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A Spark of Genius

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Published Jun 5, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 24 Contributors

    24 photos selected by

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I love daily life in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. The great diversity of people living, workin...

    #people #tokyo #shinjuku #japan2017 #night2017

    When this assignment began, I wrote about the difficulty you might face trying to photograph what—and who—inspires you. But after curating this story, I’m beyond thrilled with how our community stepped up to the challenge. As you demonstrated with your photographs, inspiration can come from many different places. We can be inspired by places we travel to when we want to clear our minds. We can be inspired by the act of others, who try to do good and help people in need. We can also be inspired simply by having long conversations over coffee with a friend.

    One of my favorite things during this assignment was reading the discussion board and your captions, about why and how the people and places you photographed inspire you. All Your Shot assignments require us to work together to tell a story. 

    It was her break. She took her time. Long enough that I would see the moment she was creating rig...

    #blue #board #wall #orange #girl #school #power #kenya #education #knowledge #sony #chalk #orphan #mombasa

    Editor's Note

    A really powerful visual. I love the isolated moment and how the young girl is working with her creative mind to create the drawing on the chalk board. Her slight look over her shoulder at your cam... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A shot of the Statue of Liberty through the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge in the late afternoon s...

    #sky #sunset #golden #nyc #brooklyn_bridge #statue_of_liberty

    Editor's Note

    Monuments and statues can be very inspiring. From how they appear to the inscriptions that are inscribed on them. I love the evening light here during sunset and the silhouettes on the bridge. This... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    a hard worker face after whole day work at ship breaking yard.

    #sunset #life #travel #ship_at_dock #portraiats #dock_yard #ngmhealth #backyardwarrior

    Editor's Note

    You can absolutely tell from this portrait that this man has been through a long hard day of work. I love the small details of the paint on his sweater and clothes and of course the way the light i... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    little girl's first painting lesson

    #kid #painter #artist

    Editor's Note

    What a fantastic moment to capture in a photo, Bakos! I love how this was composed and the sense of wonder that is captured on the child's face. The small light from above the painting cast a nice ... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    what makes wanna pick up my camera and get out there? well.. sparks! painting with light and fire...

    #abstract #art #night #dark #light #orb #longexposure #epic #lightpainting #nightphotoaphy

    Editor's Note

    Very well done job here with the light painting, Alex. This is something that I really struggle with as I don't think I have ever created something as memorable with light painting. Very inspiring ... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My son recently had his 4th birthday and we gave him a telescope as one of his gifts. Our dear so...

    #portrait #adventure #explore #autismawareness #telescope_view

    Editor's Note

    I think the title of this image says it all, never stop exploring. I love the window light that is being used here and the black and white toning of the photo. Your composition is tight, but not to... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    (1 of 3) I spent a weekend at Washington State University, where for three years engineering stud...

    #stem #engineering #drones

    Editor's Note

    I love the low angle perspective here and how you photographed this scene wide. You made this moment of drone construction very interesting, by just getting low and working this angle. Great work.

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Azerbaijan, Khinalig, Shahdag National Park

    #nature #landscape #park #national #travel #peak #azerbaijan #greatnature #shahdag

    Editor's Note

    I have to give you a hand on how well executed this image is. I have shot many images using a rearview mirror and they all seem so cliche, you raised the bar here by using the open window as your f... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    What a inspiring place on Senja Island, facing Segla peak surrounded by the fjord. This is where ...

    Editor's Note

    You definitely had the right idea to make this image happen. I love that the high five is happening right at the center of the sun. This location is definitely a nice spot to get some inspiration.

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Follow your dreams. You can do it, and try everyday, because its a new beginning to do the right ...

    #water #sun #nature #people #sunrise #caribbean #puertorico

    Editor's Note

    How can you not be inspired by this view? It's like standing on the edge of the world and just looking out at this beautiful planet. I know if I was witnessing this scene in real time I would be ve... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    piccoli tuffatori crescono, incorniciati dai magnifici mosaici della Piscina Olimpionica di Roma.

    #sports #nuoto #piscinaolimpica #foroitalico #garatuffi

    Editor's Note

    The composition here is just so nice. It's simple and clean, but you you need to be quick with the shutter to make it come to life. I love how the diver fits right with the paintings of other diver... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Morning light at one of the most beautiful places in East Germany: The Rakotzbrücke. It's such gr...

