Photograph by Alejandro Prieto, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
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While on an expedition at Todos Santos in south Baja California, Mexico, Your Shot member Alejandro Prieto was searching for big predators—such as marlins, sharks, or tuna—feeding on sardine bait balls, but instead he found this Hawaiian petrel feeding on crustaceans. “Luckily I was able to capture the moment it submerged its head to feed on the tiny food source,” Prieto writes.
Photograph by Alejandro Prieto, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Photo of the Day: Best of June

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

I have a confession to make. Aside from photographing my nine-year-old daughter, which I do often, I hardly ever take pictures. The one exception is when I travel—when new surroundings present patterns, colors, light, and lines that inspire me to pick up my camera (or iPhone, as the case may be) and create my own interpretations. Every year, the Traveler Photo Contest invites aspiring and professional photographers alike to share images of the people, places, and things that have inspired them (like the underwater shot of a Hawaiian petrel above). And then I get to take a virtual trip when editing Photo of the Day, which is the next best thing.


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Dome Sweet Dome

Photograph by Michael O’Brien, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

“Today in Istanbul, Sultan Ahmet Mosque [also known as the Blue Mosque] and Hagia Sophia are surrounded by busy streets and streams of visitors,” writes Traveler Photo Contest entrant Michael O’Brien. “Yet it is still possible to glimpse a timeless and ancient view.” O’Brien captured this perspective from an upper window in the Hagia Sophia, now a museum.

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Imperial Blossoms

Photograph by Yukio Miki, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

A weeping cherry tree blooms on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan. The trees typically bloom in late March and early April. “It is like an old Japanese painting, and you should not miss [it],” writes photographer Yukio Miki.

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Ocean World

Photograph by Chris Schmid, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

With the help of a drone, photographer Chris Schmid captures a bird’s-eye view of a surfer at Praia Mole, a popular party beach and surf destination in Florianópolis, Brazil.

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Under African Skies

Photograph by Carey Nash, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

A Hamar woman and her son stand beneath a dramatic sky in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. “After walking from our tent along the riverbed, we met up with this nearby village and the beautiful people [who] lived there,” writes photographer Carey Nash. “We felt so welcomed.”

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Buffalo Head

Photograph by Wes Eisenhauer, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

“I was traveling through South Dakota and decided to visit Custer State Park during their annual buffalo roundup,” writes Wes Eisenhauer, who submitted this photo to the Traveler Photo Contest, happening now. “As I approached the area where the buffalo are kept and counted, most of the herd scattered at my presence. This buffalo stayed and had a few more sips of water while I snapped a few pictures … We both stood quietly for just a moment before she turned and walked away.”

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Light at the End

Photograph by Elena Bobrova, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Light streams into Indonesia’s Grubug Cave, captured by photographer Elena Bobrova after descending nearly 200 feet into neighboring Jomblang Cave and traveling through a natural horizontal corridor. Bobrova writes that the vision was “so beautiful that someone called it ‘the light of heaven.”’

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Islands in the Sea

Photograph by Mary E. Mackey, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Sunlight paints a rock formation in the Galápagos Islands. Cruise passenger Mary E. Mackey was relaxing on deck after a shore excursion when she noticed the evening light. Not having her 35mm camera with her, Mackey captured the image with her iPhone. “I didn’t want to miss this opportunity,” she writes.

Inspired yourself? The 2015 Traveler Photo Contest continues until June 30 at 12 p.m. EDT. Information on how you can enter is available here.
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 May.