“Pay attention,” Your Shot member Fran Virues Avila was told by the diver seen above, before he leapt into the waters off La Caleta Beach in Cádiz, Spain. “My jump will be worthy of observing.” This feels like an apt point of departure for this month’s roundup of Photo of the Day favorites. Each frame contains a moment that beckons us to pay attention, whether it be to the composition, the story being told, or the energy of life in motion.
A woman harvests rice from a field in Thailand in this picture by Your Shot member Sarawut Intarob. The photo was included in the final story for the recent Your Shot assignment What’s in a Frame? “This picture comes together so well,” says National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez, who curated the assignment. Alvarez praised the light, the woman’s expression, and the way Intarob shot through the bundled rice plants to provide a low view.
As we floated over the Dubai desert in a hot-air balloon at sunrise, I was captivated by the plays of light from the morning rays of sun over the repeating patterns of undulating dunes,” writes Your Shot member Mark Seabury. “It was like the desert was alive with motion, with sand waves mimicking the swell of the sea, extending as far as the eye could see into the distant horizon. This single tree appeared in the arid earth as a steadfast symbol of life in impossible conditions—a lone survivor in a vast ocean.”
“This picture was taken in the attic of an old house in Ferrara, Italy,” writes Your Shot member Giulia Pesarin. “The protagonist is the Italian dancer Elisa Mucchi.” Pesarin says that the shot is a continuation of a study that begins with an image in which the position of the dancer is similar. “The purpose is to represent a human body while moving and entering in relationship with the environment,” she writes. “But specifically I hide a part of [the] body … amplifying the imaginative power of the beholder.” Hiding, she says, is a catalyst for opening up new possibilities for the human imagination.
Amid the haze of toxic fumes from burning refuse in a garbage dump in Cambodia, a young garbage scavenger searches for scraps of recyclables in newly dumped loads of rubbish. “Covered in filthy rags, they were scruffy, sickly, and sad. They earned 4,000 riel ($1) a day—if they were lucky,” writes Your Shot member Yap Kh.
“This was the last picture [from] an incredible day,” writes Your Shot member Cristiano Xavier. “We saw more than 15 tornadoes.” Xavier captured this image in Simla, Colorado, stopping briefly after outrunning the storm.
Sophia’s favorite game is hide-and-seek,” writes Your Shot member Juan Carlos Osorio, who captured this picture of his daughter in Verona, New Jersey. “It was a very cloudy afternoon, but when the sun came up, I saw my wife’s shadow next to my daughter [as she asked] her to start counting so she could hide. We had a lot of fun.”
Alexa Keefe is the editor of Photo of the Day, a curated look at photography from around National Geographic. Korena Di Roma writes the captions and titles.
See which pictures were featured in our last roundup, Photo of the Day: Best of July.