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Monday, May 7, 2012

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BEST PICTURES OF APRIL 2012


http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/507/cache/best-news-pictures-march-2012-orchestra-conductor_50721_600x450.jpghttp://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/507/cache/best-news-pictures-march-2012-holi-festival_50717_600x450.jpg

Pictures We Love: Best of April
By
National Geographic News,  4 May 2012.

1. Saturation Point

New Picture (54)

Powder-splattered, and powder-splattering, runners cross the finish line of the Colour Run 5K in Irvine, California, on April 22. Each kilometre (0.6 mile) of the event features a colour-pelting station dedicated to a single hue, culminating in the Pollock-esque riot at Kilometre 5.

The "magical colour dust" is completely safe, organizers say, thought they admit it's "surprisingly high in calories and leaves a chalky aftertaste."

Why We Love It

"Vibrant colour floating through the air automatically brings to mind festive Holi celebrations in India. We expect to see revellers in Mumbai, but instead find a surprise in the lower third of the frame - runners in California!" - Sarah Polger, senior photo editor.

"There are a lot of eye-catching photographs of the festival of Holi in India that show coloured powder in mid-air, but this particular situation has the people all lined up in a row - making it easy to see each of their very cinematic facial expressions" - Chris Combs, news photo editor.

2. Pretty as a Picture

New Picture (55)

Exhibitor Ray Beckwith brushes away dust from a daffodil at the United Kingdom's Harrogate spring flower show on April 25. With Prince Charles as their official patron, the semi-annual Harrogate shows draw over a hundred nurseries and donate proceeds to charities supporting horticulture in northern England.

Why We Love It

"We loved this image because it is nearly an optical illusion, with the flower looking like a painting on first glance. Also, sometimes it's nice to see a clean background and negative space. That person might want to look into a manicure though!" - Janna Dotschkal, associate photo editor.

3. Gaza Buzz

New Picture (56)

A Palestinian beekeeper inspects hives in the Palestinian refugee camp of Bureij on April 26. The bee yard's owner, farmer Jihad Abu Shamalah, says his 450 hives produce some 8,800 pounds (4,000 kilograms) of honey annually - all sold only in the Gaza Strip.

Why We Love It

"These bees don't look happy! I appreciate that the photographer waded into the fray to make this frenzied picture" - Chris Combs, news photo editor.

"The most striking part of this picture is the way the bees create a layered image. The bees closest to the photographer are blurry and impressionistic, and the bees farthest away are tiny specks of dust. I think it proves that you can add layering to an image without having a large object in the foreground" - Janna Dotschkal, associate photo editor.

"There is so much going on in this photo: the smoke, the beekeepers, the trees pointing right at the sky, bees exploding in all directions. This is one of those moments that are surely fun to look at, but you'd probably never want to be a part of it" - Echo Xie, photo intern.

4. Under the Bridge

New Picture (57)

A homeless family sleeps under an overpass in New Delhi, India, on April 25, 2012. The most recent government census of India's urban homeless, completed in 2001, estimated that they number in excess of 778,599.

With 1.2 billion people already, India is expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2050 - and to overtake China as the world's most populous country by 2030. (Read "Population: 7 Billion" in National Geographic magazine.)

Why We Love It

"It's unusual to see a warm, loving moment in a photograph of people in deep poverty. This image really humanizes this family, making them more than a category or a symbol" - Chris Combs, news photo editor.

"There they are, sleeping under a bridge, but at the same time they look so relaxed and carefree, the smiles on their faces so genuine. In fact, if the photographer hadn't included the edge of that bridge, we wouldn't have known what conditions the family was living in" - Echo Xie, photography intern.

5. (Almost) Hammer Time

New Picture (58)

A gold medallist at the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, Slovenia's Primoz Kozmus - pictured training in the city of Brezice on March 22 - is taking a swing at winning the hammer throw again at this summer's Olympiad in London.

Why We Love It

"The world will soon be inundated with coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. This image is a nice reminder of the upcoming events - the calm before the storm. The simple, graphic composition of this image allows the athlete's gesture to convey the power about to be released" - Sarah Polger, senior photo editor.

6. This Won't Hurt a Bit

New Picture (59)

Happy the hippo has his tusks filed by keeper Anthony Dorrian at Dubbo, Australia's Taronga Western Plains Zoo on April 20. Two tusks in a hippo's lower jaw can grow more than a foot (30 centimetres) long.


Why We Love It

"I have to admit that I first thought this was a photo of a hairy helmet. You could argue that it's a confusing image, but we liked this picture because it shows a very surprising process" - Chris Combs, news photo editor.

"This is a fun image that shows you something you wouldn't normally see, with a perspective that most people wouldn't have chosen. It certainly isn't perfect, but it shows a new view of the world" - Janna Dotschkal, assistant photo editor.

7. Out of the Past

New Picture (60)

An employee of Herat, Afghanistan's Jihad Museum poses in front of a diorama depicting Afghan-Soviet conflict. The museum commemorates the 1979 uprising of Heratis against Soviet political advisors in the city and the ensuing, nearly decade-long war.

Why We Love It

"Here's my internal monologue upon seeing this photograph: That's a strange war image. No wait, it's Photoshopped to death. Nope, that's not it. A painting? That doesn't explain the shadows. What the heck is that? Sometimes an image makes the cut because it's weird or makes us chuckle, and that's definitely the case here" - Dawn Deeks, associate photo editor.

8. Etna Aglow

New Picture (61)

Lighted by lava, the snows of Mount Etna make way for the Italian volcano's seventh fiery eruption of 2012 (Mount Etna map). Towering nearly 11,000 feet (3,350 meters) over the island of Sicily, Etna is Europe's tallest and most active volcano.

Why We Love It

"There's nothing incredibly special about a volcano eruption (unless you happen to be near the volcano, of course) but the lava pouring from Mount Etna in this image produces an otherworldly glow that ignites the foggy landscape in a unique way" - Dawn Deeks, associate photo editor.

9. Sandy Nap

New Picture (62)

Two people nap in the shadow of a 19th-century lighthouse on Germany's North Sea island of Borkum on April 27.

Why We Love It

"A comical and quiet moment, this pair seem to have been comfortably blown by the wind into a gentle rest, much like the dunes behind them" - Sarah Polger, senior photo editor.

10. Into the Light

New Picture (63)

U.S. soldier Nicholas Dickhut aims at a doorway after coming under fire by the Taliban while on patrol in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province on April 26.

Why We Love It

"This image is all about balance. My eye is drawn through the frame as the contrasting dark and bright points give equal weight to the foreground and the background, and the cinematic quality of the light balances the cold reality of the subject's mission" - Dawn Deeks, associate photo editor.


[Source: National Geographic News. Edited. Top image added.]


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