28 beautiful photos explore states around the world

Photographers around the world explore their own neck of the woods.

Sometimes, the places closest to us hold the greatest mystery.

That’s the idea that captivated Your Shot photographer Noah Brooks, whose “Explore Your State” assignment was chosen by the Your Shot community. As a teen, Noah and his friends would open a map of Florida and plan their trips to spots that caught their interest all over the state (including the town of Flamingo, where he now lives).

Noah’s own photos are the only images that remain of those trips, he says; it impressed upon him the importance of preserving memories.

“Just the idea of freezing time like that—I messed around a little bit with video, but there’s something about the still image that’s just so powerful to me,” he says.

Photographers’ ability to preserve a sense of memory, place, and time in a single frame is showcased in spades in the contributions to Noah’s assignment. Jumping into a stepwell’s cool waters to escape the heat, a man’s dramatic pose still hangs in the air. Soft mountaintop dawns, delicate fishing nets, staggering human towers—all safeguarded in images that let their makers share their home states with the world.

“It’s like we’re all going on assignment together, even though we’re not physically there,” Noah says. “We're going through [the images] as a community.”

See Noah’s full selection of images from this assignment, and submit your own photos to the next one.