Solar Eclipse (c) Colleen Pinski
The Smithsonian are currently holding their 10th Annual Photo Contest and have announced the finalists for 2012. Ambitious photographers from around the globe took stunning, high quality pictures in the categories of: The Natural World, Travel, People, Americana and Altered Images. The final selection shows us parts of our planet in ways that we never would have thought existed. If you feel strongly about any of these images, or photography in general, you have until March 29th, 2013 to place your vote for the winner.
Lancing College , Quadrangle, 1989
Photographer Mark Draisey was given the opportunity to capture a unique and in-depth insight into the history-laden Public Schools of Britain [in the UK what are called "Public Schools" are actually the elite private schools] . Since the start of the project many years ago, he has assumed a collection of over 2000 high quality photographs documenting the lifestyle of boys' boarding schools across the UK. His series witnessed the changes these schools went through over the years and after thirty years of work, the photographs will soon be released in a beautiful book.
If you've ever been on an airplane, then you know that despite the gravity-defying miracle that it is, the experience as a whole is unbearably boring. But you know the most boring moment? When the initial excitement of boarding wears off and you settle into forty five minutes of waiting for everyone else to find their seats? When all the regrets in your life flash before you because there's so little else going on? When you realize you should have upgraded because the fat guy next to you is pouring into your seat? Well photographer John Schabel found that moment worth documenting and captured a series of unsuspecting passengers, about to settle into four to twelve hours of misery.
In the age of blogs and self-proclaimed street photography, the collected works of a children's nanny might not sound like much. But Vivian Maier (above), was a Chicago nanny who, throughout the 20th century, secretly amassed thousands of prints, hundreds of undeveloped rolls, home movies, and audio interviews. Although no one seems to have known of her considerable talent while she was alive, Maier was an incredible street photographer and collector of strangers and their stories. Her former charges, now well into adulthood, remember that she took them along on expeditions to capture the world outside, although she never revealed how in-depth her work had gotten.
In 2007, the 26 year-old John Maloof uncovered Maier's collected works at an auction house, and paid $380 for a box of prints. Since then, Vivian's presence in the art world has loomed quite large, and her story is being told in a documentary called Finding Vivian Maier. It is expected to be released later in 2013.
Dasht-e Lut, Iran
Traveling by para-glider, photographer George Steinmetz captures stunning aerial views of the world's deserts, naturally sculpted into beautiful patterns by wind. Some of the patterns, like the Star Dune of Saudi Arabia, will likely stay in place for decades.
Photographer Timothy Corbin captured these ice-covered trees after a storm on Lake Ontario. Even in unforgiving weather, the trees find a way to bloom with these frozen formations.
Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist who is known for capturing some of the most iconic images of the American west of all time. Adams and portrait photographer Fred Archer formulated the Zone System to optimize the depth and clarity of each photograph.
Filmed in 2011 during a snowstorm, Winter in Yosemite is a vibrant timelapse that showcases the majesty of Yosemite National Park. The filmmaker, Henry Jun Wah Lee, is an internationally renowned photographer and a practicing physician of traditional Chinese medicine, whose work has been featured in The Atlantic.
Bill Gekas is a self-taught photographer living in Melbourne who takes playing dress-up with his daughter to the extreme. Using his daughter as the living subject, Bill recreates historically famous works of art, as well as original images in the style of those works. The results are a little silly, and pretty spectacular. A note to all the other dads out there: it's time to step your game up.
If you've spent most of your life in or near a big city, chances are that your idea of the night sky tends to be dark and gloomy. If, however, you've spent any time in a more rural part of the world, you know that in fact, the night sky can be bright and incredibly beautiful, full of these things called stars. If you've forgotten what they look like, you can thank light pollution, which has rendered cities like New York utterly dark after 7 pm, save for the streetlamps.
To show you what your city could look like without pollution, photographer Thierry Cohen has put together Darkened Cities, a collection of cities with their would-be skies. Cohen shoots clear night skies in places like Montana and the Sahara and matches them with a city on the same latitude, rendering the piece of sky that would be visible under optimal conditions.