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Faith

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Published Oct 13, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 27 Contributors

    27 photos selected by

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    conceptual shot of Oldman who is ill with his granddaughter hoping for his recovery

    #travel #blackandwhite #conceptual #yourshot

    I felt truly fortunate to edit such a meaningful Your Shot assignment. Every time I dived into a new pool of images, I saw touching definitions of what you believed in and what inspired you. And many of you also spoke eloquently in your captions and in your comments about your feelings. 

    Thankfully you never know this, but as I edit, I’m constantly talking to you, too. Encouraging you, scolding you, questioning you, praising you. To make the process more transparent, here’s a stream-of-consciousness glimpse into my mind.

    • This is a killer photo, but what does it have to do with faith? Sure, it’s refreshing to see a picture of a subway/fashion show/playground, and it definitely stands out from all the religious rituals, but the caption doesn’t mention anything relevant. Is it left over from a different assignment?
    • How great to see a funny picture—definitely mark that one.
    • Oh, that frame is so badly toned! It’s so oversaturated that it’s not even close to being believable.

    Early morning in Lhasa, Tibet. Out to catch the first rays of sunlight on the Potala Palace.

    #morning #people #light #culture #travel #sunlight #faith #faceless #anticipatethemoment

    Editor's Note

    The silhouette is an earthly weight breaking the wash of golden light over the sacred landscape.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    Jerusalem, Israel - November 13, 2011

    #jerusalem #portrait #westernwall

    Reading of the Tora by the the Western Wall

    I can only begin to wonder what this woman prays for under the dim glow of a single overhead ligh...

    #woman #church #jerusalem #prayer #faith #holy_sepluchre

    Editor's Note

    The cool palette of the blue light creates a sense of mystery around the figure of the person com... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    Beginning of loy krathong festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Buddhist monks release krathongs.

    #reflection #buddha #buddhist #monks #warer #bodhi #krathong #loy

    Editor's Note

    We’ve entered a magical world presided over by Buddha and his monks; the lanterns multiplied in the water create a cosmos of illumination.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    ancona votiva

    Editor's Note

    Mary’s infinitely compassionate gaze breaks through the shimmering layer separating divine from m... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    " Children are the breath I take each second of the day. They are reflections of me and I am refl...

    #unconditionaltrust #unconditional_love #mother_

    I connect to a higher vibration upon inner reflection. Transitioning with the world around me. ...

    #reflection #architecture #puddle

    Leaving the insides of our planet is always a stark transition; light to dark, cold to warm, mute...

    #cave #stalagmites #yemen #black_and_white #socotra #transitions

    Editor's Note

    Emerging from the darkness into the light. Light bathes the floor of the cavern to show us our path, and backlights tiny figures we can identify with.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    The Goddess that is worshipped during the famous Chhath Puja is known as Chhathi Maiya. Chhathi M...

    #sun #india #urban #women #worship #puja #goddess #hinduism #holywater #hindufestival #insideaccess

    Don’t you understand that it doesn’t matter how gorgeous this church interior is? I’ve seen dozens of them by now. True, I marked a few on the first day, but by day eight I can’t bring myself to favorite any more...

    Yes, I know this is a lovely picture of a flower/mosque/forest/baby, but a similar one happened to turn up on the same day, and sorry, but it was even more striking.

    That person isn’t looking at the camera, but he’s smiling in such a self-conscious way, it seems like he’s uncomfortable just because you’re there.

    Watch out for that wide-angle distortion!

    I think it’s wonderful that some of you are sending in your photos not to compete, but to share with your Your Shot friends.

    Women taking a holy dip in river Godawari on the occasion of chatt puja, India

    #holydip #chattpuja

    Editor's Note

    The translucent color and tendrils of incense give the image an otherworldliness, as if we are al... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    As the young girl bows in reverence, we wait to see what the new world will bring to our faith.

    #duomo #faith #milan

    Editor's Note

    Another surreal glimpse that forces us to look twice. The cathedral appears to hover over this devout young woman, as if dominating her consciousness.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    A baby being baptized. We inherit the faith of our parents, wether we want it or not. At that age...

