In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress

Swarms of desert locusts fly into the air from crops in Katitika village in Kenya’s Kitui county on Jan. 24, 2020.
In the worst outbreak in a quarter-century, hundreds of millions of the insects swarmed into Kenya from Somalia and Ethiopia, destroying farmland and threatening an already vulnerable region.
(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Source: In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress

Lone Cheetah versus Wild Dogs: Photo by Peter Haygarth.

A lone male cheetah is set upon by a pack of African wild dogs.
Peter Haygarth had been following the dogs as they hunted in Zimanga Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
On first encountering the cheetah, the dogs were wary, but as the rest of the pack arrived, their confidence grew and they began to encircle the cat.
Peter kept his focus on the cat’s face.
In a few minutes the spat was over as the cheetah fled. (Behaviour: mammals category)
Photograph by Peter Haygarth – Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Source: Wildlife photographer of the year – highly commended images | World news | The Guardian

‘The Male Gaze’ Serengetti National Park.

The Male Gaze
Your Shot photographer Tim Bryan made eye contact with this male lion in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.
“I will never forget his piercing gaze,” he says. With more than 2,500 lions living in its borders, the park is one of the largest lion refuges in the world.
Image Credit:Photograph by Tim Bryan, National Geographic Your Shot.
Source: Photo of the Day: Best of June 2018

High Sands and High Seas, Namibia.

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Image Credit: Photograph by Julian Walter, National Geographic Your Shot
Namibia, on Africa’s southwest coast, is a large country with a harsh landscape.
The towering and constantly shifting dunes of the Namib Desert, shown here in this aerial photo submitted by Your Shot member Julian Walter, run right to the Atlantic Ocean and can reach up to a thousand feet high.
Source: Photo of the Day: Best of April – PROOF

Two Rhinos & a cheeky Oxpecker.

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Photograph by Matt Parry, runner-up.
On an early morning safari drive in the Amakhala game reserve, South Africa, we came across these two rhinos coming out of the mist.
A little bird is hitching a ride with one of the rhinos.
Comment by Mick Ryan, Judge: Is there any species more prehistoric-looking than the endangered white rhino.
This beautiful image, including the little oxpecker, a bird that feeds on ticks on the bodies of large mammals, is both majestic and sad.
Photography can document what is precious to us and be a starting point for action that will save the Earth and the living things that inhabit it.
Source: Readers’ travel photography competition: October – the winners | Travel | The Guardian

The Dragon’s Blood Trees of Socotra Island.

Dragon’s Blood trees, known locally as Dam al-Akhawain, or blood of the two brothers, on Socotra island.
Prized for its red medicinal sap, the Dragon’s Blood is the most striking of 900 plant species on the Socotra islands in the Arabian Sea, 380 km (238 miles) south of mainland Yemen.
Image Credit: Photograph by Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi / Reuters
Source: A Walk in the Woods: A Photo Appreciation of Trees – The Atlantic

Buffaloes & Stars, KwaZulu-Natal.

‘Buffaloes and stars’.
This picture, taken at Zimanga game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, using an in-camera multiple exposure, with the first lit for the buffaloes and the second focused on the stars with a spectacular result.
Image Credit: Photograph by Andreas Hemb.
Source: Sony world photography awards 2017 shortlist | Art and design | The Guardian

Silhouettes of African animals at sunrise and sunset.

Wildlife photographer Greg Du Toit has captured powerful images of silhouetted animals in southern and eastern Africa to show “the mystery and intrigue of Africa.”
Images copyright Greg Du Toit/mediadrumworld.com.
The animals, including lions, giraffes, flamingos, elephants, leopards, rhinoceros and zebras, are illuminated against sunrises and sunsets in a range of hues.
The photos are part of a wider series called Dusk to Dawn and were shot in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia.
Mr Du Toit told Media Drum news agency: “I simply want to convey the incredible diversity, mystery and wonder that I feel for my wild subjects.
“What the camera has the power to do, through silhouette photography, is to simply de-clutter our world.”
Du Toit specialises in lowlight imagery, spending hours to get the perfect timings for his photos.
Du Toit previously won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year prize in 2013, with his photo entitled Essence of Elephants.
See more of Greg Du Toit’s work on Instagram
Source: Stunning silhouettes show animals of Africa at sunrise and sunset – BBC News

The Shah Cheragh Mosque, Iran.

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Visiting the Shah Cheragh mosque in Shiraz, Iran can be a sombre and, for lack of a better word, religious experience, yet the interior of the central temple looks as though a disco ball exploded, covering nearly every surface with glittering shards of glass and mirror.
The site began as a funereal monument with a mythic past.
As the story goes, around 900 CE a wanderer caught site of a mysterious light shining off in the distance and went to investigate. He found a luminous grave that, when excavated, was found to hold the armored corpse of an important Muslim figure.
Thus the site became a popular pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims, and a domed tomb structure was created to house the grave.
The site was improved and expanded over the centuries with religious schools and other facilities being added to the complex.

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In the 14th century the site’s signature mirrorball decoration was ordered at the behest of Queen Tash Khātūn who wanted the mosque intensify any light a thousand times over, the name “Shah Cheragh” roughly translating to “King of the Light” in Persian.
Despite being damaged by human hands and natural disasters over the centuries, the mosque has been maintained and repaired and shines brightly even today.
The increasingly sprawling site is still an extremely important pilgrimage location for Shia Muslims, however visitors of any faith are likely to marvel at the sheer beauty of this glassy wonder.
via Shah Cheragh | Atlas Obscura.

Gertrude Bell – Queen of the Desert, circa 1900.

Page-3-Image-3British-born Gertrude Bell, also referred to as the female Lawrence of Arabia, was an adventurer, spy, archaeologist and powerful political force who travelled into the uncharted Arabian desert and was recruited by British Military Intelligence to help reshape the Middle East after World War I.
She drew the borders of Iraq, helped install its first king and established the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities which was infamously looted during the 2003 American invasion.
A true visionary, she advocated for Iraqi self-rule and openly criticized colonial policy.

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Gertrude Bell images, courtesy of the Gertrude Bell Archives, Newcastle University
Gertrude Bell was astonishingly accomplished.
She was one of the most powerful women in the British Empire in the early twentieth century, yet she has been overlooked in much of the history written about this period.
As the first female British intelligence Officer and adviser on Arabian affairs to the British government,
Bell helped shape the geopolitical map of the world as it changed dramatically after World War I.
She was the only woman with a diplomatic role at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and the only woman invited by Winston Churchill to the Cairo Conference in 1921.
via Gertrude Bell, Queen of the Desert | Amazing Women In History.