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Photo of the Day

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Published Dec 10, 2016 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 34 Contributors

    34 photos selected by

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    This beautiful leopard was playing with a piece of wood. For a split second he stop and look at m...

    #wildlifewednesday #exclusive_animals #animal #leopard #natgeo

    The community went above and beyond for this assignment. I saw the world in new and astounding ways guided by our photographers from 20 different countries. Not only was this assignment’s discussion board the most engaged—it has more than 4,000 comments—but there were enough awe-inspiring photos to make up at least an entire month’s edit for Photo of the Day. Some photos you will see scattered in the December edit and the majority will help us ring in the new year in January. I want to thank all of you for adding in captions; there were many photos that had to be disqualified because there was too little information. Hope you’re all inspired by these images of our beautiful planet. Congratulations in advance to these photographers on their future Photo of the Day! See the Best of 2016’s Photo of the Day gallery and more gorgeous photography from National Geographic in the Best of 2016 roundup

    The marble castle in northern Norway is a part of a river bank that looks like the most beautiful...

    #landscape #norway #marmorslottet #strangeterrains

    Editor's Note

    I feel like I’m in the future or better yet Star Trek when I look at this. By using a slow shutter and giving the water motion, it contrasts beautifully against the still and textured marble. I ca... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Baba Vijay Nund stands for a portrait on the banks of the Ganges River in the ancient Indian city...

    #sunrise #canon #portraits #portrait #people #places #travel #india

    Editor's Note

    This dreamy portrait is stunning in its simplicity. By photographing him above the river with a shallow depth of field, you can sense the water behind him but fully focus on him. You got rid of the... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    The Roman Forum shines at the dawn of a foggy day. Mixed light sources and mist create a very spe...

    #landscape #ruins #italy #ancient_rome #roman_forum #rome #dawn

    Editor's Note

    I’ve seen a lot of photos from the Roman Forum and they all tend to look similar and closer to something you’d see on a postcard. However, the weather was in your favor because you got up early and... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    A juvenile Victoria's Riflebird will practice the art of the mating display performed by adult ma...

    #rainforest #wildlife #bird #birds #bird_of_paradise #queensland #riflebird #daintree #nature

    Editor's Note

    Well done on photographing this stunning bird of paradise in all its glory-wings and feathers sharp with the head perfectly placed in the middle. Your depth of field is just shallow enough so the l... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Affectionately dubbed Little Tibet because of its geographical and cultural proximity to Tibet (i...

    #tibet #bridge #dards #ladakh #aryan #nubra_valley

    Editor's Note

    This photo has a timeless quality to it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this in our photo archive since it mimics the Kodachromes we so dearly miss. I love that it is shot widely enough to see the ... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    A jumping Spider with a kill, hiding itself under the petals of a Madagascar Periwinkle Flower

    #moment #macro #light #spider #canon #wild #eyes #60d #flower #hunt #nature

    Editor's Note

    What a curious photo of this jumping spider hiding under this flower. I can almost hear it saying, “hey leave me alone.” The small black eye peeking out is endearing and humanizes the spider. I lov... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Cracked Lava field cut by Iceland´s stunning Ring Road (1). Sprouts of color among the cracked ro...

    #earth #lava #ngmspace #field #adventure #aerial #places #lavafield #travel #cracks #nature

    Editor's Note

    At first, you have no idea what you’re looking at. Then you see the car and realize that it’s a road surrounded by a strange terrain and you’re dumbfounded. It’s not often we get to see the earth f... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Rain makes everything so dramatic. Even though it's uncomfortable to take photographs in bad weat...

    #bengal #westbengal #taxi #street #rain #rickshaw #kolkata #india #monsoon

    Editor's Note

    You've captured the relentless downpour in this busy city street. The yellow taxi is a bright light in this dark image and works well with the drenched richshaw. You know what they say, bad weather... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Dun Briste, Downpatrick Head

    #ireland #downpatrickhead #dunbriste #dublin #galway #longexposure #sunset

    Editor's Note

    When I see this photo, I want to reach out and touch the jagged rock. The golden lighting accentuates the ridges and sharp lines and the cloudy water and moving clouds make you feel like you’re in ... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Eyes of the body describes the beauty,honesty,truth,strength of the soul, attracts others towards...

