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  Story

Pop of Color

Published May 23, 2018
View the Assignment
Features Photos From 30 Contributors

30 photos selected by
Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

My first assignment with the Your Shot community has been a truly colorful adventure, so I want to thank all of you who submitted pictures, left thoughtful feedback in the discussion board, found creativity in color, and offered me a warm welcome while I’ve been acquainting myself with the community.

Going through more than 16,000 submissions was the most colorful journey I might ever encounter. I purposely left the prompt for this assignment open for all interpretations of what a “pop” of color might mean, which resulted in a hugely colorful set of photographs. I wanted you all to explore color, experiment with how to make an effective composition, and investigate the way we detect color in the context of its setting.

Editor's Note

This building is simply beautiful and soothing to look at. I love that you framed it so it fills up the entire photo and that we have this one lone figured being framed in green. Beautiful, capture! I only hope I can see this with my own eyes someday!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

My interpretation of a “pop” of color evolved throughout the assignment, too. For example, Joanna Grzyl’s portrait of a girl and her horse struck me, because not only is it a gorgeous portrait, but the orange also stuck out so suddenly against the muted tones of the rest of the frame. On the other hand, Toni Minchev took a “sweet” approach and filled her entire frame with color and pattern! As I read through the comments on the discussion board, I was intrigued by the various interpretations of the prompt and the conversation around what a “pop” could be. I welcomed all interpretations and could not be more pleased with the final outcome.

Your collective sense of color brought me a wide array of portraiture, landscapes, cultural celebrations, architecture, unexpected colorful relationships, and as always, insurmountable creativity that can only be found in the Your Shot community. I am so proud to share this final story with you all. I hope you enjoy looking through it as much as I enjoyed producing it for you.

Editor's Note

This is a simply beautiful portrait. The colors are so rich! I appreciate that you included information about how his eyes are sensitive to light and it only makes me want to learn more about his life. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

The leading lines created from the threads to your character are spot on! The light is gorgeous and soft while she concentrates on her craft. Beautiful environmental portrait, Daniella!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Kristyn, just wow. I can't choose which is more stunning: this beautiful, soft light on this woman or the red of her dress playing with the pink on her nails. This portrait is simple but stunning. Bravo, Kristyn, bravo!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Aya, your lines and colors are beautifully composed in the frame! Talk about pop, pop, pops of color. I love that you included the farm machine that is harvesting the flowers. It adds another layer of information and a small human element that sometimes can be missing from aerial photography. Beautiful!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

I love, love, love that you found humor in an everyday situation and waited to make a photograph of it, "Orange Cat on an Orange Car," ha! The frame made me stop because I thought "How funny to find a cat sitting on a matching car?" Many kudos on waiting for the right moment and getting the cat's sassy exp... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Wow, talk about the "quintessential" autumn photo! The colors are simply beautiful and I love how the white houses act as the "pops" in this frame as they are so starkly different from the reds, oranges and yellows. I can practically smell the leaves in the breeze from across the cool, crisp water!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

My immediate reaction to this photo was to smile! I love the ribbons coming from behind his head, appearing to be an explosion of thought like from a cartoon. His genuine expression and sunlight makes this moment feel fun, carefree. I love that you included that you took this picture from your phone's fron... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

First off, this made me laugh out of loud! The colors, composition and body language of both the dog and the woman are so entertaining. I love the leading line of the woman's arm and how the dog is slightly turning the other way. The colors are bold and fun. Bravo!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Laura, I'm almost at a loss for words for how much this image makes me smile. The two women in purple create visual bookends for this painting of pink, yellow and aquamarine! I love that you found a moment where the textures of their dresses match the botanical texture of their background. I just want to k... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Ron, you got the focus perfectly on this cat's eyes perfectly right and I love, love, love the greens setting each other off. I see a lot of cat pictures but not many that are as glamorous as this cat in her sweater. I love that you made a tight frame so we see the greens front and center. This portrait ju... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

