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As The World Turns

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Published Mar 23, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 30 Contributors

    30 photos selected by

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    The changing of the guard...

    #snow #springtime #change #seasons #canon #funny #snowmelting #melt #snowman

    Like poetry, photographs can speak to us in a language of the heart. We long to see life unbound, to raise the veil and peer into the dark places where meaning awaits us. Thanks to everyone in the Your Shot community, we have here many such images, from a great outpouring of insight. 

    It has been a delight to see this story emerge as pictures asserted their profound visions of transition. I knew, of course, that this assignment would be difficult, that it would tax everyone’s ability to make pictures about that most ephemeral quality of transformation in the moment. But the rewards have been stunning. From the baby reaching for the light by Tomasz Solinski to the chilling cat approaching the fallen bird by Rie Komoto, it was clear that these would not be ordinary nice pictures. Such was also the case with Bart Veltkamp’s loving picture of the burial of his dog, Ferdo, covered with roses! And then there were the wrenchingly beautiful images of life on the wane (redolent of loss, regret, and acceptance) by Karen Burke and Julia Cumes. They touched my heart.

    Then, too, here were images that spoke to me in ways that reason cannot justify but that are the essence of pure thought, untranslatable into mere words. I can think of many, but Paolo Lazzarotti and Sharbeen Sarash each used water to imply mystery. These are images that reach deep and invite us to be still. 

    The transition from land to water. Most commonly seen on warm summer days.

    #summer #swimming #youth #water #kids #memories #pool #wet #goggles

    Editor's Note

    This image has the quality of a moment in growing up, held still and made timeless. Redolent of freckles and summers --and revealing yourself only reluctantly.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    3 years ago the Government of Kerala, India banned collection of sand without permit. The sand is...

    #kerala #water #river #boat #anticipatethemoment #polluted_river #tree #travel #environment #india

    Travellers and tourist at central station.

    #new_york #manhattan #time #station #central_station #people

    When the evening was over, when looking through all the pictures, i saw this and i felt like goi...

    #innocence #valentine #young

    Editor's Note

    Yes, this really is an in between age and the postures of these kids says a lot about their uncertainty. Nice light, too, which really has a brooding quality about it, appropriate for the sentiment.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    Boundary Bay dykes in Delta, British Columbia is a haven to winter migratory birds of all kinds. ...

    #murmuration #light #happyplanet #birds #dunlin #transitions #adventure

    Nabataean tombs carved out of the sandstone in Petra, Jordan.

    #tomb #nabataean #petra

    This beautiful wave was grabbed with a long exposure to emphasize its circular path due to a subm...

    #water #foam #5_terre #long_exposure #clouds #seascape #cliff #sky #emerald #sunset #wave

    Holding hand in hand we stand together forever, standing still in this moment of life while the s...

    #together #flow #time #change #sand #beach #love

    Editor's Note

    Something about this has the quality of lives passing in a cascade of moments. I like it.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    A passion for something can change your life or makes you feel reborn,like this beautiul elderly ...

    #swing #dancers #london #people

    Editor's Note

    What a delight. These pictures are not easy to pull off, when the are so many people, but here they are all in their moment, part of the dance and the whole thing full of life.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    first breath

    #labour #light #giftoflife #giftoflifeassignment #hospital #birth

    Editor's Note

    We've had a number of baby pictures submitted for this assignment, but this one struck me immediately, with the baby reaching out towards the light. Symbolic, yes, but in a convincing way.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    The Prayer in Kartik broto

    #narayangonj #bangladesh #prayer #kartik_broto

    Night walk in the mountains above Porto Pollo , Corsica , France .

    #corsica #night #nightshot #self_portrait #milkyway #space

    Fairytale like snapshot of a man and carriage on Krakow main square waiting for Cinderella as a s...

    #winter #krakow #snow #environmental_friendly #weather #poland #horse #tourism #transport #carriage

    This child on the left almost died because she poured a hot water to her self... We took her to a...

    #playing #love #children #hope

    Editor's Note

    I found this so very revealing, of those moments in life when we know who we are, and then when we see that we have more to become.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    As the world turns, seasons rotate and colors change. A swan taking off in the reflection of fall...

    #reflection #as_the_world_turns #seasonal_change #fall_colors #swan

    I had to prepare some wood for the log fire that I had self-proclaimed, was my job to do, so I de...

    #letsexplore #wilderness #portrait #wood #adventure #people #axe #travel #forest #nature

    The instinct of my Abyssinian cat, Meelo, take over as he begins to stalk with stealth movements ...

    #moment #bird #life #pets #smallcats #hunter #animals #cat #nature

    I spent a total of six hours on the hillside to create this image. The wind was blowing a constan...

    #sequence #bloodmoon #night #eclipse #lunareclipse #moon #phases #transistion

    Editor's Note

    You were right to brave it out those many hours of the night. This works wonderfully, especially with the clouds over on the right. Good job.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    "Abdi" in English means "servant", and "Dalem" means "inside" in this case inside a Keraton (pala...

    #indonesia #portraits #yogyakarta #people #culture

    Editor's Note

    I was quite taken by the different expressions of the the three men, and that they were so perfectly framed by the three rings. Nice seeing.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    Kitchen forks - it's a light experiment

    #light #minimalism #shadow #couple #kitchen #fork #line

    In Olimpic Ring of Barcelona, three pensionistes walks at the same position

    #hands #lonleny #man_walking

    Nice and strange world between starlights and city lights. Shot in Gran Canaria Island. The rock...

    #rock #island #night #spacial_transition #gran_canaria #stars #transition #clouds #city_lights

    This photo was taken almost a year ago. It was the first day we had Mom home for Hospice care. Ha...

    #husband #elderly #dementia #dying #family #lewybody #love #wife #hospice #lewybodydementia

    Reverend Gerald Gilmore, 100, and his granddaughter, Nina Gilmore, share a moment of connection a...

    #death #connection #thehumanstory #100_years_old #love #when_death_comes #last_days

    As the high tide recedes on a moonlit night, the transition begins... exposing the unseen, the hi...

    #landscape #water #moonlight_beach

    I found this sea lion on a beach side trail on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos. And I wond...

    #galapaagos #sealion_dead

    a group of people union to put the boat go out to sea at Long Hai, Vung Tau, Vietnam in the early...

    #strength #union #sea #vung #tau

    Sri Lankan workers cleaning the stupa on a bamboo ladder anchored with rope.

    #cleaning #workers #transition #sri_lanka #people #asia #culture #travel #stupa

    On december 18th I lost my beloved 14 years old Ferdo, a rescued spanish pointer. Originally he ...

    #death #died #emotion #beloved #dog #burial #love_my_pet #many #years

    Editor's Note

    Thank you so much for sharing this touching moment and the story that went with it. And my best to a good dog, Ferdo.

    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer

    There are many images that are not here. They should be. I’m sorry. If we could go on and on, probing both the depths of transition (and the generosity of all of you who submitted images) they would each get their due. I regret that every worthy image cannot find a place on this page. Know that your contribution was accepted thankfully. You made my decisions very difficult. Good luck as you continue your photographic exploration. You proved to me that many good things are yet to come.

    About the Editor
    Jim Richardson
    National Geographic Photographer
    Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and a contributing editor for its sister publication, Traveler Magazine. Richardson has photographed more than 30 stories for National Geographic. Richardson's work has taken him around the world covering issues of food and the environment, cultures and travel, landscapes and perils ...

    Photographers Published In the Story