When photographer Anand Varma first pitched us a story about hummingbirds in 2011, he says we told him: “That’s boring. Every photo of a hummingbird that can be taken, has been taken.”
I wish we’d been more polite than that because, as you’ll see in this issue, such a response would make us not only rude but wrong. In fact, no one has seen photos quite like this before—and that’s especially true of Varma’s video of hummingbirds in action.
One of our principles of storytelling at National Geographic is, “Do what others can’t.” Others may not have our global reach, our crazy ambition, or the depth of our visual and reportorial journalism. In this case they don’t have Anand Varma and his ability to photograph animal behavior and movement in a new way.