May 1, 2007

33 Best of the best National Geographic Photos

1. Shark attack Photograph by Bill Curtsinger



Sleek and swift, gray reef sharks cruise past a remote-control camera in the waters of the Bikini Atoll. Photographer Bill Curtsinger knew better than to get in the water for the picture: An aggressive gray attacked him years ago, leaving him scarred but wiser.

2. Golden lions Photograph by Mitsuaki Iwago



A golden lioness and her cub bask in the warmth of a savanna sun in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.

3. Macaw Flight Photograph by Frans Lanting



On rainbow wings almost three feet (one meter) across, a fledgling scarlet macaw in the Peruvian Amazon rides the wind for the first time. Of the world’s 350 parrot species 17 are macaws—marked by their long tails and huge beaks.

4. Indus Civilization Photograph by Randy Olson



In Pakistan’s Indus Valley a group of hunters still practice a 5,000-year-old method of catching waterfowl. Hunters tie pet herons to a hoop in the river, then drop to their necks in the water wearing masks made from real birds. “They'd wiggle their heads to mimic a swimming bird,” says Randy Olson. “Then grab any waterfowl that landed nearby.”


5. Space Drifter Photograph by NASA



Untethered from the space shuttle, Bruce McCandless II drifts 217 miles (349 kilometers) above Earth using a nitrogen-propelled backpack in February 1984. McCandless was the first to use the pack he called a “great flying machine” for a space walk.

6. Loango National Park Photograph by Michael Nichols



A few days old and less than eight inches long, a Nile crocodile takes a test swim in Louri Creek.

7. Wispy Wave Photograph by Barry Slade



Massive clouds called morning glories roil over the Gulf of Carpentaria off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Most common in September and October—and in morning—the clouds can travel across the skies at nearly 20 miles (30 kilometers) an hour.


8. Testing the water Photograph by Randy Olson



On a dank Siberian plateau 1,400 miles (2,300 kilometers) from the North Pole, a daring Russian scientist tests the temperature of Lake Kharpicha.

9. Pacific Suite Photograph by Paul Nicklen



Paul Nicklen waited six hours lying in frigid water to catch this sockeye salmon in a Vancouver Island river. The trophy? An image conveying “the perfect salmon habitat,” he says. “It shows the beautiful clean water and what things can be like for the fish, with proper management.”


10. Carnival Photography by David Alan Harvey



Beguiled by Afro-Brazilian rhythms during Carnival, dancers wearing more paint than clothing snake through the streets of Salvador, capital of Brazil’s state of Bahia.

11. Beach Photograph by Emory Kristof



Staking their claims to the sand, vacationers spread towels, umbrellas, and suntan lotion at Ocean City, Maryland.

12. Born to swim Photograph by Sarah Leen



Born to swim, Lokelani McMichael races dolphins in a pool at Dolphin Quest on Hawaii’s Big Island.

13. Polar Bears Photograph by Paul Nicklen



A curious polar bear swam within 12 feet (4 meters) of Paul Nicklen to investigate his camp. “I didn’t have a gun,” says Paul, “which wasn’t a smart idea. But this ended up being an amazing situation to photograph.”

14. Leap of Faith Photograph by Susie Post Rust



Jumping at the chance to leap off the 876-foot (267-meter) -high New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia, a parachutist makes his dive on the one day each October that it’s legal. Bridge Day enthusiast Bill Von Novak advised, “You’ll hit the water about nine seconds after you jump. It’s a good idea to open your chute before that happens.”

15. Pure Inspiration Photograph by Amy Toensing



The dreamlike haze of dawn has brushed the Josiah Starling house on Monhegan Island for more than 200 years. This isolated community inspired artists Edward Hopper and Jamie Wyeth to cross the 12 miles (19 kilometers) of open ocean that separates Monhegan from mainland Maine in hopes of capturing its quiet, weathered beauty.

16. Blowin’ in the Wind Photograph by Jim Brandenburg



Like puffs from a sod-house chimney, prairie smoke flutters in Minnesota tallgrass prairie.

17. Cool Relief Photograph by Carsten Peter



Nothing beats a desert village with a leaky water tank after a long day trekking through a seemingly endless expanse of sand, as a member of a 2001-02 expedition discovered. The expedition, led by John Hare, retraced a 1906 trek by Hanns Vischer, a British civil servant who was intrigued by a centuries-old slave-trading route from Lake Chad, Nigeria, to Tripoli, Libya. Hare’s team lost a couple of camels along the way but was mentally prepared in a way that his predecessor wasn’t. “I had entered it frivolously, like a fool,” Vischer wrote. “I left it as one stunned, crushed by the deadly majesty I had seen too closely.”

18. Dropping In Photograph by Carsten Peter



Nothing like an icy 300-foot (90-meter) shaft in a Greenland glacier to make you feel insignificant. Unlike dry land cavers, glacier explorers never know what they’ll find even if they’ve been in a cave before. Flowing meltwater and pressures within a glacier cause seasonal changes.

