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Dear Future Generations,

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Published Sep 18, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 30 Contributors

    30 photos selected by

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A young pioneer in North Korea is being carefully prepared for being photographed.

    Dear future generations,

    We are Your Shot, National Geographic’s community of more than 800,000 photographers who represent 195 countries. I hope the following portfolio of photographs and stories reveal to you our chapter in humankind's history — from what we love, to what we want to preserve for you. If you're reading this, I hope we've embraced our responsibility to successfully protect our planet for you to enjoy just as we have. Because you are our children and grandchildren, you are our legacy—and we love you.

    This long exposure picture was taken to show the movement of crowd after breaking their day long ...

    #evening #mosque #worshippers #fastingmonth #friday #delhi #iftar #people #india #holy #ramadan

    Editor's Note

    Wonderful use of long exposure to accent the movement of the crowd. But what I really love is the sole individual taking a picture on his smartphone, because now this photo documents more than just... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Not far from the southern shore of Hong Kong Island, there's a small scenic island called Lama. T...

    #life_at_the_waterfront #paradise #lost

    Editor's Note

    This photo perfectly illustrates a future world if we are not careful in preserving mountains, rivers, wetlands, forests, beaches, oceans, etc. dedicated solely to enjoying and experiencing its bea... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    It´s Monday afternoon, Mekdi wanted to have a warm bath, it´s cold today. Irene gives her some co...

    #blackandwhite #everyday #family #home

    Editor's Note

    I love how intimate the frame feels, that you're capturing an everyday moment in your family's life. I like how your daughters are not engaging, that they are both in their own worlds. Then I reall... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My home town from a view across the tiny lake on its edge. I no longer live in this little villag...

    #night #wisconsin #reflection #stars #water #makemarshome #cazenovia #lake #letsexexplore #ngmh2o

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful use of reflection to create a fantastic frame Eric. Everything feels so quiet; I can almost hear the crickets and frogs. But what I really love is this line in your caption: "When I close... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Reminiscence of its past,hand pulled rickshaw still continue to be on the roads making their pres...

    #century #life #relive #morning #memories #rickshaw #kolkata #culture #calcutta

    Editor's Note

    This is so beautiful Debraj. I love your decision to present this photo in black and white; this frame feels so timeless. I want to believe you saw this scene unfolding in front of your camera, and... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    In a modern consumer society there are two kinds of slaves- the prisoners of addiction and the pr...

    #capitalism #consumer #dailydozen #goods #globalization #consumption #supermarket #economy

    Editor's Note

    Fantastic Jasmine. I love how you've shot this scene from above; look at all these carefully organized options for the consumer. Meanwhile, there are so many around the world going hungry. The gap ... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    While taking a connecting flight from city of Doha (Qatar), as I looked outside the plane window,...

    #landscape #island #letsexplore #blue #earthcanvas #ocean #city #aerial #places #sky #travel #nature

    Editor's Note

    I can not believe that The Pearl-Qatar is an artificial island. I love that you're sharing an aerial perspective, exhibiting the grandeur of this man-made achievement. This is unbelievable. There i... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Dear future generations, I hope that at your time there is no need to build fences in order to pr...

    #jerusalem #dear_future_generations #rachel_tomb

    Editor's Note

    I agree with you: "I hope that [in future generations] there is no need to build fences in order to protect [ourselves] from terror." I hope that one day we can tear down the walls that separate us... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A brief pause between dances at Sundance Stompede, an annual country-western LGBTQ and all-inclus...

    #silhouette #country #lgbtq #western #ballroom #dance

    Editor's Note

    I love your use of silhouette Lois. So smart. You've simplified a busy scene. I love how my eye starts with the two men talking in the middle of the frame; I find myself analyzing their body langua... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Dear Future Generations, learn from our mistakes. We hold vigils for victims of incomprehensible ...

    #candlelight #life #vigil #people #culture

    Editor's Note

    So powerful Lenny. I love the thoughtfulness of your note to future generations. I love the way you've composed your frame, which can be used to illustrate any number of recent hate-filled attacks ... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    KOUNSAR NAAG is one of the Kashmir's fresh water high altitude lake which provides drinking water...

    #peolpe #kashmir #environmental_concern #wild #mountains #lake #nature #controversy

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful portrait Shafqat. Thank you for writing a detailed caption, because what I really love is how your photo illustrates two larger themes: 1) clean drinking water 2) religious tolerance. I l... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. Over 50% of the lake...

    #drought #weather #dearfuturegenerations #greatsaltlake #myclimateaction

    Editor's Note

    Without your caption, this is still a beautiful photo. But with your detailed caption, describing the issue of climate change and its relevance to the pictured Great Salt Lake, this photo now becom... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This disaster in 2016 in the Great Smoky Mountains could of been prevented. The Gatlinburg fire k...

    #landscape #wildfire #smokys #nationalpark #colorful #newfoundgap #outdoors #gsmnp #travel #sunset

    Editor's Note

    As an avid backpacker, the story in your caption makes me sad. Why would someone be so irresponsible and ignorant? As a photographer, the beauty you've created from this terrible disaster makes me ... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    In one point we must think about not cutting off all the trees. Especially is big problem defores...

    #autumn #estonia #timber #drone #aerial #places #landscapes #massacre #travel #forest #nature

    Editor's Note

    I love your decision to shoot an aerial; your composition is fantastic, splitting the frame between cut and uncut trees. You've successfully photographed a frame that perfectly illustrates our glob... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This photo depicts the huge problem we have with waste in 2017. The rubbish from this lorry is be...

    Editor's Note

    What a powerful photograph to illustrate the global issue of waste. I love your composition Alex. By including the lone person on top, you've given me a sense of scale to the amount of trash in fro... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Dear Future Generations. We had large bodies of ice called glaciers. This is Perito Moreno Glacie...

