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Voices of the Parks

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Published Jun 30, 2016 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 19 Contributors

    21 photos selected by

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    Meet Mowgli. Chanopi ,a small boy who loves to catch small birds. He never kill birds that he ca...

    #india #people #park #nikon #hunting #kerala #jungle #mowgli #d3200

    I want to thank everyone who submitted photos to this assignment, which was one of the more restrictive assignments since it required being in a national park. I also want to thank all the participants on the discussion board for showing me how alive and supportive the Your Shot community can be.

    This was an incredibly difficult assignment to edit, and in the end I had to lose many images that were aesthetically amazing but were not as strong on the voices end. I wanted my final selections to embody balance between aesthetic beauty and the connection between the landscape of the parks and the people. I hoped this story would unfold by finding the images that could portray this bond and express the human voice not only through a strong caption but also through an emotional connection that the still frame encourages.

    Through your images I discovered a myriad of connections and relationships, ranging from the adventure tourist to the conservationist, from the local inhabitant with centuries of connection to the land to the onetime visitor having a new experience. I saw majestic vistas that dwarfed our human form and perseverance on physical and mental levels that remind me we are a part of nature and can harness its strength when needed. I was enlightened by the mysteries and magnificence you revealed and was reminded to bask in the wonderment of nature.

    People walking on the edge of a dune in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. When far away I saw so...

    #nature #landscape #people #travel #place #places #landscapes #namibia #trip_that_changed_my_life

    Editor's Note

    I am in awe of the subtle gradations of light and shade your were able to reveal with the camera.

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    This is Namtso Lake,4700 mtrs from the sea level.This nomadic lady is collecting Yak dung fuel fo...

    #people #travel #tibet #nomad #namtsolake #strong_woman #strong_women_assignment

    Local endemic fish from Galapagos, the salema collect in huge baits balls to protect themselves f...

    #fish #galapagos #shoal #salema

    A male Batwa elder prepares an animal snare just outside of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in ...

    #africa #people #park #anthropology #environment #uganda #conservation #livelihood

    Editor's Note

    Beautiful and sensitive detail that introduces us to the longer narrative about a group of people and their connection to the land.

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    Numerous colorful hot springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. There are also thousands of vi...

    #yellowstone #aerial #wyoming #fromabove #letsexplore #parkmemories #protecttheselands

    Editor's Note

    The perspective and the colors are amazing but the decision to keep the human elements in the frame works so well for helping us explore how we relate to these wild places.

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    Interaction between whale sharks and local fishermen in the Cenderwasih, Papua Indonesia. In this...

    #indonesia #underwater #whaleshark

    Editor's Note

    Beautifully captured moment that reminds us to think about and engage in our critical and fragile... More

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    Visitors camping in Kidepo Valley National Park in northernmost Uganda are required to hire armed...

    #voices_of_the_park_assignment

    When I really began delving deep into the editing process, I allowed your pictures to form the story. Of course the main criteria had to be met—that each photo was taken in a national park—but after that I was open. I did notice that as I got further into the process, if I liked an image but there was not a caption with pertinent information augmenting it, I did not move it into the next round of selections. For me, knowing the story behind these people and how the parks had influenced them was extremely important. However, I believe all the final images speak on various levels and can hold their own on an aesthetic level without a caption. You will see a range of images, from close-ups of hands and faces to long-distance landscapes. When we experience the people on all visual levels—details and distances—we begin to create a narrative in our minds and relate to the universal experiences within wild spaces.

    Deogyusan National Park covers Geochang-gun of Gyeongsangnam-do and Muju-gun of Jeollabuk-do, Sou...

    #mujuresort #deogyusannationalpark #earthcanvas #yourshotadventure

    Editor's Note

    The mood, scale and light are just exquisite.

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    The Bakonjo are a mountain people living on the steep slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains National P...

    #mountains #nature #nationalpark #uganda #rwenzorimountains

    While on early morning elephant Safari at Kaziranga National Park, the tourists are crossing thro...

    #grass #india #green #wildlife #light #fog #kaziranga #incredibleindia #buffaloes #ngtravelhappy

    Jabu and Doug. Jabu, who is now a magnificent bull elephant, was adopted by Doug and Sandi Groves...

    #africa #nature #wildlife #elephant #botswana #okavango #chobe #conservation #moremi #national_park

    Editor's Note

    I love how the subtle gesture between man and animal can speak to an entire story.

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    No climber ascends the same ice twice, for it's not the same ice, and they are not the same perso...

    #blue #red #ice #travel #glacier #climbing #places #cave #iceclimbing #athabascaglacier

    Editor's Note

    You were able to capture the aesthetic beauty of climbing in the same moment revealing the physical challenges that must be embraced to get there.

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    A palomino horse is auctioned in the sales ring at the sales in the New Forest National Park in H...

    #england #horse #people #pony #hampshire #auction #black_and_white #national_park #new_forest

    Porters head up Gunung Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia. To serve the trekkers po...

    #indonesia #people #photojournalism #workers #gender #lombok #rinjani #porters #black__and_white

    Traditional work inside park of Serra San Bruno, Italy. The work of the charcoal burner's (I Carb...

    #park #serrasanbruno #carbonai #voicesoftheparks #voicesoftheparksassignment

    Editor's Note

    The color and the mood of this image stands out. Everything seems to blend. Then I noticed the way he gently places the coal which seems to contradict what one might imagine this type of work feels... More

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    Gusts of over a 100 km/h prevailed that day which is not unusual for Patagonia, I myself flew som...

    #wind #chile #patagonia #element #torres_del_paine

    Editor's Note

    What beautiful light and feeling in this image. I can feel that person was getting carried away w... More

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    In his 42nd season on the Colorado River, Grand Canyon boatman Brad Dimock, surveys Grapevine Rapid.

    #grandcanyon #boatman #coloradoriver #adventuretravel #dorys #rafting_adventure

    Editor's Note

    Amazing moment. You have really brought us into the action on a visceral level.

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    While two park rangers filming a public service infomercial on safety in Grand Teton National Par...

    #grand_teton__national_park #voices_of_the_park_assignment

    On 14 July 1865, the british climber Edward Whymper reached the peak of the Matterhorn (4,478 met...

    Part of my (ongoing) long term project "Fauna", started in 2014. It was taken in the &q...

    #italy #people #animals #portrait #natural #fauna #blackandwhite #tuscany #feniglia #reser

    Editor's Note

    You have brought me into the realm where we merge with our surroundings. Reminding us we are part of nature and nature is part of us.

    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer

    This assignment was an opportunity to see how your images could relay to our community why we have national parks and how important they are. These images have shown me that the parks provide a safe home for native plants, animals, culture, and communities. They help keep our environment clean and promote education on these matters outside the park boundaries. They give us places to enjoy and recreate, to commune with nature, and to be reminded that we are all part of a larger and greater ecosystem that needs our reverence, respect, and attention.

    About the Editor
    Erika Larsen
    National Geographic Photographer
    Erika Larsen’s work uses photography, video and writing to learn intimately about cultures that maintain strong connections with nature. She has been working as a magazine photographer since 2000 specializing in human-interest stories and sensitive cultural issues and is a contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine. Her work has been ...

    Photographers Published In the Story