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The Photo Society— Telling the story behind the stories. We are a collective of over 170 National Geographic photographers.



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Photo by @shonephoto (Robbie Shone) | In rural China, the local villagers are always more than happy to help us search for caves. They have worked the land all their lives and often can guide us straight to cave entrances. Pictured here inside Dong Wan Dong, one farmer admires this spectacular giant skylight bursting in from above where a wonderful ray of sunshine illuminates the darkness. I remember he was very keen to lead us through to this spot where the skylight shaft was, but went no further as the cave dropped away down a giant of rocks and boulders. He stayed behind and let us go on ahead to explore the blackness.

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - dawn, northern Kenya - a while ago now I was asked by a Samburu Moran (warrior) to hold the back of his young brother during his initiation. I had no idea at the time what this meant, or the significance of it to us both, but I did know it was an incredible honour. I met him this week and we talked briefly before he returned to his friends and football. I made him shoes out of cow hide and fitted them to his feet; he would wear only these for the month of his metamorphosis into a warrior. I struggled to sleep in my tent not quite knowing what to expect, listening to the songs of warriors and initiates from the surrounding villages. At 02.00 I left the tent and in darkness arrived at his hut which was already surrounded by elders singing songs of courage and support, songs that will help him be strong and carry him into manhood. I’d been told what to expect and what I was required to do, but now when for once I was part of the story, and not an observer, it felt oh so very different. I was to hold his back as the nurse circumcised him. He stood on a cow skin at the door of the home that he’d been brought up in. He was blessed and milk poured on to his shaven head causing him to sit abruptly on the skin. I sat behind him, my on either side of his body, I placed my left hand over is forehead and eyes and held his head very tightly to my chest. My right hand I held tightly across his chest, my hand on his heart. He couldn’t see the nurse now sitting in front of him, or the elders surrounding us, but he could hear them, and I could see and hear them both. As the nurse skilfully worked his heart exploded under my hand, and then calmed to a steady beat. We lifted him back into his home and quietly left. He had not made a sound, he was a warrior. I returned as the sun came up, and throughout the day to check on him. I hadn’t expected this, hadn’t expected to see, and more extraordinary feel the birth of a warrior. This is living

Photo by @ljohnphoto.for @rippleeffectimages. “This is the work we are doing,” she whispered, “you have to be called by God. I suffer myself when I see this… but I know that if God will help me I can do it even though I cry. He gives me the courage.” Mary Okeyo was a saint, a humanitarian who inspired us with her selfless good works. Everyday, she visited the most neglected people in her community to give out food, medicine, and compassionate care. Here, Mary washes Alice Adhiambo, who suffered from a toxic mixture of HIV, malaria and possibly typhoid and pneumonia. The illnesses had left Alice too weak to even lift her head. See the film "State of Grace" to learn about Mary through the eyes of @rippleeffectimages.photographer @ljohnphoto. @photography.for.good

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 Ivan Kashinsky @ivankphoto | A breakfast of patacones (fried plantains), a fried egg, and hot chocolate rest on a pink tablecloth in the house of Ramón and Elisa Aguayo on the Hacienda Mariana in Los Ríos, Ecuador. This photo was part of book project in which Karla Gachet (@kchete77) and I traveled from the Equator to the southern tip of South America. @runa_photos, @panospictures,

Photos by Chien-Chi Chang @chien_chi_chang | Arrival and departure at Shanghai Pudong Airport in May, 2019.

Photo by @anniegriffithsphotography for @rippleeffectimages. When women have the tools and knowledge to market their goods, they can provide for themselves, they can provide for their families and they can expand their businesses. In Peru, @rippleeffectimages.aid beneficiary @heiferinternational helps women work together to sell the exquisite knitwear they make from the wool their livestock produce. Fair pay for fine stitching means school fees get paid, bellies are full and everyone rises together. Congratulations to @heiferinternational for celebrating 75 years of giving families the tools they need to raise themselves from poverty! by @anniegriffithsphotography | @rippleeffectimages.⠀⠀⠀ @photography.for.good

