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Inspiring Experiences

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Published Apr 25, 2018 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 26 Contributors

    26 photos selected by

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    I took this photo when a huge storm hit the California coast. The waves off this famous surf spot...

    #storm #surf #nature #ocean #jump #california #surfer #swell #fearless #santacruz #californiasurfing

    We all see the world differently as a result of our personal experiences. Because Your Shot is a global community representing 195 countries, this assignment has revealed universal themes as well as the many differences in our daily lives. Whenever you pick up your camera to take a picture — whether on top of mountain witnessing the sunrise or watching your children play with each other —you are pausing that moment in your life, to personally remember and share it with others. This decision is an inspired action.

    This was my first experience shooting underwater and I'm totally hooked!

    #underwater #blackandwhite #childhood #monochromatic #inspiring_experiences_assignment

    Editor's Note

    If I did this well with my first underwater photography, I would also be totally hooked Dana. This is fantastic. I agree with Your Shot photographer Deborah Johnson who commented, "What a lovely us... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    The dazzling formation of the starlings in murmuration was an amazing and humbling experience as ...

    #egret #greategret #yolobypasswildlifearea #starlings_flock #starlings_murmuration

    Editor's Note

    There is a lyrical quality to this image. It's simple while being graphic and dynamic at the same time. The serendipity of the single larger bird flying through the swarm elevates this image in my ... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    When I started photography the first photographer that I admire was Ansel Adams, he was introduce...

    #nature #landscape #travel #yosemite #valley #blackandwhite #dreams #black_and_white

    Editor's Note

    I agree with Your Shot photographer Joan Rankin Hayes who commented, " Wonderful story and image — so glad you finally got to see it and capture it with such beauty!" I love how you were inspired b... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Protesters swarmed onto the 101 Highway in Los Angeles after Donald Trump was elected President. ...

    #diversity #trump_protest #blackandwhitephotogaphy

    Editor's Note

    What really made this image for me was the juxtaposition of the protestors on the bridge with the police below. Two different feelings and moods are set by the differences. Also the lit up street s... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    The first time I heard Moby was in a photographer's studio in Wellington NZ. Little did I know th...

    #music #concert #dj #moby #rifflandia #adventuresofalifetime

    Editor's Note

    Adding to Matt's original note, which is below. I love the juxtaposition between performer and fans. The light reveals the scene in discreet and interesting ways. It also creates a sense of unexpec... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    This photograph was clicked during a Bengali wedding. I wanted to document the tradition of ages ...

    #light #portrait #shadow #mood #wedding #sad #cry #monochome #biday #black_white #emotioins

    Editor's Note

    This is such a beautiful moment Avismita. I love the look on her face paired with the faceless hands touching the car window. And then when I learn this is the moment the bride is leaving her home ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Joan and Carl sit together inside of their home of 54 years. The were married in 1950 and togethe...

    #love #community #marriage #relationshipgoals

    Editor's Note

    This is such a beautiful portrait Meg. I love the story it tells through all the framed pictures hanging on the wall behind Joan and Carl. I love Your Shot photographer Laurie Fix's comment to your... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I saw a man getting ready to dive in the cool water at a hot sunny day My mind wanted to do sam...

    #blue #water #sunset #river #dive #jump #dam #orengecolor #cuntryside #landscaap

    Editor's Note

    "Sometime our happiness can be found in others happiness..." Nicely expressed.I love how tranquil the scene is and the way you've captured the split second before this man's entry into the water wi... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Holi is an experience I would recommend to any photographer. Lately my life changed radically :...

    #festival #women #holi #color #dance

    Editor's Note

    Holi, also known as the festival of color, is so widely photographed. This image really captured the feeling of being inside the celebration. Your comment about the realization of being "awake in o... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    Far away from the nearest modernized city in Qinghai, I traveled with Oxfam for around 10 hours i...

    #travel #tibet #tibetans #yushu

    Editor's Note

    Jenn Poggi and I both wanted to leave an Editor's Note — but Your Shot photographer Elizabeth Paoletti did our job for us: "I love this image and how you composed it. [S]o many people to look at. I... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    It was under a week before I would pack my things and leave New Zealand to go film with the whale...

    #camping #stars #newzealand #timelapse #tongariro #outdoor #explore #milkyway #tongarirocrossing

    Editor's Note

    Wow. This is epic. You are lucky, a three-year around the world trip. Your photo and story is making me question my life choices, thanks for the inspiration. I agree with Your Shot photographer Fra... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    At almost 60 years of age it is not easy to decide to face again the huge adventure that had take...

    #italy #mountain #adventure #alps #friuli #inspiring_experiences #yourshotadventure

    Editor's Note

    I love it Stefano. As an avid camper, I love the experience you documented. Great use of available light. Then after reading your caption, and learning the story behind the photo, I love this frame... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I have the conviction of persistently wondering what a person with dementia thinks about. It’s ut...

    #iphoneonly #losinghismind #losingdad #alosingmind #brilliantmind #livingwithaghost

    Editor's Note

    "I miss my Dad so much. Yet, he’s physically right in front of me." A poignant quote to match this powerful image. The eye contact forces the viewer to confront the idea of living with dementia, an... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    As a birth and bereavement photographer, I have the profound honor of witnessing some of the only...

