The Best Landscape Photos From 2018 (So Far)

So-called ‘drip pricing’ can make it difficult to determine the total cost of airline tickets and vacation rentals.
Desoto is the place to go if you want to be surrounded by the natural beauty of Northeast Alabama. Set in and around Lookout Mountain, this state park sparkles each autumn as splashes of fall color mix with the soothing splish-splash from its gorgeous natural waterfalls.
Slide 1 of 51: Snow on Lake Bled, Slovenia, makes the scene look like something out of a fairy tale. A functioning church stands on the small island in the middle of the lake, as it has since the late 17th century.
Slide 2 of 51: A hiker greets the morning in Yosemite Valley, California. Your Shot photographer Eric Harris says, "The adrenaline from standing on the edge of a 1,000-foot cliff helps me wake up."
Slide 3 of 51: The city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, is the holiest site in the religion of Islam. Non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city, and each year, 15 million pilgrims make the trip to worship. The tower is the Makkah Royal Clock Tower, part of Abraj Al-Bait, a complex of skycraper hotels for worshippers to stay in. The clock tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world, and it sports the largest clock face—measuring 141 feet across.
Slide 4 of 51: In Nazaré, Portugal, an adventurous man crosses a slackline as waves crash around him. The beaches of Nazaré are known for their extremely high waves, influenced by a deep undersea canyon just off the coast.
Slide 5 of 51: The Tadami Line is a train route that stretches for 84 miles in Japan. "The view from the train is stunning," says Your Shot photographer Teruo Araya. "The train goes over a number of bridges passing cherry blossoms in spring, greenery in summer, colored leaves in autumn, and snow in winter."
Slide 6 of 51: Waves crash on a public beach in Sydney, Australia. The stone structure is an ocean pool, designed to let swimmers do laps while still enjoying the natural water.
Slide 7 of 51: Marshlands in Cádiz, Spain, form intricate patterns where they meet salt flats. Your Shot photographer Aya O. took pictures from a small plane at sunset, circling back multiple times to get just the right shot in the sunset light.
Slide 8 of 51: A worker cleans windows at the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai—the tallest building in the world. Taken in February, the photograph illustrates the low-level winter clouds that gather at sunrise.
Slide 9 of 51: An ice hiker pauses in an ice cave on Lake Baikal, in eastern Siberia. With depths plummeting to 5,387 feet, Lake Baikal is the world's deepest lake-- and it holds more water than all the Great Lakes combined. In winter, it can freeze into ice 1-4 feet thick, and caves form curtains of ice like the ones seen in this photo.
Slide 10 of 51: Rice terraces form intricate patterns in Bali, Indonesia. Using terraces to farm in hilly or uneven areas of land prevent soil erosion and help with irrigation.
Slide 11 of 51: The Chinese municipality of Chongqing is home to some 30 million people in southwest China. With more than 100 days of fog a year, Chongqing is nicknamed Fog City—and appropriately, its sister city in the United States is Seattle.
Slide 12 of 51: More than 7,000 islands make up the Philippines. This one, called Snake Island, is named after a sandbar that is only visible at low tide.
Slide 13 of 51: "This iconic maple seems to be on every photographer's bucket list to photograph, including mine," says Your Shot photographer Holly Fischer. The famous tree stands in the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon. "It is just a simply stunning example of Mother Nature's perfect brilliance," Fischer says.
Slide 14 of 51: Storm chaser and Your Shot photographer Vanessa Neufeld captured this scene in Keyes, Oklahoma. The day before she was to fly home, she and her fellow chasers "thought we'd go for one last chase and hope for something more than just a squall line," she remembers. "As the evening descended, so did a barrage of lightning in northwest Oklahoma. "
Slide 15 of 51: The sun rises behind Abraham Lake in the Canadian Rockies. Fluctuating water levels make ice conditions on the lake unpredictable—even in winter.
Slide 16 of 51: Every year during late March, Tokyo's beloved cherry blossoms burst from the boughs. But the breathtaking display is short-lived. Here, fallen petals create pink swirls on the river below.
Slide 17 of 51: A climber stands atop the jagged peak of the Täschhorn in the Swiss Alps. Your Shot photographer Ben Tibbetts was in the same group that climbed the 14,734-foot tall mountain. "We set off under a fine starry sky," but before it even got light it started snowing... making for a long day out.
