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Facing Your Fears

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Published Apr 19, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 21 Contributors

    22 photos selected by

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    Looking down 54 stories over Times Square.. what a thrill!

    #building #night #nyc #lights #york #above #square #rooftop #times #city #birds #street #nikon #new #tokina

    Watching the submissions come in for this assignment has been an incredible journey. You’ve taken me back to a turning point in my own life, when a college art project helped me face—and ultimately overcome—my lifelong fear of heights.

    Hang Son Doong, the world's largest cave. A man who is less afraid of heights than myself perches...

    #phong_nha_caves #phong_nha_ke_bang #vietnam #caves #caving #son_doong #hang_son_doong

    Editor's Note

    A classic silhouette in a classic cave. When I was there in 2010 we spent 13 days camped inside the cave and I got to spend my 30th birthday camped on the sand behind this rock. The rolling mist th... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    A full moon shepherds our party along the crevasse field en route to the summit of Rainier. Roped...

    #alpine #rainier #night #alpine_start #mountaineering #fear

    Editor's Note

    Great composition, and great colours and lighting. This is a beautiful frame. The sky behind adds another dimension. A dimension of intense atmosphere. Are we in a violent storm? Or are we on a vol... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    25 years ago my father woke up from anesthesia after surgery on both bars. He became immediately ...

    #death #health #sepsis #alexander_baier #surgery #art #hospital #heart #kunstmagazin

    Editor's Note

    I’m sorry to hear this story. The powerful nature of this photograph moves me from my office, from where I’m viewing this picture to the hospital bed and next to the women in the frame. From this i... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    No more fear ! Facing her fate, powerless, but the pregnant woman trusts that her life is enti...

    Editor's Note

    This is a great shot! I love the point of view. What happens next is not going to be enjoyable! The subject matter is strong and we all relate to this being a fear - a fear of pain and death. Very... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    Ophthalmology is the surgery performed on the eye or one usually associated by an ophthalmologist...

    #surgery #eyehospital #hospital #eyesurgery #eye

    Editor's Note

    Eye surgery makes me squint. We fear losing our sight as it is such an important sense. Here in this photograph the focus is so important. Thankfully what needs to be sharp and in focus is indeed i... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    The village people don't have the opportunity for electricity. As a result they suffered a lot un...

    #bangladesh #light #hope

    Editor's Note

    Vey well composed. This photograph offers a great light, a warm light of hope along with good drama and a great composition. I particularly like the cloak that hangs off the figure and the lantern ... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    It took a while, but I have finally learned to face my monsters. They can be scary, but so can I.

    #dark #monster #fear #freak

    Editor's Note

    In a portrait, I really want to feel and understand the person and by that I need to see into their eyes. Here, we can only see one, but the message it portrays is strong, personal and meaningful. ... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    This was shot at Nedungad,a remote area in Kochi, The places is really dark and no one stays ther...

    #ghost #people #longexposure

    Editor's Note

    Subtle and inoffensive - Soft long exposure helps increase the drama and adds gentle motion. The ghost like figure standing behind the one sitting works on a great level. Often I too feel like some... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    Moscow's Dostoevsky metro station. People rushing to work. But someone on the subway ...

    #ghost #street_fotography #art #subway #people

    Editor's Note

    This is good! I love this picture. While everyone is walking one way, up the steps and a little blurred, the man in the cape walks the other way against the flow. Is it a ghost, is it real? Great u... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    A self portrait inspired by the work of Francesca Woodman. There is an old abandoned house on ou...

    #vintage #blackandwhite #woman #portrait #eerie

    Editor's Note

    In a good photograph, there are many aspects that need to be considered to make it work and stand alone. Here we have the lot. The composition is spot on, the framing, the woman’s expression and po... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    While some people fear heights. My friend David conquers them and finds peace in the balancing ac...