    #birth #bereavement #birth_and_death

    Editor's Note

    Megan, Your use of depth of field was extremely effective in the storytelling of this moment. Your focus on the way these fragile feet are revealed in the fold of the blanket communicates a story w... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    The obstacles this climber faced are no different than ones we face in our 'normal' lives. Roadbl...

    #oregon #climb #smithrock #natgeoyourshot #strongwomen #travelphotographerofeyear

    Editor's Note

    Fantastic use of silhouette Caitlin. I love it. And when paired with your caption, I really love this photo. I hope every time you see this photo, it reminds you of how you felt for those 30 minutes.

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This was a photo I took while in Antarctica. Our guide had said that the previous week, there was...

    #nature #wildlife #travel #whale #antarctica #minkewhale

    Editor's Note

    I loved this picture the moment I saw it and I think the moment you talk about in your caption is great. The water is so placid, which I find amazing when I think about how gently this large creatu... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    This architecture is called Kohoku Junction, located in Japan. I took this photography with a v...

    #sky #building #reflection #architecture #light #japan #monochrome #blackandwhite #concept #fineart

    Editor's Note

    This picture is stunning and I love that Naoki has found a way to make the connection between a landscape depicting infrastructure in Tokyo and the human experience. The way the road is captured ma... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    tornado in Wray ,Colorado on May 7th 2016 .An EF2 tornado posed a threat to everyone escaping its...

    #nature #amazing #weather #storms #tornado

    Editor's Note

    I'm fascinated by storm chasers and those who document powerful storms like this. From seeing this image I can just hear the wind picking up and the awe of witnessing the power that mother nature h... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    U.S. Air Force pararescuemen with prepare for aerial transport during a personnel recovery scenar...

    Editor's Note

    "Wow! What an Adventure!" - Terrifying too. Such a strong and powerful subject matter. Here we are taking the title of this assignment, right up to the extreme. What I love the most about this pho... More

    Robbie Shone
    National Geographic photographer

    Rebecca, standing along with her parents and 200,000 people in DC for the "March For Our Lives" r...

    #people #cityscape #dc #street #kids #protest #rally #washingtondc #marchforourlives #notonemore

    Editor's Note

    I've seen a lot of photos from the "March for Our Lives" rally, and many are just of people holding signs. So I love how you challenged yourself to make a visually strong frame — I love the flares ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    We will celebrate your life to the last second. Our job is making you smile. Growing up, knowing...

    #smile #water #pool #to #death #family #help #breath

    Editor's Note

    Your words "We will celebrate your life to the last second. Our job is making you smile" is so intimate, and makes your photo so powerful. I feel your love for your son. Thank you for sharing your ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My best friend and his horse

    #sky #sea #sunset #nature #horse #man #animals #swimming #fin #horsemanship

    Editor's Note

    The community reactions say it all. A wonderful image!

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    A rescued logging elephant in Northern Laos and the moment when Anna says good bye. We are facin...

    #wildlife #elephant #laos #luang_prabang

    Editor's Note

    I agree with Your Shot photographer Lara Kantardjian: "Beautiful image and words Gloria. I love that you took this so close — you can feel everything about this moment. It draws you in and captures... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Norman Rockwell inspired photo. I tried to capture some of his signature details along with moder...

    #children #dog #ethereal #norman_rockwell #my_best_photos_of_2017 #inspiring_experiences

    Editor's Note

    I'm drawn to the symmetry of this picture - the girls sitting back to back alongside the tree. The comments from the community say it all. The moment with the dog, the pigtails blowing in the wind,... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    A self portrait taken through the window of my kitchen to show the beautiful chaos that is mother...

    #motherhood

    Editor's Note

    Parenthood, and all that goes with it, is one of those universal themes that I suspect people around the world, regardless of cultural differences, can connect with. This image feels timeless. Your... More

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

    The Sally Mann exhibit “A Thousand Crossings” at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which features 115 photographs created over the past 40 years of Mann’s career, inspired this assignment. The images investigate how Mann’s relationship with her native land, the American South, has shaped and inspired her work.

    For over three weeks, we’ve enjoyed 8,880 photos and stories revealing your inspiring experiences from around the world. We’ve loved it, as you can see in our over 1,000 editor’s favorites. Because photography is a powerful medium to inspire others and to make people care, we hope you’ll draw from each other’s personal experiences and find inspiration from the images in this story.

    Check out our Your Shot: Editor's Insight blog post to read about our editing process for this final story.

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

    About the Editors
    David Lee
    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
    Before joining the Your Shot team, David covered the White House for Time and Newsweek, and served as an official photographer for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He also started The Waiting List, a non-profit storytelling project humanizing the statistics of organ donation.
    Jenn Poggi
    Jenn Poggi
    Assistant Professor, RIT, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
    Jenn Poggi is an assistant professor in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. She joined RIT after working as a picture editor and deputy director of the White House Photo Office under President Barack Obama. Poggi began her career with the Associated Press and later joined U.S. News & ...

    Photographers Published In the Story