We love Photoshop and all the things that it can do to make an ordinary image become a spectacular image. We don't think it's "cheating" to do this, since photography is art and art is always about presenting a particular view to the world. Even before the digital age, photographers were editing in the dark room.
However, there are some photographs that are so epic that they don't need any editing. They stand on their own and tell an incredible story. These photographs are like that; they are truly breathtaking. Check them out. You'll love them, we guarantee it.
1. The Freezing Cup Of Tea
This is a wonderful shot that tells us exactly what happens when you hurl a cup of tea into freezing cold air in the Arctic.
2. The Tennis Ball At The Center Of The Galaxy
Look carefully - this is a really fast shot of a wet tennis ball spinning through the air. It does look like a galaxy though, doesn't it?
3. The Dutch Go Green
This is the nation that was once famous for its windmills on land, and now they're at sea. Yes, it's the Netherlands going completely green.
4. The Aftermath Of A Volcanic Eruption
This temple and the surrounding hillside are in Ontake, Japan and yes, they are buried under volcanic ash from a recent eruption. It's an amazing sight.
5. When Nature Meets Mankind Head-To-Head
This is a shot of New York City from above. On the right, you have the buildings and all the modern world and on the left, parks and nature.
6. Breaking The Visual Silence
There's nothing to see when the snow's covering the ground and the sky is white to match unless you add a spark of color, just like here.
7. The Wrath Of Ancient Gods
If you've ever wondered what a volcano looks like when it erupts, it looks like this. This is in Iceland where there are many volcanoes and frequent eruptions.
8. The Touch Of His Wings
This dramatic shot was taken in Canada. An eagle at full wing span just touches the water of the lake. It's an amazing shot which must have taken a lot of patience to capture.
9. When Two Franchises Meet On The Sands
Yes, this is a beach and it's in Italy. Vendors rent the umbrellas and sun loungers to the masses and they can tell whose is whose by the color.
10. The Primordial Ooze Stares Back Into Us
This superb photography shows the eyes of a frog. The warty tree frog, to be precise. It's only found in Central America in Costa Rica.
11. Forest Of Nightmares?
You can't argue with the amazing look of all these spider webs in a forest in Scotland, but we don't think we'd want to walk through there all the same.
12. Fields Of Blue
This is could only be in Japan. That perfect juxtaposition of blue flowers and blue skies as nature conspires to be sublime for our viewing pleasure.
13. The Division Of North Korea
This is the 100th-anniversary party for the birth of the North Korean dictator Kim Il-Sung. You can see why the regime stays in power quite clearly.
14. Not Chasing Rainbows But Catching Clouds
This is a wonderfully simple shot, but one which required a lot of good fortune to find this cloud at exactly the right time and place.
15. The Super Moon In A Cup Holder
The super moon is the vision of the moon as it passes closest to the earth; here it is cradled in a radio telescope. This must have taken serious planning.
We hope that you were as thrilled by these images as we were. It just goes to show that there are still striking, original images to be captured out there.
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16. The Beiya Open-Pit Gold Mine
The Beiya mine in Northwest Yunnan is the world's biggest open-pit gold mine. Even though the photo is beautiful, this pit has been the cause of much environmental controversy.
17. Japanese Firefly Squid
Photographer Takehito Miyatake is well known for his glowing use of color in photos. These Hotaru Ika firefly squids illuminate under the open Japanese waters.
18. Space Overlooking The Namib Desert
With the help of the unfiltered Namib Desert sky, Beth McCarley is able to bring together the vast openness of the desert combined with the dark and gloomy void of space.
19. Self-Centered Flamingos
In an almost seeming act of self-reflection, this flock of flamingos unknowingly formed the shape of a giant flamingo. Perhaps flamingos are more intelligent near the Gulf of Mexico.
20. Russian To The Forest
In a captivating forest photo from Russia, the woman in the red dress stands apart from the convoluted forest filled with thin trees and stagnant moss-covered streams.
21. Rapeseed Fields In China
The rapeseed is an oil-rich seed mainly grown in rural China. The Chinese rapeseed is the world's third leading source of vegetable oil.
22. Namib Dunes
We travel back to the Namib Desert to get a better understanding of its scale. The dunes move like waves across the scorching sea of sand.
23. Westerdok Street, Amsterdam
AirPano via Pinterest
Westerdok in Amsterdam is both water and a street. The body of water was built in 1832 and still contains an open connection to the South Sea.
24. Up, Up And Away
This perfectly-timed photo is surprisingly real. The amount of time the photographer had to wait to get a perfect upwards shot must have been grueling.
25. Frosted Forests
This looks like an image taken directly from a concept for the Chronicles of Narnia. This photo was actually taken in the Beskydy Mountains in the Czech Republic.