    #unitedstates #citytour #newyorkcity #brooklyn_bridge #brooklyn #newyork #travel

    Editor's Note

    This is an overwhelming view of Brooklyn Bridge in the best way. I love how all-encompassing it feels because of the leading lines coming from all sides of the frame. The abstract circles are not c... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Sometimes disputes arise between the bears to grab salmon. In this photo a bigger bear scares awa...

    #wild #kamchatka #animal #russia #nature #bears

    Editor's Note

    Great action shot of these normally solitary bears. With almost all four paws off the ground and the splash of the water shaking from their fur, the bear’s expression says it all-get a move on!

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    A magical walk in the fairy tale world of a tranquil forest offers a gift of golden light and mor...

    #pacificnorthwest #columbiagorge #water #photooftheday #followme #waterfalls #forest #fog #nature

    Editor's Note

    Pure magic. It really is a fairytale world. What strikes me most is how the light hits the moss covered trees which adds to the ethereal atmosphere. Smart use of your camera settings and compositio... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Chhau dance is a very famous Tribal dance in the Indian State of West Bengal. In Purulia, the dan...

    #letsexplore #chhau_dance #ngmcreate #documentary #purulia #culture #india #kash_flowers #nature

    Editor's Note

    Such a neat portrait of this tribal dancer-I particularly like his/her stance. The inclusion of the tall grass adds to the overall theatrical effect of the costume and mask. The even and low light ... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Just before dawn the sun rises over the Hintersee lake in the Berchtesgaden National park. The mi...

    #winter #landscape #sunrise #mountain #lake #mountains #trees #nature

    Editor's Note

    This is a beautiful and mystical landscape. For me it’s all about the reflection in the water of the trees and sky. The photo wouldn’t have been nearly as strong without the clouds, so I’m glad you... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Interesting moment in a museum here looks like people in the painting are alive and interacting w...

    #laughoutloud #museum #painting #rembrandt #rijks #lol

    Editor's Note

    Humor is important in photography. Being able to make someone laugh or chuckle like I did while also making a photo of high quality is actually difficult to do. It requires quick thinking and quick... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Waves of fog roll over a neighborhood in Mill Valley, California, as seen from the top of Mount T...

    #landscape #america #california #usa #ngmspace #strangeterrains #places #longexposure

    Editor's Note

    I want to live in this photo. Is this really Mill Valley? Looks like somewhere far far away, maybe closer to Mount Bromo Indonesia, not California. It’s photos like these that make you realize that... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    I found a real Garter snake skin that was shed in my flower bed during the late summer. I was sur...

    #landscape #macro #wildlife #abstract #colors #photooftheday #photography #green #color #nature

    Editor's Note

    I thought this was CG or painted when I first saw this. It’s so neat to see the intact skin of the snake and positioned so perfectly on the plant. The lighting makes the shed skin look like glass a... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    This image was taken on the beach of Sakoneta near Deba, Guipuzcoa province in Spain. At dusk I ...

    #sakoneta #spain #lanscape #sunset

    Editor's Note

    These rock formations look like the backs of crocodiles! I’ve never seen this before, and it’s lovely that you’ve captured it at sunset so that the black rocks contrast against the pink and orange ... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    A freediver swim in the deep of "swallows cave" in Tonga. This cave is settled by more than few t...

    #swallows #fish #cave #tonga #freediving #underwater #vavau

    Editor's Note

    You’re caption is spot on-it does look like an underwater ballet. You’ve managed to transport me back to when I dreamt of being the Little Mermaid. The surrounding fish and touch of light at the to... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Taken from the highest residential building in Asia: The Zenith in Busan. This was taken with off...

    #skyscraper #cityscape #vertigo #busan #korea

    Editor's Note

    This photo makes me dizzy! I love the perspective and the colors and lights are something out of Tron. A really spectacular image. I’m sure getting permission to take this photo was a feat onto its... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    If someone stops and checks a kangaroo that has been struck by a vehicle, sometimes a joey can be...

    #care #road_trauma #kagaroo #marsupial #australia

    Editor's Note

    Baby kangaroos are hard not to love, but what you’ve done is taught me something in this photo. I’m drawn in by the bizarre scene of seeing a man bottle feeding a kangaroo however you included his ... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    This was shot during the recent Pe'ahi Challenge here on Maui. Jaws is a spectacle in the truest ...

    #surf #hawaii #surfing #jaws #ocean #wipeout #peahi #maui #wave

    Editor's Note

    I see this and I think, “Hope that surfer is ok!” I feel so much anticipation in this image, the crash of the wave and the gravity defying surf board, both elements that lead you to create the befo... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    The fluffy Japanese macaque stared at my lens inquisitively and I instantly felt a profound conne...

