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Best of National Geographic Photos of the Day


Oceanic Whitetip Shark, Bahamas

Photograph by Brian Skerry, National Geographic
An oceanic whitetip shark and diver in the Bahamas.
(From the National Geographic book Ocean Soul by Brian Skerry)

Waikawau Bay, New Zealand

Photograph by Steve Burling, Best photos
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.

Lily Pads Best Photos, Venetian Gardens

Photograph by Frank Curtis
This Month in Photo of the Day: Best Photos
This Photo was taken at Venetian Gardens in Leesburg, Florida, just after a thunderstorm. The dark sky leaving the area shows a three-foot diameter water lily with new collected water. A dragonfly came to drink the freshwater in the safety of the center of the lily. On the third trip to the water, I was lucky to catch it in full flight … Mother Nature taking care of her family.

Toad River Valley, Canada

Photograph by Michael Christopher Brown
This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Magazine Features
Like curtains drawn across the landscape, the walls of the Toad River Valley yield to untracked forests and pure lakes in northeastern British Columbia. Years of compromise and careful planning defined the enormous Muskwa-Kechika Management Area here, where competing interests—from miners to outfitters, preservationists, and native peoples—coexist in delicate balance.

Tarpon and Silversides, Grand Cayman

Photograph by Mike Sutton Brown,
The picture was taken at Eden Rock, Grand Cayman. For just a short time every year these silversides swarm caves and swim-throughs at Cayman’s dive sites. The picture was taken late afternoon just as the sun was going down. I was hiding behind the silversides, low in the rocks. As the tarpon swam through the silversides, they eventually saw me and turned away. Just like you see in the picture.

Mahó Beach, St. Maarten

Photograph by Kent Miller
Landing at Princess Juliana International Airport, a looming 747 thrills visitors on Mahó beach, a famous plane-watching spot.

Squirrel in Snow

Photograph by Ray Yeager, My Shot
Photographed during a snowstorm in New Jersey

Alberta, Canada

Photograph by Dwayne Holmwood, My Shot
Beautiful frost at sunset in Alberta

Snorkeler, Thailand

Photograph by Nick Kelly, My Shot
I headed out to Thailand from Los Angeles for an adventure, partly to study Muay Thai and partly to find myself in a crazy place. This was one of many photos off the coast of Koh Tao in Thailand, near Koh Phangan, where I trained. A fish just happened to steal the shot.

Sharks, Bahamas

Photograph by Wilfried Niedermayr, My Shot
Shooting over/under photos is a fun alternative to just shooting underwater. The use of the over/under water camera for this shot is perfect—it highlights the tension inherent in any shot of a shark in the water. Seeing this view of both the water’s placid surface and the creatures lurking below makes me feel like a swimmer at the surface with my legs dangling below. The closeness of one of the sharks, and its size, adds to the drama. The contrast is also emphasized by the beautiful turquoise sea and puffy white clouds. It’s not easy to get these over/under shots, and one needs to shoot many frames and be well positioned close to the fish

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.

Water Resort, Dubai

Photograph by Thomas P. Peschak, National Geographic
A huge water-themed resort rises on Dubai’s coast.

Puffin, Shiant Islands

Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic
This Month in Photo of the Day: National Geographic Magazine Features
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.

Penguins Underwater, Antarctica

Photograph by Maria Stenzel
In May 2009, Photo of the Day featured images from National Geographic books.
Penguins surface near an air hole in Antarctica, captured with a remote underwater camera.
From the National Geographic book Visions of Paradise, 2008

Octopus, Italy

Photograph by Pasquale Vassallo
Despite the strong human presence on the coast, an octopus is curious about snow-covered Vesuvius.

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?

Lightning at Huntington Beach, Ohio

Photograph by James Larkin
In April 2009, Photo of the Day featured nature photographs.
While at Huntington Beach in Bay Village, Ohio, I saw a storm approaching fast out of the north. I got lucky and was in the right place at the right time. Within a minute of this shot, the storm unleashed its fury on the beach. It was a great day.

Atom Bomb Test, Bikini Atoll

Photograph by U.S. Navy
In October 2009, Photo of the Day featured images from the National Geographic archive.
The second atomic bomb tested in Operation Crossroads

King Penguins Swimming

Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner
In September 2009, Photo of the Day featured images from National Geographic magazine.
A feeding party streams back to shore after several days at sea. Their orange markings, long, slender bills, and hefty, three-foot-long bodies distinguish them as king penguins. With bellies full of small fish, they will regurgitate a portion for waiting chicks.

King Penguins

Photograph by David Schultz , My Shot
Strikingly colored, an adult king penguin stands out in a sea of chicks on South Georgia Island.

Infinty Pool, Singapore

Photograph by Chia Ming Chien
The vertiginous “infinity pool” at the Marina Bay Sands resort offers a sweeping view of Singapore, a country that’s achieved success while building up instead of out.

Bottlenose Dolphins in Surf

Photograph by Andrew Wong
In July 2009, Photo of the Day featured images from the 2008 International Photography Contest.
Dolphins are known to jump out the back of big waves as they break against the shores. This pod of bottlenose dolphins was leisurely surfing in the waves as the offshore wind blew against the incoming waves, creating an atmosphere that was most unique and magical. At a place called Waterfall Bluff in the Transkei, South Africa.

Flamingos, Yucatán Peninsula

Photograph by Robert B. Haas, National Geographic
A shifting flock of flamingos assumes a whimsical shape in the Gulf of Mexico.

Skyscrapers, Dubai

Photograph by Catalin Marin, Your Shot
Every year around the month of October, Dubai experiences heavy fog due to the still-high humidity and the falling temperatures. With all the new high-rise buildings (including the tallest in the world, Burj Khalifa) this provides a great photographic opportunity.


Photograph by Candy Caldwell
This Month in Photo of the Day: Your Photos
Parachute ball dandelion on bright Icelandic blue sky.

Cuban Tree Frog, Florida

Photograph by James Snyder
In August 2009, Photo of the Day featured photographs of animals.
This is a Cuban tree frog on a tree in my backyard in southern Florida. How and why he ate this light is a mystery. It should be noted that at the time I was taking this photo, I thought this frog was dead, having cooked himself from the inside. I’m happy to say I was wrong. After a few shots he adjusted his position. So after I was finished shooting him, I pulled the light out of his mouth and he was fine. Actually, I might be crazy but I don’t think he was very happy when I took his light away.

Cottonmouth, North Carolina

Photograph by Jared Skye, My Shot
While working as a field researcher for a biodiversity study on pine plantations in North Carolina, I found this Agkistrodon piscivorus in a drainage ditch. It’s seen here displaying the classic defensive posture that gives it the common name “cottonmouth.”

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Photograph by Jim Richardson, National Geographic
The craggy Cliffs of Moher wrap around the western coast of County Clare, providing a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean. The rocky cliffs reach 702 feet (214) meters at their highest point and stretch nearly five miles (eight kilometers) across.

Blacktip Reef Shark, Maldives

Photograph by Paul Wilkinson,
Smaller fish keep their distance when a blacktip reef shark swims amongst them in shallow water in the Maldives.

Yellow Birch, Adirondacks

Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic
On the trail to Goodnow Mountain, a yellow birch appears to be ingesting a boulder left behind by a glacier. With its tenacious trees and rebounding wildlife, Adirondack Park is a miracle of regeneration. Committed advocates and legal protections written into New York’s state constitution offer hope that it will remain forever wild.

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!

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