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Sense of Place

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Published Sep 26, 2014 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 24 Contributors

    24 photos selected by

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    People who had come to shop for the Ganpati festival were suddenly caught in rain and were runnin...

    #hands #emotion #blackandwhite #candid #street #rain #people #india #monsoon

    I must say that it was quite a job to look through all the photos submitted to the Sense of Place assignment. There were so many beautiful shots of beautiful places! When choosing pictures for the final story, I tried very hard to stick with the instructions I gave you: The most compelling shots should have something extra, they must make the viewer feel something.

    This is the constant struggle we have when choosing pictures for our magazines and online stories. Especially in the Travel genre it's easy to pick the pretty pictures and forget about saying something deeper. This means I must look beyond technical perfection and choose the pictures based on the feeling I have when looking at them. Sometimes pictures like this are a little more messy-looking, but not always. The best feeling for an editor is finding those gems that have great composition, lighting, and emotional appeal.

    street vendor in Istanbul selling kestane (roasted chestnuts) in her cart.

    #seller #istanbul #street #food #girl #tutky

    A Shinto priest climbs the steps to the 3,003 meter summit of Tateyama, one of Japan's three holy...

    #tateyama #mountain #shrine #senceofplace #priest #shinto #japan #someday #asia #nature

    a woman is waiting in front of the gate of women masjid in Eyüp Mosque in Ramadan while others ar...

    #eyuep #masjid #women

    Editor's Note

    What drew me into this photo was the serenity of the woman standing ready to go into the mosque. Her slightly bowed head, combined with the blur of other people and the grand setting make for a pow... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    Every week in the summertime, he plays his sax on the corner by the market. When I ask to photogr...

    #pulpit #a_sense_of_place #elderly #storyteller #tacoma #preach #street_artist #thewalk

    Editor's Note

    For this story I was searching for a good, close-up portrait that would serve to show a little bit of a place. I was also looking for a shot where the subject wasn't staring into the camera. This s... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    A youth hold his mask and music band plays during the Santo Entierro de Cristo ( holy burial of C...

    #america #mexico #veracruz #music_band #music #mask

    Young boys set off homemade rockets on the abandoned Vang Vieng airstrip to celebrate the rocket ...

    #landscape #festival #vangvieng #laos #children #seasia #people #monsoon #rocket

    The archeological excavations (foreground) in this 12th century Imperial Abbey are looking for ne...

    #precious #ghost #phantom #12thcentury #abbey #imperial #unique #altarpiece #16thcentury

    Editor's Note

    Although the altar of this chuch was simply coverd for protection, I saw something completely dif... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    Today a group of my friends and I embarked upon the most dangerous and rewarding adventure so far...

    #brave #natural #man #freezing #cold #embracing #water #wild #exploration #adventure #swim #waterfall

    Woman smoking on the rooftop of her home ~ Beirut , Bourj el-Barajneh

    Nea Vanea, fisherman from Danube Delta, in his small floating room, the small settlement it's si...

    #danube_delta #romania #fisherman #home #portrait #culture

    My wife wanted to wonder and look at the creatures that were in the rocks, little did she realize...

    #summer #moments #waves #ocean #candid #adventure #places #people #travel #action #savetheselands

    After a long summer, people in Sicily move to the mountain. You go to pick mushrooms and chestnut...

    #etna #landscape #foodscape #food #adventure #foodculture #people #culture #travel #fog #sicily #nature

    Editor's Note

    I'm predisposed to not like photos with the subject in the middle of the frame. Centering can provide a very powerful composition, but is overused by too many photographers who think they are being... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    sangihe island doesn't have any amusement park. but who need it, if you have clear sky, clean sea...

    #silhouette #jump #indonesia #sangihe #boat #freez #bestoftheworld #tahuna

    I want to stand next to that boy in India and feel the rain. I want to follow the Shinto priest as he climbs the holy mountain. Yes, I even want to brave the freezing water and get closer to the waterfall. Thanks to the assignment participants for taking me along on their journeys.

    This year marks the 30th year that National Geographic Traveler magazine has been sending photographers out into the world to bring back to our readers their sense of place. In the November 2014 issue, we're running our favorite 30 photos taken from the estimated 36,000 we've printed since the beginning of Traveler

    Looking through 30 years of magazines, many of the pictures looked dated and old-fashioned, but every now and then there was a diamond. It was very rewarding to dig through the old drawers of the magazine, find those timeless pictures, and print them again.

    Foggy morning in St-John's, Newfoundland, Canada. www.mathieudupuis.com

    #newfoundland #mathieudupuis #canada #battery #city #mathieudupuisphotographer #travel #nfld

    I took this photo with my father on one of our first trips away together. He had recently bought ...

    #vietnam #old #candlelit #games #chess

    Mom and her daughter on a street of Chefchaouen, Marocco.

    #morocco #marocco #daughter #chefchaouen #street #people #travel #color

    Editor's Note

    I love the struggle in the girls expression as she tries to keep up with her mother. But what really make this picture work for me is the lucky (or planned) circumstance of the lighting. Because th... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    In China, school pressure begins at an early age. After completing elementary school they must t...

    #yourplate #hutong #butchershop #wesleythomaswong #school #china #children #beijing #study

    In maasai boma, serengeti

    #tanzania #village #maasai #africa #sand #tribe #adventure #people #travel #culture #serengeti #storm

    I took this photo in july 2014 at Trollstigen in Norway. Standing there alone in the fog, I was w...

    #trollstigen #night #norway #lighttrail #exposure #serpentine #europe #street #road #long

    Editor's Note

    Often landscape photographs can be rather boring when the photographer simply points the camera at a scene and just includes everything. Christophe solved that problem by going to one of the most i... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    Locals congregate on a Friday afternoon at a small town cantina to start their weekend early

    #panama #country #rural #cantina #exotic #travel #culture #rustic

    The Round Tower at Copenhagen, Denmark At the top of this tower is a good view to see Copenhag...

    #travel

    Sense of place in a park of my town, Prato, Italy. I like the feeling of suspended time of this ...

    #landscape #conceptual

    Editor's Note

    This shot shows the power of thoughtful framing. By including the dark branches overhead Andrea gave the photo depth. And by letting each individual ring and rope be rendered uninterrupted by other... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    Storm in rural scene.The road seems to lead right into the middle of it!

    #rural #field #agriculture #clouds #rain #green_field #storm

    Editor's Note

    Here Christiano managed to find a spot in an absolutely flat landscape that could provide a picture with a composition that sucks the viewer straight into the storm. The storm clouds of course mak... More

    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel

    Editing this Sense of Place assignment was a lot like choosing the photos for the November issue-- with one major advantage. For the magazine, we worked as a team to come to consensus about which pictures we would print. For the Your Shot assignment I was the only editor. Thanks for your submissions and the opportunity to have the final word!

    If you'd like to go on assignment with me again, have a look at some of the photo trips and workshops I'll be running this year!

    About the Editor
    Daniel Westergren
    Director of Photography, National Geographic Travel
    Dan is the director of photography for National Geographic Traveler magazine, is based in Washington, D.C., where he spends his days looking at pictures of some of the most beautiful places in the world. Since picking up a camera in the 8th grade, he has been fascinated with photography and ...

    Photographers Published In the Story