PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WINTER PHOTOS !

Whether or not you like winter, the one thing all people will agree on, is that Winter can be so beautiful. The snow seems to just put purity in the air, and make every thing so white and beautiful. If you are a photographer, winter will be one season you like, just for the photography opportunities.

Here is a collection of the best winter photos I could find from several sources. Hope you enjoy them:

landscape photography of snow pathway between trees during winter
Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com
Photo by Lanny Cottrell
This photo with this motivational message is available for sale at: www.123photogo.com/shop/
time lapse photography of curved road with vehicles passing
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com
green trees
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com
branches cold conifers environment
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Another inspirational photo for sale at www.123photogo.com/shop/
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Black and White photo of trees covered with snow. Photo taken by Lanny Cottrell Photography
brown wooden house covered with snow near pine trees
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
photography of road during winter season
Photo by Postmans on Pexels.com
This inspirational photo along with many others are now available at: www.123photogo.com/shop/
Berries covered in snow – Photo by Lanny Cottrell
landscape photography of mountains
Zions Canyon National Park just after a snowstorm. Photo by Andy Vu on Pexels.com
Photo by Lanny Cottrell Photography
Photo by Marcel Walter on Unsplash
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Inspirational photos like this are available at: www.123photogo.com/shop/

One more for the road:

Photo Contests: Is your photography good enough?

There are actually quite a few photo contests around the world today. Have you ever thought of entering a photo contest? If your photography seems to be on par with winning photos, here are some tips for entering a photo contest:

2020 Sony World Photo Contest winner. © Gil Kreslavsky, Israel, Shortlist, Open, Culture, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards.

Below are some standard rules that you can tweak as needed depending on your unique photo contest: 

All photos must be original work, taken by the entrants. No third party may own or control any materials the photo contains, and the photo must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person. In other words, the photo you enter better be your own, or you could run into some serious problems, legally.

Winner – Culture
Title: Mark 5:28
Photographer: Antoine Veling, Australia
‘When audience members were invited on stage to dance at an Iggy Pop concert in Sydney Opera House, Australia, on 17 April 2019, it showed the warm welcome Aussies extend to overseas artists who travel long distances to reach them.       
‘A woman’s outstretched arm lunges to touch Iggy. He seems unaware of her approach as the crowd presses around him. One of Iggy’s assistants, Jos (in the grey checked shirt) tries to make some space around Iggy. The scene is reminiscent of a passage from the Bible: ‘Because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”’ (Mark 5:25-34, line 28). The image has been likened to religious paintings by Caravaggio, and his chiaroscuro technique. It went crazy on social media, making 40,000 people, including Iggy Pop, very happy.’

Here is a list of rules that usually required:

  • The photo must be in its original state and cannot be altered in any way, including but not limited to removing, adding, reversing, or distorting subjects within the frame.
  • Violators will be removed from the contest, stripped of any prize(s), and banned from entering future contests.
  • Entries will not be accepted unless submitted via the official contest channel. Entries not submitted through the proper channel will be deleted.
  • Entries will be judged by the [Company]. All decisions are final. The Company reserves the right to disqualify any entry that is deemed inappropriate or does not conform to stated contest rules.
  • By entering the contest, entrants agree that photos submitted can be used by the [Company] for advertising purposes.
  • Submissions will not be accepted once the deadline lapses.
  • The prize must be collected by the winner and is nontransferable.
  • The winner will be contacted via the email address provided during entry. If no response is received after [three] business days, a new winner will be selected and the previous winner will forfeit all rights to the prize.
  • The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • If you’re using entry forms like those offered by Submittable, you can include language at end of the form asking entrants to confirm that they have read the rules and regulations by clicking the submit button.
© Guofei Li, China, Winner, Open, Natural World & Wildlife, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards
Winner – Natural World & Wildlife
Title: Tai Chi Diagram
Photographer: Guofei Li, China
‘These cheetahs had just eaten an antelope, and were licking the bloodstains off each other’s faces. It’s a very rare posture, and one that reminded me of the traditional Chinese Tai Chi diagram. The picture was taken in Botswana in January 2019.’

