Photograph by Eduardo Lopez Negrete, National Geographic Your Shot
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A large school of mobula rays migrates off the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Photograph by Eduardo Lopez Negrete, National Geographic Your Shot

The Best Photos From Your Shot: Drama, Drama Underwater

Every day here at National Geographic, our photo editors look through somewhere between 4,000 and 8,000 images that are uploaded to our photo community, Your Shot. Of those images, 12 are selected to shine in what we call the Daily Dozen. And from those photos, only one is chosen. And by chosen, I mean voted on by you, the community. That photo receives the Top Shot honor.

In this group of top-voted images from the weeks of May 25 to June 5, I saw two themes: dramatic light and underwater shots. Sometimes both. Images showing deep dives starring mobula rays, a humpback whale, and a Portuguese man-of-war; the stunning light play from an impending storm and the golden hour; and the way a photographer captures light illuminating a Himba girl’s face or silhouetting a young Darth Vader are anything but subtle.

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The Ominous Open Road A high-precipitation supercell thunderstorm rolls across the high plains of the Nebraska panhandle, producing strong winds and large hail in Big Springs, Nebraska. Photograph by Colt Forney, National Geographic Your Shot
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Golden Grove A forest of birch trees is illuminated by the spring sunset in Estonia. Photograph by Janek Laanemäe, National Geographic Your Shot
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Topsy Turvy in Tonga A humpback whale calf swims in the waters of Tonga’s Vava’u Islands. Each year, humpback whales come to Tonga between July and September. Photograph by Marc Henauer, National Geographic Your Shot
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Star Wars Sunset A boy runs across a field in a Darth Vader costume at sunset. Photograph by Greg Hogan, National Geographic Your Shot
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A Himba Girl’s Gaze A girl from Namibia’s Himba tribe poses for a portrait wearing native dress. Her hair is coated in a paste of ocher and goat butter. Photograph by William Popik, National Geographic Your Shot
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Electric Bluebottle A Portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis), also known as a bluebottle, peeks out from beneath the waters of Shell Cove in New South Wales, Australia. Photographer Matthew Smith experimented with many lighting techniques before getting the exposure just right with fiber-optic snoots on his underwater flashes. Photograph by Matthew Smith, National Geographic Your Shot
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Stars Glow, Waters Flow The Milky Way glows over Palouse Falls in Washington State. This image was created using a 25-second exposure for the stars and then exposing the canyon for around ten minutes to create a composite. Photograph by Craig Goodwin, National Geographic Your Shot
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Aloha Technicolor A rainbow frames a lone tree and a lava field along Saddle Road on the way to Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island. Photograph by Sigmà Sreedharan, National Geographic Your Shot

See more featured content from Your Shot on our Editors’ Spotlight, and be a part of our photo community—where you can upload images, participate in assignments, and even attend meetups—by joining Your Shot. And don’t forget to help your favorite image from the Daily Dozen become the Top Shot by voting every weekday.