Instants: Strange Views

In our series Instants, the Proof staff brings you a snapshot of recent dispatches from the @natgeo Instagram feed. Follow us to experience more from National Geographic on Instagram.

One of the marks of a good photographer is his or her ability to find a new way of looking at something. Oftentimes, that means getting higher, closer, or simply just tilting and framing differently. With the advent of drone photography, aerial shots are becoming more accessible to photographers who aren’t too keen on paragliding like George Steinmetz so often does. Sometimes the photographers even stumble across a sight so striking that it stands on its own.

This week we show you a variety of unusual views from all over the world. George Steinmetz in New York, Paul Nicklen in Antarctica, Shaul Schwarz in Afghanistan, Thomas Peschak in Canada, and Jimmy Chin in Chile.

As a farewell gesture on ending his satirical news program, The Colbert Report, on December 18, Stephen Colbert commissioned French street artist JR to create a mural for the roof of the studio where the show had been taped at West 54th Street in New York City. JR is known for his socially engaged portrait murals of people around the world. Explaining this one, Colbert said, “Just because I’m going doesn’t mean I’m gone. Now, thanks to JR, there will always be a little something special here on top of my studio to catch your eye—specifically, my eye.” —George Steinmetz

Adélie penguins catch a free ride on a massive iceberg as it drifts around the Antarctic Peninsula. —Paul Nicklen

An Afghan man in a floating chair, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2004. —Shaul Schwarz

Ochre sea stars cluster together in a narrow passage where tidal currents churn the ocean into a white-water river. Only when the currents abate do sea stars migrate into the adjacent mussel bed to hunt for prey. I made this image in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. —Thomas Peschak

Cajón del Maipo is one of the natural treasures of Chile. Sad to see the destruction of the area, its watershed, and landscape due to mining interests. There is a strong groundswell of local and national support to end the mining and decimation there. —Jimmy Chin

Follow George SteinmetzPaul NicklenShaul SchwarzThomas Peschak, and Jimmy Chin on Instagram.

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