Photo of the Day: Best of January

Every day, we feature an image chosen from thousands submitted to our photo community Your Shot. Here are eight favorites from January.

I’ve found that the quietest people often have the best stories to tell, and January’s top photos are no different. While minimalistic at face value, they each have a single defining element that is powerful enough to carry the frame and narrative. Their simplicity allows your mind to let go of the present and to imagine the before and after of each moment.

Jeanne M. Modderman is the editor of Photo of the Day , a curated look at photography from National Geographic’s photo community, Your Shot . Liane DiStefano and Brett Weisband write the captions and titles. Submit your photos and you could be published in our magazines and online.