What We Liked

By Kristin Dyak

January 8th, 2016

What We Liked, January 8th, 2016. National Geographic Creative.

This lion’s mane jellyfish swings it’s hair-like tentacles in a a body of water reminiscent of a deep, black starry night. Equally striking to the image is the conservationist message behind it. Paul Nicklen discusses the causes of an increasing abundance of jellyfish on the planet and and harmful effects on the ecosystem. Nicklen has a selfless and fierce dedication to his work, making him a great champion for conservation. His passion is awe-inspiring and gives me hope for a better world.” – Ashley Morton

“The streets of San Miguel de Allende have a special place in my heart. I love this photo by Greg Davis of a man carrying a beautiful framed print down the cobblestone street with the colors and cathedral of this charming town in the scene.” – Gina Martin

“Photographer Steve Winter captures this dynamic moment between two bears splashing in the water. I love the way the light accents the vibrant nature of this image. Winter has the incredible ability to transform a fast-paced scene into a stunning still shot.“ – Kristin Dyak

Heather Perry finds beauty in the ordinary. To see a puddle surrounded by asphalt and then to create this artful image is extraordinary. It’s like a Faberge egg with a hidden gem inside.” – Nadia Hughes

Photo of the Week

By Nadia Hughes

January 5th, 2016

Photo of the Week, January 5th, 2016. National Geographic Creative.

I have always been drawn to images made at twilight. They have a magical quality about them and a glow that suggests the very moment the photo was taken was even more fleeting than if it were in the middle of the day.

It has become easier and easier to capture stunning images at this enigmatic time of day, but this wonderful image by James P. Blair was taken in 1964, long before any of today’s technical tricks and filters.

It is not just the time of day that sets this image apart. At first glance it seems like a simple photograph, but after being drawn in, I am struck by the grand and majestic landscape of the Tetons with it’s strange lack of depth, and the dichotomy of the intimate and voyeuristic view into this family’s life inside their trailer. There is a perfect balance between light and shadow, and between discovery and mystery.

What We Liked

By Kristin Dyak

January 1st, 2015

What We Liked, January 1st, 2016. National Geographic Creative.

“Photographer Susan Seubert always captures the perfect moment. This image of a penguin with a bit of a hop in it’s step continues to show Seubert’s connection with the wildlife she photographs. I love when a photographer’s passion shines through their images.“ – Kristin Dyak

“I loved this shot by David Guttenfelder. The black and white view through the screen door gives this playful image a timeless look. It reminds me of the days when snow just meant play, fun and running hard until you were just cold and wet and had to go back inside. No drudgery like shoveling or commuting for these two.” – Rob Henry

“With record high temperatures in most of our country thus far this winter, it’s refreshing and gratifying to see this gorgeous snowy winter scene in Japan by Michael Yamashita. The steam rises, hinting at the warm hot springs as these two men fish in the stream. The image elicits serenity, local adventure and crisp, clean air, just the things we need to start a new year.” – Stacy Gold

“This image gives me chills, and not just because of the freezing temperatures, but for the harsh conditions Renan Ozturk and team face on the edge of survival. Ozturk calls this adventure an ‘absurd privilege.’ Human resilience, fierce exploratory passion, teamwork and the extreme force of an unforgiving land are captured in this haunting image from the dark of Iceland. Ozturk appreciates the beauty of the lonely struggle and he faces it with wisdom and a smile.” – Ashley Morton

Photo of the Week

By Rob Henry

December 29th, 2015

Photo of the Week, December 29th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

This will be my last blog post as an editor for National Geographic Creative.

It has been an honor and a privilege to work with so many amazing photographers for the last thirty-five years. I thought long and hard about how to approach this final post. I could have chosen from hundreds of favorite images. I thought about posting several images, from several different photographers, all of whom would be deserving of being selected here.

In the end, it became simple for me. I chose this image by James L. Stanfield that was shot for a National Geographic book on China in 1980, the year I started working here. It has always been special to me. In my opinion, Stanfield was the quintessential National Geographic photographer. There were, and still are of course, plenty of great photographers worthy of that title as well, but Stanfield wears the title as well as anyone.

I always marveled at his ability to tell a story in one image as well as in multiple pages of the magazine. Stanfield somehow managed to cover a multitude of assignments that seemed impossible to me. How do you photograph assignments such as, “The World of Süleyman the Magnificent,” “Portugal’s Sea Road to the East” or "Ibn Battuta, Prince of Travelers” in today’s world? Stanfield recently told me that one of the secrets was that he had one direction on assignment. He went out and made the best images he could to tell the story. He didn’t have to worry about travel, raising money, playing politics or anything else. There were people back here at National Geographic who had his back for all of that. He just had to do his job and make great pictures.

