• March 4, 2014

Photo of the Day: Best of February

Alexa Keefe

When people ask me what makes a Photo of the Day—a curated look at photography around National Geographic—my answer is simple: I have to want to spend time with the picture, and whether full of complex detail or exquisitely simple, it has to stand on its own. The photos I choose are meant to be a glimpse of our world in a moment in time, some captured as a result of meticulous planning and research on assignment for National Geographic magazine, others happy finds from keen eyes tuned to daily life and travels from our Your Shot community. The photographers behind the lens represent a wide range of skill levels, from professional to aspirational, but each has a visual story to tell. Below are a selection of reader favorites from the month of February.—Alexa Keefe

In the above Photo of the Day by Your Shot contributor Quang Tran, women sew fishing nets in a Vietnamese village. The billows of the bottle-green nets, echoing the ocean waves, the calm focus of the women at work, and the detail of the old-fashioned sewing machine all work together to make a harmonious scene—and one that I imagine is not as tranquil as it looks.

Picture of a horse in the woods in Spain
A Winter Walk. February 4
Photograph by Marisela Murcia Navarro, National Geographic Your Shot

There is magic in these fairy tale woods of Spain’s Manchuela in Castile-La Mancha region—and magic in coming across unexpected moments. I like how we see the horse through a veil of wispy tree branches. He is right over there but just beyond reach.

Picture of Lofoten Islands in Norway
Top of the World. February 6
Photograph by Orsolya Haarberg from the November 2013 feature story “Follow the Water.”

So many of Orsolya Haarberg’s photographs of the coast of Norway were perfect for Photo of the Day, it was hard to choose. What I love about this frame is the feeling of being perched right among the ring of jagged peaks of Lofoten Islands, watching the warm light hitting different points in the distance across the waters of Kirkefjorden.

Picture of reindeer
Ahead of the Herd. February 7
Photograph by Alexander Stepanenko, National Geographic Your Shot

Your Shot contributor Alexander Stepanenko got this photograph while riding on the back of a sled in a Russian village near Murmansk, giving the viewer the feeling of being in the middle of the moment. I love the composition of the lead reindeer coming out of the frame, with the rest of the herd following behind.

Picture of a fish in an anemone
A Mutual Benefit. February 5
Photograph by David Doubilet from the November 2013 feature story “Paradise Revisted.”

David Doubilet’s story on the underwater paradise of Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea featured many gorgeous images but this one is my personal favorite. The lush, velvety texture of the anemone and the electric green of its tentacles are a feast for the eyes. And I love the anemonefish peeking out from his luxury dwelling.

Picture of workers on the Bolivian Altiplano
Salt of the Earth. February 23
Photograph by Dany Krom, National Geographic Your Shot

I have seen many photographs which play off of the scale and vast, luminous emptiness of the salt desert of the Bolivian Altiplano. What I like about this frame is getting a sense of what it actually is like to be in that climate. The workers, here to extract salt, lithium, and borax, are covered from head to toe, almost giving the impression of astronauts at work on the surface of an alien planet.

Picture of Hang Son Doong cave
Cave Inn. February 26
Photograph by Ryan Deboodt, National Geographic Your Shot

There is a cinematic quality to this scene, as if we are dropping in on an adventure film. The cavers in the yellow tents huddled between the darkness and the light streaming in seem poised on the brink of a new discovery as they continue their trek through Hang Son Doong in Vietnam, the largest cave in the world.

Picture of the National Library of China
Study Hall. February 24
Photograph by Tian-yu Xiong, National Geographic Your Shot

I love how at first you see the collective, defined by the geometric patterns of the stacks and the desks of China’s National Library, and then you get to spend time studying the individuals in various states of attentiveness—all in sharp detail.

Picture of wolves
Crying Wolves. February 27
Photograph by Petra Warner, National Geographic Your Shot

I love how these wolves at Indiana’s Wolf Park are coming into the frame mid-howl, each at a slightly different point. I feel as though I am about to watch a procession with this trio at the lead, announcing what is to come. This is a great example of being ready to click the shutter at just the right moment.

Picture of the aurora borealis over the Canadian Yukon
Yukon Night. February 12
Photograph by Paul Nicklen from the February 2014 feature story “Yukon: Canada’s Wild West.”

Starry skies illuminated by the otherworldly colors of the northern lights are an immediate eye-catcher. What makes this photograph from Paul Nicklen’s recent story about the Canadian Yukon special is what’s on the ground—the smokehouse, topped with the elk horns and illuminated from within— giving a sense of the people who live in these beautiful and remote places.

Alexa Keefe is the editor of Photo of the Day, a curated look at photography from around National Geographic. The full archive is accessible here.

