Photograph by Bruce Dale
The perfect symmetry of a deserted New Mexico road not only carries us into the frame, but conveys a sense of unlimited and pleasing horizons. Think how differently this image would feel at a different time of day.
Frog on Lily Pad
Photograph by James P. Blair
A green frog sits atop a large lily pad in the waters of Atchafalaya Delta. Although this croaker is a bayou-dweller, its species thrives as far north as Canada.
Photograph by Alexandra Avakian
Intricate blue tiles adorn the walls of a large Iranian mosque and mirror a clear sky that beckons the faithful to the sunny courtyard. The mosque's many arches are a prominent feature of Islamic architecture.
Pair of Stingrays
Photograph by David Doubilet
In a world of clouds and crystalline blue, a pair of stingrays glides just below the surface in the waters of French Polynesia's Tuamotu archipelago. The creatures find safe haven here under the protection of one of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere reserves.
First Full-View Photo of Earth
Photograph courtesy NASA Johnson Space Center
This famous "Blue Marble" shot represents the first photograph in which Earth is in full view. The picture was taken on December 7, 1972, as the Apollo 17 crew left Earth’s orbit for the moon. With the sun at their backs, the crew had a perfectly lit view of the blue planet.
Bora-Bora Palm, French Polynesia, 1996
Photograph by Jodi Cobb
"The palm-fringed sands of Bora-Bora lie about 150 miles [240 kilometers] northwest of Tahiti in the Society Islands."
—From the National Geographic book Through the Lens: National Geographic's Greatest Photographs, 2003
Adrar Madet Massif, Niger, 1997
Photograph by George Steinmetz
"Stark circle of rock measuring about 60 feet [18 meters] in diameter lies in the Ténéré desert below the massif of Adrar Madet in Niger. Roughly a mile away in each of the four cardinal directions, similarly crafted arrows point away from the circle, whose origin, purpose, and age remain a puzzle."
—From "Journey to the Heart of the Sahara," March 1999, National Geographic magazine
Victoria Coast Sunset, Victoria, Australia, 1998
Photograph by R. Ian Lloyd
"The stone spires off Victoria's coast are called the Twelve Apostles ..."
—From "Closing the Circle: Australia by Bike, Part Three," April 1998, National Geographic magazine
Breaking Surf, Bora-Bora, French Polynesia, 1997
Photograph by Jodi Cobb
Lacy breakers lap the coral reef that rings Bora-Bora, an ancient sunken volcano 165 miles (266 kilometers) northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia's Society Islands. Surrounded by sugar-white beaches, an electric-blue lagoon, and some of the clearest water on the planet, Bora-Bora is home to hundreds of species of tropical fish. Not surprisingly, it's one of the world's top spots for divers.
—Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "French Polynesia: Charting a New Course," June 1997, National Geographic magazine
Photograph by Sisse Brimberg
Backlight produces a spectacular graphic image in this shot of shadows and tree trunks. Hiding in the setting sun behind a tree, the photographer kept the sky from blowing out by being over-exposed. The shadows serve as leading lines.
Snarling Wolf, Ely, Minnesota, 1998
Photograph by Joel Sartore
A remote-controlled "carcass cam" captures an inside view of a gray wolf fiercely guarding its meal at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota. Wolves at the center are provided with food, but wild populations generally hunt in packs. After a large kill, a single wolf can consume more than 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of meat.
—Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Return of the Gray Wolf," May 1998, National Geographic magazine
Photograph by Emory Kristof
A master of innovation and a pioneer of high-tech underwater photography, Emory Kristof has helped National Geographic chart the waters of deep-ocean photography since beginning as an intern at the magazine in 1963. In his April 1998 story, "Testing the Waters of Rongelap," Kristof examined marine life, including these longfin bannerfish, in the nuclear weapons-contaminated waters surrounding the Marshall Islands.