• May 14, 2014

Photo of the Day: Best of April

Alexa Keefe

A lion’s mane jellyfish in the North Atlantic waters of Bonne Bay, a Japanese white-eye in a city park in Tokyo, an Holy Week procession in Sicily, starry skies over a small town in the Indian Himalaya. This month’s round-up of Photo of the Day features a few of my personal favorites. Some are familiar scenes, others less so, but all have a story to tell; a memorable photograph of a situation that has been photographed many times before; serendipitous compositions revealed to keen observers; photographs so beautiful they bring our attention to wonders, and fragility, of our natural world.

In the above image, Your Shot member Joe Motohashi went to photograph birds in Tokyo’s Zenpukuji Park on an early spring day—and looked around. “There was one early blooming cherry tree there. And I found a couple of Japanese white-eyes going to it … I tried to catch the quick movement of the bird while being careful about light.”

Participants in the 24-hour i  Misteri procession in Trapani, Sicily
Procession of the Mysteries. April 29
Photograph by Willem Kuijpers, National Geographic Your Shot

Since 2002, Your Shot member Willem Kuijpers has been photographing i Misteri in Trapani, Sicily. He caught this painterly moment of two women resting during the slow-moving Easter procession, where stations of the cross are carried through the city on the Friday and Saturday of Holy Week. “Achieving the shot was only walking around and trying to be aware of the hidden gems in the streets,” he says.

A starry sky over the Himalaya
Skyfall. April 20
Photograph by Jayanta Roy, National Geographic Your Shot

Grainy, impressionistic, lovely. Says Your Shot contributor Jayanta Roy, “This photo is a previsualization; I had wanted to capture a rain of stars over Kanchenjunga for a long time, so I chose the location and timing, which is at almost midnight. It was bone-chilling, the wind was so strong and cold. The location is a tiny village called Lungtung in eastern India, population ten.”

A lion’s mane jellyfish drifts in Bonne Bay in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The species can grow to eight feet across.
Bonne Bay Drift. April 21
Photograph by David Doubilet, National Geographic Creative

Photographer David Doubilet was on assignment for National Geographic photographing wildlife in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence when he photographed this colorful and exotic-looking lion’s mane jellyfish in Bonne Bay. The beauty of this creature drifting in the crystal-clear waters underscores what there is to lose as years of overfishing, warming waters, and possible offshore drilling cause concern for the health of the gulf’s ecosystem.

An island in the middle of Tumuch Lake in northern British Columbia
Island in the Sky. April 28
Photograph by Shane Kalyn

Shane Kalyn sums this scene up nicely in this submission to the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest :

“There is an ethereal, otherworldly feeling to this photograph, as this little island in the middle of Tumuch Lake in northern British Columbia appears as if it’s floating in the clouds. To bring us back to Earth, a fish has left a ripple in the water on the left-hand side of the shot. The scene was amazing to witness, let alone be lucky enough to photograph—totally the right place at the right time.”

A pony standing in a patch of winter sun
Happiness is a Warm Sun. April 25
Photograph by Kersti Kalberg, National Geographic Your Shot

Sun, plus white horse, plus an irresistably anthropomorphic expression of bliss come together to equal one very sweet photo.

“It was the first beautiful winter day in over a month, and the sun came out and everybody just stopped,” says Kersti Kalberg, a member of our Your Shot community. “The world almost stood still, and the silent happiness just poured in.”

two different lives
Two Different Lives. April 15
Merve Ates, National Geographic Your Shot

Traveling on a ferry between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Your Shot contributor Merve Ates noticed this composed moment, inspiring her to draw her own connections.

“The boy on the right was sitting next to me. I was listening to the screaming of the seagulls and smelling the sea air and taking several shots but also waiting for a particularly interesting moment, and suddenly I noticed the window reflection. It seemed like the man and the boy were sitting side by side. In reality, the old man was reading the Koran, while the young boy had a worried look on his face (maybe about his future—who knows?). Two separate lives, together in the same frame.”


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

Related story: Photo of the Day: Best of March

There are 59 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Steve J
    January 17, 2015

    Oh My God,,…. incredible photos .. Hats off

  2. suraj
    October 15, 2014


  3. Pooja Choudhury
    October 13, 2014

    If i say its good, then i am being a miser in praising something which is worthwhile. If i say, its amazing, then i would say i am at loss of words. If i say its brilliant, again i would say i am at loss of words. At my death bed if i have to recall seeing something spectcular… this should be it. Yes, it had “that kind of impact” on me.

  4. Farnaz
    October 10, 2014

    Never seen such an ammazing shots before, thnx to all the photographers.

  5. carlos rafael ortiz salazar
    September 23, 2014

    me gustaria recibir notificaciones en mi facebook

  6. Suranjana Bose
    September 19, 2014

    Such beautiful photographs each with a story of its own conveying a much deeper meaning in life through simple nature,s apparatus….just brilliant!

  7. mei
    September 7, 2014


  8. Justin
    August 17, 2014

    Beautiful ! I like the happiness in a warm sun by by Kersti Kalberg

  9. Claire Stoker
    August 11, 2014

    Wonderful, amazing pictures

  10. Jacqueline
    August 9, 2014

    Lovely. Peaceful. Thank you for the reminder to be responsible.