Related story: Photo of the Day: Best of January

There are 49 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Tahir Nadeem
    February 18, 2015

    Fantabulous images always

  2. teaarani dyer
    December 17, 2014

    Beautiful! I love them all!!

  3. mahua
    October 29, 2014

    Amazing Photoghraphys

  4. nima
    July 6, 2014

    discover of unknown place on this planet very exciting.i wish been here.thanks

  5. Juliette
    May 23, 2014

    Feeling the beauty has no words.

  6. Juliette
    May 23, 2014

    Feeling the beauty has not words.

  7. Manoj pahite
    May 15, 2014

    Beutyful pics

  8. Bob
    May 13, 2014

    Put a feather in his hat and called it macroni

  9. Sekhar
    May 8, 2014

    One picture is equal to thousand words

    May 6, 2014

    I wish if i could live there each and every place enjoy every moment.

  11. Allan Verreynne
    May 5, 2014

    Every photographer is an artist in their own right. I love the light, mood and textures captured & preserved for us to enjoy! Masterful!

  12. bruna dessena
    May 5, 2014

    I work on oil rigs, its so dilent and drab all around me, I love clicking on these stunning images to lighten upmy day, thankyou

  13. suresh
    April 30, 2014

    Hi very good phots

  14. romi mudra rakshasa
    April 24, 2014

    really the best photos i have ever seen…great job that inspires

  15. seetha
    April 22, 2014

    nice photography…. the true beauty of mather nature is proved in these photos.

  16. Shariq
    April 16, 2014

    this is really an Exploration..

  17. habiba
    April 16, 2014

    Those are really beautiful photos when I grow up I wish I can be a big photographer♥

  18. Fraz
    April 13, 2014

    i love to become a explorer …i love nature

  19. Ipsita Pal Bhowmick
    April 13, 2014

    Brilliant !

  20. Himanshu Dubey
    April 9, 2014

    All snap is weird.

    April 8, 2014

    astonishing photos

  22. Dharmendra Shyara
    April 6, 2014

    These are awesome photographs

  23. Bruce Mucklin
    April 5, 2014

    Amazing how these photographers can visualize the photograph, fantastic.

  24. Gagan Mandal
    April 4, 2014

    Thank you for sharing these amazing photography

    March 30, 2014

    very nice

  26. Ann Dian
    March 28, 2014

    Great shots. I love the study hall concept.

  27. Maria
    March 23, 2014

    I hope that one day I can visit, just one of those places where those AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS were taken!

  28. ed siversnow
    March 22, 2014

    nice photos I thank you for the chance to see such beauty again thank you.

  29. Gaurav Alande
    March 21, 2014

    OMG those pics are amazing it really glued my eyes. I believe you have a beautiful heart.

  30. Sharon Rae
    March 17, 2014

    Every Picture has a depth of such interesting information it makes your brain think.

  31. Samuel Kock
    March 17, 2014


  32. Luke Kurvers
    March 16, 2014

    Blessed are those eyes and brains that notice beauty.

  33. Ed Varela
    March 15, 2014

    great inf. and great sources

  34. Chao dejieh
    March 15, 2014


  35. svmani
    March 13, 2014

    Yukonnight photo amazing

  36. Roy Manik
    March 9, 2014

    Perfect photos, i like it!

  37. Mohamed Elmeshkhy
    March 9, 2014

    It is a wonderful shot it shows the beautiful combinations of colors and
    light as god created

  38. Joanne Brennan
    March 7, 2014

    So good to see there is still some beauty in this world

  39. Colleen
    March 6, 2014

    Beautiful, The northern lights remind me of how much I want to go north and see them. Thank your for sharing such beauty.

  40. Davide
    March 6, 2014

    I love Lofoten Islands, I’ve been there twice, but I still want to go back!

  41. michael capous
    March 6, 2014

    outstanding pictures congrats to the photographer.keep up the good work

  42. kamal albereir
    March 5, 2014

    Thanks ,Thanks ,Thanks for the wonderful shots . This is amazing !!

  43. Mary L. Bullock
    March 5, 2014

    The world on my computer screen – so beautiful it almost hurts.

  44. Dr.Davare V.R.
    March 5, 2014

    National Geographic has contributed a large collection of photographs since last 5 decades to it’s readers a service which needs a great appreciation !Many thanks to NG for encouraging amateur photographers!

  45. Kalyan Chakravarthi
    March 5, 2014

    These photographs made me still for some time n made me rethink of the stunning ideology used in them

  46. Radeba
    March 5, 2014

    The one with fishing net being sewed is absolutely awesom. Congrats!

  47. Maureen
    March 5, 2014

    Surreal but serene thus bringing you back to the beauty of nature.

  48. s.n.das
    March 4, 2014

    these are most genius photographs

  49. Phyllis MacAfee
    March 4, 2014

    Spectacular, breath-taking photos.

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