Photo by @joepetersburger/@thephotosociety // FEED ME! FEED ME! // Western marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus) in their nest. I participating in an exciting projects, where we are monitoring avian life of privately owned lakes and wetlands. I found this nest accidentally, even though, we expected to have it somewhere in the reed labyrinth… Three of them posing to fight (pretty much the se aggressiveness, when they are asking for food. The smallest one decided to hide. Pic is a bit misleading, larger ones are not them. However, might occur, if the smallest one cannot grow fast enough. ● # westernmarshharrier

Photo by @rezaphotography Candyfloss , . On the Galata Bridge. I spent a few months in Turkey through years while on different assignments for National Geographic Magazine. I like the city of Istanbul, between West and East. At one point, years ago, I even thought that I will move there. This particular day, while observing the patience of the fishermen waiting for the fish, those three candyfloss sellers came to me. A strange contrast with Suleymaniye and Yeni Mosques in the background. Text by Rachel Deghati. Published in the book Reporters Without Borders ( 2008). # عكاس @thephotosociety

Photo by Pete McBride @pedromcbride.| Seeing Stripes: Botswana’s national animal, the zebra, migrates across the country twice a year. During such migrations, zebra and other wildlife started competing with cattle for limited water sources after the drying up of the Boteti River. In 2009, high rainfall restored the river’s flow for the first time in 20 years, bringing much-needed relief to the region’s migratory animals. Botswana is one of 17 countries under extremely high water stress, like many regions facing imminent global water shortage. For more on conservation of wildlife and water, follow @pedromcbride.

Photograph by @andyparkinsonphoto/@thephotosociety Hare ball – I make no apology for that awful pun but I did think it perhaps time for a change of photographic scenery. From the bear-filled wilderness of Russia’s remote Kchatka Peninsula we now venture into the Scottish Highlands in winter, to the land of the mountain hare. Alongside me on this day was the legend that is @kevmorgans (renowned puffin botherer), the incomparable @gemma.veronica (snow drift long jump world chpion) and my great friend @ewancro (posted exactly the se image yesterday-what are the chances! 😃). The weather this day was brutal with high winds and swirling spindrift, the kind of day where perhaps curling myself into a ball, much like this beautiful mountain hare, might have been exactly the right idea. As odd as this image might look however I always inexorably drawn to these occasionally abstract shapes in nature and as soon as I saw the hare-ball form I could immediately see the potential of some pleasing symmetry. Fortunately for me the hare did this when she was exactly square on to me and with a distant backdrop of the snow free hills lower in the valley I had a dark enough backdrop against which to reveal the spindrift filled air. Look closely at Lady’s back (at left) and you can see the snow ricocheting off her body, such was the speed with which this dry, mobile snow was being blown. Of the four images that I fred in this sequence only this one had a catchlight in the hares eye, another one of those tiny little details that can make all the difference. In this moment she is just beginning the process of grooming and at any point during this she will certainly rise to shake off the snow and ice that has become encrusted in her hair. Indeed if you look closely at the ice on her back then you can see where it has split, tectonic plate like, as she has begun to arch her back. Remarkably robust animals I already looking forward to being in their company again this coming winter.

Photo by @lucianocandisani (Luciano Candisani). Even well after her 90th birthday, Hyun Seon-jik still spends most of her time beyond the surf and far from seashore . She is one of the 4500 women divers ( Haenyeo ) in full activity on the island of Jeju, South Korea. It is a 400 years old cultural tradition of sustainable extractivism included in the UNESCO list of humanity intangible cultural heritage. Most of the remaining Haenyeo are between 65 and 90 years old that still freedive up to 15 meters below the surface to gather sea food . These pictures showing two moments in Hyun's daily life are part of my new exhibition "Haenyeo: women of the sea" oppening on August 31th, at 10 am, in the MIS ( Sound and Image museum ) , located in São Paulo, Brazil. This is a project with @vento.leste (editora Vento Leste) , @mis_sp ( MIS ) and @ateliermarkobrajovic ( Marko Brajovic ). This is an amazing story. If you want to know more about it I strongly recommend the new Lisa See's book "The Island of Sea Women” . This great novel was helped me a lot to understand the deeper aspects of the Haenyeo culture. ( @lisasee_writer ) . . @ilcp_photographers @natgeo @ @lensculture @sealegacy @solo.br .leste

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