Have I ever entered and won a photo contest? Why, yes I have. I have entered the local county fair one year, and was already working for a photo store and had pretty good knowledge of what they might be looking for, and took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Then, at some point, I was asked to be a judge for a photo contest. The rules were already laid out, so, I, along with another photographer, judged the contest. Now, that was tougher than I thought, because they had professionals enter the contest as well, and when we did not vote on a particular persons photo, he registered a complaint with the people who sponsored the photo contest, saying we did not know what we were doing, because, it was obvious to him, he should have won.

So, the point to this is that there will be people, always, thinking they should have won the prize, when in reality, they are no where close to winning.

© Manfred Voss, Germany, Shortlist, Open, Travel, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards
Shortlisted – Travel
Title: Graceful
Photographer: Manfred Voss
‘The small fishing village of Reine in Norway delivers one of the most beautiful views in the Lofoten archipelago. The balance between the cool light of blue hour and the warmth of the well-lit houses was perfect on this particular morning. It was almost windless, resulting in a beautiful reflection of the mountain in the water. I opted for an exposure that balanced the blue hour with the slightly illuminated mountains and the nice light from the houses.’

I entered an international contest as well, going against all the people in the world, with close to 10,000 entrants, and I ended up in third place. I won (now this goes back a long time ago) a Vivitar darkroom projector. I did not have a dark room, so, I sold the prize. But, the recognition was cool, because I saw them using my photo in some of their advertising.

I would love it, if my readers entered contests, and shared their results with us.

Here is a list of 20 photo contests for the year 2021:

Note: You can click on the one that interests you, and it will take you to their page. Try it.

© Muriel Vekemans, Belgium, Shortlist, Open, Motion, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards
Shortlisted – Motion
Title: End of the Race
Photographer: Muriel Vekemans, Belgium
‘This greyhound was training for a race. As it headed to the finish, I was waiting for it with my face in the sand.’

Photography contests are a great way to find out if your images are up to scratch. By taking part in these competitions, you can win big. Either cash prizes, camera equipment, or having your work exhibited.

Even if you gain no financial benefit, having your images posted on the competition’s website has incredible benefits.

Here are some more winning photos:

Max Foster from Plymouth, Minn.
Yosemite National Park – Glowing Half Dome behind Yosemite Falls

GRAND PRIZE
Manoj Shah
Nairobi, Kenya

You can almost feel the earth tremble with the massive footsteps of an African elephant as it returns home with its herd after drinking at a marsh in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. Photographer Manoj Shah placed his remote camera on the ground where he thought the elephants would pass, then tripped the shutter while staying a safe distance away. “If I tried to take the picture lying down, most likely I would not be able to get up again,” he quips. A lifelong photographer, Shah speaks almost mystically about his quest to document this majestic species in decline. “My daughter worries that the elephant will be just a memory, a dream where they will walk on Earth at peace, as they were born to do, but kept alive only in our minds.” Moved by the animal’s power and frailty, he warns, “Their future is in our hands.”

One of the contest enties: Vadim Trunov, won this photo of the curious birds.

“THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE” Issue #7

This is my annual series of “THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE”, and now it is issue #7. This is a collection of some of the best black and white photos found on the internet in the last few months, from some of the most talented photographers in the world. I said last year that the interest in black and white has been developing for some time now, and this year the photos collected are the most amazing photos I’ve had to date. Congratulations to the photographers who’s photo was chosen for this presentation.

As far as how I pick these photos, here is some of the criteria I look for:

  • The photo must have good contrast, and have excellent blacks and whites.
  • Would this photo look better in black and white, than in color.
  • For facial pictures or portraits, the exposure must be perfect. No washed out tones and the greys are very nice.
  • Some black and white photos tell a story, and it can be best told in black and white.

