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Sacred Landscapes

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Published Nov 18, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 23 Contributors

    23 photos selected by

    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer

    Ancient rock art adorns this sandstone slab in the canyon country of Western Colorado. It is spec...

    #archaeology #night #colorado #petroglyphs #rock_art #stars #native_american #cosmos #canyons

    The idea of doing a story based on images that focused on merging worlds was challenging in many ways. First and most importantly is the fact that every person has a unique way of seeing the world as well as interpreting words and concepts in ways that are profound to each individual. In addition, I thought that it would be incredibly complicated to then select images that were intriguing pieces of a puzzle, a visual narrative that collectively related a compelling story of the human experience on earth. Lastly, to capture timelessness is like taking a photograph of a dream, and so fitting for this assignment titled The Sacred Landscape.

    I find beauty in every one of the 10 thousand plus images that were submitted for this assignment. They draw me in, I am curious to learn more, to know why, to feel the light and the wind, to listen to their sound, I am captured. My first impression upon looking at the diversity was one of being humbled by the talent of our community. A warm appreciation to all of you, I’m inspired by your work.

    The Al Khazneh or Treasury illuminated by candle-lights during the Petra by Night show. Petra is ...

    #treasury #landscape #night #architecture #archeolgy #travel #jordan #ngtravelhappy #petra

    Editor's Note

    What a lovely images that exemplifies the importance of seeing and imaging by all sorts of light. The candlelit scene comes to life and the perfect exposure to bring the viewer into the ritual.

    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer

    The Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo, New Zealand

    #winter #landscape #mountain #church #snow #tekapo #southern #scenery #lake #zealand #alps #nature #new

    One man was going into the woods which was covered with fog and cloud.. And which was undiscovere...

    #landscape #undiscovered #weather #woods #jungle #candid #clouds #people #travel #fog

    The Mingun temple is a monumental uncompleted stupa began by King Bodawpaya in 1790. It was not c...

    #monks #mingun_temple #temple #buddhist_architecture #myanmar #mandalay #mingun #burma #asia #stupa

    The thousands of stupas of Bagan were built roughly from the 8th century to the 13th, though a ha...

    #myanmar #bagan #sunset

    Editor's Note

    It's a world of shadow and light. This image captures the interplay and beauty of a timeless moment and a dynamic landscape.

    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer

    Kee Monastery (Kee Gompa) was build in the 11th century and certainly qualifies as the most amazi...

    #monastery #kee #spiti_valley #india #himalyas #kee_gompa

    Editor's Note

    Continuity in form and function. This image brings to life a sophisticated and delicate balance of built and natural realms.

    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer

    The beautiful ruins of Tikal under a brooding sky. This is an HDR image.

    #centralamerica #ruins #maya #jungle #tikal #guatemala

    Atlas presiding over a juxtaposed convergence of art, history, religion, and architecture in New ...

    #new_york_city #nyc #st_patricks_cathedral #bronze #atlas #lee_lawrie #rockefeller_center

    I took this photo when I was at Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta. It was scariest moment that I'd found...

    #landscape #mount #black__and_white #mountaineering #blackandwhite_photography #nature

    One of many rock-hewn Coptic churches in Lalibela, northern Ethiopia. It is said that angels help...

    #letsexplore #earthcanvas #architecture #colors #africa #photography #places #landscapes #culture

    Editor's Note

    Magnificent color blends from elements carved and painted for our delight.

    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer

    Surfer on a wintry day The image was taken using a wide lens, which obliged me to enter the cold...

    #surferduringastorm

    www.facebook.com/22over7.FineArtPhotography These iconic trees on Bregagh Road are one of the mo...

    #colour #autumn #dark #sunlight #eerie #trees #road #fall

    One of my favourite places is the "Bugaboo's", a small provincial park in BC, Canada. This pictur...

    #climbing #weather #bugaboos #adventure #mountains #mountaineering #travel #storm

    The imposing and beautiful bridge of Palaiokarya with the two artificial waterfalls create a uniq...

    So, what is the story about? Well, the sacred landscape becomes tangible, visible and admirable when value is placed upon the natural and cultural elements that are ubiquitous, yet unconnected, until the image was taken and somehow these elements became forged through the lens as if they existed forever in some part of our galaxy. Yet we know they weren’t. The photographs of this assignment tell us a story of how the morphology of life and the accidental geography of our planet make up the substance of story, legend, myth, tradition and culture. And this is exactly what I feel when I look at these images. 

    Mysterious and fascinating night at Easter Island

    #moai #archaeology #easter_island

    Taktsang Palphug Monastery is a sacred Buddhist temple and mountain landscape in Bhutan

    #bhutan #taktsang #himalayas #tigers_nest

    Editor's Note

    This captivating panorama tells a story or place, worship, hardship and profound meaning.

    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer

    I took this in Fairbanks, AK. My nephew calls it the canoe truck because the hood looks like an ...

    #stepside #vintage #truck #rust #ford #alaska #old #pickup #vehicle #classic

    Two young novices cleaning a temple at Bagan, Myanmar in the morning before tourist come to visit...

    #light #buddha #novices #people #places #travel #culture #ngtravelhappy

    As per Hindu traditions and beliefs,one usually offers water to the god 'Sun' after having a bath...

    #sacred_landscapes

    Editor's Note

    Captivating image of melting forms flowing. Diving into a pristine environment reminds one of a purifying and memorable experience.

    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer

    Larung Gar monastic complex is a Tibetan area in China but the architecture is strikingly similar...

    #larunggar #monastery #ganzi #seda #sichuan #serthar #china #tibetan

    There may be aliens in our milky way galaxy and there are billions of stars . there may be lots o...

    #temple #night #bangladesh #milky #nightscape #buddha #way #traval

    Shinjuku buildings and Mt.Fuji. Human constructed skyscraper. But nature is greater than human ...

    #modern #building #fuji #night #skyscraper #cool #shinjuku #beautiful #city #japan #tokyo #urban #mtfuji

    Editor's Note

    Visual archaeology for sure. A mesmerizing superposition of worlds held together by a common ground. Love this shot because it is our present in so many ways.

    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer

    Most of us live in cities where it is hard to imagine the multiple possible mutations that can occur as a result of combining water, earth, sky, mountain, trees, concrete, steel and people. I am convinced however, that what humanity has unequivocally shown is that what becomes sacred to us are places that remind us of the beauty of the natural elements woven in concert with human vision and history. Carving sanctuaries out of rocks, using raw materials to create a home or a shelter, buildings, roads, paths, bridges, a pebble thrown in a pond, a figure carved into the rock. Lights illuminating darkness, inner space, motion and ocean, wind and stars, they are all part of this wonderful tribute to the fragility of our world and our experience.

    I am grateful and thankful for this opportunity and I can only promise that I will never stop searching for the many sacred landscapes that have yet to be discovered and explored. I am very grateful to the entire community for their incredible images and personal experiences.

    About the Editor
    fabio esteban amador
    National Geographic Explorer
    Fabio Esteban Amador is a visual explorer using multiple imaging technologies to capture the human and natural landscapes. He is a senior program officer for the National Geographic Society / Waitt Grants Program, promoting and coordinating scientific and exploratory research around the world. He is also an associate research professor ...

    Photographers Published In the Story