‘Vanishing Identities’

11th Pollux Awards | Winner. Annette Bonnier, ‘Vanishing Identities’
“Indigenous Tribes in the Southern Omo Valley of Ethiopia have existed for hundreds of years with limited outside influence. They have cultivated their customs and rituals and have survived nature and mankind’s brutality. Yet today the outside world has infiltrated their balance and their survival is at risk.”

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In this edition 405 photographers from 52 countries participated in the Award submitting 4410 images. Given the quality of works, the juror, assisted by the team of curators of The Gala Awards have decided to award three photographers in this edition, that will share the First Prize. The prize of $3,000 will be divided among the three winners of the Award.

We’re proud to announce that Michael Knapstein from Middleton, Wisconsin, USA, Annette Bonnier from Miami, Florida, USA, and Julia Fullerton-Batten from Bremen, Germany (living and working in London, UK), were selected as winners of the 11th edition of the Pollux Awards.

more at The Gala Awards


Paradise for pennies

Historically, paradise on earth has cost the earth: Persian emperors constructed opulent private gardens (pairidaēza – from which the word ‘paradise’ originates), European nobles built lavish Renaissance mansions deemed divine and, more recently, exclusive luxury resorts promise holidaymakers ‘a slice of paradise’.
But does paradise have to be synonymous with extravagance? We don’t think so. Here, a selection of Lonely Planet staff share their stories of earthly paradise found on the cheap, proving serenity is found just as often in more humble surroundings.

Cambodia is home to many resplendent beaches and islands – though some are quieter than others © Tony Calandruccio / Shutterstock
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The Dead Sea produces some spectacular sunsets © GMa / Shutterstock
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Traditional terracotta Berber structures dot the Atlas Mountains © Alberto Loyo / Shutterstock
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Surrounded by sand dunes, the village of Huacachina is a wonder to behold © Andrew Clifforth / Shutterstock
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Paradise for pennies: our tales of budget bliss
more at Lonely Planet

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year 2018 | Wallpapers

Editors’ favorite submissions to the photo contest.

Sugar And Gum Drops
Photo and caption by The Scenic Suitcase
The colorful streets of Bo Kaap weren’t always this way. The facades were once mandated to be a drab, uniform color during Apartheid. After Apartheid ended, the residents painted their homes every color of the rainbow to celebrate their freedom. Visiting Bo Kaap during the intense mid-day sunlight, the houses were so brightly colored it was almost blinding!
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Sharks City
Photo and caption by Marc Henauer
The Bahamas is home to one of the largest shark communities in the world. Far from the preconceived ideas, diving with these animals presents almost no risk. In the natural state, man is not a prey for the shark, it is even rather fearful and it is not so easy to be able to approach them so close. South of Nassau, the environment to observe them is extraordinary with large wrecks laid on a background of white sand in translucent water.
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Sensual Sands
Photo and caption by Nikohl Starr
Coastal regions of the Namib are frequently enveloped in a thick belt of fog developing offshore from a collision of the cold Benguela Current and warm air from the Hadley Cell. So as the helicopter took off that morning, I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t see much of the coast. As luck would have it, pockets of sun were able to penetrate the dense fog and illuminate the dunes below, casting intense dark shadows. The results were incredibly sensual and complex images that looked otherworldly.
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Blue pond in early winter
Photo and caption by Mac So
Blue pond in early winter. In Biei, Hokkaido, Japan.
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Rhino Silhouette
Photo and caption by Khai Chuin Sim
Took an early ride out from the camp in Masai Mara national park, searching for the great migration, where I saw a rhino from far away standing beside a tree. The back lit from the early sun was too strong, so I took a silhouette instead.
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Travel Photographer of the Year 2018
more at National Geographic

Otherworldly Destinations Here on Earth

These are the spots to visit if you wish you could actually go to space.

Rainbow Bridge, one of the world’s largest known natural bridges, arcs over a tributary of Lake Powell in Utah.
Photograph by Wild Horizon/Getty Images
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Water and ice accumulate in the Pingualuit crater in Quebec, Canada.
Photograph by USGS/NASA Landsat data/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images
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The sun shines on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano used by NASA for observation and training.
Photograph by Jiwon Chung, Getty Images
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A woman stands beneath the shifting lights of the aurora borealis in Norway.
Photograph by Garcia Julien, Getty Images
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Hot-air balloons fly through the sky at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival.
Photograph by Blaine Harrington III, Corbis/Getty Images
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Otherworldly Destinations Here on Earth
more at National Geographic

Winners and finalists of the 15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest

We are excited to announce the winners and finalists of the 15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest, selected from 48,000 submissions submitted by photographers in 155 countries and territories. From Thong Huu’s Grand-Prize-winning capture of a weekly market in Vietnam to Dan Fenstermacher’s action shot of wrestlers in San Jose, California, these images stood out to our photo editors as the most unique and memorable. Sara Jacoby’s image “Rare” received the highest percentage of more than 38,000 reader votes, earning her the Readers’ Choice award. Congratulations to all!

Breakfast at the Weekly Market by Thong Huu
In northern Vietnam, people come to the weekly market to exchange goods and culture. They usually wake up very early to go to market and have breakfast here.
This photo is the Grand Prize winner
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Rare by Sara Jacoby
This is Maggie. She has two rare chromosome duplications, one of which she’s the only child on record to have. This photo captures not only her vulnerability, but also the magnitude of the science for which we are so grateful. A little girl and her “Gigi” already way too familiar with hospitals and doctors offices than any child should be.
This photo is the Readers’ Choice winner
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Shadow Highlight by Mohammad Mohsenifar
A couple of ladies are passing in front of graffiti.
This photo won the Mobile category
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Rain by Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Hosseini
Niloofar is an Iranian nomad girl living in the Babanajm nomad region south of Shiraz city in Fars Province, Iran.
This photo won the People category
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Pinnacle of Existence by Oreon Strusinski
Energy travels hundreds of miles across the ocean and comes to a dramatic end when it reaches our shores.
This photo won the Natural World category
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Stairs by Adam Żądło
There are not many other animals as productive as sheep. They give us wool, milk, meat. Their memoirs are usually short. The pool of names is repeated every two years on our farm. We have already had two Queens, three Theos and four Fables.
This photo won the Altered Images category
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Backflip Submission by Dan Fenstermacher
A wrestler does a backflip off the ropes of a wrestling ring in an attempt to defeat an opponent.
This photo won the American Experience category
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Making Incense by Tran Tuan Viet
Decoratively dyed bundles of incense dry in Quang Phu Cau, a commune in Hanoi, Vietnam. In Buddhist countries like Vietnam, incense is an irreplaceable part of traditional festivals and religious ceremonies.
This photo won the Travel category
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The Window by Salvador Colvée Nebot
During my stay at a Costa Rican hotel, I noticed that red-eyed tree frogs flooded the gardens. As I approached this frog, it climbed into one of the holes in a leaf, as if it were sticking out a window.
This photo is a finalist in the Natural World category
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Winners and finalists of the 15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
more at Smithsonian Mag

An Alternate Reality

“Good photos are taken with your feet,” says Marina Sersale, who travels the world unraveling the imperceptible moments.

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Cellphone Profile: Marina Sersale
On revealing the alternate reality that exists in the everyday imperceptible moments.
Conchita Fernandes fnds out more in Better Photography – March 2018