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Photo of the Day: Best of January

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

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Picture of a salt marsh in San Francisco Bay

The most visited Photo of the Day this January was a gorgeous shot of a cabin on the banks of a misty river in Hungary. I loved the calm tone of that frame, which you can see here, but putting together this round-up of favorites from the month, I found myself drawn to the bolder side, starting with the above aerial of a salt marsh in California’s San Francisco Bay, full of color and geometry.

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Jet Set

Photograph by George Steinmetz

No, this is not a scene from a live-action remake of The Jetsons, but the bright colors and flying gadgets do bring to mind a certain 1960s sci-fi kitsch. George Steinmetz photographed these pleasure-seekers in Biscayne Bay, near downtown Miami, for a story about the impact of rising seas on Florida’s coastlines.

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Polished Porcelain

Photograph by Agorastos Papatsanis, National Geographic Your Shot

One of the cool things about being part of the Your Shot photography community is the chance to participate in assignments, which are curated by National Geographic photographers and editors into a final story. This photograph of a porcelain fungus (Oudemansiella mucida) was one of several alien-like landscapes chosen for a recent story looking at the otherworldly world of macro photography.

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Spiritual Revival

Photograph by Paul Nicklen

Paul Nicklen spent months getting to know the surfing culture of Oahu’s western coast for a story about the inextricable connection between native Hawaiians and the sea. This was quite a departure for Nicklen, who is more accustomed to photographing polar bears in the Arctic. He spoke with Proof last year about what it was like building relationships with the community and navigating the crushing waves to get shots like this one of best friends Ha‘a Keaulana, at right, and Maili Makana diving under a wave on their way to a surfing spot.

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Alpine Oasis

Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner, National Geographic

Wildlife photographer Stefano Unterthiner spent a year on assignment for National Geographic in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park. The English translation for the park’s name is “Big Heaven,” which is evident in this image of an Alpine meadow dotted with wildflowers on a summer evening.

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Ram’s Eye

Photograph by Dawn Wilson, National Geographic Your Shot

Your Shot photographer Dawn Wilson made this photograph during a trip to Wyoming. “I made a point of stopping in the North Fork Canyon outside Cody to photograph the bighorn sheep during their annual rut,” she writes. “The weather had been warm, so activity was a bit low. But on my final drive out of the canyon before heading home, I came upon two rams fighting nonstop, to the point that each had a bloody nose. An hour into the battle, this ram, which wound up being defeated, stopped for the briefest of moments to look at me, almost like a plea for help.”


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.
See which pictures were featured in our last round-u p, Photo of the Day: Best of November.

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