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My Best Photos of 2018

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Published Jan 16, 2019 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 35 Contributors

    36 photos selected by

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I invited three Your Shot photographers — Shannon Hunt, Rose Ungvari, and Sukanya De — to each select their 12 favorite photos from the 18,880 submissions to the “My Best Photos of 2018” assignment; this is THEIR story. They have earned my respect through their hard work and positive attitude. Shannon, Rose, and Sukanya have established the quality standard of what I expect in future Your Shot mentees. Throughout 2019, I look forward to continue identifying exceptional Your Shot photographers who articulate WHY they love the photos of their peers in thoughtful comments, and offering them opportunities to edit assignments and curate stories.

    00h00, it's time to reach the surface and go back to our house. This caving session gave us the a...

    #forest #night #lights #adventure #france #caving #caves #explore #strobes #vegetal #cavers #explorers

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt: "This image is so beautifully taken. I love how the lighting sets the frame aglow with the vegetation surrounding this explorer who seems to be emerging fr... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    From Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt, “Everyday Moments” (September 2018) // “Do you ever feel as if the world is moving so quickly that we sometimes forget to slow down and take it all in? Your Shot gives us the opportunity to take time each day to experience the world through the lens of our global community. These 12 images really speak to me as I visually tell your story, rich in tradition, beauty, adventure, and heartache — but most of all love. Your love of photography shows the world that through all our stories, good or bad, we are capable of great things. You have taken us to places we never imagined seeing. Our photographic collaboration as a community has created a powerful collection of images that represents a visual history of 2018, one that shows the exceptional and dysfunctional parts of our humanity while hopefully bringing us to a better understanding and acceptance of each other. That is the power of Your Shot.”

    At home from school, during the ephemeral summer of Golden Mountains, children and teens don't ha...

    #sheep #livestock #kazakh_nomads #kazakh_girl #altai_mountains #golden_mountains

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt's comment: "This image is stunning Alessandra! You have created a portrait that really tells the story of the Kazakh Nomads and your caption is very infor... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A young lioness photographed in an early and cold morning in Masai Mara, she is a part of the "fi...

    #africa #nature #wildlife #lions #kenya #masaimara #bigcats

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Trikansh Sharma who commented, "I totally love this photograph. Winter's morning & perfect breathing air & the morning color's light mak[e] it so amazing."

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Do kids today go outside to play anymore? Or are they stuck behind phones, tablets, Xbox’s etc? A...

    #play #culture #travel #portrait #sports #kids #places #portraits #streetphotography

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt: "It is hard to believe this image was taken in the year 2018. We don't often see children outdoors enjoying outdoor activities. Technology has certainly ma... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Coming from a farmers family and growing up in places where farming is the main occupation, i can...

    #rural #light #life #buffalo #china #farmer

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Janet Ellison's comment: "I love this photo, Prasad! The light beaming through, the colors, the farmers walking along all combine to make it a perfect shot. I also lik... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Sidur Dan,Indian wedding Rituals.

    #indianwedding

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt: "This is such a candid shot Subhankar. It has a wonderful point of view allowing us to get a glimpse of this beautiful bride preparing for one of the most ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I attended the peaceful home birth of this sweet baby girl. The first time mother was strong and ...

    #hands #birth #blackandwhite #midwife #homebirth #birthphotographer

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt: "What a special moment to be part of Ashley. The moment a new life comes into the world is such a personal experience for the mother. To see so many people... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    During a zebra crossing on the Mara River (Kenya), crocodiles caught a zebra and then cut it up a...

    #zebra #crocodile #mara_crossing #kenya2018

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer David Miller: "Very powerful image and the narrative really brings to light the reality of how truly powerful these animals are and the dangers that animals passing thro... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Right off a busy path in Toronto's High Park, a stream is teeming with litter, mostly plastic bag...

    #planetorplastic

    Editor's Note

    Powerful portrait Sage. I love how thoughtful you are, both visually and in your caption. Another fantastic comment from Your Shot photographer Cynthia C.: "Really like reading your point of view a... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Winter Solstice day at Stonehenge. My daughter moved by a song of peace and hope.

    #red #girl #portrait #stonehenge #wintersolstice2018 #peoplesinging #happysolstice

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt: "I keep coming back to this image.The expression on your daughters face is one of sheer joy. I can feel her excitement as she takes part in this celebratio... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Life is a Game

    #game #people #bw #love #monochrome #wedding #blackandwhite #yourshot #yourshotadventure

    Editor's Note

    I agree with Your Shot photographer Sukanya De: “Love the textures all over the frame, and how the black and white tones express the grandeur as well as the elegance evoked in this cinematic moment... 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

    From Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari, “Superstitions Around the World” (October 2018) // “’My Best Photos of 2018’ is a celebration of the best in photography captured by you, the Your Shot community. I am drawn to incredibly deep rich colors, gorgeous lighting, and tonal moods. The 12 images I selected ignited a spark in me. They moved me like a roller coaster, taking my emotions to spiritual heights with exciting twists and turns. They made me pause and look deeper, they made me wonder out loud what it would feel like to be there, they made me question if I would have the courage to climb those heights. They became my bucket list of places I would like to travel to and visit one day, to explore and to experience. The beautiful landscapes and intimate scenes inspired me, your stories touched me. I was pulled into your world and what you had to say. Each image conveys a visual story, an energy, a deep moment — and collectively as a group, they are a journey of life, your life and the life surrounding us all. Thanks for sharing your stories, dreams, and adventures, and for giving me a glimpse into your lives, even if for a moment.”

