• December 8, 2014

Photo of the Day: Best of November

Alexa Keefe

Worlds right under our noses, majestic landscapes, sublime moments, and a dose of everyday humor: all figure into this month’s round-up of Photo of the Day images. Each of these extends an invitation to pause for a moment, take a breath, and maybe get lost for a minute or two. We start at the macro level, with the above photograph taken by Your Shot member Lance Isackson of turkey tail mushrooms in British Columbia. Can photos have a smell? If so, this one would be of damp woods—fresh and pungent.

Thiksey Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery known for its resemblance to Lhasa’s Potala Palace, sits at 11,800 feet in the northern Himalayan region of Ladakh, India. The 12-story complex houses temples, a nunnery, and Buddhist artwork, including a 40-foot statue of Maitreya, or the future Buddha.
Spiritual Scale.
Photograph by Kavya Reddy, National Geographic Your Shot

Thiksey Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, sits at 11,800 feet in the northern Himalayan region of Ladakh, India. “I love this picture for a reason that it gives one a perspective on the size of the mountain ranges,” writes Your Shot photographer Kavya Reddy.

I love the soft color palette and the warm light.

A maple tree provides a perfect swing for a playful Barbary macaque in Morocco’s Middle Atlas mountains. Illegal logging threatens forests where the endangered monkeys live, and overgrazing damages the area’s food-rich underbrush.
Tree Swing.
Photograph by Francesco Mingorance

Photographer Francesco Mingorance had many amazing photographs of Barbary macaques in the November National Geographic feature story, “The Monkeys of Morocco.” But this is my favorite. I interpret this moment for the macaque, mid-swing from the branch of a maple tree, snow delicately falling, as bliss.

In the wilds of Patagonia, cowboys called bagualeros pit themselves against the meanest livestock on the planet. Here, bagueleros pause in their search for cattle on Antonio Varas Peninsula, in Chilean Patagonia. Few choose the bagualero way. “It’s a beautiful life but a tough one,” says Sebastián García Iglesias (at far left).
The Bagaulero Way.
Photograph by Tomas Munita

Tomas Munita’s photographs of cowboys (called bagualeros) in Chilean Patagonia remind me of oil paintings, timeless and rich. This frame of bagualeros taking a pause from the tough work of capturing feral cattle on steep mountain slopes is a treat: bringing the eye first to the cowboys in their berets and then out into the rugged beauty of the landscape. If you want to see more, Munita’s images are featured in the December feature story, “Cowboys on the Edge,” and you can follow along with Munita as he keeps up with the fearless bagualeros in a behind-the-scenes video.

South Carolina’s ACE Basin harbors a wealth of wildlife and history. Here, a moss-hung cypress keeps watch over the placid waters of the Lowcountry basin, named for three rivers that run through it: the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto.

River Lady.
Photograph by Vincent J. Musi

What I like most about Vincent J. Musi’s photographs of South Carolina’s ACE Basin in the November issue of National Geographic are that they show the sublime beauty of the Lowcountry landscape in an intimate way. In this classic shot of a cypress-draped in spanish moss, I feel I am sitting there in quiet stillness, maybe in a kayak or a john boat, breathing in the perfume of the marsh grasses. As a side note, this story was on the calendar for eight years before being published, a possible National Geographic record. Why in the world would this be when Musi actually lives in the South Carolina Lowcountry? He shared the story with Proof a little while back. It is pretty funny.

“The gaye holud is a traditional Bengali wedding ceremony in which the bride and groom are presented with fish dressed as the couple,” writes Your Shot member Brian Callaway, who captured this photo in the town of Mamallapuram, on the east coast of India.
Funny Face.
Photograph by Brian Callaway, National Geographic Your Shot

This photograph of a Bengali bride hamming for the camera was so playful I couldn’t resist. While this is a departure from what one might expect as a Photo of the Day, the snapshot feel of it is precisely what drew me in. Sometimes a little variety—and surprise— is a good thing.

Musicians relax after a daylong photo shoot near the town of Renazzo in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.
Guaranteed to Raise a Smile.
Photograph by Mirco Balboni, National Geographic Your Shot

“My intention was to capture the joy that these guys have making music together,” writes Mirco Balboni, a member of our Your Shot community. “The members of the band kept playing and joking as they entered the field. At that point, I saw that the situation was perfect—the evening light was great and they were carefree in the field, as if they were still children. I saw the happiness in their faces and the joy of playing together.” Taking in this photograph of musicians taking a break in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, I couldn’t have said it better myself.


