arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newfullscreen-closefullscreen-opengallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusprintreplayscreenshareAsset 34facebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

Instagram Spotlight: A Voice for the Many

View Images
Left: A "working wetland" in Louisana is dotted with White Ibis. Right: Quito, Ecuador.

For Randy Olson, photographs are a way to reach people—to share cultures that may be unknown, marginalized, or misunderstood. Olson has worked in many countries—looking at indigenous cultures in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia, Tanzania, and more. His passion for rich cultural stories even extends to his own backyard, in places like Missouri and the American West.

Currently Olson is working with two other National Geographic photographers—his wife, Melissa Farlow, and Pablo Corral Vega, to document the Ecuadorian city of Quito. They are collaborating with the city government there and using Instagram to promote local culture.

Here, we share some recent work from Quito, a little bit of experimentation while procrastinating, and dancing tribespeople in Lake Turkana. To learn more about Olson’s philosophy and working style, watch this video interview from Proof.

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

More than a quarter of a million people will descend on the Plaza of San Francisco, some to observe, others to participate. At noon, the hour in which Pontius Pilot condemned Jesus to death, the procession begins from the San Francisco Church, and returns 3 hours later, the hour in which Jesus was crucified. During the procession the image of Jesus is preceded by 800 persons dressed and veiled in purple garments. The men are known as Cucuruchos (meaning, “cone” for their pointed headdress) and the women are called Veronicas, after the woman who is thought to have offered her veil for Christ to wipe his face.

A photo posted by Artes de Quito (@artesdequito) on

Scene from a bus headed to Plaza Foch in Quito, Ecuador.

A photo posted by Randy Olson (@randyolson) on

Quito, Ecuador.


A photo posted by Randy Olson (@randyolson) on

Double exposure as a result of procrastination. I should have been working on a talk, but I kept watching the Keynote presentation while shooting screenshots of one photo dissolving into another.

A photo posted by Randy Olson (@randyolson) on

Chocolate Hills, Bohol Island, Philippines

A photo posted by Randy Olson (@randyolson) on

Dancers and locals singing for a Turkana wedding. The tribes in Kenya’s Lake Turkana and southern Ethiopia’s Omo Valley have been left alone for thousands of years.

Follow Randy Olson on Twitter and Instagram.

Follow Nat Geo Photography


Join Your Shot, our photography community. Submit to assignments and get feedback from our photo editors.


From the Archives

Look through a curated collection of historical photos from our archives on National Geographic's Found Tumblr.


Picture Stories

Check out the latest work from National Geographic photographers and visual storytellers around the world.

See More