    A view from my belay stance 30 metres away from the top of Mount Brewster (2,515m). My climbing b...

    #clouds #winter #climbing #mountaineering #new_zealand #mynewzealandstory #mount_brewster

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari: "When I view your image, I feel like I am there in your shoes, my heart pounding away with fear mixed with excitement and awe. I ask myself... will I be ab... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Squad Boss Connor MacPhee moves up and down the fire line checking in with members of our crew. W...

    #art #forest #firefighter #burn #forestfire #wildlandfire #nightshift #deltafire #fireseason2018

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Michelle Zheng: "Dangerous scene but a wonderful capture Eli. I have admiration for the work firefighters to protect people and nature alike. It's not easy to capture a ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Standing strong as a witness of time that has gone by, the bystander and the bridge share a commo...

    #bridge #landscape #street #lonely #blackandwhite #alone #longexposure #foggy #peacful_morning

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari's comment: "When looking at this image, I feel a sense of time, ever so slow, passing by... there is a rich calmness settling in with the thick fog hoveri... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    We were driving home after a hike, enjoying the beautiful evening and weather with the windows do...

    #colorful #joy #motion #movement #childhood #sunflare #boyhood

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari's comment: "You have captured such delightful, magical lighting and fabulous vibrant colors during your adventurous fun drive home. I like the perspective... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Sheep's migration to the dagestan mountains

    #sheep #landscape #russia #caucasus #dagestan #natgeotravel #caucasus_mountains

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari: "Truly a breathtaking view Pakalov! The mountain terrain looks rugged, yet the herd of sheep seem to travel across it effortlessly! The lighting you captur... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I created this session to focus attention on the problem of plastic nets abandoned in the sea, cr...

    #photography #plastic #creation #planetorplastic #palight #antlc

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Patricia Przybylinski's comment: "Fantastic couplet of images in this serious session, Antonio. You have used beauty to bring attention to the plague of plastic on our... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    South Georgia is as wild as it gets. It is also a challenging place to photograph. How do you do ...

    #wildlife #penguins #blackandwhite #antarctic #southgeorgia

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Stephanie Thomson's comment: "This is such a beautiful moment worth waiting for Jonathan. I can feel the love and sense of protection coming from the penguins as they ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    In remembrance of the life of Father Frank Cassidy, a new age Catholic priest who encouraged medi...

    #religion #light #culture #praying #blackandwhite #catholic #spirituality #priest #blessing #bishop

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari's comment: "The lighting you have captured really makes your image even more special. I feel a higher power has entered this room in remembrance of the li... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Taken in Saskatchewan on July 10 before the tornadoes. This is my first shot of the year of th...

    #storm #church #thunderstorm #canada #tornado #saskatchewan #supercell #stormchasing

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Shannon Hunt's comment: "Ryan this image is intense! That sky is so incredible ominous. The cross leaning on the church almost feels like it could be a person trying t... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A simple self portrait of me and my three children

    #children #selfportrait #motherhood

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Sukanya De: Ashley, this is much more than a simple self-portrait! It is an intriguing portrayal of your identity, expressing your role as a mother in a most powerful wa... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    After have been waiting for these chicks’s(Mergus merganser) leaving their nest for almost one we...

    #birds #child #water #bird #jump #chick #japan #baby #chicks #goosander #hokkaido #protecttheselands

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari: "My what an astonishing journey these little chicks have had so far in their young lives, jumping all the way down from the heights of a tree and then maki... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    They say that dancing is the hidden language of the soul. This girl seems to be enjoying the ligh...

    #people #silhouette #stars

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Rose Ungvari: "I keep coming back to this image... it is so delightful, it makes me happy and makes me smile. It makes me think of my young niece who will be visiting me... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    From Your Shot photographer Sukanya De, “Opposites” (November 2018) // “Every year we grow as photographers and storytellers by discovering more of life, by observing, feeling, and expressing transcendental moments in powerful narratives. Through your images, I have experienced your emotions, cherished your perspectives, and lived your dreams. These 12 photos connect and communicate to me in powerful dialogues of light, moment and composition. Through your powerful imagery, I could travel to exotic destinations, feel the warm emotions of affectionate cozy homes, gain courage to explore untrodden worlds, and meet the most difficult adventures. I could connect to cultures and traditions from all over the globe, behold this beautiful world in a new light, and once more feel grateful for this life. I cherished this thoughtful bond with all of you and your world. Our diversity in thoughts and perspectives makes us unique, yet makes us realize how we are deeply connected through our meaningful expressions of photography. Together we can inspire the narratives of our future.”

