How Close Can You Get?

Published Jul 30, 2014 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 39 Contributors

    39 photos selected by

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer
    • 0

    Charcoal production from coconut husks is a unique profession carried on for decades by these cha...

    #smoke #work #anticipatethemoment #labour #endpoverty #worker #thehumanstory #charcoal

    First of all, thank you to the Your Shot community, which is impressively engaged and committed. It’s inspiring to see so many folks out there who love photography and, regardless of skills and experience, use photography as part of their daily lives. It was also inspiring to see how many folks worked hard to apply themselves specifically to this assignment, producing at times original work of great quality and impact. And then there were those who looked back into their archives to find personal gems. Together, these impulses show how the power of photography continues to stimulate and move people to create and share images with one another. This assignment is particularly important to me, as it reflects my personal approach and, in a way, the human being I am. I love getting close to people and learning as much as I can about their lives. This not only helps me in my work, but it also informs the person I naturally am. I wonder how much you felt comfortable doing this assignment? Or did you feel challenged? Getting close in life and in photography isn't always easy.

    There were many touching, powerful, fun, weird, and interesting images submitted. What I was looking for were real moments, spontaneity, no eye contact by the subject with the camera, a sense of intimacy, and the feeling of being “inside” or “near” the subject and situation.

    A group of young male triathletes wearing blue swim caps wait for the start of their race in Auck...

    #portraits #candid #triathlon #d #children #boys #places #people #travel #new_zealand #swimmers #sport

    Editor's Note

    The light is painterly in this image. The faces body language and expressions of the kids is priceless and evokes a feeling of timelessness. The light blue caps in repetition is also an important aspect of what makes this image feel so light, airy and sweet.

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer

    I stumbled onto the Tartan Day Parade in midtown Manhattan a couple months ago. I saw the little ...

    #tartandayparade #street #nyc

    A traditional electric bus full of tourists in Lisbon.

    #window #bus #electrico #transportation #electric #lisboa #people #girls #smile #city

    A Sicilian family watch the Holy Week procession in Marsala

    #week #marsala #holy #sicily

    Family Kostic was very large family living in village Retimlje near Velika Hoca (Kosovo, Serbia)....

    #war #family #son #father #life #anger

    Editor's Note

    What a great character with a face that reflects a tough life. The moment and expression are excellent. The light is perfect and the composition exquisitely simple and perfect.

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer

    With a mixture of rain and a large spotlight, I captured an interesting design on my wife's face....

    #anticipatethemoment #painting #portrait #face #girl #blackandwhite

    My daughter loves to play hide and go seek but she is not too good at it. I'm still not sure how ...

    #childhood #girl #bush #hide #black_and_white

    Boys chase a van through Kenya's Machakos district, and one catches a ride on its bumper

    #window #children #boys #kenya #boy #road #van #view #africa

    a magic moment in the mirror

    #lipstick #woman #fashion #red

    Our driver in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, who played shingalese music in our trips and helped us in ever...

    #bw #sri_lanka #portrait #driver #sigiriya #tuk_tuk

    Life is a photographic project of Raffaele Montepaone, a young artist from Vibo Valentia, who can...

    #anticipatethemoment #woman #portrait #people #thehumanstory #black_and_white #reportage #life

    Editor's Note

    This image combines an effective use of foreground and background to tell a story, a great character, or "face" to convey emotion, a strong moment and lovely textures and tones.

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer

    The Kipsongo Slum is home to more than 13,000 displaced Turkana and Pokot people who live on only...

    #kipsongoslum #survivingkipsongo #kenya #kitale

    Editor's Note

    This image has an unearthly quality. The expression, the face, the pose, the positioning of the subject in the midst of the green, with a dramatic sky, the excellent production of this image all combine to make a compelling, storytelling image. I want to know what's going on, why she's doing this and who s... More

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer

    Holding my father's hand as he lay dying. It was clenched tightly into a fist. All I could do was...

    #death #dying #family #love #deathbed

    Niki's Dad, Bud, breaks down en route to the church to give away his little girl on her wedding ...

    #tears #daughter #joy #love #wedding #father #emotion #compassion #empathy

    A team lifts a portable shrine house, known as a mikoshi, into the air during the Gion Matsuri in...

    #shrine #matsusaka #festival #gion_matsuri #japan #gion_festival

    Unique hot spring in Jigokudani, near Nagano, Japan, hosts japanese macaques warming up in hot wa...

    #winter #hotspring #love #greatnature #nagano #animal #japanesemacaques #snowmonkeys #japan

    It always amazes me despite their quarrels during the day, they always seek each other at night f...

