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The Equinox

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Published Apr 4, 2016 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 19 Contributors

    19 photos selected by

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    Holi is a festival of colours celebrated in spring with such fervour and enthusiasm, matched only...

    #colours #holi #celebration #vrindavan

    When I looked through the initial submissions, my first inclination was to choose images that had high aesthetic values. Next, I evaluated how much the image related to the assignment and illustrated the concept of the equinox. The best pictures hit that sweet spot of combining both attributes into a single image.

    There was certain subject matter that many contributors favored for this assignment. Certainly flowers, birds, and sunsets are a part of the arrival of spring and the day of the equinox. If you choose one of these subjects, you must try to do them in a unique way, as they are so often photographed in a straightforward manner. Unusual angles, compositions, or lighting help, but thinking of new ideas or situations is probably the best way to stand out in a crowded field. On a technical level, many submitted photographs taken with high ISO could have benefited from noise reduction. Many also lacked shadow detail and toning that could have enhanced the mood and presentation of the finished image.

    Engetsudo - Equinox Sunset - Engetsu is an uninhabited island in the Rinka Inlet in Nanki Shir...

    #sun #equinox #sunrise #spring #water #moonlight #sunrisethismorning #moon #culture #sunset

    Editor's Note

    The most significant fact of the equinox is that the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west. The photographer was able to line up this sunset on the equinox to illustrate the du... More

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    In morning of the Vernal Equinox Day, I was visiting the mountain of Tochigi in Japan. There was...

    #japan #paperbush #yellow #oriental_paperbush #mitsumata #sunlight #flower #forest

    Editor's Note

    The oriental paperbush flowers in full bloom are accentuated by the nice backlighting to create a magical mood.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    Those magnolia flowers are like butterflies, awakening the spring. They are about to fly around a...

    #spring #theequinoxassignment #photooftheday #flowers #theequinox #magnolia

    Editor's Note

    Trees in bloom, especially cherry trees, were favorite subjects of many contributors. This image of magnolia flowers stood out for the unusual angle and composition as well as the delicate tones in... More

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    Spring is a time of new growth and flowering cherry, apple and plum trees. But in my household, i...

    #spring #equinox_assignment #flowers #plum_blossoms #feathers #nature

    Editor's Note

    This creative illustration of the equinox uses two elements of the season collected by the photographer: molted cockatoo feathers and plum blossoms.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    Early evening light of 2016's vernal equinox backlit one of South Dakota's state flowers, the pas...

    #evening #equinox #gossamer #pasqueflower #spring #southdakota #wildflower #pasque #flower #sunset

    Editor's Note

    The warm evening backlighting on the spider gossamer of the pasque flower, the state flower of South Dakota, evokes the coming of spring to the landscape of the American Plains.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    First day of spring know as The Equinox is always a happy time for those in the harsher areas lik...

    #summer #animalsspringdog

    Editor's Note

    This dog’s-eye viewpoint of a park on a spring day also projects the dog’s joy and pleasure in the sunshine and warmth of the changing season.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    Living in Montreal Canada the winters are long and cold with lots of ice and snow the spring is w...

    #sun #equinox #outdoor #ice #spring #water #clouds #nature #waterscape #sunset

    Editor's Note

    This landscape of a lake in Montreal, Canada, shows that, at this latitude, winter is starting to thaw on the equinox but spring has not yet arrived. The partially melted ice tells the story.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    This is a macro shot of spring moss started to flowering. It resembles a Zen bamboo garden. Shot ...

    #macro #colors #followtheyellowborder #moss

    Editor's Note

    Getting down at the level of the moss to show the new flowering of spring resulted in a graphic macro photo of a miniature forest.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    A shy little black & white guy enjoying lunch. Taken in the Blue Mountains Botanical Gardens, NSW...

    #colour #wildlife #bird #fauna #birds #gardens #botanical #flower #flora #nature #of #blast

    Editor's Note

    Birds and flowers were among the favorite subjects for this assignment. This photo combined the two with good technique and minimal distractions in the background.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    This morning was very excited I was at 05:30 up I of the Kirazli village in about an hour away fr...

    #equinox #sunrise #ngmadventure #spring #natgeoinspires #sunrisethismorning #landscapes #nature

    Editor's Note

    Nice composition and light make this a special landscape photo of a Turkish village at sunrise on what looks like a cool spring morning. The ground fog and shine on the foreground leaves help maint... More

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    first sunny day after long time with warm wind and snow is started to melt

    #winter #equinox #footsteps #snow #triangle #the

    Editor's Note

    The lighting is a little flat, but the feeling of a least a little sunshine signaling the end of ... More

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    The sound of lawnmowers in the distance, the smell of fresh cut grass carried in the soft breeze,...

    #the_equinox_assignment

    perfect 1st day of spring

    #fun #activities #spring #equinox_assignment #people

    Mother and son watching the Sunset on March 20, the Equinox. Silhouettes have been my favorite si...

    #equinox #mother_son #sillhouette #natgeoinspires #followme #people #march20 #sunset #nature

    Editor's Note

    An unusual dark, urban feel penetrates what often is a cliché scene of a couple looking into the sunset. The young boy has a sense of wonderment about the equinox sunset while the mother/adult seem... More

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    Budda meditating on Snow

    #snow #budda #meditation

    life is always standing until the last breath, in any harmonious gesture, be aware...

    #bnw #equinox_assignment #equinox_flower #newyork #diningtable #daffodil_flowers #egg

    at dawn the neighborhood was quiet, as the sun came out beautiful colors appeared in the sky, the...

    #equinox #utah #colors #neighborhood

    Crossing from winter to spring...

    #equinox #sunrise #oklahoma #east

    Editor's Note

    The special nature of the sun alignment on the equinox is displayed with nice symmetry and balance.

    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer

    Hopefully focusing on the equinox for a day helped deepen your understanding about the cycles of nature. This knowledge can be useful to a nature photographer beyond just photographing on the equinox. Using photography to illustrate a somewhat abstract theme like the equinox is a good measure of the maturity level of a photographer. Most beginners grapple with understanding the technical aspects of the medium. It is only after feeling comfortable with the camera settings and equipment that you can begin to focus on the personal approach that can unlock the creative potential of photography. Photographing a theme or idea makes the photographer look inward, which is always a good exercise for an artist.

    Learn more from Nat Geo photographer Peter Essick in his related blog posts on photographing the equinox.

    About the Editor
    Peter Essick
    National Geographic Photographer
    Recently named one of the 40 most influential nature photographers in the world by Outdoor Photographer, Peter Essick has spent the last two decades photographing natural areas around the world, revealing in careful compositions the spiritual and emotional aspects of nature. A frequent contributor to National Geographic, his work has ...

    Photographers Published In the Story