    #outdoor #autumn #slackliner #belgium #adventure #heights #highlining

    Editor's Note

    I love how this is composed, the from above angle let's me know how far a fall would be here, which is a bit terrifying. Great work with the angle and I don't think you'll be seeing me try this act... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Ever since 3rd grade, when a bee climbed into my ear with a deafening buzz, I've been fearful of ...

    #nepal #danger #bees #traditions #people #culture #animals #fear

    Editor's Note

    As children, we are all told to avoid bees and wasps and that they can sting. This is a great subject matter that touches us all. Well done, for tackling that. The soft subtle colours that integrat... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    As a kid I was petrified of the dark and shadows especially at night ...I remember checking under...

    #letsexplore #shadows #strangethings #portrait #places #people #wall

    Editor's Note

    Nice. I appreciate how you have thought about this, understood the title of the assignment and composed such an image that captivates the essence of fear through shadows and monsters. I particularl... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    The sunken mine is an acoustic beast. Each drop of water has the potential to reverberate into a ...

    #cave #mine #kayak

    Editor's Note

    Huge fan of this frame. Often underground, simple lighting works the best and here you've achieved this perfectly. There is mystery and suspense written all over this photograph. When I look at thi... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    A strange meeting in the Greenwich foot tunnel.

    #thames #foot_tunnel #festival #street_photography #devil #fashion

    Editor's Note

    This is a nicely composed frame and one that fits the category perfectly well. Great costume.

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    This photo is a result of about 1000 photos I took in an abandoned, "haunted" hotel, in a tiny an...

    #abandoned #texas #remoteshutter #timer #hotel #haunted #offthebeatenpath #longexposure

    Editor's Note

    I was drawn to this frame time and time again. It really caught my eye. Both the location and the expression on the mans face tell a strong story. A fear of ghosts. You really have embraced this to... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    Some places, sometimes are always frightening to our mind like abandoned tunnel and the mystery o...

    #tunnel #facing_your_fears_assignment #black_and_white #fear

    Editor's Note

    Empty space - dark corridor into the unknown. This is a strong photograph. The black and white works well too. Leaving the corridor endless with a void of black works well. This is a technique I of... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    2014 we hiked to the famous Trolltunga in Norway. No way I was going to walk to the tip of this r...

    #landscape #destination #trolltunga #norway #hiking #europe #adventurous #adventure #people

    Editor's Note

    What a view to take in! Your caption reminds me that this would be a great entry for the Facing Your Fears assignment, you should think about submitting. I love how this was composed and shows that... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My fear is not in death but in the pain inflicted on those I would leave behind. My spirit holds ...

    #blue #light #water #wild #explore #travel #fear #sunset

    Editor's Note

    Great frame, great tones and a great use of soft subtle colours. It’s almost pale - those colours are fading away, as life is preparing to leave us only to be replaced by death and then there will ... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    © raffaele montepaone all rights reserved

    #hands #black_and_white #life #woman #portrait #people #photography #reportage

    Editor's Note

    Excellent and beautiful. This photograph really meets the criteria in a powerful and meaningful way. Growing old is a fear. I particularly like how you have used the small portrait picture showing ... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    leaving someone requires facing your fears of being alone.

    #facing_your_fears_assignment #emotions #woman #beauty #rain #glass #girl

    Editor's Note

    The sad emotion that’s felt when you leave someone behind is tough. I particularly like the subtle position the hand adopts on the glass window. One last touch, one final connecting moment before i... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    Some of the photographs have really explored the depths of your personal fears, an effort that has been the foundation for creating sets of beautiful images. I’ve been very impressed. My hope is that this experience, like the one I had in college, helped you overcome your personal fear. Speaking from experience, you can now look forward to a future where you are at one with yourself and your surroundings. Congratulations on that, and many thanks for participating in this assignment. Get ready for the next one!

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    About the Editor
    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer
    National Geographic photographer Robbie Shone is recognized as one of the most accomplished cave photographers in the world. He has hung on a thin rope while photographing 200m above the floor in the world’s deepest natural shaft and has explored the far ends of a 189 km long cave system. ...

    Photographers Published In the Story