    #photo #bridge #reflection #sun #spring #nature #landscape #travel #sunrise #germany #rakotzbrucke

    Editor's Note

    Wow, what an inspiring location. This stone archway-bridge that extends over the water makes for such a great natural frame for the photo. Love the reflection and the lush green tones that you have... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    These Mộc Châu H'Mong ethnic pupils walked 5 to 10 kms every day to reach their classroom. They r...

    #children #up #vietnam #town #childhood #ethnic #leg #classroom #highland #sandal #pupil #moc_chau

    Editor's Note

    This young girl has such an intense look on her face as she takes her time to work in class. You can just see the gears turning in her mind and it's very inspiring to see what lengths people will g... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This was taken just before the light fades at the historic lighthouse of Peggy's Cove. A great da...

    #water #sunset #reflection #nature #landscape #light #travel #lighthouse #longexposure

    Editor's Note

    I love the low angle perspective and how close you were able to get to the rocks and the water. What really brought my attention to this photo was the colors you were able to work with. Just really... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This was my second time on a rooftop. I remember the first time, it was only a few months ago; I'...

    #sky #blue #architecture #landscape #fog #portrait #weather #dubai #foggy #skyscraper #uae #rooftop

    Editor's Note

    I really enjoyed your story behind this image, Harsha. It's a great moment, but works so well with this added storytelling detail in your caption. It really explained how this moment inspired you o... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Let's shake on it, shall we? --- I know it doesn't happen with every frame, but one of the things...

    #fire #hand #flame #devil #businessman #handshake #agreement #contract

    Editor's Note

    I really love this image. I believe when I first saw this image during my edit I actually said "No way!" to myself. It's just so different, but always great to see creativity like this on Your Shot... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I love hiking. While it is inwardly meditative and relaxing, it is also outwardly mind-opening an...

    #abstract #nature #landscape #light #sports #weather #landscapes #protecttheselands #earthcanvas

    Editor's Note

    Just a spectacular view to take in and perfect timing as you have Renan walking across the salt flats. The color tones you were able to get out of the sky are just so beautiful. Great work, Shivesh.

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Artist Tran Manh Tuan sublimates musical feelings. He conducts the orchestra conductor and makes ...

    #sublimation

    Editor's Note

    You can tell that this conductor is just feeling this moment right now. Great work capturing this at the peak action moment! Conductors have such interesting expressions and hand motions as they co... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I find inspiration/genius in nature. Sometimes the lighting isn't the way you want it, have to fi...

    #washington #waterfall #oregon #panorama #pdx #pacificnorthwest #pnw

    Editor's Note

    If I needed some inspiration this would definitely be the spot that I would head to. I love the square format that this composition is in as it keeps everything tight, but it doesn't feel too clutt... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    It was the second day in the mountains without any clouds in the sky. I thought that would be bor...

    #sunset #landscape #dog #animals #animal #dogs #appenzell

    Editor's Note

    The traveller's dog also seems to be very inspired by this incredible view that he is also taking in along with the viewers of this image. I love the added layer of getting close to the dog on the ... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    In 1676 Sir Isaac Newton wrote," If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the s...

    #technology #childhood #progress #3dprinting

    Editor's Note

    I love how this image was toned and the angle you used to capture this moment. It's very powerful to see this young woman study her most recent creation and how inspiring our own work can be to ot... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Before I joined Your Shot I admired photography and I liked looking at beautiful images but after...

    #people #portrait #adventure #conceptual #your_shot

    Editor's Note

    It's not surprising that we here at Your Shot love this image. It's represented the community and we've used it as an example image when we say that this place is inspiring. Ivan, as always your cr... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Thunder of Uyuni salt lake.

    #thunder #uyuni

    Editor's Note

    Incredible moment and landscape image, Tetsuya. I'm sure the people witnessing this scene are also amazed and inspired by the art that is mother nature. Great work composing this image and shooting... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This time around, it’s been fascinating to listen to all of you tell your own stories about why you started your journeys as photographers, and why you choose to photograph people, wildlife, or landscapes.

    Thank you for your submissions, and as always, thank you for the inspiration that you give the editors of Your Shot.

    This assignment was created in collaboration with a new project here at National Geographic called Chasing Genius – a digital community designed to inspire, ignite, and unleash the genius inside each one of us. Our work with this Your Shot Assignment will help us visualize what it means to be chasing genius and hopefully inspire people to participate and explore their curiosities, share their stories and turn their ideas into catalysts for change in the world.

    For more information on Chasing Genius, go to natgeochasinggenius.com

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    About the Editor
    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.

    Photographers Published In the Story