Photograph by Gerd Ludwig
Purple tints land and sky as night falls over lavender fields at Tasmania's famed Bridestowe Estate. The plantation is one of the largest lavender farms in the world.
Castor Bean Leaf Close-Up
Photograph by Jozsef Szentpeteri
Veins spider across a castor bean leaf in Hungary.
Matanuska Glacier Cave, Alaska
Photograph by George F. Mobley
Meltwater sculpted the dagger-like shaft of ice near a cave in Matanuska Glacier in Alaska's Chugach Mountains. Matanuska is an active glacier, advancing about one foot (0.3 meters) every day.
Fallen Maple Leaf
Photograph by Raul Touzon
A solitary red maple leaf lies on the trunk of a downed tree in Maine's Acadia National Park. The United States is home to some 90 different species of maple trees.
Serra da Leba, Angola
Photograph by Kostadin Luchansky, Your Shot
This is Serra da Leba, a landmark in Angola. It has been one of the country's postcard images for decades, but all shots were taken by day. I needed something different. I decided to try a night shot, but it seemed impossible: pitch black, foggy, an altitude of 1,800 meters (5,000 feet). My Nikon can stay open as long as 60 seconds max. But a car takes a few minutes to climb and descend and complete the "drawing." The fog was blocking! Suddenly the fog cleared, a car went down, another went up, and they met in the middle in under 60 seconds. Painting done.
This photo and caption were submitted to Your Shot. Have a great shot? Send it to us for possible publication in National Geographic magazine.
Great White Egrets
Photograph by Michael Nichols
A trio of great white egrets alights on a tree against darkening skies in Gabon’s Petit-Loango Reserve. These long-legged, S-necked birds live near water, where they feed on fish, reptiles, and small amphibians, which they snare with a quick thrust of their strong bill before swallowing them whole.
Photograph by Paul Hogie, My Shot
A scene of the tiny village of Manarola on the Cinque Terre coast of Italy. I camped on this spot for some time waiting for the right balance of light as the sun set. I was rewarded with many great shots of the late afternoon and even in moonlight. This long exposure captures the essence of the village with the locals all joining for a party near the boat ramp.
(This photo and caption were submitted to My Shot.)
Lion, South Africa
Photograph by Barbara Motter
This Month in Photo of the Day: Animal Photos
This South African lion looks a bit grouchy, but he was actually yawning. His yawning caused a chain reaction of yawns from every member of the pride. Are you yawning yet?
Waikawau Bay, New Zealand
Photograph by Steve Burling, My Shot
This photo was taken at Waikawau Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand. After a gorgeous drive up the coast I was greeted with this scene. It kind of reminds me of the symmetrical paintings I did at primary school where you painted one side then folded the paper in half. The weather always seems to provide unique opportunities up this end of New Zealand.
(This photo and caption were submitted to My Shot.)
Denali Highway, Alaska
Photograph by Rich Reid
A rainbow stretches over a section of the 670-mile-long (1,100-kilometer-long) Denali Highway in Alaska. Rainbows are a simple, ordered display of visible light reflected off of water droplets in the atmosphere.
Sei Whale Skull, Chile
Photograph by Maria Stenzel
Inland ice fields give way along Chile's coast to a maze of islands and fjords. The weather here is rarely calm. On Byron Island, the skull of a sei whale rests in a tidal creek—until the next storm.
Hand of Fatima, Mali
Photograph by Jimmy Chin
Silhouetted by the sun, the Hand of Fatima rock formations near Hombori village stretch toward the sky in Mali. The tallest tower rises 2,000 feet (610 meters) from the desert floor. Lore has it that the formations' name stems from the five towers' resemblance to a hand from the sky.
Sand Dunes, Rub al Khali
Photograph by George Steinmetz
The borders of four nations—Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates—blur beneath the shifting sands of the Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter, desert.
Cherry Trees and Walkway, Japan
Photograph by Thomas Simonson, My Shot
This picture was taken in Iwakuni, Japan at the Kintai Bridge. The Cherry Blossom (Sakura) festival had just ended and that is when I decided to go and get some good pictures.
Puffin, Shiant Islands
Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic
Dapper black-and-white razorbills (at right) and bright-beaked puffins (at left and in air, at center) find a haven on the Shiant Islands, just a few miles southeast of Lewis, Scotland. Nearly 8,000 razorbills and more than 200,000 puffins are estimated to use these islands as their breeding grounds each year.
Photograph by Raymond Gehman
A still lake reflects sky and trees in Canada.
View From the Top of the World
Photograph by Barry C. Bishop
Not many people have had the opportunity to look down on the peaks of the Himalaya, but this 1963 picture from photographer Barry Bishop gave proof that Americans had finally reached the summit of Mount Everest. Bishop's teammates became the first Americans to summit Everest on May 1, 1963.
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