    #peritomoreno #protecttheselands #glacier #dearfuturegenerations #bestoftheworld

    Editor's Note

    This is so beautiful. I love the letter you wrote to the future generations; it feels so personal. You make me care — which makes your epic photo more meaningful. I love how wide you've shot this f... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I captured this image on the last evening I was in Kenya's Masai Mara National Park last week. It...

    #wildlife #kenya #africa #silhouettes #wilderness #animals #nature #sunset #giraffess

    Editor's Note

    This is fantastic Julia. I love the layers of animal silhouettes — I can barely make some out in the far, far distance. I also agree with you that, "I hope with every part of me that this beautiful... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Group of cousins and friends love spending time playing board games during the holiday. No comput...

    #summertime #board_game #bw #black_and_white #boardgames #games #friends

    Editor's Note

    I love how everyday and intimate your photo is Monika. And what makes your frame even more special is that in 100 years, every single person in this group of cousins and friends could still be aliv... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I had a day in SF before driving over to Yosemite, and I wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge. It...

    #sanfranccisco #waters #waves #california #surf #surfing #ocean #water #beach #nature #sunset

    Editor's Note

    This is so beautiful Nicholas. What a wonderful way to spend the day, watching surfers and waiting on the sunset. I love the light and use of sun flares; they help make for a magical scene. I hope ... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    For years, I thought it would be a good idea to hang a hammock in this location. Turns out I was ...

    #summer #california #valley #hiking #backpacking #camping #hills #adventure #hammock #sunset

    Editor's Note

    As I type this Editor's Note, I am working on my laptop which is connected to a computer monitor, while my TV is on the NFL channel as I get the latest updates for my fantasy football matchup toda... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Fountain Park is a very famous location residing in Sultan Qaboos University Compound. I remember...

    #d810 #oman #nikkor #colors #muscat #1635f4 #clouds #fountain #longexposure #sunset

    Editor's Note

    Though your photo feels a little oversaturated, I find myself letting it slide because of the nostalgia in your caption. Now the vibrancy of colors in your frame is because we are part of your memo... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I do really hope that future generations will remember that there is a magnificent free show goin...

    #sun #daughter #child #dearfuturegenerations #portrait #people #landscapes #sky #girl #nature #sunset

    Editor's Note

    I agree with Your Shot photographer Birgith Norelli: "I love your story and how [you] executed it: the soft light, her dreaming eyes, very poetic, and really [reminding] me to do the same." I love ... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    We all have a story that is still unfolding, my best ones start with the Mountains. I left this p...

    #winter #landscape #hidden #snow #canon #hand #mountains #lake #print #nature

    Editor's Note

    It is so cool that you left a print for someone to find... I wonder if it is still there, have you looked recently? Hopefully if someone from the future generation finds your gift, this landscape s... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Dear future generations, our earth is not single use. From a chance encounter with a disposable c...

    #dive #manta #scuba #empathy #protecttheselands #ocean #blackandwhite

    Editor's Note

    I agree with Your Shot photographer Jerry Nichols: "I really like the simplicity, symmetry, and yin-yang look to this image... very elegant." I also appreciate you writing a thoughtful caption Kimb... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Traditional Tongan dance. Cultures and people change and develop. Some traditions survive and ot...

    #tradition #tonga #fire #dance

    Editor's Note

    Fantastic energy in your frame, which stopped me as I was editing this assignment — there is a flame on the person's tongue! I appreciate you writing a thoughtful caption, which further helps me un... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    When poachers kill adult elephants for ivory, the young ones are usually left desperate and unlik...

    #kenya #safari #africa #saveourelephants #game #ivory #mara #jumbo #reserve #elephants

    Editor's Note

    It is because of organizations like the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that our future generations will be able to witness the majesty of the animals that roam our planet. I love the way this baby elepha... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    We were lucky enough to spend a few days on my friends farm in Northern Alberta this Summer. My ...

    #dirt #handpicked #garden #carrots

    Editor's Note

    This is so beautiful Karlee. Fantastic use of the sun as a backlight. I love how composed this frame, making it more about the carrots than your daughter, about the need for future generations to l... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Dear future generation I think the most valuable lessons we can learn are those Mother Nature tea...

    #meaningful #son #tattoo #mother #selfportrait #solareclipse

    Editor's Note

    This is really beautiful Shelby. I love how you've connected yesterday's solar eclipse to motherhood in such a thoughtful pairing of photo and caption. This moment feels so intimate, like I am witn... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This is my son, who loves being my muse, in everything I try. He is the future. Children are our ...

    #future #world #generation #blackandwhite #eyes #children #portrait #people #space

    Editor's Note

    This is so beautiful Sarah. I love how tight your portrait is; I love that I am looking right into his eyes. Which makes your caption even more intimate, and thoughtful. I hope you share this photo... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    To the Your Shot community, especially everyone who submitted to this assignment, I applaud your effort. Again, you have exceeded my expectations, and I love it. I love seeing you encourage each other on the discussion board, especially BEFORE submitting to the assignment. Together we will help each other mature into better photographers and more thoughtful storytellers. Together as the Your Shot community, through each assignment and photo you upload, we are documenting and sharing the stories of our world for future generations. Because you never know, one day 100 years from now, maybe the next generation of the Your Shot community will look back at our work to study and analyze the way we live, just like the National Gallery of Art " East of the Mississippi" exhibition that inspired this assignment. And that possibility is very exciting.

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    About the Editor
    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
    Before joining the Your Shot team, I covered the White House for Time and Newsweek, and served as an official photographer for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. I also started The Waiting List, a non-profit storytelling project featuring people connected by the decision to say yes to the gift of ...

    Photographers Published In the Story