Lights, camera, action! A photo of a couple doing the tango on the empty dance floor of the Starlight Room at San Francisco’s Sir Frances Drake Hotel—first submitted to the Your Shot Street Photography assignment—sets the tone for this month’s roundup of Photo of the Day favorites. Theatrical moments can be found in unexpected places.
A shoal of sardines resembles an eye on the ocean depths as it swirls near the surface at Thousand Steps Reef off the Caribbean island of Bonaire. Your Shot member Federico Cabello photographed and documented Bonaire’s more than 90 official dive sites for his book Bonaire Point to Point. “Thousand Steps Reef was one of these dive sites,” Cabello writes. “It’s reached via a narrow, meandering stone stairway. A long trek but worth it.”
In this photograph by Your Shot member Raja Subramaniyan, a young girl’s face is painted for a festival honoring the guardian deity Angalamman, “the fiercest form,” evoked in participants’ expressions. The festival is held every year in the village of Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu, India.
Wanting to get a closer look at Fuego, a highly active volcano in Guatemala, Your Shot member Andrew Shepard hiked the adjacent Acatenango Volcano and camped near the summit. “Under the moonlight I set my tripod up just outside the tent, and at around 1:30 a.m. we awoke to the rumbling of the ground and the sound of a breath-stealing explosion,” Shepard writes. “I scrambled to the camera just in time [to] capture a moonlit and lava-covered Fuego as it put on this beautiful display of activity and power.”
A strong, dry wind—called a mistral in southern France—blows through the city of Marseilles, with hair-raising results. Photographer Yves Vernin had for a long time been hoping to do a series on the mistral, so on a windy day he headed to Notre Dame de la Garde, or the “bonne mère,” situated on a hill. “This is a famous place in Marseille, and a windy place,” he writes. “After I searched [for] a good place with nice light and a lot of wind, I waited like a hunter. (Of course, I underexposed because of the light on the faces, and I set a high speed to immobilize the hair.) This one was the most interesting I took.”
Your Shot member Clinton Berry captured this photo with a GoPro on Antarctica’s sea ice, about six miles from Casey Station. “I studied the movements of the penguins for weeks,” Berry writes. “They walked in the same area almost every day. We would get maybe a dozen or less going by. The day this was taken there were over 60 penguins. It was a bit of luck involved too.”
In the summer months in Virginia, writes Your Shot member Kelsey Gerhard, “my daughters practically live in the water.” And the beauty of the girls in their element has become one of Gerhard’s favorite things to photograph. “One night, I knew we would be swimming late at a nearby pool, and I brought along my Nikon D700 and Ikelite underwater housing to play. I knew the pool lights would create some interesting images, but I did not realize just how magical they would be.”
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 roundup, Photo of the Day: Best of March.