Spontaneous Adventure

This assignment ran from Nov 1 to Nov 22, 2013.

Has it been way too long since the last time you went on an unplanned adventure? If so, we invite you to do something spontaneous this month and take us along for the ride. Forget your cell phone. Turn off your notifications. Be spontaneous.

For me, the unplanned adventure somehow always turns out to be the most memorable. You don’t have to go far to have a spontaneous adventure—you just have to go. This month’s assignment is all about spontaneity. I'm looking for those great photos that showcase the unexpected and exciting imagery from an unplanned escape from the ordinary.

We dare you to throw out the itinerary and get out the map! More...

Anyone is welcome to participate in this sponsored assignment and the Your Shot community, however in order to be eligible for the contest prize associated with this assignment participants and submissions must adhere to the Official Rules.

Curated by:

John Burcham
National Geographic Photographer
Assignment Status
  • Open

  • Closed

  • Published

Published Dec 6, 2013.
Thank you for your contributions!

Creativity & Composition

Posted nov 18, 2013

Again, I am so impressed by all the amazing images that everyone has been posting. You guys have really stepped it up. I’m seeing a lot more interaction within the photos.

I know that there have been questions as to whether something is authentically spontaneous or what determines an adventure. Like I said before, you don’t have to go to the far ends of the Earth to get that feeling of adventure. Essentially it’s all about the creativity and composition that can give you the edge in this contest. I have been seeing some photos that really fit that spontaneous adventure criteria but just miss the mark slightly because they lack some of the components of what makes a solid image.

There’s only a little time left before the competition ends. So go shoot an idea you have had for a while, revisit a place with a new look, or go to a nearby place you have never been to. Either way you will become a better photographer for trying. Sometimes I give myself mini-assignments, which help with my creative process. Photography is a never-ending learning curve; this is what makes it so exciting. Looking forward to seeing more inspiring images.

Improvise

Posted nov 8, 2013

I'm really loving the images that are being posted. Thanks to everyone for submitting such amazing photos. Every time I look through the submissions it motivates me to get out there.

There are a lot of beautiful landscapes being posted, but I would like to see something spontaneous happening within the landscape—whether it's nature in action or a human presence within the photo. I want to see something that makes me want to hit the road and have fun. Let's see it in an unexpected way. Don't be afraid to add emotion to the photo. Let the photo pull me in to your personal experience.

Keep challenging yourself. I feel lucky and honored to be able to participate in this whole process. You guys inspire me.

Follow That Impulse

Posted oct 30, 2013

Being spontaneous can feel a little risky and unnerving, but once you do it you won’t be disappointed. Go into the adventure with your eyes wide open and with no expectations—you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Just because you might act first and think later doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. You don’t want to miss the shot because you forgot your favorite lens or that extra battery. Create a checklist of items you might need for your adventure. Pack a bag and leave it in your car or closet for an easy escape.

Follow that impulse right out the door. You never know what you might find.

John Burcham

John Burcham

National Geographic Photographer
John Burcham is most at home climbing new routes up the sandstone spires of Sedona, Arizona, but has been adventuring and photographing since college. Burcham's blue-collar work ethic and love for wild places—working at a fish cannery and a decade living in Alaska are among his experiences—allow him to capture images of exploration and adventure from otherwise inaccessible perspectives. His clients have included National Geographic, the New York Times, the History Channel, Kahtoola Snowshoes, and Sherpa Adventure Gear.
412 comments
Carol Haynes
Carol Haynes

Is anyone able to see the published story? When I click on the "view published story" button, I get a page that says "Ouch! That page does not exist."

Rita Beavers
Rita Beavers

Anyone know if any of my photo's where picked yet for this assignment?

Gabe DeWitt
Gabe DeWitt

With the low character limit on image descriptions, It's hard to explain the full level of chance alignment of the events that put me in the location for this stellar photo.  http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/2424364/ 

In short, I was tired, hungry, lost in the desert in the dark, with a dying headlamp, in a completely unknown area to me. I was in Utah for a few days with work. After finishing up the tasks that brought me to town, I realized I was 2 hours from Kanab, and thought to try my luck at the wave lottery (out of 44 people, I was randomly drawn for one of 10 slots). On the way to camp near the wave, I thought to scan the map to find a feature to try and shoot in the night, and found one just 45min from camp.  A recent rain had washed away signs of the main trails, and I was trying to locate a particular toadstool (a rock). After coming a little too close to a subsided slope that included a shear dropped of a ~50' I decided to retreat. While "running away" I ended up catching a silhouette against the horizon, and it turned out to be the very rock I was trying to find. 

