in that moment. I feel the history behind his eyes and the glow of his spirit.” – Ashley Morton
“Once again, Paul Nicklen blows me away with this image of a humpback whale feeding on hearing. The power and energy of this whale shows through right down to the details of the fish jumping in and out of the water.” – Stacy Gold
“Like a couture model preparing to walk down the runway, this novice monk flares out his beautiful robe in Myanmar. I love how Ira Block created this semi silhouetted effect with the strong sunlight only highlighting the boy’s eye and the rich orange of the outstretched fabric.” – Nadia Hughes
“Photographer Keith Ladzinski used a triggered camera to capture this fun perspective of a wood stork in the Florida Everglades. I love the distortion of his legs under water that make them look like tall sticks in the reeds.” – Gina Martin
By Stacy Gold
February 9th, 2016
Many images of refugees populating the news right now show masses of people crossing borders, piling onto boats and scrambling to find safe refuge and a new place to call home. Understandably, the media has focused on the difficult journey at the center of the refugee experience. John Stanmeyer is known for caring deeply about these issues and covering this difficult journey. What I love about this image is that it shows us a completely different side of the life of these refugees. It’s not often that we catch a glimpse of what happens when the people being displaced from their homes have started a new life, in a new place, sometimes very far from home. Stanmeyer takes us to this beautiful moment in a classroom where girls are being taught Arabic in a refugee camp in Turkey.
By Kristin Dyak
February 5th, 2016
“This image by Mattias Klum shows nature in harmony via the symbiotic relationship between a red-billed oxpecker that helps remove parasites from a Masai giraffe. Oxpeckers often rid animals like this giraffe of pests and sometimes even alert their hosts to possible danger. I love the fine textural glow, the creative obscure shapes and charming gestures in the up-close portrait” – Ashley Morton
“This beautiful image by Alison Wright of a young Nepali girl with her striking deep brown eyes is just as powerful as the story behind it. Young girls in Nepal are often sold into labor due to their family’s financial hardship. Thanks to the Nepal Youth Foundation, families are provided with goats to trade and sell instead of their children. This small investment can result in major life changes.” – Gina Martin
“Steve Winter immersed himself deep into Mumbai to capture imagery of these wild leopards co-existing with humans. This is no easy task and he blew it out of the park. Winter pours his heart and soul into trying to save these majestic animals. I applaud him for his efforts.” – Stacy Gold
“Amy Toensing has been taking some time to look back through her archive. This beautiful frame of two women diving into a lake in Guatemala has such a nostalgic and vintage wonder to it. I would love to follow them right off the end of that dock.” – Nadia Hughes
By Julia Andrews
February 2nd, 2016
As the women and men of Iowa cast their votes for the next United States president this week, the evolution of women’s political influence in America over the past century couldn’t be more apparent. This photo by Clinedinst Studio, published in the June, 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine, documents the first large-scale political rally for women’s suffrage in the United States. Led by firebrand Alice Paul of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association, the protest march called for a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote. The march was held March 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, and drew 8,000 participants.
By Kristin Dyak
January 29th, 2016
“I loved Gerd Ludwig’s romantic view of the frozen landscape captured through a frosty train window this week. It provided a perfect illustration of the contemplative and cabin-feverish mood hanging over the Washington D.C. area after storm Jonas shut down the city.” – Nadia Hughes
“Photographer Michael Melford’s artistic image of a pond in Acadia National Park caught my attention due to it’s paint-like quality. I’m fascinated by photos that can capture a scene beyond a clear photographic image. Melford incorporates art that brings texture and color to his photos.“ – Kristin Dyak
“I love the snaked patterns across this snowy hill that Andy Bardon captured when venturing out this weekend. The distant snow mobiles dotting the horizon lends to the feel of adventure and flying across this big open terrain.” – Stacy Gold
“Jody MacDonald is a high adventure seeker with a lifetime of remarkable fetes and stories under her belt. She lives abundantly, pushing every expanse, and capturing remarkable images along the way. This image shows an ordinary day in her life on top of a cargo train in the Sahara desert on another epic novel-worthy experience. This image is a perfectly aligned geometric composition as one lone traveler rides the divide between an empty desert expanse and a dense tree line. It looks like the beginning of a page-turning story.” – Ashley Morton
By Nadia Hughes
January 27th, 2016
Erlend and Orsolya Haarberg take us on a fantastical trip to the Pleistocene epoch with their captivating images of Laponia. There are no roads to get you into this World Heritage site, but we can enjoy the splendor of the landscape in their photographs.