    Fisherman catching fish in the morning dew on the lake

    #dew #fish #lake #fisherman

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Luca Feliziani: "Wow, big capture. Of course I'm speaking of your shot!!! Compliments. The light is perfect, warm and bright and the subject has a lot of action. Also th... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    While walking through Central Park I noticed a beautiful woman sitting on a bench in front of a g...

    #woman #people #portrait #sunlight

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Sukanya De: "I absolutely admire the way you used light to transform this candid moment of portraiture into fine art. Love the interplay of light and shadow on the smoot... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Ballet attitude

    #ballet

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Kimberly Coates's comment: "Gorgeous lighting! The longer shutter speed created an amazing blur, of varying colors and tones, framing the subject perfectly. The glow o... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    During a dive, a huge octopus, annoyed by my presence, tried to take away my camera. I did not ...

    #sea #wild #underwater #octopus #underwaterphography

    Editor's Note

    Octopus are the most fascinating, curious creatures. It looks like its snapping a selfie! I'm glad it wasn't successful in taking your camera. Awesome moment!

    Kristen Mcnicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A place where kids love most. This brought full of memories during my childhood days. These kids ...

    #kids #playground

    Editor's Note

    This is fantastic Zacho. I love Your Shot photographer Cynthia C.'s comment: "I have seen the use of smaller surfaces like the one you photographed, but this is almost like a light box and my eyes ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Micro-organisms give these salt ponds bright colors ranging from blue-green to deep red-magenta, ...

    #salt #bay #california #aerial #sanfrancisco #saline #fromabove #saltponds

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Toni Minchev: "Love, love, love it! Textures, colors, lines, composition, spectacular! It reminds me of geode rocks. If I didn't know it is an aerial, I'd say it is a ma... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Clever use of surrounding pools to reflect the façade by the designers of the new V&A building in...

    #architecture #blackandwhite #dundee #vanda #kengokuma #vandadundee

    Editor's Note

    Wonderful work filling the frame with the lines and shapes formed from this architecture and its reflections. I agree with Alexander below! I love the man standing with his hands behind his back ad... More

    Kristen Mcnicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A crows next perspective taken from the mast top whilst sailing a traditional schooner through ar...

    #sea #ice #nest #adventure #arctic #top #greenland #sailing #rigging #mast #crows #schooner #rushforth

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Dina Humphreys: "The photo shows the sea of icebergs as they crush the side of this ship perspective of the small people scale on deck. The viewer eye slides down the ma... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    The 2018 Golden Eagle Festival was a great cultural experience. Spent several days riding and fly...

    #mongolia #eagle_hunter

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Sukanya De: “The intimate portrait brings out the incredible bond that this friendly Kazakh shares with this majestic bird! Love the crisp clarity and intricate details ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    end of the summer makes me sad

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Tim Barnsley: "Sad, maybe because of the sunflowers in the final days of their lives and the autumn tones signal the end of the season. But it is a fantastic shot and I ... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This shot was taken at the Ghats of Varanasi during the festival of Dev Deepawali (Deepawali of G...

    #feet #god #lights #power #street #varanasi #almighty #dailydozen #grandness #yourshot #devdeepawali

    Editor's Note

    From Your Shot photographer Anirudh Ranjan: "The low point of view just increments this pic several notches up. Also, keeping an old person's leg creates both, layers in the photograph as well as a... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    an incredible expression of Freedom crafted in enigmatic light!!!. The picture was shot on a wint...

    #birds #architecture #india #morning #freedom #fog #winter #travel #agra #heritage #tajmahal #mughal

    Editor's Note

    I love Your Shot photographer Sukanya De’s comment: “‘I love the low to the ground POV, looking up at the architectural brilliance of Taj Mahal, standing tall over time. I love the way you took adv... More

    David Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I am very proud of Shannon, Rose, and Sukanya. They exceeded my expectations as mentees, and I look forward to the next class. I remember what it was like starting out as a photographer, and how important it was to have mentors encourage and challenge me to be and do better. Your Shot is my way of giving back in appreciation of those editors and photographers who gave me an extra five minutes out of their busy schedule.

    However even more important was the role my peers played in my growth as a photographer. That is what makes Your Shot such a special platform, you are a global community of photographers who all aspire to be better photographers and more thoughtful storytellers. Everyone starts somewhere, and by being a member of Your Shot, you are not on this journey alone. My best advice is to connect with Your Shot photographers, help each other, and have constructive discussions together.

    In December 2019, Your Shot will again be running a “My Best Photos of 2019” assignment. Many of you got a head start by participating in the “On January 1, 2019, I…” assignment. “My Best Photos of January 2019” assignment launches on January 25, 2019. Every month I will be curating a “My Best Photos of (Month)” assignment. This is your advance notice. These assignments are designed to encourage to go out and keep shooting, to make new photos. This is how you will get better, one photo at a time.

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    About the Editor
    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.

    Photographers Published In the Story