arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newgallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusreplayscreenArtboard 1sharefacebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

Strange Terrains

  • 0

Published Nov 9, 2016 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 22 Contributors

    23 photos selected by

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Silhouette Man Fishing

    #silhouette #man #fishing #thai #thailand

    Thanks so much for every one of the 7,000-plus submissions for this assignment! This was my first time in the editor position and also my first time interacting with the incredible Your Shot community. I was humbled by the breadth of photographic talent present in this space, and by the unique angles and perspectives seen and captured from around the world. Strange Terrains was an assignment that evolved without boundaries through the wildly diverse and otherworldly interpretations, from macro backyard universes to massive unexplored mountain ranges to the bizarre patterns of the human-constructed environment.

    Now I know how photo editors at National Geographic must feel during the painstaking process of culling down a massive set of images that all fit together to tell a story. Part of that means not choosing two shots that serve the same purpose and thus including as much visual diversity as possible with the final “tray” of images. I grouped the final submission into categories of big landscape images, macro, city/urban, top-down/patterns, humanity, and figures on a landscape. Sometimes images that made it all the way to the final selection got weeded out because I was focusing too much on one particular type of photograph or expected story. This became a lesson to myself to continue searching for the strange and unexpected images that made my head turn a bit or took a moment to figure out, as if I truly was that alien looking in for the first time. 

    This assignment was sponsored by Volkswagen, who offered a grand prize trip to Utah to accompany National Geographic Photographer Renan Ozturk on a one day photo shoot. Congratulations to Shivesh Ram whose iceberg wall image was chosen as the winner.

    Frozen soap bubble. Very planet-like.

    #winter #ice #crystal #frozen #bubble

    Editor's Note

    Wow, this a fascinating photo that really nails the concept of the assignment in so many ways. The fractals of ice at first looked like a patchwork mosaic of farmlands seen from 30K above the eart... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    On a trip to Greenland I was challenged to find a compelling way to visualize Climate Change. Mos...

    #landscape #light #abstract #weather #earth #landscapes #nature #ngmadvances #climatechange #ngmh2o

    Editor's Note

    I love the interpretation of the assignment and focus on the climate change story in this image. This is truly an 'iceburg skeleton'. I've seen a lot of ice and iceburgs but never anything quite ... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Enchanted forest - this is the delta of the once mighty Colorado river and the Sea of Cortez, Baj...

    #letsexplore #mexico #california #sea_of_cortez #aerial #colorado_river #baja #ngmadvances

    Editor's Note

    I'm sure an alien coming to earth would take special note of this haunting visual. Why would hum... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Children grab on to the side of a hot air balloon during its inflation at the Great Reno Balloon ...

    #silhouette #reno #renoballoonrace #pattern #colors #kids #fabric #children #hotairballoon

    Editor's Note

    Lines and boundaries separate us in life. Between states, between countries, lines drawn in the sand that create wars. And yet, across lines our individualities connect. Something about this photo ... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Wider view of the Train night market, which sells the Antiques and open from evening until mid ni...

    #night #market #tents #beautiful #colors #alive #lively #street #pleasing #coloful #ngtravelhappy

    Editor's Note

    Not only does this image have a fascinating initial blast of color that would draw in any alien looking at the earth for the first time but it also has an incredible amount of life and detail teemi... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    As the world population grows, presently at 7.4 billion and estimated to reach 11.2 billion in th...

    #abstract #natgeoinspires #colors #art #strangeterrains

    Editor's Note

    I love this strange terrain of humanity that is a such a solid metaphor for the overpopulation of this earth. The colors and top down composition initially draw the viewer in but upon closer look ... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Originally created to illustrate the booklet for a music-CD, this image is still able to thrill m...

    #ngmcreate_3 #hunting #ngmcreate #lion #natgeoinspires #ngmcreate_2 #trophies #ngmcreate_1 #followtheyellowborder #livingroom #animals

    Editor's Note

    This is one of the most wildly bizarre and creative interpretations of the strange terrains assignment. Horrifying, fascinating and pink. Great depth and framing with beautiful angles of the walls... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Walking around Harar, in eastern Ethiopia, I spotted this ice-cream color-like corner and stayed ...

    #streetphotography #harar #icecream #colors #africa #ethiopia #people #places #travel #muslim

    Editor's Note

    Texture!!! I can't stop wondering what these walls feel like, and even how they feel different fr... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    While waiting for a taxi at the Milan airport, I was fascinated by the changing landscape of the ...

    #building #walkways #milan

    Editor's Note

    Often we see landscapes as flat horizontal planes and terrains. Here, you've honed into the vertical landscape, the angles and patterns, and in the midst, life.

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    This photo shows one of the biggest favelas of Rio. It is called Alemao which means Germany. The ...

    #landscape #riodejaneiro #city #favela #brazil #adventure #exploartion #travel #poverty #chaos

    Editor's Note

    I love this image for the strange terrain assignment. The way its framed through the window I fe... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Urban expansion in Northern Nevada. A cluster of housing provides an array of inviting colors, cr...

