Friday, October 23, 2015

In this aerial shot, J. Philip Nix manages to capture the staggering expanse of Victoria Falls plummeting from the Zambezi River. It’s not a stretch to understand why it’s known locally as Mosi-Oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders.” The waterfall’s thunderous roar and rising mist can be heard and seen, respectively, from miles away.

Alexandre Gendron, who submitted this photo, was at Lake Wanaka in New Zealand capturing images of this well-photographed lone tree when he soon found his inspiration flagging. The solution? Get higher. “I [had taken] too many photographs of this tree,” Gendron says, “[but my friend] suggested I climb a tree to take a photo … from another point of view. It was a brilliant idea, as I’ve never seen any photograph of this tree taken from [15 feet] high.” The result? “Here is the final picture. It’s all about changing your point of view!”

An immense wave crashes against the Felgueiras lighthouse in Porto, Portugal. Your Shot member Marco Nuno Faria says the image wasn’t easy to capture, but with some tenacity—and a bit of luck—the shot was his. “I studied the waves’ behavior for several days before this shot,” he writes, “and realized this spot was particularly interesting since I could, if I was lucky, get three simultaneous waves smashing into the breakwater. And I did it! But I had to wait for about two hours or a little more.”

A light mist rises from Iceland’s Gullfoss (Golden Falls) as it plunges in steps to the canyon below. The mighty flow is located on the Hvítá River, which in turn is fed by Iceland’s second biggest glacier, the Lángjökull

There was an incident just a few minutes before [this] photo was taken,” writes Your Shot member Kostyantyn Steblovskyy. “Two swans were fighting, as one had attempted to enter the area of the other one.” The defeated swan is seen here, swimming toward a fairy-tale ending on Lake Bled in Slovenia. “The weather was just right to take a picture like this,” Steblovskyy writes

As beams of light from the setting sun burst through clouds, a triumphant hiker basks in their glow on a summit in Hawaii’s Ko’olau Range. The achievement, according to Liz Barney, who submitted this photo, was the culmination of rigorous preparation and effort. “It’s not a well-known trek … but for two women, it was their dream,” she says. “[The women] spent an entire year planning and training to cross the Ko’olau summit ridgeline in one self-sufficient thru-hike ... They failed multiple times before they finally succeeded.

Emerging from its den in southern Estonia, a fox kit appears to weigh the presence of Your Shot member Kalmer Lehepuu’s camera lens. The photographer had waited for the kits to grow big enough to start leaving the den, and it was on one beautiful evening, he writes, that the mother went to get food and left the kits on their own, letting Lehepuu sneak closer to observe them.

A dense fog was covering Vermilion Lakes, just outside of Banff, Canada, when Your Shot member Vitali Hantsevich arrived at 5 a.m. in search of a good sunrise shot. “The visibility was so low that I even decided not to take my camera and tripod out of the backpack,” he writes. He was about to return to his car when the fog lifted to reveal this view of the lake with Mount Rundle in the background. “I was so afraid that this magical light would disappear as rapidly as it came that I started shooting with a yellow-blue polarizer, which I had used the evening before and which was still attached to the lens. The polarizer added a maroon color to the image.”

In British Columbia, a coastal wolf is well camouflaged in cedar boughs at the forest’s edge. Scientists have shown that larger islands off the coast of the province are more likely to hold these beachcombing wolves at any given time, but another key factor is the length of shorelines—rich in marine offerings.

An autumn storm sweeps dramatically into the Rapa Valley in Sweden’s vast Laponia region, spotlighting Mount Nammatj. Like much of Laponia’s rugged, primordial landscape, the peak has been sculpted by glaciers