Slide 18 of 51: A wave forms and crashes on Lake Erie. On the boundary of Canada and the United States, Lake Erie is the second-smallest of the five Great Lakes.
Slide 19 of 51: This white cliff in Sicily is called "Scala dei Turchi," or the Turkish Steps. Natural erosion has softened the limestone and marl cliff, and the aerial view of visitors reminds Your Shot photographer Placido Faranda of "a big meringue covered with sprinkles."
Slide 20 of 51: Sunlight shines into the water as a diver swims in a cenote in Mexico. "It's an amazing and unique experience in the life of a underwater photographer," says Your Shot photographer Fabrice Guerin. "The mysticism, beauty, and exuberance of these underwater landscapes make me feel like I discovered another world."
Slide 21 of 51: Years and years of erosion have formed this meandering sandstone canyon in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Below, vegetation thrives on the banks of the river that has cut through the stone for so long.
Slide 22 of 51: Navagio Beach, on the Greek island of Zakynthos, hosts the remains of the MV Panagiotis. While the ship wrecked on the island in October of 1980, the scene now delights visitors and photographers alike.
Slide 23 of 51: Leaves turn into an autumnal rainbow along the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire. "This is my favorite place on the whole scenic route," says Your Shot photographer Manish Mamtani. "I always fly my drone here to capture the curve of the road and moving cars."
Slide 24 of 51: Klyuchevskaya Sopka is a volcano in Russia that stands more than 15,000 feet tall. The volcano has been active since at least 1697, when an eruption was first recorded.
Slide 25 of 51: An aerial view captures the bright colors of Croatia's Golden Cape in this National Geographic Your Shot Photo of the Day.
Slide 26 of 51: Your Shot photographer Josselin Cornou says this shot was only possible under a very specific condition: "after sunset during a torrential rain." She says that new inhabitants have found a home here, in what was once a busy train tunnel in Helensburgh, New South Wales, Australia. "A city of glow worms are populating this old train station, providing beautiful lights on rainy days."
Slide 27 of 51: The eruption of Mount Etna in 2002 sent lava to devour this forest in Sicily. It was such a dramatic event that footage of it can be seen in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, as part of the landscape of the planet Mustafar.
Slide 28 of 51: In far northern Xinjiang, China, herders guide camels, sheep, and cattle to new pastures, where they'll graze during the summer months. Summer in the area is warm, but very dry.
Slide 29 of 51: Trees are reflected in a blue pond in Hokkaido, Japan. The exposure time of 25 seconds makes this photo look like a painting.
Slide 30 of 51: Early morning fog sweeps over northwestern New Mexico, where Shiprock stands 1,583 feet tall. The formation holds special significance to the Navajo people, who govern the land surrounding it.
Slide 31 of 51: Backcountry skiers ascend Punta Calabre, a mountain that sits on the border between France and Italy. By the end of the trek, the skiers will have gained almost 4,000 feet in elevation.
Slide 32 of 51: Mist surrounds the jagged edges of flysch on the Basque Coast in Spain. Flysch alternates thin and coarse layers of sediment, making for a dramatic landscape. But Your Shot photographer Fran Llano writes that the view is more than just aesthetic, it's informational. "Layer by layer," he says, "the rocks offer a unique vision of the geological features of this area, reading a rocky book full of information."
Slide 33 of 51: Green space nestles between enormous apartment complexes in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of the most crowded places on earth, with more than 7 million people living in 427 square miles.
Slide 34 of 51: Sunset on Cannon Beach, Oregon, "was a magical and humbling experience," says Your Shot photographer Andrew Lane. "As the sun set, people started to gather towards the base of the rock, looking at the sea life and creatures normally not exposed."
Slide 35 of 51: Colorful windows brighten a street in Singapore that's usually full of activity. Your Shot photographer Andrei Z. wanted to capture the scene, but the traffic made it impossible. "On my last day I was walking by again and noticed that the entire block was deserted. Incredible," he remembers. "I took a few shots of the building in all its glory, however now it was lacking life. Ironically, I found myself waiting for some sign of human life to enter the frame."
