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  • August 3, 2015

Photo of the Day: Best of July

Author
Alexa Keefe

Terraced rice fields, like those above snapped in Vietnam, are wonderfully photogenic. No matter how many times I’ve seen similar versions, I am still drawn to the curving patchwork of earth and water. In this month’s roundup of Photo of the Day favorites, there are some universally photographed subjects that are beautiful in and of themselves—dolphins, a volcanic beach in Iceland—and others where the exact moment the photographer snapped the shutter turns something ordinary into a work of art.

Women selling their wares on the steps of a market in Vietnam
Step Sellers
Photograph by Quang Tran, National Geographic Your Shot

In the mountain city of Dalat in southern Vietnam, women work on market steps—adapted to the sloped terrain—after a heavy shower. Your Shot member Quang Tran was walking through the city “observing people do different things to earn [a] living … and that way I caught this moment in front of an old market.”

A lone sailboat navigates the turquoise waters off of Dubai
Between Land and Sea
Photograph by Abrar Mohsin, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Though Dubai is known for its grandiose cityscapes, it also has a vast and awe-inspiring natural beauty, writes Abrar Mohsin, who captured this aerial view from a helicopter above the seaside UAE metropolis. “The serene turquoise water and the golden hues in the desert sand present an interesting contrast,” he writes.

A costumed Chhau dancer performs in Purulia in West Bengal, India
Chhau Dancer
Photograph by Arghya Chatterjee, National Geographic Your Shot

A costumed Chhau dancer performs in Purulia in West Bengal, India in this photograph by Your Shot member Arghya Chatterjee. Prevalent in eastern India, the traditional martial and dramatic art comes in several forms, one of which incorporates colorful, outsize masks such as the one seen here.

A pod of spinner dolphins swimming off Makua Beach, Hawaii,
Poster Dolphins
Photograph by Erika Hart, National Geographic Your Shot

A pod of spinner dolphins swims off Makua Beach, Hawaii, in this picture captured by Your Shot member Erika Hart during a solo swim. Groups of the sociable spinners can number in the thousands.

A long exposure of the volcanic beach at Stokksnes in southeastern Iceland
Planet Iceland
Photograph by Sophie Carr, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

“This [was] taken at the volcanic beach at Stokksnes in southeastern Iceland in February 2015,” writes photographer Sophie Carr. “I used a two-second exposure to capture the water trails as the waves receded over rocks at the edge of the beach, just as the sun was setting behind me, illuminating the mighty Vestrahorn mountain and some peaks in the far distance.”

A girl running through Hill of Crosses in Siauliai, Lithuania
Hill of Crosses
Photograph by Hideki Mizuta, National Geographic Your Shot

Thousands of religious tributes—said to have first appeared in a peaceful show of resistance to foreign oppression—are amassed on the Hill of Crosses in Siauliai, Lithuania. “Many people pray for God and [mourn] the death of people killed by war,” writes Your Shot member Hideki Mizuta. “When I visited here, a girl ran through … It was a strange sight.”

A rainbow and lightning in Iowa
Warring Weather
Photograph by Paul Brooks, National Geographic Your Shot

While trying to provide storm coverage for local affiliates, Iowa storm chaser Paul Brooks followed a cell from Albia to Mount Pleasant at sunset. He captured this scene just east of Mount Pleasant—lightning to the south and a well-defined rainbow to the east—by stacking seven separate shots on top of each other, forming a composite image of the weather events. “Truly a perfect alignment of the elements,” he writes.

Travelers stopped in White Sands National Monument
White Hot
Photograph by Elliot Ross, National Geographic Your Shot

“On a sun-bleached afternoon cresting 100ºF at White Sands National Monument [in New Mexico], I was making my way to the only shade visible,” writes Your Shot member Elliot Ross. “As I approached, out of nowhere these travelers rounded a dune and beat me to it. My frustration melted when I saw how perfectly symmetrical their vehicles made my frame. I took a dozen steps back to highlight the immensity of this surreal landscape. After a few frames, I was on my way to find new shelter.”

A man sells mirrors in a refugee camp in Kenya
Mirrored Gazes
Photograph by Randy Olson

Randy Olson photographed the people and landscapes around Lake Turkana, the world’s largest permanent desert lake, for the August issue of National Geographic magazine. The lake sustains the tribes in Kenya’s remote north—but projects upstream threaten its lifeblood. Here, a man sells mirrors in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Located a hundred miles from Lake Turkana, the UN camp holds 180,000 refugees who fled conflicts in Sudan, Somalia, and other nations.


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 our last roundup, Photo of the Day: Best of June.

There are 16 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Serguey Karev
    May 3, 2016

    The upper one… Van Gogh might have painted it!

  2. Estella Benoist
    March 11, 2016

    The hill of crosses is a very beautiful picture.

  3. Arwildo
    January 21, 2016

    Warring Weather so great, its mean alot for physics

  4. Karen
    October 9, 2015

    These photos are LIT

  5. vishesh vaishnav
    September 5, 2015

    nice click….lov’d it….!

  6. Marin Loredana Ecaterina
    August 23, 2015

    These photo are absolutly masterpiece .

  7. randeep
    August 21, 2015

    nice shots at best places

  8. Diptiranjan Bag
    August 15, 2015

    It’s my fav channel to watch animals birds etc

  9. Priyamvada Chugh
    August 13, 2015

    Wow….So many contrasts (dilemmas) in every picture…thanks!

  10. bivabosu
    August 12, 2015

    unmatch buty

  11. Brett Turner
    August 11, 2015

    Great photographs, Planet Iceland is breathtaking. Love Hill of Crosses and Mirrored Gazes as well, perfect timing.

  12. Kendrick Lemmond
    August 9, 2015

    Earth at her best.

  13. Mary Jane
    August 6, 2015

    The photographs have given me an hour of pleasure and relaxation, like nothing else!

  14. Christopher Needham
    August 3, 2015

    Breathtaking

  15. Joan Churton
    August 3, 2015

    Dear National Geographic: Thank you for putting out Your Shot on a regular basis. All the photographs keep me in touch with the beautiful in life. Thank you again, so much

  16. Joan Churton
    August 3, 2015

    These photographs are absolutely magnificent!

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