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National Geographic Spectacle: Rare and Astonishing Photographs

National Geographic Spectacle: Rare and Astonishing Photographs

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From the Publisher

Every photographer dreams of capturing the instant when the light, composition, and action line up to create a spectacular photograph. These are the rare gems that cause you to question yourself. 'Did I just take that picture? I’m not capable of taking that picture. It’s just too good.' These are the images guided by magic.

Rare and Astonishing Photographs

Featuring more than 200 color images, including acclaimed photography from the National Geographic Image Collection, this volume presents a dazzling array of natural and manmade wonders, unusual phenomena, and amusing curiosities. Each page will enlighten and inspire, presenting our world at its best.

Forces Beyond Us

Some photographs plunge into chaos. Chaos—from the ancient Greek for the nether abyss, the earliest of days, shape without form or meaning: It may be where it all started, but chaos looms in the corners and hovers in the moments of our lives every day. There is no way we humans can hold back these forces. All we can do is watch with amazement, hold our breath, and go with the flow.

Make Friends with Chaos

Zambezi River, Zimbabwe

A crew of rafters tumbles into white water after fierce Class V rapids below Victoria Falls best its boat.

Seoul, South Korea

Whirling glow sticks make neon abstractions around performers at Everland theme park during its “Cyber Jwibulnoli,” an event that precedes the first full moon of the Lunar New Year.

Obwalden, Switzerland

Flecks of red on a smooth white canvas, skiers glide down an immaculate slope in an inverted pyramid formation that reflects the Alpine peaks overhead.

San Diego, California

At the San Diego Padres home opener against the San Francisco Giants, the stadium erupts in festivity as the national anthem is sung.

A Pleasure to Behold

Some photographs unveil the beauty that surrounds us: those rich harmonies of line, shape, symmetry, and color that bring deep pleasure to the soul. Perhaps beauty does reside within the beholder, and photographers lend us their keen eyes to find it. We become the tiger, shaking off after a morning dip, or the egret, lifting up out of the bayou. Then again, what’s deemed beautiful by one may seem idiosyncratic and odd to another, like shorn poodles or dreadlocked sadhus. Still we marvel, sensing pleasure in the other; we enjoy, sharing their delight.

All in the Eye of the Beholder

Washington, D.C.

A 12-year-old boy splashes through a wall of fountain water in a pool at Yards Park, a recreational area along the Anacostia River.

Nicosia, Cyprus

A pair of praying mantises pose in an elegant defensive posture: torsos raised, forelegs reaching high and wide, and wings flashing.

Chiang Rai, Thailand

The colorless facade of Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple, signifies purity, while its elaborate engravings blend Buddhist imagery and pop culture into more complex symbolism.

St. Petersburg, Florida

Seven young ballerinas rest backstage after portraying fairies for a recital at the Mahaffey Theater.
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