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Close Encounters

This assignment ran from Oct 1 to Oct 22, 2018.

This assignment theme was the runner-up from our User Submitted Assignment Suggestion Poll.

Hello Your Shot Photographers! 

My name is Subhojit Dutta, and I’m one of your fellow Your Shot photographers. I was born and brought up in a small town-- or should I say under-construction city-- of Bengal, Howrah, India. While I have always loved art, my interest in photography began six years ago when I chanced upon Steve McCurry’s photo book The Path of Buddha in an Oxford library at Kolkata. The amazing use of natural colors and light in the photographs greatly affected my tender mind and set me off on my passion as a photographer.

Now, let's talk about the theme for this assignment, "Close Encounters." Sir Robert Capa said, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." With this famous quote as inspiration, let us reach closer to the people, places, and things we put in front of our camera. The focus of your photos could be a grandparent, a panda or algae! Try and see how you can use different perspectives to bring us closer to the subject of your photograph. Focus close on details, get to know the location the subject is in, and try to have your own close encounter. And don't forget to write a perfect caption about the story behind your submitted photos.

You can submit three photos that best fit the theme. Happy exploration!

All the best!
Subhojit Dutta, Your Shot Photographer

Submission deadline October 22nd, 12:00pm EST

Senior Producer Matt Adams and Associate Photo Editor Kristen McNicholas will be launching the assignment. Your Shot photographer Subhojit Dutta will be assisting with the final curation of the story.

Curated by:

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Matt Adams
Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Assignment Status
  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.
  • Closed

    Completed assignments—with our favorite photos included—will be published online. Learn more.
  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.
Published Nov 7, 2018.
Thank you for your contributions!

Fourth Submission

Posted oct 19, 2018

Thank you all for the amazing submissions that have been submitted to the Close Encounters assignment. Your Shot photographer Subhojit Dutta has asked to add a fourth submission, as you prepare to submit your final images study some of the editors favorites so far. A majority of these favorites are from Subhojit as he has carefully gone through each submission and selected some of his favorites. Reminder that the assignment closes on Monday, October 22nd at 12pm EST.

Close Encounters

Posted oct 2, 2018

Hello everyone! 

To clarify on some of the confusion here are some thoughts to help you as you prepare for submissions to this assignment. Macro's are allowed for this assignment, but when submitting a macro it would be great if the image told a story or helped add to a story of how you came upon this close encounter. I would like you, the Your Shot community to reach closer to the people, animals, microbes or anything alive on Earth and try to get closer to them in their environment. Looking for something that you would like to tell a deeper story about. Having a close encounter can also mean getting closer to someone or something that you are photographing and you are able to tell a deeper story about what we are looking at. 

When you're out with your cameras I would like for you to capture key characteristics (e.g. habits, practices, cultures, skills, habitats, emotions, lifestyle, impression of struggles, and special emotional attachments.) Explore the soul of the subject in their very own environment. Make sure you are including in your caption information about the person, place, animal or item we are looking at and how you got close to this subject. 

Good luck with your submissions!


Subhojit Dutta

Your Shot Photographer

Kristen McNicholas

Kristen McNicholas

Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot
Kristen is an Associate Photo Editor with the Your Shot team. She interned at the White House Photo Office under the Obama Administration as well as Education Week. A proud RIT alumna, dessert enthusiast and Finger Lakes, NY native, Kristen is excited to guide your photographic journey!

Matt Adams

Matt Adams

Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Matt is a Senior Producer on the Your Shot team. He curates and produces the Daily Dozen gallery as well as monthly assignments. Before Nat Geo, Matt was a photography instructor and freelance photographer working for publications such as Wired, Spin, and Pittsburgh Magazine.