“I had driven to the Grand Canyon in anticipation of the storm,” writes Your Shot member David Stoker of the above photograph. “I remember the morning being particularly cold as I hiked along the rim awaiting the arrival of the sun. The skies were still overcast, but a small break in the clouds allowed a single ray of sunlight to shine through, illuminating a small portion of the butte below.” The drama of this image, one of several chosen for the Your Shot First Light assignment, feels like a fitting start to this round-up of my favorite images from last month’s Photo of the Day.
Photographer Marco Vernaschi’s project “Biophilia” draws attention to Argentina’s indigenous cultures by photographing people in traditional dress and costumes. The woman photographed here is named Belén Cruz. She is a Suri, also known as Samilantes—a cultural group within the Quechua community. Cruz’s feathered costume represents the nandu, or rhea, sacred bird of the Suris. This portrait was one of several featured in the April issue of National Geographic magazine.
“For this shot I was … [in] the right place at the right time: It was rainy and foggy, very wet weather, and the panda decided to climb a beautiful tree in front of me,” writes Your Shot member Marco Mattiussi. Mattiussi obtained special permission to visit areas with captive-raised pandas that had been released into the wild, resulting in this delicate, painterly photograph.
“I was drawn to make this image because ideally, I believe this is what our oceans should look like. But Cabo Pulmo hasn’t always been this way,” writes Your Shot member Jeff Hester. “In 1995, a marine park was established by local citizens to counteract depleted reef fishes and marine life due to overfishing,” he explains. “Today, the biomass is booming, and the ecosystem is returning to a healthy state. For this particular image, I wanted to show some scale of the situation so I had my wife (seen in the foreground) swim ahead of me.”
It’s a rare and privileged experience to witness the interaction of tiger cubs in the wild, says Souvik Kundu, a member of our Your Shot photo community. After learning that a tigress had given birth to cubs in India’s Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Kundu visited the sanctuary a number of times to photograph the family. On this day his group was treated to an “unforgettable display of tender bonding,” with “the cubs engaged in several bouts of play-fighting under the watchful eyes of the mother.”
“When I arrived at the Blue Pond in Biei in Hokkaido, Japan, a lot of snow had fallen and the wind was blowing strongly,” writes Your Shot member Haruka Iwasaki. “The moment the light that illuminates the pond was reflected in the snow, I witnessed a fantastic spectacle.”
I imagine this is what being inside a snow globe would be like.
The juxtaposition of centuries-old statues of Buddha with tools of modern construction at Longmen Grottoes in Henan Province, China, makes for an eye-catching tableau.
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-up, Photo of the Day: Best of February.