I had a few more pictures from the trip I wanted to submit for this, but I wasn't prepared for the character limit on the descriptions, and I ended up only being able to submit one, at 11:57 pm on the last day of the assignment.  If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done I suppose ;)  

Ginger Parish
Ginger Parish

What!!!??? I checked an hour ago, and it said the assignment still had seven hours left!!?? Oh well. I finally decided what to submit and was just coming to do that and see that it closed. 

I am wondering why it closed early? Or why was the number of hours remaining incorrect? Bummer.

Enrico Pession
Enrico Pession

please watch my photos and say something...i need to improve my skill..thank you very much..

Fred D.
Fred D.

Well folks my entire gallery has been deleted.

Anyone need anything let me know!

Soumen Bhowmick
Soumen Bhowmick

Please have a look at my photos and comment your thoughts. It'll help me grow.

Sharon Hawn
Sharon Hawn

This assignment is my favorite theme. I'm always on the go and I have been blessed to see tons of unique or unexpected things in life. The only time I dislike embracing the unique and unexpected is when I don't have my camera.

Fred D.
Fred D.

There is a terrible unfairness taking place..it's called editors favorite gallery. I submitted early on based on the story line. People wait around to see what the editor fa V's then go out and emulate those shots.

Rita Beavers
Rita Beavers

Please look at my photo's for this Assignment. I have never gotten anything for anything that I have made or done. I belong to a Camera club here in PA and This would be a big Achievement for me. If one of them gets picked. 

Monica Clare Corcoran
Monica Clare Corcoran expert

@Ginger Parish Apologies for the confusion! The assignment was supposed to close at noon but we had a slight glitch. Thanks for your understanding.

From the assignment rules: ... ends November 22, 2013, 11:59:59 a.m. US Eastern Standard Time (“EST”)

Karl K.
Karl K.

@John T. I was thinking about this myself. I don't mind looking over the editors photos, bio and assignment to get an idea of how they think or see things. In my opinion that's nothing more than trying to figure out what the client is looking for and is part of my job. I understand why they fav a photo or do an update. This is an assignment but it's also a way to teach as well. NG is about teaching after all.

Unfortunately, as you pointed out, what happens is things get steered in a certain direction over the course of the assignment. That's something I believe shouldn't happen. Basically give the assignment details and walk away until the deadline date. After the assignment is closed then the editor can pick his favs and talk about why he/she likes something and so on. As a matter of fact I think the editor should actively participate in a post event discussion where we can ask questions, seek critiques and so on. 

Anyway, there's my 2 cents worth on how I feel.

Ginger Parish
Ginger Parish

@John Thomas Yeah, it seems a little strange that the editors would even "favorite" photos submitted to a competition before the deadline. I wondered about that... 

Fred D.
Fred D.

The vantage point is to low.

Fred D.
Fred D.

This just a big email grab by getting everyone to coompete for pat on the back so they can span you to buy theirnproducts. They have no monet to hire shooters. So they own your publishing rights when you submit..so you see your photo in ypurshot...big deal.

Deleting all my shots...be well everyone.

John

Fred D.
Fred D.

only if sold to third party, you need to be on their stock site for that. Otherwise when you upload they own your work and can do anything with it. Go brush up on your English.

Stefano Zocca
Stefano Zocca

@Ginger Parish @John T.  

I am Italian but I understand English: good enough to read the Term of Service. I'm surprised that an expert like Jhon realizes now that NG (like many others ..), does not give you a service in exchange for nothing ...

Fred D.
Fred D.

Intellectual properties break down to two sub dived Properties; Mechanical rights and creative rights. The Author owns 100% of a 200% publishing contract. The remain ding 100% is split 50/50

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy moderator expert

Hi @Ginger Parish @John T. - This is a great question. Members retain all copyright of their photos they upload to Your Shot. The Terms of Service has more information on copyright, and also includes info on payment for photos selected to be used in products you've mentioned here, such as books. The section you're looking for is Intellectual Property Issues (it's the third section from the top). And if you have any questions, of course, please feel free to email us anytime.

Fred D.
Fred D.

click through my profile to my twitter account to see my book on Barnes and Noble. I know everything about publiahingts. They will use the shot and won't see a dime

Ginger Parish
Ginger Parish

@John Thomas I don't think they own the publishing rights when you submit. Do they? Did I miss something?

Sorry to see you go, John. 

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