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Through the Eyes of a Child

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Published Sep 3, 2016 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 26 Contributors

    34 photos selected by

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    I was traveling by car across beautiful Masurian Lakes district in Poland together with my family...

    #yourverticalworld #summer #haapytimes #poland #joy #children #clouds #bestoftheworld

    The other day I had lunch in a restaurant that was full of children. It was a familiar scene: They were all connected to their electronic devices—smartphones, tablets, and DVD players. This was nothing new, but I saw it with new eyes. All I could think of was how refreshing it has been to look through your images every evening (all 10, 273 of them) which show very different types of childhood experiences. You’ve shown me family camping trips, the night your children danced in the rain, and the time you covered each other in fall leaves. You’ve also told me about what these experiences mean to you in your beautiful captions. 

    Photograph by @iheartcats, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #fog

    Editor's Note

    This is a beautiful, subtle landscape image. I really like the mystery created by the fog - it makes me want to explore the forest!

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    Photograph by @creativepradyuma, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #snake

    its rainy season again in Manila and a trip to the nearby forest parks of Tanay yields fresh fiel...

    #landscape #mushroom #philippines #letsexplore #macro #wildlife #tiny #snail #forest #animals #nature

    The tadpoles that we watched hatch in our mud puddle several weeks before were now hopping. Some...

    #freelensed #summer #frog #toad #tadpole #childhood #backyardwarrior #lizardwhisperer

    Editor's Note

    You have captured such a sweet and quiet moment in this image. I love how the focus is entirely on the connection between your daughter and this tiny creature and how the light and depth-of-field d... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    Hope i can upload before and after photo since this place was empty before two years until i visi...

    #play #fun #child #kids #through_a_childs_eyes #action

    Editor's Note

    You've done such a nice job of creating a balanced frame out of a very complex scene. This frame ... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    I remember as a child I thought animals were fairy-tale characters with supernatural powers. Seei...

    #caterpillar #skyscraper #reflection #child #city #insect #adventurer #asia #fluffy #glass #exotic

    I usually find it easier to edit other people’s work than my own, because I am less emotionally attached to the images. This assignment was different. So many of your images spoke to universal childhood experiences that I had a difficult time keeping nostalgia for my own childhood from influencing my final selections. But, ultimately, I knew I had to narrow down the 10,000-plus submissions to this small selection.

    So, over the past few days, I’ve gone through your submissions and tried to select images that tell a story about children’s fascination with the natural world. I looked for moments of joy and excitement, but also for quiet moments that showed connection and contemplation. I also looked for images of nature that seemed almost magical, like the image of the “fairies” or the jar of fireflies. The result is, I think, a lovely essay about childlike wonder, curiosity, and memory. 

    Photograph by @amethystwave, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #leaf

    IMAGE 1 : Playing with a paper boat in rain.this is a very common phase of every kids .A mind ful...

    #moment #play #time #water #life #childhood #memories #follow_me #season #nature #monsoon #color

    To a child, magic is indeed everywhere. SOOC.

    #faith #throughtheyesofachild #light #innocence #children #magic #lensflare

    Editor's Note

    This image perfectly captures the wonder that children feel when faced with the simplest natural elements. I love how she is so fascinated by the light and how the sun flare adds to the magic of th... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    Photograph by @blackstar, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #sun

    Editor's Note

    This is a great sunset image. The backlighting on the little girl's hair really makes the image s... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    Taken at the house I grew up at as a child. This is my youngest son learning the simple pleasures...

    #swing #summer #fun #creek #smile

    Reaching for a perfectly ripe one on higher branches of this heavily fruitful plum tree behind gr...

    #letsexplore #garden #tree #plum

    Photograph by @dmnphotography, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #eels

    Editor's Note

    This is a nice image of animal behavior and the lighting really helps emphasize the forms of the eels and their surrounding environment.

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    Photograph by @filled, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #puddle

    Photograph by @Poladroid, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #landscape #blackandwhite

    I love the magic of water and how it allows me to disappear. As soon as I go under, it's next to ...

    #play #summer #blue #8 #water #red #childhood #candid #pool #underwater #swim #friends

    Editor's Note

    I really like the texture in this image and the contrast between the water and the shiny, silver bathing suit. The legs are in very graceful positions that make the girls look like a bit like under... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    You’ll also notice that, for the first time ever, we’re featuring images from the National Geographic Kids My Shot community in the published story. I’ve selected images from nine talented young photographers and I hope you will leave some encouraging comments on their awesome photos from the Wild Child challenge on My Shot. Hopefully they will join our community on Your Shot one day!