I remember seeing this image on Instagram and being totally enthralled by the beautifully backlit jay with it’s splayed out feathers and the rays of sunlight streaming down. It also caught my attention because my great uncle used to call me “soyka", which is a Eurasian jay and a cousin to this resplendent Siberian jay. This image is a perfect mix of beauty and nostalgia.
by Stacy Gold
January 19th, 2016
The first blog I ever wrote spoke about loving the gift of being able to peek into others’ lives, whether by viewing through a window while strolling in the evening or by looking at photographs like this by the talented Stephanie Sinclair. Having just returned from Colombia, where I spent time with the locals, often in their homes, I have a new appreciation and connection to intimate portraits.
Sinclair takes us into this little girl’s home and tells us a story about her life. Here, we witness six-year-old Unika Vajracharya after her selection as Patan’s living goddess (Kumari). In
one part of Nepal, young Newari girls are worshipped as deities. They are believed to have powers, the
ability to cure the sick, and bestow blessings on others.
By tradition, a room in the house (a precious commodity in the overcrowded city of Kathmandu) must be set aside as a puja, or worship room, with a throne where the goddess can receive devotees. Everything in a Kumaris house has to be kept ritually pure. I love the blue wall, the details of the room, down to the detail of the metal urn on the floor.
Kumaris cannot go outside, except on festival occasions and then they have to be carried, either in someone’s arms or in a palanquin, so her feet don’t touch the ground. Sinclair is one of the best at gaining trust and documenting stories that are very personal, intimate and sometimes heartbreaking.
By Kristin Dyak
January 15th, 2016
“Like a scene out of a fairy tale, Drew Rush shares this magical moment of ‘diamond dust’ sparkling in a shaft of light. Everything in this image is like an illusion. It is a wondrous illustration of Mother Nature’s true beauty.” – Nadia Hughes
“I love when photographers take a common scene to another level. We’ve all glanced at the rear view mirror and wished we could capture that unique perspective. In this image, you can almost smell the mountain air as Aaron Huey cruises along the open road through the beautiful southwest landscape.” – Kristin Dyak
“Ira Block’s photo of fisherman posing for tourists on Inle Lake in Myranmar immediately caught my attention. The balancing act is remarkable, but the symmetry and textural color of the photo shows Block’s artistry with a camera.” – Kristin Dyak
“Cory Richards has a gift of connecting with humans on a soulful level. In these encounters, he gives the space for liberation and truth to surface. In this image of a man that once was a child soldier in Uganda, Richards chose to show the pause and the space that reveals the many facets of this man’s soul. It also reflects the dignity and heart of the man behind the camera.” – Ashley Morton
By Julia Andrews
January 12th, 2016
The summer of 1963, James P. Blair was working as a staff photographer at National Geographic. As an active civil rights supporter, he knew of the August 28th plans for the March On Washington For Freedom and Jobs, which was organized by the NAACP, the National Urban League and other organizations. The magazine didn’t assign anyone to cover the march. So Blair took the day off, headed down to the Lincoln Memorial armed with his camera, and created indelible images of this historic event. Says Blair, now eighty-four, “I have always been an activist. I went down there to show my solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people who believed in civil rights for all Americans. It was my great honor to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech that day.”