October 8, 2013

Military Guide, North Korea

Photograph by David Guttenfelder

This Month in Photo of the Day: The Power of Photography

A military guide leads a tour to the mystical Mount Paektu. It was here, official lore says, that Kim Il Sung fought for independence from Japanese occupiers in the 1930s.

See more pictures from the October 2013 feature story "Now You See It."

See a gallery of David's Instagram pictures from North Korea »

47 comments
Brian  Yan
Brian Yan

When I see this picture, feel sad and depressed, people has no freedom there, bring us back to 30,40 years ago.

Lawrence Ciel
Lawrence Ciel

why so many guys said this woman beautiful....oh....oh

joy das
joy das

beauty with power..... 

Xcellent

Gary Conn
Gary Conn

Photo of the Day 'NKorea Military Guide' by David Guttenfelder

Photos: 'Inside North Korea'by David Guttenfelder: http://on.natgeo.com/15UK2uw

Photos: 'DMZ Wildlife'by Jongwoo Park: http://on.natgeo.com/14Y6QMu

DG's photo 'The Military Guide' subtly expresses 'The Power of Photography'. To find it look more deeply into it, around it, past it, and beyond it.

Put DG's photo into a context of pure photography; into a context of the original photo essay; and into a context of real-time.

An editorial convention, 'The Military Guide' not only is photographic allegory to 'follow the leader'; it is visual metaphor to 'see more pictures in the gallery'.

————

Times today are better for the people.

There is a naturally beautiful snowy forest.

NKorea authorities accompany us on our tour.

The Army today occupies a place Japan once controlled.

— Gary Conn

S. A
S. A

Beautiful...

pawan kumar
pawan kumar

even though it is staged or made her positioed still gr8 portrait.gr8 job David

Alfred Chang
Alfred Chang

It's a cool picture, especially the eyes of the guide is just as cool as the snow(ice).

Tex Vel
Tex Vel

Noticed that the path walk is plowed in the picture? and this is where dar leader fought the Japanese...what a laugh....ever noticed also that the trees were planted.. in a straight line?.

Dora Amor
Dora Amor

Nice, seeing a woman in the military makes me proud. Now I want to be in the military.

Frank Baird
Frank Baird

I understand the allure of shots taken by your subscribers, and I understand the licensing issues associated with these pictures, but well over a month of photos of the day which cannot be downloaded? Ugh. This is awful (not this picture; it's great).

Leyla R.
Leyla R.

I'm wondering daily how the population surviving out there... without knowing anything about the rest the world, this is heart breaking for me... This image is great, like the winter scene in this forest... 

Stanley Wainwright
Stanley Wainwright

Do soldiers in North Korea wear lipstick?  Or, are her lips naturally that color?  Is this photo staged; i.e., the makeup?  Maybe a filter was used. Well?

Gary Buffone
Gary Buffone

A dramatic contrast between the pure white snow and dark drab military uniform of the Korean guide. Striking photo.

Gary Kruk
Gary Kruk

The next frontier...the new China.

Leo Tubo
Leo Tubo

nice to see photos from North Korea..

Rebekah Grant
Rebekah Grant

Il like the equal parts of severity and beauty of this picture.  A nice contrast to make you wonder about all the other elements at play here.  Nicely done!

Donna Taylor
Donna Taylor

Fantastic photo!  How did you even manage a photo in a place where such strict laws forbid photographing?

Jeanette Duurvoort
Jeanette Duurvoort

Thank the Lord we have Dennis Rodman to help us understand these people ;)

This is a fantastic picture.  So sad it is such a closed, cruel society. Maybe the above mentioned madness will peak some curiosity there.

Steven G.
Steven G.

The elusive and hidden North Korea. One of the few places our internet tentacles and peeping camera lenses can't penetrate fully.

Justin Sykes
Justin Sykes

"Hey Nikita is it cold In your little corner of the world?

And if there comes a time
Guns and gates no longer hold you in
And if you're free to make a choice ..."

Would you cross to the south?

Technicality / Composition / Content / X factor / originality = 8/10 zoom lenses 

Richard S.
Richard S.

@pawan kumar 

How could YOU possibly know that it's staged?? What is "positioed"???

Ionescu Emanuel
Ionescu Emanuel

@Tex Vel Teap, those trees were indeed planted. Seen the same thing in many other countries, where there were previously deforested areas now covered in lined-up trees.

Richard S.
Richard S.

@Ionescu Emanuel @Tex Vel 

Agree! MANY Re-Forested areas identical to that on Canada. Why would the Path NOT be Plowed? "What A Laugh?" Your Comment is the Laugh!

Richard S.
Richard S.

@Rai Ken @Leyla R. 

Agree Leyla. .....Rai:How doe your Picture Link of a Hotel prove them to be "normal"? Whatever Normal means other than by YOUR Standards.

Richard S.
Richard S.

@Shabbir Ahmad @J S 

Agree! Even though they are the words to a song by Elton John They were meant to apply to this Photo. WHY??

Laura Sitges
Laura Sitges

@Shabbir Ahmad @J S   Nicely put, Shabbir.  NatGeo is about trying to distract people from the political and devisive long enough to remind them of all that unites us on the earth and is of common interest, or focus on it as what NOT to do, and how to make the shift to celebrating cultural variety, not making war over it, and respecting it as a lesson that only makes us broader, smarter, better human beings under a common sky.    And while it IS grade school mentality that rationalizes that hate and negativity, expressed in an art form such as poetry, is no longer hate and becomes permissible,  we don't know that that's what JS intended.

JS, care to elaborate? 


Patric Stillman
Patric Stillman

@Stefan Pfennig @Shabbir Ahmad @J S

Its actually the lyrics of love song made popular by Elton John in the 80s to describe his crush on a beautiful East German border guard whom he cannot meet because he is not allowed into the country. 

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