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Everyday Science

This assignment ran from Jun 12 to Jul 3, 2018.

Editor's Note: Please note that images published in previous assignments will not be selected for the final story.

I started my career as a science photographer a couple of years ago and began collaborating with scientists to help communicate their work to broader audiences. These stories took me to many places in the world - from extreme wilderness to highly sophisticated laboratories - where I continually learned about the processes of science.

I eventually realized that science exists everywhere, and it permeates things we do every day. From making a phone call to preparing food, starting a car to playing the guitar—everything we experience has a connection to fundamental science. In fact, our modern society is built on the foundation of these hidden sciences—and that’s what this assignment will try to highlight.

For this assignment, your job is to identify and photograph the scientific processes that you observe or use in your day-to-day life. These include gadgets/appliances/technology, or wonders of the world that we’ve gotten accustomed to, but have forgotten their minor yet integral contributions like the wheel. The theme is intentionally broad; your photos can be of biology, physics, engineering, medicine, weather, animals etc. For example, you can take a picture of lighting a matchstick and talk about the reactions involved, or an image of a glass of wine, mentioning the science behind winemaking.

This assignment will be evaluated on aesthetics, composition, lighting, and the way you use your caption to highlight the hidden science in your caption. I want you to learn a bit more about all the beautiful science in your surroundings. Be curious, and share the results with all of us. I’m looking forward to viewing all the fantastic images and science stories in this assignment. Good luck!

Submission deadline is July 3, 2018 at 12pm EST.

Curated by:

Prasenjeet Yadav
Photographer & National Geographic Explorer
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 Jul 18, 2018.
Thank you for your contributions!

Final Editor's Update

Posted jul 2, 2018

 Hi everyone,

This theme was tough, demanding and time-consuming but I am delighted to see the quality of entries that came in the last few days. You all pushed it and made the 4th submission count so I would like to compliment you all on that!

I am also excited that most of the images submitted in this assignment were shot for this assignment and weren’t fished out of your archives. That is brilliant and the whole point of a Your Shot Assignment! I hope you all learned a bit more about our surroundings and science while working from my prompt.

Now I have a humongous task ahead of me and it's not going to be easy. Thank you for making it tough for me by submitting so many incredible images because that's when I learn from you.

Keep your eyes out for the final story.


Editor's Update #02 and...

Posted jun 27, 2018

I must say you all have impressed me with your images that came in. I have spent a lot of time reading about how things work just because I came across an interesting image shared by you.

These Your Shot assignments are supposed to simulate the National Geographic magazine assignments. After making a beautiful image, you have to craft your caption to teach us more about what we are seeing. There are still images coming in which have potential to teach us something scientific but have no description. As mentioned, I won't be disqualifying those images but I highly recommend you to take that step and add interesting captions.

Honestly, I am having a lot of fun in this assignment as this is helping me to go back to the basics of science. There are concepts that I had read about more than a decade ago in high school textbooks.

I want more of this so I have decided to open this assignment for a 4th submission. There are still few more days left, so make this submission count!

Good luck!!


Discussion Board Chat

Posted jun 19, 2018

Hi everyone!

On Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 12pm EST, I will be on the discussion board for an hour answering questions! Make sure to have your questions prepared for Thursday, I'm looking forward to chatting with you all.

Look for the comment pinned to the top of the discussion board, that will be where I host the thread. 


Editor's Update #01

Posted jun 14, 2018

A good start everyone. This is a challenging assignment theme but I am glad to see how the community is pushing the envelope by creating new images. I think most of you have gotten the right idea but I want to use this first note to share how we can make this even more interesting.

As I mentioned in the introduction, the assignment is for us to identify, photograph and learn about our everyday science. To do that, it's really important to share what you learn. I have come across so many beautiful images in this assignment which have great potential to highlight an important scientific process but there are no captions. 

Take some time to research the science in your image, then teach me the scientific process through your caption. This will make the image more compelling. Let me know what's cool about it, let me know what surprised you and use the visuals to surprise others.

If you are photographing a magnifying glass, explain the optics of the tool. If you are photographing the night sky, take a moment to tell us about our galaxy we share. If you are photographing insects, tell us about entomology (the study of insects) or how we preserve specimens for display.

Take a look at the Editor’s Favorites for examples of some striking images and captions that I’ve seen so far. 

I want to see something exciting and learn something cool at the same time! I encourage you all to be researchers and explore your surroundings. 

I am looking forward to more of your images!


Prasenjeet Yadav

Prasenjeet Yadav

Photographer & National Geographic Explorer
Prasenjeet Yadav is a molecular ecologist turned photographer and a National Geographic Explorer. Early in his scientific career, he realized that his real passion lay in storytelling. He now combines his research experience with his photography skills to tell stories about science, exploration, and conservation. Under his explorer's project, he produced a story on the evolution of species in the Shola Skyislands of the Western Ghats. He is represented by National Geographic Creative and is currently working on a film about the Skyislands of India.