Explore Our Changing World

This assignment ran from Sep 30 to Oct 22, 2013.

In celebration of our 125th anniversary, we invite you to join this assignment. We live in a fast-paced world that is getting faster all the time. Things happen that the human eye cannot even register. That’s when the power of photography really shines. It captures what other tools cannot. Now more than ever, that power is vital to documenting the world we live in. And that world is changing faster every day. Photography enables us to capture that change, document it for others to see, and explore what that means for ourselves and our communities.

Please take a moment to read the Official Rules for this assignment and watch the video for more information from the assignment editors.

Curated by:

Sadie Quarrier
Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

Cory Richards
National Geographic Photographer
Assignment Status
  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.
  • Closed

    Completed assignments—with our favorite photos included—will be published online. Learn more.
  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.
Published Nov 4, 2013.
Thank you for your contributions!

Vote For Your Favorite

Posted oct 22, 2013

Thanks to everyone who took the challenge of this assignment head-on and submitted some thought-provoking photos. Change is not an easy thing to capture. We were surprised and inspired by the entries. Over the next week we’ll be editing the photos and choosing our winner. We're excited to see it all come together in the published story! 

While we are busy editing, you should get busy voting for your favorite photos submitted to this assignment. The photo with the most "favorites" received during the assignment will be published in National Geographic magazine, along with the Editors’ Choice winner.

Thanks for joining us on this adventure. If you’d like to learn more about photography through a hands-on instructional experience, check out the May 2014 National Geographic Photo Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico led by Cory.

And in case you missed it, we posted two galleries of our favorites, with commentary, on the Your Shot blog: Week 1 and Week 2.

#LetsExplore —Sadie & Cory

Assignment Hangout

Posted oct 16, 2013

Join the assignment editors in our special Google+ Hangout to discuss the assignment. View their favorites from the second week on the Your Shot blog.

Art & Information

Posted oct 10, 2013

Thanks to everyone who has submitted images to our October “Explore Our Changing World” assignment. Over 10,000 photos were sent in the first week alone. Great job! You can view our favorites, with commentary, in a gallery on the Your Shot blog.

Looking at the images that are rising to the top, there are broad interpretations of the theme, which is great. Over the next two weeks we will be looking for images that are both great moments with excellent composition and use of light, but that also relate even more closely to our theme—the perfect combination of both art and information.

Think about weather (droughts, floods, storms), pristine areas under threat, cultural shifts, aerials showing suburban sprawl, cities abutting mountains, etc. The list of ideas is endless. Surprise and delight us with what you can capture!

We’ll be doing an edit at the end of this week to pick another ten images to discuss at the Google+ Hangout at 1 p.m. on October 16. We’ll be there to answer any questions you might have for us—from specifics on what we’re looking for, to the process at the magazine, to what it’s like being a National Geographic photographer on assignment, and so on.

Keep having fun and turn up the heat another notch to help us really hit it out of the park with this assignment!

The Team

Posted sep 24, 2013

Challenge yourself to find examples of change. Surprise us with your unique points of view, unexpected moments, evocative landscapes, and interesting details. What inspires you? What have you discovered? Help us celebrate the power of photography—a power that connects us and makes us care about our evolving planet. Photography not only captures change, it creates change. Show us.

After the assignment closes on October 22, Cory and Sadie will select an Editors' Choice winner who will receive a five-day National Geographic Photo Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from National Geographic Expeditions, and more. (View the Official Contest Rules for details.) The Editors' Choice photo will also be published in National Geographic magazine. Additionally, Your Shot members can vote on entries through October 29; the photo with the most "favorites" will also be published in National Geographic.

Sadie Quarrier

Sadie Quarrier

Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine
Sadie Quarrier has won numerous awards in her role as senior photo editor for National Geographic magazine. She is in charge of adventure stories in addition to editing a diverse range of other genres. She is a voting member on the National Geographic Society's Expeditions Council and Young Explorer's Grant Committee. She has also worked as a photo editor at Smithsonian magazine and at National Geographic Books, where she helped produce award-winning books.

Cory Richards

Cory Richards

National Geographic Photographer
Cory Richards was the first American to climb an 8,000-meter peak in winter before he was 30. He is also one of the most acclaimed adventure photographers in the world, with an insatiable passion for capturing the beauty and richness of the human experience. In 2011, he was awarded the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award for his efforts as both a climber and visual storyteller.