Spontaneous Adventure

Published Dec 6, 2013 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 15 Contributors

    15 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 #dhaka #light #railway #crowded #train #bride #mehendi #holy

    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 #garrettmcnamara #praiadonorte #bigestwaveinworld #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 #dolphin #child #sea #whale #aquarium #beluga #children #animal

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

    #standuppaddleboarding #dreamy #ocean #night #capecod #massachusetts #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...

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

    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...

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

    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...

    #wildlife #elephants #standout #srilanka

    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

    A small boat cruises slowly along the shore of First Pond on a calm autumn morning in New York St...

    #adirondacks #autumn #water

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

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

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

    #patatgonia #upsidedown #jump #actionshot #somersault #torres_del_paine #gimesy #mountains

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

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

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

    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 ...
    114 comments
    Charlotte Abel
    Charlotte Abel

    Absolutely amazing photos! I felt as though I was in the moment, a ghostly onlooker relishing in the excitement of the adventurer, seeing life and nature, our beautiful world through the soul of the photographer.  Very surreal.


    Jean-Marie Girardot
    Jean-Marie Girardot

    Great story with amazing images, thank you John for taking the time to publish this work.

    Prasad Tpg
    Prasad Tpg

    Amazing photographs captured at right speed...

    Frank H. Scheme
    Frank H. Scheme

    Extremely creative photography as well as in the right place at the right time!

    Nilay Mistry
    Nilay Mistry

    Speechless with these images amazingly taken at the right time!!

    montasser mojahid
    montasser mojahid

    Great assignment and nice selections really beautiful capture of nature shots. i like this pictures

    Benjamin Sams
    Benjamin Sams

    Wow, these shots have been truly inspiring to me and my love of Photography.  You have all truly contributed to pushing me further and further into experiencing the larger picture.  I have recently been on this Macro kick, but the landscapes you have unveiled in this assignment have opened my lenses :) Thank you and happy holidays to all of us.

    Mary L M
    Mary L M

    A beautiful capture of nature that's all around us.

    lisa b.
    lisa b.

    Great assignment and nice selections. My favorites of these are the blue fountain and the 3 children on the train, really nice shots.

    Candido Aviles
    Candido Aviles

    Awesome work! I enjoy the photos, extremely great!!

    nahed h.
    nahed h.

     Wonderful selection! My favorite is the train over the bridge (mesmerizing) and the child under the fountain ( striking),

    Luu Nhung
    Luu Nhung

    These photos just made my day. Thanks all.

    Jay Mantri
    Jay Mantri

    Myself and the team are truly humbled by the outpouring of kind words from such a talented group of people. Thank you to National Geographic and the community for making this project go beyond anything we ever could have imagined. We have created a short film to document our experience. You can view it on youtube here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG_fBBS3kMY 

    Quan Tran
    Quan Tran

    Congratulations to all who have been published. These images are simply amazing. It depicts the diverse and beautiful views of our beloved Earth.

    Abhijit Misra
    Abhijit Misra

    If our planet is a heaven; it is proved by your pictures. All the pictures are amazing and wonderful.............. Every pictures are story telling and it feels great to see
    Awesome

    Abhijit Misra
    Abhijit Misra

    These pictures are amazing............... every pictures are truly story telling..........
    Awesome ....................... watching your vision through your lens feels great

    ranjan b.
    ranjan b.

    Amazing and mesmerizing pictures. Congratulations to all of you; you deserve the recognition. And thanks for teaching by sharing!

    Sakshi Singh
    Sakshi Singh

    All the shots are just awesome...! Congrats to all....Great job..and thanks for sharing such beautiful moments.....! They all teach me something or the other in their specific manner...:)

    Tada Ratchagit
    Tada Ratchagit

    Congratulations to all contributors, all are the great shot. 

    Manford Holmes
    Manford Holmes

    Terrific shots, terrific range of adventures, terrific experiences. Congratulations to all.

    Petr Novotny
    Petr Novotny

    Great congratullations to Your proffesion...Any moments are in very dangerous situations.

    Lots of money for You...



    Anna Varona
    Anna Varona

    Congratulations to all the winners,  The photos were awesome

    zhu xia
    zhu xia

    amazing photos .i do love it

    Kenneth McLennan
    Kenneth McLennan

    Inspiring both in terms of adventure and quality of images. The photographers deserve a round of applause for their contributions.  As do you for leading the assignment.  Thank you.

    Debra West
    Debra West

    This was a great fun forward thinking assignment. Glad to see that most of those chosen were the first time to be published. Congratulations, all are well deserved!

    Bruno Manduca
    Bruno Manduca

    @Jay Mantri  

    Jay, Mike, Tai, RJ,

    I don't know how you are going to top this, but I do wish you all to to so, from my heart.

    I will only say that one day, many years from now, when the children of your children will watch this video, irrespective of the technology of the time,  they will surely feel  a great sense of pride, as they should. And as you should yourselves right now for an achievement of large proportions that are barely masked by your lovely humble demeanor.

    Consider yourselves worthy of great respect, prestige and honor.

    Ad majora!

    Members Published In the Story