    #animalportrait #japan #japanesemacaque #onsenmonkeys #onsen #jigokudani #wildlifephotography

    Editor's Note

    That expression stays with you. You normally see the Japanese macaques in more cuddly positions and with eyes closed, but I love seeing this new view of them. This has an anthropomorphic quality an... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    This event was photographed in Muscat, capital city of Oman during the celebration of the 46th na...

    #kids__playing #redarrow #oman #aerobatic_airshow #acrobatic_flying #muscat #airshow

    Editor's Note

    You’ve captured the moment perfectly. The kids are captivated by the scene and what a scene it is. Lovely colors from the red of the planes to the blue of the sky and green of the ocean. The layers... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    It's very strange to find a public toilet on top of a windswept, frozen fell. Särkitunturi is an...

    #winter #landscape #lapland #frozen #snow #colors #top #travel #finland #nature #arctic

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful, simple image of this frozen structure and lone tree. I particularly like the soft color palette of the sky.

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    The boy with bull friendship life in Farm at Tha Sala, Nakhon Si Thammarat, South Thailand

    #backlighting #sunrise #emotion #bull #thailand #animal #people #asia #buffalo

    Editor's Note

    What a special moment between a boy and his bull. It’s such an engaging portrait and the gold catch light in the fur is a nice element. Lovely and sweet photograph. Hope you were able to show him t... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Hundreds of local gymnasts performed before a baseball game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missou...

    #summer #shadows #legs #natgeoinspires #red #children #sports #people #places #gymnastics #green

    Editor's Note

    It’s like Where’s Waldo but in a photograph. I almost want to count all the legs! The green and red colors give the image humor and a comic book feel. Great patterns and an all-around fun photo!

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Two climbers were pushing to the summit of Mont Blanc when the sunlight penetrated through the mi...

    #alpine #landscape #climber #mountain #summit #montblanc #mountaineering #alps #nature

    Editor's Note

    This photo has really grown on me. At first I wondered if it was a bit too quiet, but that spot of warm light created such an ethereal mood especially against the cold blue foreground. By including... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Curious by nature this sleek metallic blue shark swim right up to the dome of my camera. Just aft...

    #blue_shark #eye_contact #surface #azores #eye #underwater #look #shark

    Editor's Note

    As a viewer, you’re totally immersed in this photo. The shark’s eye is a big as your own and it’s hard not to feel like you’re right there with the photographer.

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Recently took the family out for dessert and an evening walk on the beach. On the other side of t...

    #north_carolina #askalocal #ngmadaventure #ft_fisher #hammock #ngtravelhappy #sunset #friends

    Editor's Note

    Wish I was in one of those hammocks right now. Smart framing to include the trees on the sides and to stand so that the lone tree in the middle wasn’t crashing into one of the people. Beautiful eve... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    Mt Fuji is a treasure trove of mysterious shaped clouds. Various forms of clouds appear when a f...

    #mountain #fuji #weather #japan #sunrisethismorning #cloud #clouds #sky

    Editor's Note

    Your love affair with Mt. Fuji is unflinching and I can tell you that we never get sick of seeing your beautiful photos. I especially like this frame because of the exact positioning of the lenticu... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    An Hypsiboas picturatus found in the Bilsa reserve in the Chocoan forests of Ecuador.

    #choco #savethechoco #macro #tropical #ecuador #animal #nikon

    Editor's Note

    I’ve seen a lot of frog pics, but I love your below perspective and the inclusion of the dark green leaf. The chewed off pieces make for such a more interesting photo of this frog and it’s wonderfu... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    It was a month it did not rain, fields were dry and farmers frustraded when I arrived on Amantani...

    #landscape #titikaka #drought #peru #localpeople #lightning #thunder #rain #natgeo #travel #sunset

    Editor's Note

    I have to say I am a sucker for lightning and storm photos. What makes yours unique is the colorfully dressed farmers walking in the foreground. This storybook photo makes me want to know where th... More

    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer

    About the Editor
    Jeanne M Modderman
    Former National Geographic Photo Producer
    As the former Your Shot photo producer, Jeanne would edit and produce the top performing features Photo of the Day and the Daily Dozen. With a degree in photojournalism, she has worked as a photographer in D.C. and S. Korea with former positions at the Smithsonian and the U.S. Dept ...

    Photographers Published In the Story