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Illuminating the world: Beautiful Photos from around the globe

National Geographic recently curated a series on its website called ‘Illuminating the World’ showcasing readers personal work that was submitted to the magazine’s photo community Your Shot. 

Your Shot is open for both amateur and professional photographers to submit photos and get feedback from National Geographic photo editors. By submitting work, photographers also get the chance to have their pictures featured in the magazine or on the website. From a small Christmas market in Estonia to the fast lanes of Shanghai’s elevated freeways, these reader-submitted photos play off the theme of light, and life after dark.

You can contribute your own work to Your Shot here.

Christmas market illuminated one winter evening

Christmas market illuminated one winter evening in the old town of Tallinn, Estonia. Photograph by Risto Hunt, Your Shot

Manarola Italy


I camped on this spot for some time waiting for the right balance of light as the sun set. I was rewarded with many great shots of the late afternoon and even in moonlight. This long exposure captures the essence of the village life with a party on the wharf. Photograph by Paul Hogie, Your Shot

People are walking through the Christmas night in downtown Tokyo

People are walking through the Christmas night in downtown Tokyo to enjoy the illumination by millions of LED lights. Photograph by Hiro Kurashina, Your Shot

Shanghai Highways

Shanghai’s famous elevated roads come to life at night as the city illuminates them with bright blue lights. Light trails from the cars lead toward the futuristic skyline of Pudong in the background. Photograph by Paul Reiffer, Your Shot

The colors of neon lights that illuminate this motel recall the colors

The colors of neon lights that illuminate this motel recall the colors of the Malagasy flag. Photograph by Michele Martinelli, Your Shot

Visited a light show in Pitlochry, Scotland

Visited a light show in Pitlochry, Scotland. Photograph by Eddie Bayne, Your Shot

Yi Peng Festival Thailand

Monks looked up at the magnificent night sky filled with thousands of lanterns in awe. This was the moment I’ve been waiting for and it lasted very quickly due to strong wind. A very heavy downpour occurred right after we left the place.
Photograph by Justin Ng, Your Shot