    I grew up in Europe, and never got to see fireflies in the wild. I saw them on TV, read about the...

    #play #jar #kids #firefly #longexposure #nature

    When I was a little girl I always daydreamed of meeting a fairy one day. I think my dream came as...

    #ngmcreate_3 #letsexplore #ngmcreate #abstract #ngmcreate_2 #ngmcreate_1 #damselflies #animals #throughtheeyesofachild

    While the little one was playing in the sand, the elder one is trying to capture the morning beau...

    #sunrise #pegions #kids #morning #birds #beach #mobile_photogaphy #mobile_photogaphy_1 #children

    Photograph by @Gem, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #exploration

    There are countless surprises, beauty or treasure hidden in the nature. These attract all the age...

    #people__nature #through_the_eyes_of_a_child #nature__its_best #wisteria_blossoms

    Memories of a hammock in the country side. This was my girls' first time enjoying a hammock. ...

    #ngmcreate_3 #ngmcreate #ngmcreate_2 #childhood #family #children #portrait #tent #girls

    Editor's Note

    I really like the perspective in this image - they are all caught up in their own little world. The image reminds me that so many of our childhood experiences in nature depend on our parents taking... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    I loved the reflection of the trees and the sky in this puddle so I asked my daughter to reach do...

    #pacificnorthwest #reflection #starts #childhood #trees #wonder #girl #color

    My daughter, as she hops from rock to rock completely carefree. I remember that feeling as a chil...

    #durango #colorado #west #reflection #child #world #pinetrees #earth #water #pond #rocks #sky #trees #girl

    I stood knee-deep in a river to capture this early morning scene, which was just a short drive in...

    #indonesia #jakarta

    Editor's Note

    This image is so full of joy! I love the light, the splashing water and the mist. A fantastic childhood scene.

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    She loves to explore so we went out in the storm to watch the rain splash on the umbrella.

    #summer #summer_rain #childhood #florida

    This picture simply illustrates the relation between the sun and his father.. Those leaves shows ...

    #son #father #vietnam #life #street #people #travel #culture

    Women and girls of the San Bushmen tribe in traditional costume. The younger girls play and jump ...

    #rock #jump #play #san #fun #namibia #tribe #native_costume #throughtheeyesofachild #riverbed

    Editor's Note

    This image tells a wonderful story. I love how the girls are lining up to jump off of this rock and how you've captured their joy and excitement at different stages in this single frame.

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    mute during a summer trip - rest my son

    #summer #reflection #child #water #childhood #people #boy

    My daughter, Anastasia and her cousin, Sebastian where having fun discovering and enjoying the si...

    #happiness #innocence #kids #candid #joy #children

    Guys,just a moment!! Is he lying on ground or leaning against a wall??

    #happiness #fun #child #kerala #life #emotions #people #india

    Editor's Note

    This image really stands out to me because of the candid and playful moment that you have captured between these two. The surrounding environment is beautifully textured and I still can't figure ou... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    Photograph by @adreaminblue, National Geographic Kids My Shot

    #myshot

    Editor's Note

    I love how this image shows the motion of the car - both through the window and in the girl's flowing hair. You can also sense her excitement by the way she is gripping the windowsill and by the hi... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    The path that leads to the beach in Pizzo, Italy, is a mysterious and magical journey. The trees ...

    #throughtheeyesasofachild #summer #path #calabria #woods #italy #mystery #tree #trees

    Editor's Note

    I really like the sense of scale that your daughters add to this lovely forest. They are dwarfed by these towering, dark trees in a forest that almost looks enchanted. The addition of their matchin... More

    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer

    I’m so happy with the results of this assignment. I can’t tell you how much joy going through your incredible submissions has brought me. As a conservationist, this assignment is particularly important to me because I feel strongly that children will care more about nature and the environment if they are exposed to the outdoors at a young age. One of my favorite quotes about this relationship comes from author David Sobel: “If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it.” 

    Thank you all for participating in this assignment. Thank you for sharing these experiences with your children and for reaching back and trying to recapture the wonder you once felt in nature—and hopefully feel again. Hope you'll all join me and My Shot photo editor Hilary Andrews for a live chat right below on the story discussion board on September 6, 1 p.m. ET. Ask us anything about story editing, educating young people and our love for the great outdoors. 

    About the Editor
    Gabby Salazar
    Photographer and Nat Geo Young Explorer
    Gabby Salazar is a National Geographic Young Explorer who specializes in nature and conservation photography. She is a member of the Emerging League of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and a past President of the North American Nature Photography Association. For five years, Gabby worked with Nature’s Best ...

    Photographers Published In the Story