Spontaneous Adventure

Published Dec 6, 2013 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 14 Contributors

    14 photos selected by

    John Burcham
    National Geographic Photographer
    • 0

    A newly wed bride waits for her husband to board the special train in Kamlapur railway station Dh...

    #wait #woman #special #eid #bangladesh #packed #light #railway #crowded #train #bride #mehendi #holy #dhaka

    First, thanks for all the wonderful submissions—the Your Shot community has really inspired me to get after it, and it's been an amazing experience going through all the photos that were submitted. I've loved seeing the many different perspectives on the idea of Spontaneous Adventure and feel like I've been around the world a few times.

    It was difficult to choose the standout photos because there were just so many great images and great concepts. But there was one image in particular that really captured the essence of the assignment and in our opinion deserves first prize: “A Child’s Delight” by Steve Demeranville.

    Just because the assignment is over doesn't mean the learning ends. If you keep up the philosophy of spontaneity, then growing and learning within the photography realm will never stop. Continue to go out there on your own personal assignments and take those risks, force yourself out of your comfort zone—it's worth it in the end.

    I hope that this experience has helped you become a better photographer or at least look at shooting in a different way.

    It's the biggest wave I shot in my life. The controversy around it has been just as BIG!!!

    #portugal #surf #nazare #bigestwaveinworld #praiadonorte #garrettmcnamara #bigwave

    Editor's Note

    It's hard to capture the intensity of today's extreme sports. The people in the foreground give this massive wave true scale. I feel like one of the spectators.

    John Burcham
    National Geographic Photographer

    Havasu Creek is a magnificent aqua blue color. I had backpacked in 10 miles past the only remain...

    #packraft #havasu #grand_canyon

    Editor's Note

    This image shows how adventure can really inspire creativity. The color of the river, the narrow ... More

    John Burcham
    National Geographic Photographer

    My daughter kissing a beluga whale through the tick glass at the Mystic Aquarium in CT.

    #friend #whale #aquarium #beluga #children #animal #dolphin #child #sea

    What I love so much about stand up paddle boarding is its ability to transport one, surrounded by...

    #dreamy #night #capecod #massachusetts #standuppaddleboarding #ocean #water #sunset

    Taking advantage of a unique surf spot with back lit sunset and clear water, I was fortunate enou...

    Without exception the most playful fountain I have ever seen.... Short of chasing pigeons, this f...

    #fountaing #water1 #children #fountain #fountain2 #child #childrenatplay #childrenandbirds

    Editor's Note

    It looks as if this image came straight from a sci-fi epic. Without the little girl running through the frame, this would still be a solid image. However, I feel as if the little girl completes the photo. The blue tones add a soft quality. This feels like pure childhood—300 years in the future.

    John Burcham
    National Geographic Photographer

    The mountain makes euphoric, that's for sure. I climbed the mountain of Petit Mont Blanc, near th...

    #alpes #mountain #portrait #petit_mont_blanc #savoye #france

    Sometimes when shooting adventure we miss the emotion. It’s all about adding action to the shot, and it can be very difficult to capture the feelings that go along with a great road trip or a challenging mountain climb. An image can have solid composition and have been taken in an exotic, far away place but still lack that connection with the viewer. Sometimes mixing it up instead of just going for that one epic shot is the key. Usually it’s the very next shot after all the action that ends up being a keeper.

    Elephants at the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka. The orphanage was originally foun...

    #standout #srilanka #wildlife #elephants

    Editor's Note

    This photo to me is powerful in many ways. Your eye is immediately drawn to the young elephant in... More

    John Burcham
    National Geographic Photographer

    Taken at Mishima town in Fukushima prefecture, Japan. The first train goes across the railway bri...

    #fukushima #greatestlandscapes #adventure #train #travel #fog #japan

    As we were walking through Patagonia, a trainee guide Miguel was telling us how fit he was, and t...

    #jump #torres_del_paine #patatgonia #happyplanet #travel #somersault #smile #yourshotbook #gimesy

    Editor's Note

    He seems really excited to be getting out. I appreciate the feeling of spontaneity. The dramatic background against the lightheartedness of the image really captures what this assignment was all about.

    John Burcham
    National Geographic Photographer

    Adventure of new city is always exciting. A tourist guy is walking in a city night like a brigh...

    #hong_kong #night_shots #street #cityscape #adventure #people #travel #city

    I was travelling by train and notice this 3 children enjoying their rides while the train passing...

    #speed #adventure #travel #train #city #place

    A couple of friends and myself sent a two GoPros to the edge of space with a weather balloon on a...

    #balloon #space

    Editor's Note

    This shows just how far you can go with so little. It’s all about the idea and using what you have. I hope this image, and how it came about, inspires all of us. It certainly inspires me.

    John Burcham
    National Geographic Photographer

    In the end it doesn’t really matter if the image is truly a spontaneous moment or a created one. It’s about the journey. I hope some of you did something that you have never done before and gained some insight into your own photographic abilities along the way.

    About the Editor
    John Burcham
    National Geographic Photographer
    John Burcham is most at home climbing new routes up the sandstone spires of Sedona, Arizona, but has been adventuring and photographing since college. Burcham's blue-collar work ethic and love for wild places—working at a fish cannery and a decade living in Alaska are among his experiences—allow him to capture ...