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Chasing Moments

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Published Nov 13, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 21 Contributors

    21 photos selected by

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Someone walking by a café during a heavy rainy night in Angra do Heroísmo city.

    #night #soak #water #heavy #cafe #alone #street #rain #people #walking #umbrella

    As I looked through the 11,000 images you submitted for “Chasing Moments,” I felt like I was travelling around the world with you. You showed me so much diversity, beauty, hope, and the fragility of life. It was nothing short of amazing.  

    The photos that caught my eye didn’t just feature amazing lighting and composition, but they also told a story. Storytelling in photography means producing pictures that communicate, that convey information, that connect us to universal values. Of course, sometimes this is easier to do in a collection of pictures rather than in a single image. But very often, the same thought process used to produce groups of pictures that relate to each other can also apply to and strengthen individual pictures. Think about how you can add mystery, emotion, or an element of surprise to your frame. When you can elevate your images to work on more than one level, the entire story is strengthened. 

    The doors open, a boy in low hanging pants walks in, loudly addresses us all, assures everybody t...

    #streetphotography #nyc #candid #subway #brooklyn #documentary #newyork #decisive #boy #dance #pole

    Editor's Note

    What a fun moment! I love the expression on this young kids face as he points right at the camera. Excellent work!

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Celebrations around the Chinese New Year

    #night #chinese_new_year #celebration

    Editor's Note

    The light shining through some of the subjects of this photo creates such an interesting mood and moment. Great composition!

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    At one of white limestone quarries workshops in Minya city, Egypt.I photographed this shot in the...

    #white #chasingmoments #men #yourshot #dailydozen #worker #stone #egypt #labourer #quarries #natgeo

    Editor's Note

    Some moments are ones you just have to be patient and wait for. I love how you were able to frame this and how you waited for the limestone brick to be in mid-air here.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    These kind of mornings i experienced while I was in Pushkar. Camels going to the fair grounds for...

    #silhouette #camels #photooftheday #blackandwhite #photography #nikon

    Editor's Note

    Nice angle. by getting low and shooting into the light, you have a wonderful, interesting composition. There is an old rule in photography which says, "never shoot into the sun" but I believe all r... More

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Great wildebeest migration taken in July in Masai Mara Kenya. Crocodiles were waiting them to cro...

    #great #wildebeest #wildlife #kenya #safari #water #africa #wild #river #flying #migration #masai_mara

    Editor's Note

    Perfect moment and timing, an interesting view of a scene we have seen many times, the mass migration. Great work.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    The croc had already managed to drag the poor wildebeest in the middle of the river getting ready...

    #safari #crocodile #africa #attack #hunt

    Editor's Note

    What a dramatic moment you captured. The light is a but harsh but the moment is so profound that it still is an arresting image.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    I was lucky enough to be at Darwin's Arch in the Galapagos when we were swarmed with schools of s...

    #galapagos #scuba #canon #ocean #hammerhead #underwater #ecuador #shark #conservation

    Editor's Note

    What a moment to witness as all of these hammerhead sharks swim right over top of you! The light coming from the surface really adds some drama to this photo as well.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    a whale shark swims in the blue waters of the Indian ocean with an entourage of juvenile fish cat...

    #whaleshark #entourage #shark #indianocean

    Editor's Note

    I love how all these fish swimming by the whale shark create an interesting pattern. A very cool underwater moment!

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    A whale shark and school of anchovies swim in unison of the coast of Mafia Island, Tanzania. It w...

    #whaleshark #anchovies #school #underwater #shark #nature

    Editor's Note

    This is an incredible moment. I love the choice to make it black and white and the minimalist composition.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    After observing the pups basking in the sun they finally began to move around. It was well worth ...

    #pups #kit #wildlife #funny #red #fox #anticipatethemoment

    Editor's Note

    What great moment! Beautiful moment of time and light!

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Two rare, young and wild living European ground squirrels (spermophilus) seem to negotiate but li...

    #widlife #european #ground #squirrel

    Editor's Note

    This is a wonderful frame! Not to anthropomorphize, but it does remind me of humans.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Mouse, so called because of her diminutive size, meets the gaze of her mare Grace trying to enter...

    #heroin #horse #montanamoment #addiction #montana

    Editor's Note

    Some moments are just unexpected like this! Love how you framed this image and the use of natural light coming ion from the door.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Football when it's raining? I can't see why not ;)

    #sun #play #rain

    Editor's Note

    I love these every day moments. You really captured the nostalgia of summer. Beautiful light and timing.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    A family on the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State played, as the wind picked up thei...

    #island #fun #child #coast #water #life #beach #family #children #love #people #protecttheislands #nikon

    Editor's Note

    Just a really beautiful moment here. I love blanket blowing in the wind and the expressions that you captured on the faces.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Bride and groom at the end of their wedding day while the parking lot party was getting going wit...

    #ozarks #marriage #love

    Editor's Note

    There is such a powerful story here. Great composition and light but the most important aspect is the story in this image.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Another Rainy Day in Nagasaki, Japan. This is a view of the main street from a tram in Nagasaki ...

    #ngmadventure #urbantransit #japan #city #blackandwhite #street #rain #people #travel #culture

    Editor's Note

    I love this angle and how you composed this moment. The timing of the person walking across the street is just perfect!

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    A morning scene from the banks of river Yamuna in Delhi,India.. The Yamuna is one of the holiest ...

    #winter #ngmhealth #protecttheselands #morning #river #birds #places #sky #nature

    Editor's Note

    I love the reflections in this image. It creates layers and there is a real moment and story here. Well done!

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth...

    #portraits #philippinefestival #people #culture #travel

    Editor's Note

    I love the choice of the shutter speed and the framing. There are layers in this image, movement and drama. A wonderful story!

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Kazakh Ranger in the Sandstorm on the Singing sand dune, national Park Altyn-Emel, Kazakhstan

    #wanderer #man #kazakhstan #sand #singing_sand_dune #sandstorm #ranger

    Editor's Note

    This image has a great use of space! I love how wide you went with the composition and the sand blowing by the subject adds some nice storytelling depth to the photograph.

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Horses of the forest workers walk undisturbed in the winter forests of National Park - Central Ba...

    #winter #snow #horse #balkan #tree #mist #forest #fog

    Editor's Note

    I LOVE this image! Its so poetic and mystical. The composition and lighting is sublime. Congrats! The light and composition help to create a story here, well done!

    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer

    Now, we need to talk about authenticity in photography. First, in this assignment in particular, I noticed quite a bit of over-manipulation and digital alteration. Many images told stories and interesting composition, but they were disqualified for issues like too much saturation or obvious digital manipulation. If you learn the craft of photography, make the time to shoot in good light, and keep your eyes open for compelling moments, you won’t need to do much—if anything—to the images later.

    Second, I also noticed some photographers posing people and setting up shots. The results didn't feel authentic or real. As photojournalists, we are always looking for those everyday moments that are not manufactured.
    Finally, many pictures were of a topic for which a photograph had recently won an award, so there was a rush to get to the same place to recreate a similar "award-winning" image. My advice is, if a photo has already won an award, don't rush to photograph the same thing. Find something unique, often in your backyard, that only you have access to and insight about. It may seem ordinary to you, but to others it will be special.

    Thank you for all of your submissions and for the inspiration. Keep chasing those moments by slowing down, having patience, and observing beyond the obvious!

    About the Editor
    Ami Vitale
    National Geographic Photographer
    Ami Vitale's journey as a photographer, writer and filmmaker has taken her to over 90 countries where she has witnessed civil unrest and violence, but also surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. She has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a ...

    Photographers Published In the Story