Cowboys, crossroads, elephants and Eid: Your Photos of the Week

Each week, our editors choose stunning photos submitted by members of Your Shot, National Geographic's photo community.

By Kristen McNicholas
Published 9 Jun 2019, 08:49 BST
"I went to photograph the Gila River in Avondale, Arizona one early morning and saw these ...
"I went to photograph the Gila River in Avondale, Arizona one early morning and saw these cowboys getting ready to explore the river on their horses," writes Your Shot photographer Juliana Swenson. "They let me take their picture and offered to take me with them. I didn’t go, but I sent them a copy of the picture in return."
Photograph by Juliana Swenson, National Geographic Your Shot

The compulsion to make a photograph isn’t as simple as pressing a button. A photographer’s heart and brain work in tandem to expose, compose, and create photographs in practice. I’ve been studying mid-20th-century photographs recently to research for some upcoming Your Shot assignments and relishing in thoughtful compositions that make me stop and examine the movement in a still moment. Isn’t that visual phenomenon incredible?

Your Shot photographers served up some beautifully thought-out compositions this week. In Juliana Swenson’s photograph of four cowboys, she positioned herself wonderfully to find micro-compositions (think Sam Abell’s compositions where everything has its place) between the men on horseback and their background. She used every inch of her frame, found a moment to document, and made the photograph. Ayanava Sil documented men hugging after morning prayers to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Kolkata, India, to commemorate the conclusion of Ramadan with a simple, colorful composition that packs a punch while capturing a sense of warmth between the men.

A thoughtful composition shines with layers of micro-compositions separating the different components in the photograph while still providing a clear focal point for our eyes to start with. Take a look at Your Shot producer David Y. Lee’s recently published Your Shot story dedicated to composition while you’re at it! There isn’t an exact science to composing but a starting point for good compositions is, of course, always practicing.

Associate Photo Editor Kristen McNicholas looks at daily uploads from Your Shot, starting each day by sifting through thousands of photographs. This series is a selection of her favorites from the past week.
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