National Geographic

Experience the world through the eyes of National Geographic photographers.

Photo by Ira Block @irablockphoto | Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or the Blue Mosque, at sunset in Istanbul. The interior walls of this mosque, which was built in the early 17th century, are adorned with hand-painted blue tiles. This mosque has five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes, and sits next to the Hagia Sophia, a famous museum in Istanbul. #followme @irablockphoto for more #travel imagery and stories. #istanbul #mosque #religion #bluemosque

Photo by Robbie Shone @shonephoto | As evening descends upon the outside world, two cave explorers enter Er Long Dong and begin a long journey through the cave to the gigantic chamber known as Cloud Ladder Hall. This is one of three known tunnels into the cave leading to the big hall, but probably the easiest to negotiate.

Photo by Ivan Kashinsky @ivankphoto | Santa Catalina Island is seen from the Santa Monica Mountains, in California, at dusk. The Native Americans who first settled there called it Pimugna or Pimu.

Photo by Pete Muller @pete_k_muller | Waves of seasonal fog blanket Chukotka, Russia, for days on end, canceling both sea- hunting ventures and flights out. After a month here, I’m eager to move along. In the early morning hours, which in the Arctic remain brightly lit at summer's end, I awake to survey the weather conditions. At 3 a.m., I stand rubbing my eyes before the large window in the bedroom of our rented apartment. It’s clear and calm. By 8 a.m., hours before the sole flight out departs, the fog reliably arrives and the flight is delayed another day. I’m frustrated and discouraged. If I’m honest, I find photography to be very difficult, both creatively and psychologically. For many years I’ve had to fight against how daunting I find it. I have to remind myself that photographs almost never happen in the hotel room. Sometimes it feels like simply getting out the door is the hardest part. And so on this particular day, at the end of my tether, I wandered in the fog.

Photo by Stephen Wilkes @stephenwilkes | The archipelago that makes up the Falkland Islands, or the Islas Malvinas, is made up of 750 islands. The natural landscape of this location leaves one with a profound sense of awe, and I felt so fortunate to be able to photograph the albatross birds in such close proximity. I remember this scene unfolding in front of me, and the saturated sunrise of the sky illuminating this large colony felt surreal. It’s said that a double rainbow symbolizes future success, and the result of this "Day to Night" shoot and all the remarkable beauty I experienced from morning to night here speaks to this idea. To see more photos from my travels near and far, follow me @stephenwilkes. #DayToNight #StephenWilkes #DoubleRainbow #Falklands #Albatross

Photo by Keith Ladzinski @ladzinski | A horse curiously comes in for a wide-angle hello in the heart of #TorresDelPaine, Chile. Horses are an intricate part of ranching life to the gaucho of Patagonia, a bond that goes back centuries. This part of the planet is one of extremes, where weather turns on a dime and the forecast is better determined by simply looking outside rather than seeing what the radar says. Horses are remarkably sturdy here in this place of polarized fluctuations, be it in the green pastures of summer or the icy meadows of winter. To see more photos of this part of the world, please visit @ladzinski

Photo by Babak Tafreshi @babaktafreshi | A superbolt strikes the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. A superbolt is about a hundred times brighter than normal lightning bolts. One of every million lightning strikes on Earth is a superbolt. This view looks over the Gavea area, with Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon on the left. Explore more of the world at night photography @babaktafreshi. #weather #storm #lightning #riodejaneiro

Photo by Robin Hammond @Hammond_Robin | “What happens to people with mental health conditions?” I asked the driver. “We put them in prison,” he said. An hour later I was in a dark cell in Juba Central Prison, South Sudan. Some inmates spoke to me, some to voices only they heard. Many didn’t speak at all, keeping to themselves and to the dark concrete corners that had become their world. I noticed a young man who neither looked at nor spoke to me. He was completely naked except for a shackle at his ankle. I had to take his picture, I thought. But as I was about to, I caught myself. I wasn’t sure if it was right. If this was me, my brother, my son, would I be okay with this image appearing on the front page of a newspaper? With this question, Condemned —my documentation of mental health in countries in crisis—began. It started with this young man and a promise. I’m sharing this now because May is mental health awareness month. To see more and read about that promise I made follow @onedayinmyworld

Photo by Jennifer Hayes @JenniferHayesIG | A group of young girls followed me into the sea to watch me photograph the coral off Lababia Island, Papua New Guinea. The girls were remarkable swimmers, able to breath-hold far longer than I could, leading to great laughter among the three of them. After we left the water, we sat on the beach and looked at images in the back of the camera. They chose this picture as their favorite. In my travels to remote corners of the ocean, I often watch young boys leading the the way into the sea. It was wonderful to see the girls enter the sea with the full confidence and capability of their brothers. With @natgeo inside the #CoralTriangle #EqualInTheOcean #Ocean #WomenInTheSea for #MoreOcean follow @JenniferHayesIG

Photo by Nora Lorek @noralorek | Not long after Angelina Nyakum came to Uganda in the summer of 2016, her husband was killed in South Sudan. He had been walking past a street fight. In Bidibidi refugee camp, 27-year-old Angelina is left to care for their children. "They don't believe me that their father is dead," she says. "They still ask to call him all the time." What began as a @natgeo assignment is now the @milayaproject, a nonprofit we just launched on Kickstarter to connect customers with South Sudanese women making hand-embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings, like those seen in the background. The civil war in South Sudan has displaced two million people. When refugees arrived to Uganda they carried their only possessions wrapped in milayas, embroidered sheets passed down for generations. Today in Bidibidi, the second largest refugee camp in the world, milayas are being sewn but there are few customers. Through the Milaya Project these women will be able to sell their art and transform their collectives into self-sufficient businesses. Follow @milayaproject for more information on how to support these women.

Photo by David Guttenfelder @dguttenfelder | Portraits of the late leaders of North Korea, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, hang above frilly cloth-covered pianos at Pyongyang Kyongsang Kindergarten. Across the country, images, pins, mosaics, and monuments of the two late leaders, who died in 1994 and 2011, are ubiquitous. Please follow me, @dguttenfelder, for an inside look at North Korea, where I have been traveling and photographing for the past 19 years.

Photo by Simon Norfolk @simonnorfolkstudio I A glacier table: a boulder perched on a pedestal of ice. Photographed on assignment during an ascent to the Chhota Shigri Glacier, Himachal Pradesh, Indian Himalaya. The boulder protects the ice from ablation during sunny weather. Around the boulder, the ice surface ablates while the boulder remains at the original level. As the pedestal becomes higher and higher in relation to the glacier's surface, the sun shines further under the boulder from the south. Consequently the pedestal gets ablated on its southern side, and the boulder will eventually fall off the pedestal. After this, a new cycle of table growth and destruction may begin. Follow me @simonnorfolkstudio for updates, outtakes, unpublished, and archive material on this and future projects. #photojournalism #documentaryphotography #simonnorfolk #ice #climatechange

The end.