19. Risky Business Photograph by Carsten Peter



French researcher Charles Riviáere has no delusions about the protection offered by his high-tech thermal suit on Italy’s Mount Etna. Sweating profusely even before he gets close enough to collect a sample of 2,000°F (1,000°C) lava, the scientist knows that one well-placed lava bomb—molten rock hurtling through the air—could flatten him. Still, like a fearless knight of old, he charges on.

20. Retracing History Photograph by James L. Stanfield



“Columbus did not take one-tenth the risk these bold air pioneers are facing,” a newspaper said in 1919 of pilots competing to become the first to fly from London to Australia—in less than 30 days. The winners piloted a Vickers Vimy biplane; a replica of that open-cockpit craft, here buzzing past the Pyramids at Giza, retraced the flight in 1994.


21. Volcanic Addiction Photograph by Carsten Peter



After getting as close to Marum crater in Vanuatu as he’d ever been to such a cauldron of lava, photographer Carsten Peter described his addiction to volcanoes. “You think you understand the Earth and its geology,” he said. “But once you look down into a volcanic crater and see what’s there, well, you realize you will never completely understand. It is that powerful.”

22. Overcoming the Elements Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie



The icy fingers of Cordillera Sarmiento claw through clouds along a 40-mile (60-kilometer) stretch of Chile’s Pacific coast. With dozens of unnamed, unclimbed peaks to choose from, expedition leader Jack Miller and his team inch up a 6,550-foot (2,000-meter) icicle they dubbed Gremlin’s Cap in 1992. Nearly permanent cloud cover, blizzards, and fierce ocean winds keep the range shrouded in mystery.


23. A Sticky Situation Photograph by David Doubilet



Harmless Mastigias jellyfish engulf biologist William M. Hamner in a marine lake on Mecherchar, a Pacific island in the Republic of Palau.


24. Feeding Photograph by Michael S Quinton



A female bird feeds her younger ones.


25. Badlands National Park Photograph by Annie Griffiths Belt



Rippling in the breeze like waves on a summer sea, wild grasses come alive on a late afternoon in the heart of the park. The Badlands are home to some of the last native prairie left in the Great Plains.


26. Loango National Park Photograph by Michael Nicholas



A tropical sunset bounces color off clouds and sea at a lagoon on the Gabon coast. As the tide shifts, it washes in sand that builds up into sandbars, blocking seawater from entering the lagoons. Fresh river water then fills the basins until a storm or the next tide breaks the barrier and starts the cycle anew.


27. Patagonia Photograph by Peter Essick



A rare patch of calm settles on Torres del Paine National Park, where gale-force winds often batter glacial lakes and granite peaks. The sparsely inhabited region known as Patagonia includes about 25 percent of Argentina and Chile but is home to less than 5 percent of their populations.


28. Snarling Photograph by Joel Sartore



Snarling Nick may look meaner than a junkyard dog, but he’s just a rancher’s pet wary of outsiders — as are North America’s western cattlemen as they battle to hold on to the lands that sustain them.



29. Silverback Gorilla Photograph by Michael Nicholas



The baleful gaze of a silverback gorilla is aimed at a nearby rival male in the Republic of the Congo’s Odzala National Park. Butterflies are drawn here by the salt in animal urine. An endless parade of animals hunt and graze in this bai, or clearing, in the dense equatorial forest.

30. Emperors Photograph by Frans Lanting



It’s all downy softness and noise in a crowded crèche of emperor penguins in Antarctica. Despite the babble, a chick finds its own parents working strictly by ear: Their unique call distinguishes kin from stranger.


31. Moscow Photograph by Sam Abell



A portrait artist turned photographer, Knott marveled at how the camera, like an artist’s brush . . . catches every tint and shade. As captivating as any canvas, Sam Abell’s still life of sun-warmed pears on a Moscow windowsill adorned an article on the life of Tolstoy.


32. Magnificent Photograph by Chris Johns




“He was magnificent,” recalls photographer Chris Johns, “and completely indifferent to me.” On a dry, windswept riverbed between South Africa and Botswana, the patrolling male embodied “all the power and freedom of the Kalahari lions,” Johns says. “It’s a privilege to see such an animal.”

33. Lone jump Photograph by Jim Brandenburg



A lone wolf bounds across ice floes off Canada’s Ellesmere Island, far above the Arctic Circle. The dominant male of its pack, it patrolled the nearby beach for food to take to its six ravenous pups. Seals provide prey in the warmer months when they haul out onto the ice as it breaks up. Wolves recuperate from the hard work of hunting by sleeping about 12 hours a day.


All copyrights reserved to the respective photographers. You can download this wallpaper collection as a zip file (size 7MB) from my eSnips folder.

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1 comment:

Mansur Akbari said...

Its was great
Thank you very much for sharing your view to the nature and so on.