    #population #repetition #housing #strangeterrains #congestion #urban #cluster

    Editor's Note

    This is an very creative and unexpected interpretation of the strange terrains assignment which you clearly intended based on your caption. I've always been a little bewildered by this type of man... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    In Hong Kong, the urban streets are dotted with countless street lamps and huge neon signs. These...

    #night #lowlight #cityscape #city #hong_kong #startrail #archichecture #hongkong

    Editor's Note

    This shot is a ringer for urban submissions. The looking up perspective really gives me an immersive feeling of being there. Besides the madness of the angular/boxed in density of humanity there ... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    The abandoned Pontiac silver dome.

    #abandoned #arena #michigan #architecture #ruin #sports #detroit #destruction #stadium

    Editor's Note

    When I first saw this, I thought it was the side of a space ship. The symmetry is perplexing and slightly off, inciting curiosity to look closer, and closer, until the abandoned destruction is visi... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    It is the temple of Death, Tibetan Buddhist shrine. It decorated with fake human skulls are place...

    #tibet #hand #china #skull #faithful

    Editor's Note

    This image is hypnotic, dizzying and disruptive of my attention in the best way. It took me a while to even figure out that it was a bottom-up perspective and what I was really seeing. What I reall... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    the melting glacial ice brought this beetle into the light of day

    #ice #climate_change #cold #frozen #glacier #ladybug #climatechange

    Editor's Note

    What an serendipitous capture not only in seeing this detail but also in the execution of it. I ... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Aerial View Of Greenland's Mountains

    #ice #mountain #airplane #snow #greenland #flying #isolation #aerial #aircraft #greenland_scenery

    Editor's Note

    I haven't see many shots of Greenland's mountains from this high elevation that also have this level of clarity through the plane window. This is an important part of the strange terrains story fo... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    The Maiden and the Troll in the Land of the Giants seem to be a good storyline for this image. Wh...

    #letsexplore #strange_terrains #weather #faroe_islands #sea #ocean #giants #ngmh20 #mountains

    Editor's Note

    As far as all the traditional landscape shots submitted for the strange terrains assignment this one really stood out. I've seen a lot of images of the Faroe island but not this compressed composi... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    A Journey

    #man #journey #mid #blacknwhite #bnw #day #river #surat #harshalorawala #gujarat #india

    Editor's Note

    Incredible figure on a landscape or rather, on a strange terrain. Looking at this shot my mind dr... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    people gathering at the station for going home in the vacation of 'Eid al fitr'.

    #eid_al_fitr #train_at_platform #blackandwhite #crowed #people

    Editor's Note

    I love the humanity in this strange terrain overflowing throughout the whole frame. I feel like I am there right in the mix yet no one is looking at the camera, which makes it more powerful for me.

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    These are natural patterns on the beach in Bhimily AP, India. The mineral rich beaches make chang...

    #pattern #andhrapradesh #art #maco #patterns #greatnature #india

    Editor's Note

    Besides the mesmerizing patterns and great light, I love how this macro shot could easily be mistaken for some of massive scale. When I first saw it, it reminded me of the huge braided outwash rive... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    This scene resonates with me. A cold night, alone and in an alien mist-wreathed environment, wait...

    #man #night #journey #light #railway_line #train #station #city #single #railway #fog

    Editor's Note

    Such an moody image! The eye goes right to the subject on the left but the symmetry of the tracks and shapes of the overhead lights really anchor the frame. I love this more industrial interpreta... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    mystery in the mountains - morning fire Passu cones - Gilgit Pakistan

    #morning #mountains #pakistan #passucones #lanscape #morninglight #gilgit

    Editor's Note

    What a sight this must have been to behold! The morning light, mist and wild rock spires in this shot is not only something that would amazing a Martian coming to earth but just about any human as... More

    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer

    Often I had to go back to the greater collection to fill out this diversity. I also looked for images that told a greater story of symbolism about our planet, both in its humanity and natural landscapes. If there was a tiebreaker between images, the captions you wrote and stories you imagined while taking the pictures helped inform my decisions. Overall, I feel lucky to have had this opportunity as an editor to go around the world through your eyes and to learn from all of you. Many of these images will forever stick in my mind and serve as inspiration to me moving forward. Photography is such a powerful medium for bringing attention to parts of our planet and thus bringing about change. These days, with the advent of smartphones and more accessible cameras, this no longer depends on spending tons of money on equipment or travel. In a way, this assignment was designed to test that theory—and you all went above and beyond.

    About the Editor
    Renan Ozturk
    National Geographic Photographer
    Renan Ozturk is a National Geographic Photographer, team climber for The North Face, Camp 4 Collective founding filmmaker and landscape artist at heart. Renan has been published in National Geographic Magazine for capturing images of expedition climbing adventures as well as covering assignments involving cultural immersion.

    Photographers Published In the Story