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Photo of the Day: Best of November

Every day, we feature an image chosen from thousands around National Geographic. Here are some highlights from January.

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What Makes This a Photo of the Day? The word that comes to mind when viewing this photograph is grace. The robed figures of the women and the willowy stalks of the plants create a visually harmonious scene. The woman paused on the left, face illuminated by the sun, underscores the soft beauty of the frame

When people ask me what makes a Photo of the Day—a curated look at photography around National Geographic—my answer is simple: I have to want to spend time with the picture, and whether full of complex detail or exquisitely simple, it has to stand on its own. The photos I choose are meant to be a glimpse of our world in a moment in time, some captured as a result of meticulous planning and research on assignment for National Geographic magazine, others happy finds from keen eyes tuned to daily life and travels. The photographers behind the lens represent a wide range of skill levels, from professional to aspirational, but each has a visual story to tell.

During the month of November, I featured photographs from our Your Shot community, a group of photographers who come from 196 different countries around the globe. With over a million photographs and counting, they represent as diverse a group as the scenes they capture. Below are a selection of reader favorites from this month’s round-up.

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Swans, Slovakia

What Makes This a Photo of the Day? I love the slightly off-kilter composition here, with the cluster of birds near the bottom of the frame. This gives a sense of movement and allows the eye to take in the peripheral elements—the ripples of the water and the sprinkling of ducks. Photograph by Norbert Nemes, National Geographic Your Shot

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Skeleton, St. Lawrence River, Quebec City

What Makes This a Photo of the Day? This photograph has the elements of many shoreline shots I have seen—the waves made smooth by the long exposure time, the glistening sand—but the skeleton lends an unexpected and welcome twist. Photograph by Stephen Clough, National Geographic Your Shot

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Cherry Blossoms. Nakameguro, Tokyo

What Makes This a Photo of the Day? Beautiful simply by being, cherry blossoms are an easy get (and I fall for them every time). What is not so easy is making a shot that is unique. I like that my eye is first caught by, and then travels past, the spray of blossoms, continuing along the light-refracted river to the tiny people on the footbridge at the end. Photograph by Giovanni Pascarella, National Geographic Your Shot

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.

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From the Archives

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