Photography plays a major role in National Geographic magazine. While its main goal is to further education and exploration around nature, geography, history, and culture, it’s the stunning photography accompanying the articles that many people associate with the magazine. As the publication prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary next month, it’s doing so by making it all about the imagery.
The October issue of Nat Geo is simply titled, “The Photography Issue.” According to the magazine, the issue will highlight the medium that it “has helped to shape, looking at how photography has the power to impact our lives by bearing witness, helping to prove fact, giving us insight into each other, revealing unknown places, celebrating wonder and inspiring us to protect our natural world.” Some of the featured photographers include Marcus Bleasdale, James Balog, Martin Schoeller, David Guttenfelder, Abelardo Morell, and Joel Sartore.
Nat Geo has achieved a long list of photography firsts, including documenting the first American ascent of Mount Everest and Jane Goodall’s work with primates, capturing the undersea in color and the first photographic survey of the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere. The work also exemplified uses of the latest photographic technologies from that time.
Nat Geo sponsors several photography-related competitions and events as well. To complement the October issue, it will launch a new photo-sharing campaign beginning October 1 through its “community engagement platform” called Your Shot. All photographers are invited to submit photos based on the themes of the October issue.
In addition, the magazine this week launched a new photo blog called Proof. The site, edited by NationalGeographic.com’s photo director Keith Jenkins, takes a closer look at the magazine’s photography efforts, along with what’s happening in the medium. The site has already posted some must-read pieces, including interviews with various Nat Geo photographers about photography from their POV.
“Proof will offer a real-time look at our storytelling process – everything from how to edit down 60,000 photographs to 12, to which single item a photographer on a four-month assignment can’t live without,” Jenkins wrote in a post describing the new site. “Equally important to us is finding more incredible stories that you, our members, have created, and then spreading them around the globe. We want to celebrate, with you, all the possibilities for visual storytelling that this new century offers.”