The light is so beautiful! Her expression is priceless and plays off her body language in a really telling way. Her personality shows through this portrait while your caption gives us insight to how excited she was to don this awesome outfit for her dress rehearsal. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

The colors are just stunning in this photograph. I'm so glad you included extra context in your caption because now I know this moment wasn't posed and this woman is just being her natural self between work. The many different tones of blues, pinks, and greens pop so well against the concrete. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Between using the color filters on your lights, the reflection of piano keys in his glasses and your unique composition you make this musician look like a scientist from a scientific fiction movie and I love it! I have never seen a musician's environment portrait like this one and I love when I'm surprised... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

The blue of this butterfly wing is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing such an intimate view of the wing, a view most people will never see this close. A beautiful "pop" of color we might not easily see in nature! Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

What a whimsical moment with the quintessential yellow rain jacket! I love that this moment feels poetic and your drive to just try it! Some of my favorite pictures came together when I just decided to try something out!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

I love how muted the tones are in this photograph and then the orange halter just pops! The hues match the tone of the photo, solemn and serious. I love how strong and proud they both stand and how you chose to show the whole frame, not just the zoomed in version with the black background. I love seeing th... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Lucian, I love how you filled your frame with the lush green grass and the brown cows are the pops of a different, vibrant color. The perspective of being directly above the cows makes this image feel like a painting. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

I love how simple this frame is — I can feel his joy, your photo feels like the happiness of summertime. I love that you captured the moment before he (hopefully) lands on the float. I love the anticipation. And even if he misses, I can feel a huge laugh about to happen...

David Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

The movement from fabric and primary colors are stunning in this frame. The stillness of the red legs is poignant against the blues and yellows surrounding. I love how bold the colors are all around!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

I love that you found a completely natural, bold and completely serendipitous pop of color! Your depth of field perfectly shows how many gulls are around this single Scarlet Ibis and having the sand fill the edges of your frame shows how the Ibis truly is the only bold color in your frame. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Bravo on one of the best uses of a slow shutter I've seen used for traffic. The cars are just abstracted enough that they look like brush strokes of paint! The reds and yellow pop and balance out the otherwise neutral setting. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

The composition and simplicity of this frame is so striking! I was admittedly a little startled when I saw the hand grabbing from the darkness but those little hands complete the image. Great anticipation and use of negative space in your frame, Kamila!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

These dancers donned in yellow just bring a smile to my face! I love their facial expressions and how the movement of their bodies is caught for 1/1000 of a second creates a fun moment. I like that you let the bottom half of the frame be filled with their polka-dotted dresses and let the women be your hori... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

The pop of yellow is like a shining star amongst the night sky. Nothing quite like seeing the Milky Way like this, away from the hustle and bustle of a city. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

I have never seen a Galah Cockatoo before and what a lovely introduction to this beautiful bird! The quality of light and level of detail in her feathers are perfectly on point. This is my new favorite animal portrait! Her colors are simply lovely, I can't wait to see one in person someday! Well done, Meli... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

I love the pop of her hair against the urban backdrop. Her body language and the hand reaching for her creates a really fascinating tension in the frame that makes me wonder what situation you stumbled upon. I love this moment and the mystery. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Malek, your pop from this roadside cafeteria is splendid! What I love even more is how you mention in your caption that shops like this bring folks of all walks of life together. No matter who you are, we all have to eat or drink and it's a sentiment that we might often overlook in photography. Excellent c... More

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

The colorful light trails are so striking in your composition, Junko! I've never seen a cityscape and it must be a site to see with all the boat traffic during cherry blossom season. Well done!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

Editor's Note

Toni, your colors, patterns and shapes are just delightful in this photograph. The repetition between the candies and the background but broken up by the white bowl is downright fun! I too, have a huge sweet tooth and this photo makes me go want to eat some Starburst. A very fun, colorful, "sweet" photo!

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot


About the Editor

Kristen McNicholas
Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot