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My Best Photos of 2017

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Published Jan 16, 2018 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 34 Contributors

    34 photos selected by

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer
    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Sema is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi as well as of Turkish custom, histor...

    #sema #blackandwhite #turkey #nikon

    Wow! What a wonderful portfolio of images taken in 2017! You have submitted a variety of stunning images, covering an amazingly wide range of subject matter. Together, we explored the world with stunning landscapes, beautiful wildlife, amazing insects, and moments of human connection. In the end, the photographs we selected for this final story had something extra special — they grabbed us, they shook us. Our favorite photos surprised us, either showing us something we have never seen before, or something we have seen many times, but now in a new and different way.

    In absence of parental care and supervision, baby catfish hatched in muddy water appear to find c...

    #black_and_white #nature

    Editor's Note

    You have successfully produced a mysteriously beautiful frame of baby catfish hatching. I love that you composed with ample empty white space on the right, balancing out the blackness from the many... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A Rohingya baby mins after being born in one of the temporary refugee camps in Ukhia district of ...

    #bangladesh #photojournalism #born #camp #baby #rohingya #ukhia #shantanu #refugee #new #saha

    Editor's Note

    This is a well composed photo sharing a tender moment in the caring of a newborn — and then when I find out the baby was born in a refugee camp, I care even more. Over half a million Rohingya peopl... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I was home for an unexpected year and Mom and Dad were there to take care of me like ten years ha...

    #wind #sea #mom #blackandwhite #candid #wander #oregon #portrait #travel

    Editor's Note

    I remember your photo from the "Because of Her" assignment, it almost made the final story. So I am really happy to see that you submitted to this assignment. The way your mom's hair is blowing acr... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    She stayed there for almost half an hour, not moving, analyzing every single image of her beloved...

    #person #bangkok #minimalism #highkey #architecture #lines #museum #alone #thailand

    Editor's Note

    Fantastic Gloria. Just like the subject in your photo, I too stared and analyzed. You've done an excellent job taking advantage of the repetition in the patterns created by the architecture AND exh... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    The Flamingoes in the mangrove lake ... The early morning shot with minimal light, da...

    #light #birds #mangroves #flamingo #nature

    Editor's Note

    This image is a piece of art. I would love to hang this on my wall! The black background of the mangroves and the way the light is falling on the beautiful flamingoes creates a stark setting that r... More

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    A beautiful, steamy, winter solstice in Yellowstone national park. Yellowstone in the winter is u...

    #winter #landscape #nationalpark #snow #adventure #places #yellowstone #travel #nikon #nature

    Editor's Note

    A wonderful landscape image that just exudes beauty. The mist hanging in the midst of the stark trees and the glint of sunlight on the water takes the image to another level. Well done!

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    These boys were born a year apart, and have been best friends ever since I can remember. They're ...

    #cute #fun #water #kids #cousins #stream #childhood #camping #boys

    Editor's Note

    The body language in this image is really tender and beautiful. I love how the boys' backs repeat the pattern of the rocks in the background.

    Amy Toensing
    National Geographic Photographer

    Spotted deer run away when they feel danger and then they hide. After few minutes they come out.

    #wildlife

    Editor's Note

    The deer sure seems to be on alert from the look on it's face. This is a great quiet moment as we're face to face with the deer and isolated from the rest of the world. Love the black and white ton... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Photo took while the sardine-run, on the indian ocean coast of South Africa.

    #ocean #neverstopexploring #feast #southafrica #explore #travel #sardinerun #indianocean #nature

    Editor's Note

    Wow. This must have been an amazing scene to witness; I love how wide you shot this image, revealing the number of birds in the area feeding on sardines. I love how some birds are circling above, o... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    An arid sand desert as far as the eye can see ... covered with crystal clear water. A strange cre...

    #crystal #ocean #water #freediving #sand #beach #woman #flooded #desert #clear

    Editor's Note

    I love it Marc. This is so beautiful. I love the mystery of someone "walking" under the sea. Your photo feels like a still frame from a dystopian sci-fi movie. I hope this is not "the future of hum... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Milky Way rises above rice terraces, Sáng Nhù, Mù Cang Chải, Vietnam

    #astro_landscape #mucangchai #hoanglinhphotography #milkyway #landscapes

    Editor's Note

    Very beautiful image. I’ve see so many starry sky photographs but this one, with the curve of the terraces makes it rise above the rest! Nice job!

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    Beauty is found in the simplest of ways. Things that are considered mundane and normal can still ...

    #colour #letsexplore #night #light #windows #life #city #exposure #drone #street #urban #long

    Editor's Note

    Great seeing Gary. I love the reflection of the city in the windows. I agree with Your Shot photographer Lawrence David Moon, who commented, "Fabulous image, and so precise in its geometry of line.... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My son being incredibly bored inside during these cold winter days. I was actually standing at o...

    #basketball #lifestyle #windowlight #boy

    Editor's Note

    I love how this frame feels like you've paused a moment in time Angee. I can feel how incredibly bored your son is. Keep documenting intimate and every day moments like this — you will have a beaut... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    We had two boy cousins stay the week with us. The energy level in the house sky rocketed in the ...

    #getoutside #familydocumentary #morning #cousins #childhood #family #energy #boys #boy

    Editor's Note

    There's so much to like about this image. The moment is excellent, as is the placement of each subject who is heading out the door. I love the light that is pouring in from the open door and the lo... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I scouted a location with the intention of photographing fireflies. Unfortunately the location wa...

    #multipleexposures #lighteningbugs #nightphotography #fireflies #longexposure #nature

    Editor's Note

    This is such a dreamy image! You saw a magical scene and worked to capture it beautifully. I appreciate that you were transparent in how you captured the image - with multiple exposures. Magical ph... More

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    I captured this moment in #SaintPetersburg right after leaving the subway on a workday. "Outside ...

    #winter #cold #snow #city #street #balloon #snowfall #travel #russia

    Editor's Note

    I remember seeing this photo somewhere on Instagram, and thinking to myself, "That's a Your Shot photo!" I was so happy that another editor also loved this photo. The anticipation of the moment bui... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    These kids live beside my house. Many a times I have noticed that after they return from school, ...

    #play #yourshot #shadows #light #child #shadow #blackandwhite #lookoutside #daily_dozen #india

    Editor's Note

    This image has great energy and is really interesting to look at. Love the shadows.

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    Before leaving Australia, I wanted to take a picture of a kangaroo on a beach. What better place ...

    #kangaroos

    Editor's Note

    Awesome Khai. I forwarded your photo to the National Geographic magazine social team to be considered for their Caption This feature on Facebook; they emailed back, referencing "Dirty Dancing" :) I... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Those of you that follow me know that one of my favorite things to photograph are the Oklahoma Ci...

    #chasingmoments #chasingmomentsassignment #child #oklahoma #animal #people

    Editor's Note

    This is a really powerful image. The gorilla peering at the little girl as he looms over her shoulder. Fascinating dynamic going on here with tons of mystery. Nice job!

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    Our earth is not single use. From a chance encounter with a disposable cup, to a love that's give...

    #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

    Camel rock, a famous seascape photographic spot at Bermagui, New South Wales, Australia. However,...

    #rock #flow #camelrock #bermagui #sea #ocean #newsouthwales #australia #seascape #nature #storm

    Editor's Note

    Stunning landscape stunning image! Excellent use off all your tools to create a dynamic and gorgeous image. Using a slow shutter speed to capture the silky movement of the water makes the image co... More

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    A boy chases after a drone filming the vicuña Chaccu festival. This festival is held before shear...

    #people #culture #peruandespunochaccuvicunafestivalboychildplay

    Editor's Note

    There is so much joy in the boy's face — and I love it! What a beautiful moment. His happiness makes me happy, and I imagine him tirelessly running around, chasing the drone (which is probably maki... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    On the mountain trail. Milena was collecting sticks and jumped on the stones. She did not look at...

    #child #children_unplugged #unplugged #girl #forest #nature #on_the_way #fighter

    Editor's Note

    What a wonderful portrait that says so much about Milena. The photograph captures her toughness and the angle - from below - makes us sense how heroic she is. Well done!

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    Satu Mare market. Just one woman was apparently having her break smoking her cigarette. And in t...

    #weding #dress #market #romania2017 #live

    Editor's Note

    Great seeing Dzintra — I love how the arrow on the left points to the wedding dress in the middle of the frame... then my eye moves to the woman behind the fence. My imagination begins to create a ... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    It was a quiet morning in Masai Mara, Kenya when we found a male lion and were taking photos of i...

    #blackrhino #wildlife #masaimara #kenya #africa #bigfivekenya #rhino #nature #bigfive

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful way to show these amazing creatures!

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    I took this picture of my best friend's family: his wife, his boston terrier, the shoes of his up...

    #family #street #geometry

    Editor's Note

    Love it! Really creative way to do the assignment. Symmetry and humor! Well done!

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    A couple searching for a nice place to be photographed in this misty dark forest, in Terceira Isl...

    #lantern #azores #couple #darkforest #dark #mist #trees #forest #fog

    Editor's Note

    I love the mysterious mood in your frame; it feels like a scene from a fairytale and my overactive imagination finds itself creating a narrative about who these two are, what are they doing and why... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Dear future generation, I hope we will still be able to see the Arctic wildlife as we do now. It ...

    #polar_bear #climate_change #wildlife #drone #naturephotographeroftheyear #arctic

    Editor's Note

    I love the perspective in your frame, I feel the polar bear stretching to get to the other side without going into the water. I agree with Your Shot photographer April Nocifora, who commented, "Thi... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This picture represents for me the contemporary issues of the human being towards the nature who'...

    #streetphotgaphy #streetlife #underground #blackandwhite #montreal #metro #people #animals

    Editor's Note

    Fantastic composition. Your photo makes me smile. I agree with Your Shot photographer Sydney Harter, who commented, "The giraffe seems to be trying to get the attention of the unconscious man!! Bri... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    the shallow sandy area of ​​Darwin Island, current was very strong. That time was bad visibility,...

    #galapagos2017 #hammerhead_shark #underwater2017

    Editor's Note

    I love how wide you shot the frame to reveal all the sharks swimming nearby — and since you shot this with a 35mm, they weren't that far away from you... The bad visibility played into your favor, ... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Bhutan is the only country in the world that professes the tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism (Dru...

    #monastery #bhutan2017 #bumthang #bhutan #architecture #jakar #buddhist_monk #people #travel

    Editor's Note

    Great layering and a wonderful example of a photographer controlling chaos to produce a really nice image. Careful with the heavy use of processing….it can take away from the authentic feel of an i... More

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer

    President-elect Donald J. Trump stands on the platform of the Capitol during the 58th Presidentia...

    Editor's Note

    Ever four years, ever American citizen gets the opportunity to vote for his or her next president. I believe this is our greatest tradition, and responsibility as an American citizen. I love how yo... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I am pregnant. The adventure begins. An adventure full of joy and agonies. First you see a dot an...

    #bnw #love #adventure #people #ultrasound

    Editor's Note

    Visually this might not be the strongest image, but what I love is the story behind the photo, and the journey you describe — so it still might be your best of 2017. I really love how it connects w... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    We each selected our seventeen favorites — in honor of 2017 of course! — for a total of thirty-four images. After you enjoy those, be sure to check out the editors’ favorites from this assignment. Take the time to like and comment on your favorite images from your fellow Your Shot photographers.

    We plan to repeat this assignment in December 2018 for “My Best Photos of 2018,” so have a great year shooting. Our mission is to inspire you to become better photographers and more thoughtful storytellers, so we urge you participate in each Your Shot assignment, even if it is outside your comfort zone. Go out and shoot new pictures rather than submitting the same photos again. Take advantage of the discussion board, and ask the community for feedback and advice before submitting. Support and motivate each other. Practice, practice, practice. You will only get better if you keep shooting. And then this December 2018, you’ll have some amazing — and new — photos to submit to the “My Best Photos of 2018” assignment.

    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic photographer

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    About the Editors
    Matt Moyer
    Matt Moyer
    National Geographic Photographer
    Matt Moyer is a photojournalist committed to documenting the social and cultural issues that affect our world. His intimate photographs go behind the headlines to put a human face on the biggest issues of the day. For the past decade Moyer has spent his time photographing feature stories for National ...
    David Y. Lee
    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