Autumn Woods, Germany
Photograph by Jonathan Manshack
This photo was taken during autumn in Hameln, Germany, which is the birthplace of the infamous Rattenfänger—or Pied Piper, as we Americans know it. This shot is actually on top of the last few hills that soon sink into the state of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). This area is essentially lowland plains—hence the name Lower Saxony!
Cave Diving, Yucatan Peninsula
Photograph by Christian Vizl
I have been a cave diver since 1997, and I've always been amazed by the natural beauty and uniqueness that you can find in the cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. They are spectacular in many ways, some of them very obvious, like the enormous stalactites and stalagmites, crystal-clear water, and the mystery and history mixed in the middle of the jungle. But there is also a more subtle beauty in them, hidden in their unique colors and details that are not easily spotted by diving or snorkeling in them. So that is my goal, to capture the fantastic details hidden in these natural wonders.
Sunrise Skyline, Bagan
Photograph by Cynthia Dial
Known for its more than 4,000 temples in a 26-square-mile space within a dusty, flat plain, the best times to experience the serenity and scope of Bagan are at dawn and dusk. After heading from my hotel's cozy bed and climbing in the dark with my camera and tripod to set up on a ledge of Minyeingone Pagoda, this was my reward—the unlayering of Myanmar's ancient city of temples.
Leopard, South Africa
Photograph by Madison Hall
A dew-bathed juvenile leopard takes a peaceful moment atop a fallen tree on a wintry South African morning. Compared with other African game, leopards are famously shy and rarely seen, partially because of their largely nocturnal hunting habits. Leopards number among many other species of top predators whose population numbers are falling due to human impacts, making this a special sighting of a rare animal that is both powerful and extraordinarily gorgeous.
Ice Cream Vendor, Greece
Photograph by Lior Patel
Shot in Rodos, Greece. I was there for four days, walking around, and on the first day I had a chat with the guy that owns the car (the one in the shot) and I told him that my grandfather is from Thessaloniki, so for the remaining days, every time I passed him, he would say, "Good morning, Thessaloniki," and I would say, "Good morning, Rodos." On the last day he saw me coming from the other side of the road and yelled, "Still here, Thessaloniki," and this time I took this shot before answering, "Goodbye, Rodos" (it was my last night over there).
Train Ride, Istanbul
Photograph by Oded Wagenstein
This shot was taken on a train ride, when the train stopped over the Galta Bridge, the bridge that split Istanbul city from the Western, more liberal part, to the more traditional part. Now, when all the Muslim world is rocking, I think this photo is more relevant than ever.
Photograph by Jason Zito
I love Spokane, one of the hidden gems of the Northwest. I'm always excited to be traveling through this city, and it lends itself so well to photography. I spent the entire day taking pictures and settled in to eat dinner at a local restaurant. I was shocked when I left the restaurant to see the entire city enveloped in fog. I loved the way the lights shone through the fog and silhouetted the people as they walked. I grabbed my camera and took a few quick shots. This was my favorite. I love the lady walking alone and the way the stairs frame her.
Photograph by Travis Teo
On a rainy evening in Tokyo, I was seeking shelter at a cafe with my friend, when all of a sudden a rare Tokyo taxi got trapped by a sea of urbanites and their colorful umbrellas at the busy Shinjuku crossing.
Subscribe to National Geographic magazine and save. Print and digital editions available for as little as $12.