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.

See which pictures were featured in last month’s round-up, Photo of the Day: Best of October.

There are 32 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. bantu magxwalisa
    April 14, 2015

    how to join in as one of the “your shot” members

    • Becky Harlan
      April 14, 2015

      Hi Bantu, You can join the Your Shot community by visiting their site: http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/ and clicking “join” in the top right corner. From there, you can upload images, submit to assignments, and interact with other members of the community. Enjoy!

  2. Boo Bowman
    April 2, 2015

    Beautiful photos

  3. Boo Bowman
    April 1, 2015

    Awesome…would love to experience the opportunity to shot at the beautiful places of this world

  4. veronica
    March 30, 2015

    Espectaculares, bonitas y divertidas fotos! Gracias por compartirlas!!! 🙂

    March 2, 2015

    These photos ,perhaps, are not best of
    a particular month only. These are the best of the best.

  6. KMani Zoro
    February 25, 2015

    it’s very awesome..

    February 8, 2015

    Best of the Best Picture around the Globe

  8. Monte
    January 30, 2015

    I love funny Funny face it reminds me of carnival time.

  9. Ana R. Rodriguez
    January 28, 2015


  10. vishal baviskar
    January 16, 2015

    It remind us that there is a great invisible supreme power which created the beautiful world for us & it’s our duty to keep it as The god made it. beautiful, peaceful & to fulfill our need ,not greed.

  11. Bhanupriya
    January 16, 2015

    Photography is such a awesome passion and these pictures prove it.

  12. Anson
    January 10, 2015

    SPIRITUAL SCALE was my favorite

  13. Jose-Manuel Borras
    January 3, 2015

    Muy bonitas todas estas fotos, que me sirven de inspiración. Gracias.

  14. Bhima Prasad Maiti
    January 3, 2015

    These photos are introspective.But generally ,My shot photos are casual.Sould N.G.S.counsel the members.

  15. Sergio
    January 2, 2015

    Me encanta la fotografía y quería saber que puedo o como me puedo integrar para tener unas posibilidades de fotografiar a la naturaleza y si ustedes brindan una pequeña posibilidad economica para hacerlo ya que poseo muy lindas fotos no siendo fotografo profesional pero mi camara congela lo que mis ojos ven como lindo y atractivo y quiero tener las posibilidades de compartir esto que me pone muy feliz en mostrarlo y crecer personalmente muchas gracias !!!!!!!!

  16. Mad-M
    January 1, 2015

    Breathtaking. Could pour over these for hours

  17. isaac ochechi
    December 30, 2014

    Dere was nature even b4 creation, god added beauty nd made it crystal clear! Without nature dere is no beauty in lyf!

  18. abderrahim hamdi
    December 22, 2014

    C’est trés interessant ,magnifique travail fructueux pour les personnes intéressées,avec des élites photographes profesionnels,on aura le mieux et et informés,pour moi c’est comme”training” MERCI

  19. Rangaraj
    December 20, 2014

    Nothing to beat nature as a subject for photography. Brilliant photos.

  20. Irah Awek
    December 20, 2014

    Simply AWESOME!!!

  21. Monika
    December 20, 2014

    What I can say, Magic, Beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing. And I hope my Pic would be here one day. 🙂

  22. Angeline
    December 14, 2014

    If you’ve forgotten the majestic power of God’s creation…visit this page

  23. Sankalp Saxena
    December 13, 2014

    wonderful, marvelous,……….

  24. fanissa
    December 10, 2014

    I really spend much of my time watching this page.especially d view of nature,what Gods create was great.it’s breath taking…

    December 10, 2014

    J’adore toutes vos photos

  26. Rajesh chauhan
    December 9, 2014

    very nice nice nice

  27. ninopetros@windowslive.com
    December 9, 2014

    very nice

  28. Dibyendu Banerjee
    December 9, 2014

    I feel inspired to see Your Shot Images being featured here. I wish some day my shots will too will find a place here. Really beautiful photographs by talented photographers.

  29. Sonia Gill
    December 8, 2014

    these photos give me so much joy!

  30. kris
    December 8, 2014

    It’s wonderful.

  31. isabel Hernández tibau
    December 8, 2014

    preciosas fotos captando la grandiosidad del planeta; montañas,templos en la llanura, ríos, árboles,el campo con sus peones juntandolos baguales, la gracia de una joveny unos jmúsicos corrindopor el campo como niños traviesos!!! Toda una historia… Felicidades

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