But maybe even more astonishing that the photos that make it to the magazine, is what the photographers go through to get them. In a rare pulling back of the curtain, the "Reality Check" section of the site lets the public in on the perils and life-threatening circumstances that the photographers endure to bring home such gorgeous and powerful shots. The tales of being held at gunpoint, attacked by animals, contracting dysentery, imprisoned, and more will put getting out of bed at 4am to catch a sunrise sound, sound like a picnic. The most recent of tale of going to extremes to get the shot is told in this video from Photographer Stephen Alvarez, who went temporarily blind in his left eye during his first National Geographic assignment, shooting in the mountains of Peru. He says that since he uses his right eye to look though the viewfinder he never mentioned it to anyone for fear that he'd be taken off the assignment, it was only after returning (and gaining his vision back) that he learned his commitment could have killed him.