Slide 36 of 51: Your Shot photographer Mitsuhiko Kamada used a long exposure to photograph these dreamy morning clouds in Tsubetsu, Hokkaido, Japan. Tsubetsu is a small town in the northeast of Japan, home to about 5,000 people.
Slide 37 of 51: The sun sets over Grand Falls on the Little Colorado River in Arizona. "This view shows the effect of summer rains over the desert," explains Your Shot photographer Bernhard Michaelis, "resulting in muddy flows which give the falls another name: Chocolate Falls."
Slide 38 of 51: Climbers ascend Jengish Chokusu (also known as Victory Peak or Pik Pobeda), a summit between Kyrgyzstan and China that stands more than 24,000 feet tall. Your Shot photographer Saulius Damulevicius is one of a few hundred to ascend the dangerous mountain. Of the adventure, he says, "It remains my hardest climb despite subsequent expeditions in the Himalayas."
Slide 39 of 51: In a swamp outside of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a farmer swims while planting duckweed on the water. The plant will later be turned into pig feed.
Slide 40 of 51: A long exposure captures the final day of festive New Year celebrations in Jujing, a small, round village in China. The first day of the Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar, and celebrations continue for fifteen days, ending with the Lantern Festival.
Slide 41 of 51: The northern lights dance over central Norway one autumn night. A long exposure of 4 seconds helped capture the grandeur of the phenomenon.
Slide 42 of 51: A haze covers London during golden hour one January day. The tall building on the left is known as The Shard. At 95 stories high, it's the tallest building in the United Kingdom.
Slide 43 of 51: These limestone towers off the coast of Victoria, Australia, are known as the Twelve Apostles. It's a bit of a misnomer, though—there are only eight, after a ninth collapsed in 2005.
Slide 44 of 51: A freediver enjoys a peaceful swim in the Bahamas. Freedivers don't use breathing apparatuses, instead learning to hold their breath underwater for many minutes at a time.
Slide 45 of 51: Capturing this long exposure of a sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge was a calculated adventure. Your Shot photographer Benjamin Stein had to wait for the perfect tide and the perfect sunset. In addition to patience, it required "standing on the side of a large rock, with water up to your knees and seals swimming around looking at you," Stein says.
Slide 46 of 51: Farmers cut a crop of green fodder in Punjab, Pakistan. The crops are cut every two weeks to feed local dairy cows.
Slide 47 of 51: Vibrant fall foliage surrounds Komadome Falls in Nasu, Japan. Nasu, approximately 120 miles north of Tokyo, is known for its hiking trails and stunning autumn colors.
Slide 48 of 51: Your Shot photographer David Jakob and his friends had big plans for their overnight fishing trip in Norway. After taking snow scooters to their destination, they were taken aback by what they found. "This cabin was supposed to be our shelter for the night," Jakob says, "but over time, erosion and heavy winds tipped it over."
Slide 49 of 51: Beachgoers relax on Bongoyo Island, off the coast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The island is a popular destination for day trips, and features jungle exploration alongside luxurious beaches.
Slide 50 of 51: Out of the Kīlauea Volcano on the island of Hawai'i, a fountain of lava streams into the ocean. When the hot lava hits the cool waters, an explosive reaction sends rocks and debris flying.
Slide 51 of 51: While driving through Northern California, Your Shot photographer Josh Heidebrecht experienced a moment of photographic serendipity after he and his friend pulled over to see what they could find in the grove. "While searching, a squirrel briefly chattered above me, causing me to look straight up," he remembers. "Luckily I had my wide-angle lens with me so I could capture this perspective of the partially burnt redwoods towering above us in an eerie silence."

Peaceful Winter

Rise and Shine

Above Mecca

Don’t Look Down

Through the Mist

Ocean Pool

The Maze Below

A Tall Job

Icy Blues

Aerial Terrace

Fog City

Snake Island

Marvelous Maple

Lucky Strike

Icy Dawn

Petal River

Top of the Täschhorn

New Wave

Soft Rock

Sunlit Dive

Twists & Turns

Shipwreck Beach

Around the Bend

Light Up The Night

The Golden Cape

Glow Worms

Over the Line

On the Move

True Blue

Sunrise at Shiprock

Italian Backcountry

Between the Lines

Down Below

Low Tide

Rainbow Windows

Sea of Clouds

Chocolate Falls

Dangerous Ascent

Green Harvest

Night Lights

Night Lights

Golden Haze

The Apostles

Floating Free

Red Sky at Night

Crop Circles

The Fall

Blown Over

Island Time

Hot and Cold

Look Up

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