    #together #family #portrait #love #close

    I wanted to explore the effects of color in its pure state and observe its interaction with the e...

    #crystal #powder #color #miller

    Editor's Note

    This is one of the few very closeup images I chose for the final edit, because it combines an angelic like face, great colors and texture, a thought provoking expression and begs the viewer to learn more about what is going on.

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer

    In the summer of 2012 I went to work as a photographer for an all boys camp called Camp Choconut....

    #bw #eyes #look #stare #boy #intense

    the photo was taken at sylhet, BD.

    #sylhet #portraits #eyes #stranger #people #elderly_women_1 #elderly_women

    I asked her if I could take a portrait and she let me.

    #street #portrait #photography #people #black_and_white

    I was visiting the town of Pisac, Peru and noted the two women outside of their home. We struck u...

    #people #peru

    Every 24 May the small seaside town of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer hosts the Gitan Pilgrimage. "...

    #camargue #horses

    this was taken at Shakharibazar,Dhaka,Bangladesh on the ocassion of Holi !

    #bangladesh #portrait #festival #people #excitement #culture #holi #color #life

    SANT QUINTI DE MEDIONA, SPAIN - JUN 22: Correfoc performance Jun 22, 2013 in Sant Quinti de Medio...

    #catalonia #catalan #celebration #correfoc #fire

    A joyous mother and daughter are reunited with their father/husband at an airport after he was r...

    #hostage

    As time goes by, many things change. But other remain the same.

    #happiness #family #love #smile

    They were about to take her down the hall to surgery and she was terrified. After a week in the h...

    #sick #how #hugging #surgery #child #illness #fear #childrens_hospital #hospital

    My son made a beautiful necklace at summer camp and he wanted to show it off. The location was e...

    #portrait #blackandwhite

    Editor's Note

    The lighting is very strong in this image, and the pose and use of the beads across his eyes makes for a mysterious moment. I love the impressionistic background, that further lends a surreal quality to this picture.

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer

    Residents of artist's studios are relaxing with friends. People are often looking for a sense of...

    #confort #friendship #love #warm

    Gymnastics team in between routines.

    #gymnastics #kids

    The ritual that we are about to touch on is called DONDI. It is a ritual of Hindus, performed on ...

    #from_above #explore #dondi #spirit #people #rituals #reflection #travel #hindu_goddess #voodoo

    Editor's Note

    What a moment! What a composition! The reflections of the figures in the background, her pose, my gosh this is one of the most striking and beautiful images I've seen in a while. Yet, even in this close up moment of a human being who is vulnerable and exposed, I feel her dignity and beauty preserved. Magic!

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer

    Students of acting during the pause between two parts of the play "Two lovers on underground rail...

    #people #black_and_white

    The best of the bunch achieved at least some if not all of these qualities. What didn’t work as effectively were images made with a long lens to make it seem like you were close. Or when folks got physically close without really capturing a feeling or mood. I’m all about emotions, composition, layered worlds created by using the visual language of photography. How can we use this very limited frame to create stories and characters—and use this universal language to speak to one another.

    This was taken at a market in Mumbai, India. In the middle of the buzzling market, this mother an...

    #slum #market #povertyinindia #people #mumbai

    I saw these sibling sharing a small bench as their bed in the middle of a local market at Cebu in...

    #cebu #market_street #street_candid #people #life

    The lamentation of a mother abandon by her children. Her very expression seems to ask: "What have...

    #mother #abandon #old

    This photo was taking in the final days before my mothers death from cancer. Although my mother w...

    #death #family #love

    Huong, 62 year old widow, shaving for her son, Dai, 33 years old. Homeless, they've been living u...

    #jamesduong #homeless

    Editor's Note

    This is one of the strongest photojournalistic images from the assignment, where the photographer was obviously in a very intimate situation with a subject that has a story to tell yet requires maintaining his dignity. The composition is very effective, by placing the main subject in the bottom right corne... More

    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer

    Many of you submitted beautiful portraits, which I did not respond to to the same degree, as that wasn’t the assignment. But some of the portraits were stunning, and I did include a few. I also tended to avoid portraits in which there was eye contact with the camera. I was really looking for candid moments, which meant some very beautiful images were not in the final selection because they seemed setup or posed. That is fine and is a part of the language and among the approaches of photography, but for this assignment I really wanted to see the magic of a captured, candid moment from close range or one that evoked a feeling of being close.

    About the Editor
    Ed Kashi
    National Geographic Photographer
    Ed Kashi is an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker who has produced 17 stories for National Geographic magazine. A pioneer in multimedia, Kashi has worked in video and film for more than a decade, documenting the social and political issues that define our times. His images have been published and exhibited ...