Travel, People, Natural World …

Some “Featured Entries” and “Editors’ Pick” from the Smithsonian’s 17th Annual Photo Contest

The Solitary Tree of Lake Wanaka
The iconic solitary tree at Lake Wanaka, South Island (NZ). A picture of inanimate stoical quality that’s awe-inspiring. I hope this amazing tree survives the onslaught of attention from being famous, so may future generations can enjoy this natural landmark.
by Jensen Chua
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Cowboy by Denis Karasev
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Rush Hour in Ho Chi Minh City
Got stuck in a traffic jam at one intersection in Ho Chi Minh City, normally it is after working time about 5pm to 7pm. So many motorbikes with several vehicles, but no higher overpass are reasons that make traffic jams in this city.
by Huynh Thanh Huy
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Stepping Out of the Shadows
A woman carrying a striped black and white umbrella passes some gates.
by Laurence Bouchard
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Thousands of Volkswagen and Audi cars sit idle in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert. Models manufactured from 2009 to 2015 were designed to cheat emissions tests mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Following the scandal, Volkswagen recalled millions of cars. Aerial image (photographed from a plane).
by Jassen Todorov
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Smithsonian magazine and place a Smithsonian lens on the world, looking at the topics and subject matters researched, studied and exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution — science, history, art, popular culture and innovation — and chronicling them every day for our diverse readership.

more at Smithsonian Mag

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Celebrating close-up, macro & micro photography

Close-up Photographer of the Year (CUPOTY) is a celebration of close-up, macro and micro photography – an annual competition created to showcase images that help us see the world anew.
But its scope is far greater than that.
Its ultimate aim is to encourage you to slow down, enjoy the craft of photography, and to make connections with others who are equally passionate about the world up close.

Henri Koskinen | Seeds on Stage
Plants & Fungi Winner
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Emanuele Biggi | Namib’s Gaze
Close-up Photographer of the Year
Overall winner & Animals winner
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Hal Gage | Starburst Mud
Intimate Landscape Winner
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Marek Miś | Sugar and Salt Mixture Crystals
Micro Winner
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Celebrating close-up, macro & micro photography
more at cupoty

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I would like to see your photos of doors. The image can include doors made of any material such as wood, metal and glass. They could be close-ups of doors or a wider view, but photos must have the door as the focus. Entries can be in black and white or colour.

Rua de Santa Maria, Fuchal – chicken door
by Peter Samwell
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A gust of wind
by Lotte Grønkjær
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To the Cloisters
by Volantes
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Number 9
by Ange
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Mr. Locksmith
by Bogdan Zarkowski
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more at photocrowd

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Night Landscapes

35awards — a major international award created in 2015 by the creators of the professional photo community In the first year, 36 thousand people from 110 countries took part in it. In 2016, more than 76 thousand. Every year count of participants increases. In 2017, more than 103 thousand people from 160 countries took part in the competition. More than 257 thousand photos were submitted for the competition.

Rok Stirn
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Hernando Alonso Rivera Cervantes
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John Vermette
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Hugo Valle Perez
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Trashin Alexander
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Night Landscapes | Best Photos in Nomination
more at 35awards

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“I’m so grateful to be in a position of power and to have more creative control,” she says. “That is embraced and encouraged now”

Taking Control
Margot Robbie is many things—a chameleonic actor, an up-and-coming producer, a bridge between old Hollywood and new. Just don’t call her a bombshell. By Irina Aleksander. Photographed by Inez & Vinoodh.

In the years since she faced down Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, Margot Robbie has persuasively staked her claim as far more than a so-called “bombshell,” a characterization that the actress strongly resents. “I’m not someone who walks in a room and the record stops and people turn like, ‘Look at that woman’,” she tells Irina Aleksander in our July cover story. A better word, at least by fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman’s estimation, would be “powerhouse,” and it fits: Next month, she is starring in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (fulfilling a career goal of working with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino) and Robbie’s now five-year-old production company, LuckyChap, has an extraordinary slate of female-fronted films currently in development. Here, in her cover slideshow, see the boundary-breaking star assume a few more roles in evocative looks by Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Chanel, Versace, Celine, and Burberry. Photographed by Inez and Vinoodh.

more at Vogue

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The Art of Posing: Techniques for Digital Portrait Photographers

Posing for portraits is an art that takes skill and experience. It is also a challenge that requires tact, a keen sense of composition and excellent shutter-button reflexes. Achieving the goal of successful portrait photography, whether head and shoulders images or full-length shots, requires an extensive knowledge of how the body works as well the ability to relax a sitter. Added to this is knowledge of how camera optics (lens distortion, camera height and lighting) can make or break a successful shoot.

Techniques and images from:
Julia Greer; Marissa Boucher; Carolyn Wright; Elizabeth Etienne; Melanie Litchfield; Sara Brennen-Harrell; Ron Jacobson; Todd Joyce; Larry Peters; Dan Hefer; Angela Stott.