Can one wall compress a century of history?

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By Whitney Johnson, Director of Visual and Immersive Experiences

In this week's essay below, editor-at-large Peter Gwin catches up, briefly, with Kathy Moran, our deputy director of photography, who in the 1980s was the first to see this now-legendary image.

This isn't a profile of her, or of that work, but of the act of compressing history, of stopping time—and of creating a 141-image "wall of fame" in National Geographic headquarters of some of our best photography.

As National Geographic photographer Maggie Steber says, in Cathy Newman's related essay, about her relationships with the people she photographs: “Forever connected by the click of a shutter and a moment frozen in time.”

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The wall of images

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I find Kathy Moran at the unofficial entrance to National Geographic headquarters. Not the lobby on M Street, but an area next to the elevators on the fourth floor, which is home to the magazine’s editorial staff. There’s a large wall there covered with a patchwork of oversized images taken by some of the magazine’s most iconic photographers. ...

It’s the closest thing we have to a “wall of fame” and is basically the first thing a new photographer sees when she or he arrives on the floor to meet the editors. And it’s the first thing veteran photographers look at when they come back to visit. I’ve had more than one photographer pull me aside and ask, “So how do I get up there?”

Read Peter Gwin’s full essay here.

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Kathy Moran, our deputy director of photography, taking a quick break at work as a gecko crawls on her shoulder.

Today in a minute

The children of Mosul. Iraq's second city has been reduced to rubble. But photojournalist Paddy Dowling documents that some children there, including many who had fled Islamic State, are learning under educational programs seeking to compress three years of schooling into one.

Chasing winter. Nat Geo contributing photographer Katie Orlinsky on Tuesday won the Alexia 2019 Professional Grant for her work tracking the challenges of climate change upon people, animals, and the land in communities across Alaska. Orlinsky (see some of her Nat Geo projects here) also won a student grant in 2012 from the Alexia Foundation, which has awarded over $1.7 million to 166 photographers.

“The Underwater Oscars.” That’s the nickname for the NOGI Awards for underwater photography. The awards have been won by legendary National Geographic explorers such as James Cameron, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Sylvia Earle, Luis Marden, and Bob Ballard. Last week, Nat Geo photographer Brian Skerry joined the list, thanking Nat Geo for “giving me the gift of time in the sea and for providing platforms from which I can tell important stories about our water planet.” Here’s a feature on Brian’s long effort to document the sperm whales off the Caribbean nation of Dominica.

Images of change. How do you create a visual language for climate change? That's what this year's winners of the Climate Visuals award attempted to do. Here are a few of the photographs that have been honored by the European organization Climate Outreach.

Your Instagram photo of the day

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Train for the forgotten: A view of the taiga, photographed from the Matvei Mudrov hospital train in eastern Russia. The mobile hospital offers basic care and services such as x-rays, ultrasounds, and ophthalmology. The train crosses 2,672 extremely isolated miles of Russia, much of it in Siberia, and many communities rely entirely upon it for services. Yelena Miroshnichenko, the train’s general surgeon, says she feels a deep connection with the villagers and their families. “You don’t just know people," she says, ”you know the dogs.”

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Photo tip of the week

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On Monday, Debra Adams Simmons writes on the latest in history. If you’re not a subscriber, sign up here to also get Victoria Jaggard on science, George Stone on travel, and Rachael Bale on animal and wildlife news.

One last glimpse

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Fun. Dressed in their traditional modest garb, female members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints relish playing in the water near Hildale, Utah. This is the lead image for a look at the (belated) impact of women photographers at Nat Geo. This photographer, Stephanie Sinclair, has a way of showing stories in a different way than many. One example is this 2011 look into child brides.

This newsletter has been curated and edited by David Beard. Have an idea or a link for us? I’d love to hear from you at