Job well done, Jim.

What We Liked

By Kristin Dyak

December 25th, 2015

What We Liked, December 25th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

Medford Taylor wows me with this close up of a pink cattleheart butterfly bejeweled with glistening drops of dew. This beautiful frame is just perfect for the season. It’s like a tiny stained glass window with vibrant chromatic contrasts.” – Nadia Hughes

“Photographer Peter Mather plays peekaboo with the wildlife in Kluane National Park and Reserve. I love how those eye pop from the blurry snow that has collected on the trees. It’s that time of year to be attracted to photos of winter wonderlands, but this one transports us to the center of a winter wilderness.“ – Kristin Dyak

Steve Winter is a champion for big cats. He relentlessly uses his skills and knowledge to educate and create change for threatened species such as the leopards in this image of two females facing off. Winter is a professional at conveying the respect these animals deserve. He reminds us that if we protect these animals, then we are also protecting our own species. If we protect them, then we protect forests where we get our oxygen and fresh water. If we protect them, then we help protect an entire ecosystem. They are a keystone species.“ – Ashley Morton

Ben Horton, normally surfing the waves himself, takes us underwater to this ethereal scene. This image takes me back to when I was a kid and would happily sink to the bottom of the pool to hold my breath for as long as possible. I listened to the muffled sounds of the water and the people around me. I can only imagine what it sounds like in this space. I love the bubbles of the diver’s breath rise as the sun’s rays descend into the water.” – Stacy Gold

Photo of the Week

By Stacy Gold

December 22nd, 2015

Photo of the Week, December 22nd, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

Cory Richards has been exploring our planet for most of his life. He often finds himself in situations that test his determination, strength and mental stamina. He continually challenges himself by being immersed into circumstances where he’s vulnerable to both the earth’s elements and his own state of being. This image by Richards of his fellow explorers on an expedition captures this vulnerability.

Pictured here, Hillary O’Neill, Emily Harrington and their team, consisting of mountaineer and writer Mark Jenkins, master explorer Renan Ozturk and Richards, attempted to scale the peak of Hkakabo Razi that is said to be the highest mountaintop in Myanmar. They trudged through hundreds of miles of thick jungle enduring countless hours of walking and dangerous motorcycle treks, traversed several raging rivers and skillfully scaled Hkakabi Razi’s terrain to try to reach it’s highest point.  

Richards brilliantly documented the experience from both an explorer’s perspective and as an “outsider” observing the trek. He gives us a peek into the lives of the local people, their homes and traditions. He created a poetic story of the human spirit while taking us on this expedition that leaves us questioning our own stamina, drive and our own physical and mental limits.  

Exploring the earth.
Risky expedition.
Stronger than you know.

What We Liked

By Kristin Dyak

December 18th, 2015

What We Liked, December 18th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

“This series on women and their daughters by photographer Lynn Johnson touches the heart. The pride on this mother’s face and the gentle embrace by her daughter evokes a connection that most of us feel with someone in our lives. Johnson speaks to the human spirit, shows us emotion and honors mothers of all cultures. I asked Johnson once how she creates such intimate, truthful, impactful and creative portraits. She paused for a moment and then replied quietly, ‘I listen’.” – Stacy Gold

“I love the starkness of this image by Joe Riis. I love that a guy can have a ‘most favorite tree’. As winter begins to come to the South Dakota prairie, you can feel the cold starting to creep in and sense that a much longer, much colder and much snowier time is on its way. “ – Rob Henry

Matthieu Paley was privileged to witness this Jagar ritual in the Himalayan region of the Uttarakhand in northern India. In turn, we are privileged to get a glimpse of an experience that has the ability to expand our own minds through the knowledge of far off cultures. This image reveals the universal spirit, our shared pain and hope through the grace of Paley’s frame. I am inspired by this beautiful moment of truly letting go and allowing a rhythmic music to wake an inner force.” – Ashley Morton

“This ethereal image by Thomas Peschak really grabbed my attention this week, which is a surprise seeing as jellyfish normally freak me out. It reminds me of a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture with it’s magical illusion of movement suing varied shapes and hues.” – Nadia Hughes

Photo of the Week

By Rob Henry

December 15th, 2015

My photo of the week this week comes in three parts. As my time at National Geographic comes to a close, I have been reflecting a lot on the legacy of our photography. While the depth and breadth of photography covers such a vast variety of subject matter, I know that the organization will always be linked in the hearts and minds of most people for its amazing natural history and wildlife images.

