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Show Me Your Wilderness

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Published Aug 18, 2014 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 15 Contributors

    15 photos selected by

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    I set out before dawn in order to capture some wildflower photos during sunrise, I knew the perfe...

    #silhouette #sunrise #summer #deer #wildlife #wild #golden #animals #nature #sunrays

    Thanks so much to every one of you for participating in the #wilderness assignment. I apologize for the difficulty I made in creating an assignment that had a firm start and end date for taking pictures, but given that it was an "assignment" I thought it useful for all of you to be offered a set of ideas and thoughts that you can use for inspiration as you go out to make pictures that speak to the idea. That's basically the approach when I work with a photographer on an assignment for National Geographic. 

    Beyond that, those of you who did photograph the assignment did a wonderful and inspiring job. I found myself responding to images that conveyed a feeling, a mood, a sense, something that moves beyond showing what things look like, and uses still photography to somehow convey the essence of nature and place. This is a difficult thing to describe in words, and I leave the collection of pictures here to you as an aggregate statement of what I am trying to say. 

    As is said, pictures speak louder than words.

    Every year between July and August, up to 250,000 semi-palmated sandpipers migrate from the Canad...

    #sandpiper #sandpipers #reflection #bird #birds #animal #animals #nature

    Editor's Note

    A moment of amazing power of wild nature. A wall of birds. Must have been something to see. Great work.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    The wilderness around me is the raw coastline of the south-west of Western Australia. This part o...

    #blue #panning #waves #surf #abstract #surfing #ocean #water #beach #abstract_art #nature #wave

    Editor's Note

    Great mood, wonderful use of still photography to capture the essence of nature's motions and power.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    A pair of Icelandic horses sheltering each other from the high winds.

    #wild #iceland #portrait #adventure #horses #travel #animals

    Editor's Note

    Simple, beautiful, elegant, the flowing mane all wonderful. The second horse in back adds resonance and depth.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    Whitebark pine grows at treeline on mountains in the American west and survives heavy snow loads ...

    #summer #greatestlandscapes #whitebarkpine #branch #treelimb #hills #mountains #trees #smoky

    Editor's Note

    I particularly like the foreground to background depth of this picture, the juxtaposition of the old pine against the smoke-covered mountain ridges, the repetition of shapes from front to back.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    While hiking through a wildlife reserve in New Orleans, I came upon this beautiful spot. The sun ...

    #new_orleans #bayou #rivers #trees #nature

    Editor's Note

    Elegant, Southern, a lovely sense of the bayou environment. Great light shining down. Wild America before we came along.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    I ventured out to the Superstition Mountains (AZ) last evening when I noticed a gigantic haboob (...

    #dust_storm #weather #arizona_desert #adventure #dangerous #thunderstorm #monsoon #sunset #storm

    Editor's Note

    Great sense of foreboding here, you caught this scene of nature at work at just the right moment as the dust overtakes everything. Thank you.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    Finding wilderness among the man made concrete jungle is a hard task, this image is not a nationa...

    #wilderness #green #nature

    Editor's Note

    Lovely carpet of green on stone, I love the leaves in the middle, a lovely wet composition.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    The little pond served as a great canvas with the reeds, the water, the reflections. The abstract...

    #landscape #mountain #canada #abstract #reflection #water #nature

    Editor's Note

    A lovely composition, impressionistic, feels like a painting, I love the combination of near and far, water and sky, earth and rocks.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    My daughter moved together the two old, lichen covered chairs that sit down by our neighbor's pon...

    #sleep #rest #summer #happyplanet #peace #child #woods #natgeoinspires #wild #wilderness #girl #forest

    Editor's Note

    A lovely peaceful picture. Could have been my own daughter years ago, looks like a place where the wild things are, a child at one with her place in the world.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    This is one of the reason I planed the trip heading to Mt. Rainier NP, 7.22~7.28, 2014. Due to ...

    #national_park #wildness #hiking #devil_pipe_organ #forest #human_and_nature #mt_rainier

    Editor's Note

    Very unusual geological lava shapes and composition here, very interesting low angle, your long hike was rewarded. The person lower left ties it all together giving things a sense of scale.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    I hung at the back of the dive group. Everyone seemed to be focused on looking for sharks, and no...

    #cocos #jacks

    Editor's Note

    Very nice juxtapositions here: The curving school of fish in back, and the red fish in the left foreground is what makes this picture unusual, and adding scale and depth to make it a special image.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    Eastern Hills of Nepal is the gate way to the Eastern range of great Himalaya. Located above 1.5 ...

    #nepal #mist #travel #forest

    Editor's Note

    A beautiful composition, lovely use of light in what appears to be fog. Great atmospherics. Conveys this sense of feeling what it is like there on this misty day.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    In wake of recent thunderstorms, multiple wildfires sprung up in Southern Oregon in the last week...

    #valley #weather #pyrocumulonimbus #fire #smoke #rogue #wildfire2014 #oregon #wildfires #clouds

    Editor's Note

    I love the cascading curtain-like shape in the cloud, adds a sense of movement, and a bit of mystery, and the way light falls on the curtain part of the cloud adds the essential touch. Very wild.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    The milky way made an appearance on a calm clear night in Algonquin Park. I used my headlamp to p...

    #blue #canada #stars #algonquinprovincialpark #wilderness #rocks #milkyway #nature #space

    Editor's Note

    Lovely picture, great job of combining subtle lighting in the foreground with the stars at night. Gives a real sense of mood, and space, and place all at once.

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    I leave all of you with gratefulness and thanks, and have immensely enjoyed looking at your work and choosing and responding to a wide range of beautiful images that speak to me in eloquent ways. Keep up the good work, look for new and fresh ways to see the world, experiment and take chances, for the most interesting images often come from trying to see and capture the world in new ways, pushing the edge of what is possible with the tools at hand. 

    And above all, have fun as you keep pursuing your photography passion, which for me has been a most wonderful hobby, and profession. Good luck and good shooting!

    About the Editor
    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment
    Dennis Dimick is National Geographic's executive editor for the environment, and grew up hiking and fishing in the national forests of Oregon's Cascade Mountains. An avid hobby photographer, he has been a picture editor at the National Geographic Society since 1980.

    Photographers Published In the Story