    #religion #people #culture #baby #blackandwhite #baptized

    Banke Bihari Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, in the holy city of Vrindavan, in Holi this sma...

    #holi #devotion #faith #devotees #bankebihari #faith_assignment #banke_bihari_temple

    Pistoia, citta della cultura 2017

    #light #tuscany #lanterna #toscana #pistoia #francescatorracchi

    Editor's Note

    We’re floating up into the heavens, with the most distant lanterns morphing into tiny stars in th... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    Some tibetan Monks leave their monastery in Mundgod, South India.

    #india #buddhist #monks #tibet #monastery #mundgod

    A group of people walks on "El Zocalo" the main square in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. Ca...

    #water #reflection #religion #mexico #people #chiapas #hope #faith #latinamerica

    A group of nuns looking up observing the "Fresco" painting of Rafael "Disputation of the Holy Sac...

    #up #vatican #nuns

    Editor's Note

    With the angle looking upward, the ethereal light, and their flowing white robes, these nuns could be celestial beings in Raphael’s painting behind them.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    Young faith; to be centered and have blind trust in God. The expression through innocent every ac...

    #youngfaith

    This photograph was taken during a Hindu ritual called 'Dondi'.

    #faith #ritual

    Dhaka, Bangladesh

    #religion #dhaka #hindu__religion #muslim_bangladeshi #faith_assignment

    Editor's Note

    I was struck by the contrast between the two veiled figures – the gritty humanity of the face at ... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    This is my youngest daughter, looking through some old family photos. The photo she's holding is...

    #family #love #portraits #vintage #generations #antique #lifestyle #memories

    Monastery in Tibet

    Hawaii Big Island Volcanoes NP. A rather dangerous visit at the lava flow when you have to trust ...

    #landscape #people #hawaii #volcano #adventure #big_island #lavaflow

    Editor's Note

    The thin crust of lava creates a patterned backdrop for the cluster of people clustered together ... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    This shot was taken during the Shitala pujo in kolkata where these devotees seek blessings fro...

    #festival #people #culture #street #lowkey

    Editor's Note

    Flanked on either side by the columns of smoke, with other women forming another dimension behind her, the central figure is oblivious to us, but we are mesmerized by her, with her hidden face. T... More

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    A long dark corridor.. Smell of burnt oil, urine, smoke, staleness that smelled like death. The a...

    #prison #drcongo #zoran_marinovic

    Editor's Note

    Through the light illuminating his rapt face, we access in a personal way this pocket of faith in a Congo prison.

    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor

    Yes, this shaft of sunlight slicing the ocean looks uplifting, and the elderly pilgrim lighting the incense is a nice moment, but I’ve just seen too many similar frames over the last 20 years. And in the same way, there are Your Shot clichés I wasn’t aware of when I started editing: the hands in the shape of a heart, or hands framing baby toes, close-ups of book pages, or rings resting in the binding of an open book. I bet you know them all by now...

    Lucky for some of you that I’m not such a stickler for technical perfection—some of the frames I’m marking would never make it past my colleagues.

    I’m such a sucker for beautiful statues and paintings, but you can’t just walk up and document the art; your image has to transform it in some way—you have to add your voice, or I might as well buy a postcard.

    Love when you are imaginative like this—using reflections, shooting up or down to get a different perspective.

    These are the random thoughts that flew through my mind as I edited your faith images. Over the course of the assignment I selected over 600 images I liked, so it was tough to bring the published count down below 30. What did I look for? Depth of emotion always spoke to me, and there were times when the sheer spectacle of religious ceremony proved irresistible. The transformative power of light was often magical, and dramatic or surprising compositions always drew my eye.

    Thank you for sharing your intimate images and generous, heartfelt insights with all of us.

    About the Editor
    Elizabeth Krist
    Photo Editor
    Elizabeth Cheng Krist was a long-time photo editor with National Geographic. She curated the Women of Vision exhibition and book, as well as an auction for Christie’s. Krist has judged grants and competitions for Visura, PDN, Critical Mass, Aftermath, and the State Department, and with her colleagues has won awards ...

    Photographers Published In the Story