Photograph by Joe Motohashi, National Geographic Your Shot
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A Japanese white-eye sucks nectar from a cherry blossom.
Photograph by Joe Motohashi, National Geographic Your Shot

Photo of the Day: Best of April

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

A lion’s mane jellyfish in the North Atlantic waters of Bonne Bay, a Japanese white-eye in a city park in Tokyo, an Holy Week procession in Sicily, starry skies over a small town in the Indian Himalaya. This month’s round-up of Photo of the Day features a few of my personal favorites. Some are familiar scenes, others less so, but all have a story to tell; a memorable photograph of a situation that has been photographed many times before; serendipitous compositions revealed to keen observers; photographs so beautiful they bring our attention to wonders, and fragility, of our natural world.

In the above image, Your Shot member Joe Motohashi went to photograph birds in Tokyo’s Zenpukuji Park on an early spring day—and looked around. “There was one early blooming cherry tree there. And I found a couple of Japanese white-eyes going to it … I tried to catch the quick movement of the bird while being careful about light.”

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Procession of the Mysteries

Photograph by Willem Kuijpers, National Geographic Your Shot

Since 2002, Your Shot member Willem Kuijpers has been photographing i Misteri in Trapani, Sicily. He caught this painterly moment of two women resting during the slow-moving Easter procession, where stations of the cross are carried through the city on the Friday and Saturday of Holy Week. “Achieving the shot was only walking around and trying to be aware of the hidden gems in the streets,” he says.

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Photograph by Jayanta Roy, National Geographic Your Shot

Grainy, impressionistic, lovely. Says Your Shot contributor Jayanta Roy, “This photo is a previsualization; I had wanted to capture a rain of stars over Kanchenjunga for a long time, so I chose the location and timing, which is at almost midnight. It was bone-chilling, the wind was so strong and cold. The location is a tiny village called Lungtung in eastern India, population ten.”

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Bonne Bay Drift

Photograph by David Doubilet, National Geographic Creative

Photographer David Doubilet was on assignment for National Geographic photographing wildlife in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence when he photographed this colorful and exotic-looking lion’s mane jellyfish in Bonne Bay. The beauty of this creature drifting in the crystal-clear waters underscores what there is to lose as years of overfishing, warming waters, and possible offshore drilling cause concern for the health of the gulf’s ecosystem.

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Island in the Sky

Photograph by Shane Kalyn

Shane Kalyn sums this scene up nicely in this submission to the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest :

“There is an ethereal, otherworldly feeling to this photograph, as this little island in the middle of Tumuch Lake in northern British Columbia appears as if it’s floating in the clouds. To bring us back to Earth, a fish has left a ripple in the water on the left-hand side of the shot. The scene was amazing to witness, let alone be lucky enough to photograph—totally the right place at the right time.”

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Happiness is a Warm Sun

Photograph by Kersti Kalberg, National Geographic Your Shot

Sun, plus white horse, plus an irresistably anthropomorphic expression of bliss come together to equal one very sweet photo.

“It was the first beautiful winter day in over a month, and the sun came out and everybody just stopped,” says Kersti Kalberg, a member of our Your Shot community. “The world almost stood still, and the silent happiness just poured in.”

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Two Different Lives

Photograph by Merve Ates, National Geographic Your Shot

Traveling on a ferry between the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Your Shot contributor Merve Ates noticed this composed moment, inspiring her to draw her own connections.

“The boy on the right was sitting next to me. I was listening to the screaming of the seagulls and smelling the sea air and taking several shots but also waiting for a particularly interesting moment, and suddenly I noticed the window reflection. It seemed like the man and the boy were sitting side by side. In reality, the old man was reading the Koran, while the young boy had a worried look on his face (maybe about his future—who knows?). Two separate lives, together in the same frame.”

Alexa Keefe is the editor of Photo of the Day, a curated look at photography around National Geographic. The full archive is accessible here.