As you all might have read, I have been fascinated with the current state of remote images and camera traps that are being used to capture images for the upcoming Yellowstone story. Over the last several years many of our photographer have used camera traps in new and innovative ways to allow us to see and experience animals in ways that were not possible before. I think of the remote cameras and camera traps used by Nick Nichols in his coverage of lions and elephants in Africa over the last decade. The images of tigers, mountain lions and leopards and other big cats by Steve Winter are also some of the finest ever made.

This got me to thinking about the roots of this school of photography. Where did it get started?

In the July, 1906 issue of National Geographic magazine, seventy-four images by photographer George Shiras were published in an article titled “Hunting Wild Game With Flashlight and Camera.”

What photographer today wouldn’t kill for a seventy-four-image story? This was a ground-breaking article for magazine and the first real direct link to the wildlife photography we do today.

The first image is of a lynx photographed at night sitting at the edge of Loon Lake, Ontario. It may not be the most remarkable photo by today’s standards, but when you realize it was taken in 1905, it makes you pause a moment and reconsider.

Photo of the Week, December 15th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

The second image gives you a better idea of how the image of the lynx was taken. Look at that setup mounted on the front of the boat! Can you image paddling around on a lake at night, in the dark, hoping to silently glide up on an animal in order to hopefully capture the image? Shiras also designed one of the first camera traps. When an animal grabbed at the bait, it would trigger a magnesium flash gun. Shiras, for the most part was shooting on glass plates, so each image was single opportunity. Not at all like today’s digital setups.

Photo of the Week, December 15th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

The final image Shiras image that I chose has nothing to do with the camera trap. I have just always loved this image. It captures a peaceful and serene canoeist alone on a still lake. It reminds me of the watercolors of Winslow Homer, that painted similar subjects around the same time and place.

Photo of the Week, December 15th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

What We Liked

By Kristin Dyak

December 11th, 2015

What We Liked, December 11th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

“I wonder if this lemur realizes it’s being watched by photographer Russell MacLaughlin. The amazing colors and sassy nature of this photo immediately made me pause and smile. I think everyone can relate to being spotted while busting out a few dance moves when they think they’re in the privacy of their own forest.” – Kristin Dyak

“During my years as an editor, one of the places that I have seen such a huge leap forward in photography is in the use of camera traps to capture portraits of animals in the wild. This image by Drew Rush shows us the playful, inquisitive nature of this grizzly bear as well as it’s beauty and power. Just one look at those claws makes me so happy that Rush was no where nearby when he photographed this bear.”  – Rob Henry

“You can feel the love, instincts, and harmony between this mother and new born baby in the remote village of Phuljhar in Orissa, India.  Ami Vitale has worked on many women’s issues, especially as they relate to environmental impacts, and she consistently brings us an intimate and thoughtful look at these resilient lives. Being an expecting mother myself, this image tugs at my core. Without seeing the mother’s face, I can see the strength and care in her hands and I feel the ancient universal bond of mothers. This moment is pure, unobstructed by the western noise I’m accustomed to. It is timeless, showing us the essence of a sacred bond and the innocence of new life.” – Ashley Morton

“Sometimes I know instantly that an image will be my pick of the week. That happened this time around with Matthieu Paley’s breathtaking image of his ‘neighbor from above.’ Everything about this photograph pulls me in. The rich colors, intimate lighting,myriad textures, and Paley’s obvious deep respect for his subject comes together to make a profound and stirring image.” – Nadia Hughes

Joel Sartore‘s Ark on the Vatican

by Ashley Thomas

December 10th

Portraits of wildlife species that are part of National Geographic Creative’s Joel Sartore’s ongoing Photo Ark project were projected onto Saint Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday in an ongoing effort to bring awareness to devastating losses in the animal kingdom. Several other of our photographers, such as David Doubilet and Paul Nicklen, were included in the presentation as well. Watch the video here.

To date, Sartore has photographed 5,000 captive animals around the world. The images were all created with studio lighting and plain backgrounds, highlighting the visual wonders of the animals. He aims to document
about 7,000 more. Thousands of these portraits can be licensed. Click here to see the galleries.

Photo Ark, December 10th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

Butterflies flutter in a projection on the Vatican.

Photo Ark, December 10th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

A chimp poses for Photo Ark. 

Photo Ark, December 10th, 2015. National Geographic Creative.

An endangered panda nibbles on a stalk of bamboo.