  11. Viveca Joy Skyles
    August 9, 2014


  12. Janice Camps
    August 7, 2014

    Wow, beautiful pictures, love them all.Outstanding… Beautiful. Amazing..

  13. evelyn-denise
    August 6, 2014

    Amazing. Magnificent All. Thank You

  14. F.J. Thomas
    July 30, 2014

    Fabulous picture…. very inspirational for writing!

  15. Muhlis
    July 22, 2014

    Gerçekten çok güzel elinize emeğinize bu güzel kareyi gören güzel gözlerinize sağlık… Keşke ben çekseydim dediğim karelerden biri gerçekten kıskandım, tebrikler…

  16. SuZanne
    July 21, 2014

    Love the white horse and the island…and the skyfall…..well, I obviously love ALL of them!

  17. nassor juma
    July 10, 2014

    Photographers lovely work i give them five stars

  18. Azan karam
    June 27, 2014

    I never seen such beautiful photos.

  19. Khan Arbaz
    June 21, 2014

    Simply Faaaaantastic……………..

  20. Varun K
    May 28, 2014

    There is so much content in the “Two Different Lives” photograph!

  21. Anirban Ghosh
    May 27, 2014

    I want to know what type of camera been used and what is the value of aperture and shutter speed of those greatest photograph.

  22. Gail Delgado
    May 26, 2014

    Intriguing, ethereal, powerful. Wonderful photos all. Thank you for sharing them with us all.

  23. Ange
    May 19, 2014

    Beautifully poignant.

  24. roberta
    May 19, 2014

    simply stunning!

  25. hori
    May 19, 2014

    i love them so amazing 🙂

  26. kathiravan.k
    May 19, 2014

    Amazing photos that was caught in exact timing

  27. Rocky chaudhry
    May 19, 2014

    very nice

  28. suresh
    May 19, 2014

    Hi very good job you doing for us

  29. suresh
    May 19, 2014

    Hi very very nice photographs

  30. anjit kumar
    May 19, 2014

    nice pics

  31. Gillian K Foster
    May 18, 2014

    Thank you for sharing the magical planet that we all share. These photos capture the truest reality and leave us hopelessly inspired.

  32. Jhenraha
    May 18, 2014

    Amazing, I like these photos

  33. Tomylet Lee
    May 18, 2014

    Fantastic photography, I love those pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  34. valeria barat
    May 17, 2014

    happiness is a warm sun…what beauty and innocence…most likely the horse,s first spring as an adult into a bright new day

  35. sylvia silva
    May 17, 2014

    Amei a foto em preto e branco, do dia 20 de abril. Fantástica!!!…

  36. Rajni bidhuri
    May 17, 2014

    all pics are awesome… so beautiful.. I have no words to explain.. how much..pretty they all.

  37. eliah murowe
    May 17, 2014

    So touching, l love photographs, l wish if l was part of the this blessed team. You are doing great guys keep it up

  38. eliah murowe
    May 17, 2014

    wonderful, nice photos

  39. micheline
    May 17, 2014

    tres intéresant

  40. Franco Esther
    May 17, 2014

    Fotografías realmente bellas, pareciera que uno está allí.

  41. rohini wejesundara
    May 17, 2014

    I like a all photos

  42. Antonio M. Sanchez Conde
    May 17, 2014

    Great jobs! You help me with your inspiration…

  43. Avinash Kothurwar
    May 17, 2014

    Amazing photos; especially “sky fall” and “Island in the sky”

  44. harry
    May 17, 2014


  45. Mollie Thompson
    May 17, 2014

    As an amateur photographer, i like to take photos of anything in the natural world.i don’t use any photoshop. Just a record of something that takes my breath away, and stops my day. Every photo here does that. I was going to enter, but it is probably to good for me.

  46. zhe
    May 17, 2014

    It is a good moment photo’s fantastic n amazing effect in a mirror of Traveling on a ferry

  47. Muhammad haneef
    May 17, 2014

    So beautiful photos especially of jelly fish

  48. Paulina
    May 17, 2014

    Wow absolutely amazing shots.

  49. Abhy
    May 17, 2014

    Still finding words,but great work by the photographers.Thank you!

  50. Rene
    May 17, 2014

    Beautiful and inspiring. I love the first two, especially.

  51. kengam kumar swamy
    May 17, 2014

    very nice

  52. charlie
    May 16, 2014

    the photos are so surreal. it absolutely takes my breathe away

  53. Vishal Roy
    May 16, 2014

    Photos are really amazing and carry sense of real feelings…….

  54. Carmen
    May 15, 2014

    Amazing photos, my favorite was the one of the white horse, so beautiful and expressing a lot of peace and innocence

  55. swati giri
    May 15, 2014

    Looking at these pictures here I could sense the real feeling as if it wasn’t a picture rather was real !

  56. omkarsing
    May 15, 2014

    i have never seen such amazing photos before thanks to all photographers

  57. Nizamuddin Danwer
    May 15, 2014

    Great picture carrying sense of real feelings.Pulsating.

  58. John
    May 15, 2014

    Incredible photos, I have three favorite island in the sky, happiness is a warm sun and two different lives.

  59. tapan mukherji
    May 14, 2014


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