National Geographic's Best 52 Photos of 2016

National Geographic's Best 52 Photos of 2016

Tis the season. Around the time of December, photography websites worldwide recap last year with their selection of the cream of the crop. To many photographers, National Geographic is a well-respected media platform to get your work selected and exposed. And now they have made their selection curated from 91 photographers, 107 stories, and 2,290,225 photographs.

In true NG fashion, you will find short stories that tell something about the image and the photographer's name below each photo.

Photo: Brent Stirton

A fair warning though. Sometimes, the story behind the photo is more upsetting than the image, but other times it's the other way around. While most of the photos are truly beautiful, others are intended to show the world as it is: Raw and unforgettable.

Photo: Joel Sartore

Photo: Moises Saman

Who could forget the growing refugee crisis? And what about war-torn countries who are still struggling after decades of armed conflict? Man's role in the natural world isn't always pretty either. I quite literally gasped when I saw a photograph of an African elephant without its head... Graphic content ahead.

Photo: David Guttenfelder

It’s inspirational to me that there’s a lot of diversity among the chosen images, but conversely shocking to see the state of our world today from a Western civilization’s perspective. National Geographic’s selection is an eye-opener to many of us and the organization is continuing this tradition since it first began non-profit operations 128 years ago.

Lead Photo: Randy Olson

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Anonymous's picture

Since becoming a full-time commercial photographer, much of my time has been spent pondering how much I actually don't know (I got my start in portraiture and got my degree in Film, so I've spent most of my career lighting my setups). The rawness of Nat Geo photography, for the most part, is glorious and many times it has the added benefit of incredible perspective that only the Navy SEAL-esque Nat Geo photographers can deliver. As far as shooting nature goes I have an incredible amount to learn. In the meantime, here's a picture I took of an Iguana. LOOK AT IT!!!

Chris Watkins's picture

National Geographic always has the best photos. I always feel good about my photography until I see photos like these, then I begin to question why I am even a photographer. I guess that this is a case of the more that you know about something the more you realize that you do not know.