With that in mind, here is this years winning photos:

Here is an exceptional black and white photo, but, it’s color, but, it’s story is something you can’t pass up. I have never really had a photo, that is technically color, but, represents black and white so well. The meaning and thought to this photo is powerul. The photographer: Matheus Viana, who regularly posts his photos on Pexels.com, has some talent in his photography, and should be recognized.
Photographer Attila Hangyasi has come up with a wonderful portrait of this fine man. This black and white of this fine man struck me as one portrait that nailed it on exposure. The exposure is so right on. Plus, the pose is just so nice. I don’t usually pick a lot of portraits for this presentation, but, there is some real good ones this year. To see more of Atilla’s great photos, go to his FACEBOOK web page: https://www.facebook.com/attila.hangyasi.121
This photograph of this beautiful girl was also taken by Attila Hangyasi. I was curious if he was just lucky with one good photo of the older man, but, it appears he has black and white portraiture down to an art. Good exposure, nice grey tones. Certainly worth seeing two great photos from him. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/attila.hangyasi.121 to see more of his work.
Photo by PAUL ANTHONY WILSON (c). Now I know elephants are grey in color, but, to get this photo of the two elephants together was a job in itself. I really like how detailed the elephants skin is. It just makes you want to reach out and pet them. The black background was what really set this photo off. It just made this a winning photo. Paul Anthony Wilson has mastered his photography skill and has his own website. You should see some more of his photos. Please go to: http://www.paulanthonywilson.co.uk Great job Anthony!
Photo by Jim Miller (c). This photo is just amazing. Look at the rain in this photo. That is something that takes skill to create this type of photo. But, the composition is so good. Jim is a great photographer, and this is his second appearance in this series. He had another amazing photo in last years presentation. You can see his and other photos from other photographer by going to: https://123photogo.com/gallery/. Thanks Jim for always coming through.
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels Photos. This black and white photo was chosen because of the guitar being vintage, and then the photographer had the mindset to put it up against an old door and a very old looking floor. It just takes a current photo, and made it look old. Congratulations Jessica, this was well done.
Photo taken by Lanny Cottrell photography. This black and white photo, compared to the color version is about the same. That is what makes some winter photos do so well in black and white. Other than a slight tint to the wood, they are almost identical. The contrast between black and white is amazing for sure, and makes this winter photo look delightful.
Photo by Herman Van Bon (c). An animal done as a perfect portrait, I love the face on this sheep, and how it makes you just want to maybe keep your distance. The detail of the face, and then to vignette the photo, I think, makes it a real class photo. He lives in Napier, Western Cape, South Africa, and has developed an amazing talent in photography. He has his own website, and if you want to see more great photos, you really need to go to his website and check them out: http://hermanvanbon.com
Photo by Steve Brown (c). This long exposure of the mountain stream is really nice in black and white. Normally, I wouldn’t pick this type of photo in black and white, but, this one was just nice. The blur of water in the stream, the leaves in the stream and along the banks of the stream, just seemed beautiful in black and white. Thanks Steve for sharing your talent.
Photo by Javant Kalkarni and was displayed on Pexels website. There is such a popularity of this type of photography. The simple photo with lots of background is really nice. This is the type of photography that is going on the walls now. This photo is way awesome because you can see the story behind a couple of men on a boat, whether they are fishing or not, it just seems to grab you, and draw your eyes to the main subject. It is done very well.
Photo by Jaoa Cabral from the Pexels web site. Fog and misty photos are really good in black and white. This just is one great example. The color seems to be taken away because the light is so subdued. And the subject in the photo is placed to tell as story. I have a feeling that wherever this is, it’s very typical of this weather.
This is another photo from Joao Cabral. Pexels is a great site to capture good, new young aspiring photographers. This photo is of fog again. I think maybe Joao is fascinated with these types of photos, because he is very good at them.
Photo by Kayln Kostov. The reason this photo was chosen, is because the exposure is real good with this, plus, the freckles on this person, in black and white are amazing. I think a portrait of a person with freckles is just amazing, and the person doesn’t need to be shy about having them either. Is there anyone who doesn’t like freckles? This is just a wonderful portrait.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels. This is a photo that works really good on black and white. The good contrast, the subject material, the expression on the person’s face all contribute to this wonderful photo. I don’t think I want to be kicked by him.
Photo by David Pearce (c). From looking over David’s Facebook website, it appears that this is a walk he takes often. And I can see why. This natural foggy scene, with those beautiful trees, are just spectacular in this kind of weather. The fog on this one photo is nice because it’s just thick enough to create a wonderful fade to white. A great capture of this weather. Thanks David.
Photo by Todd Trapani. I have seen photos of this site many times, but most people don’t take the time to get different angles of this monument. And I really just liked to see that a photographer was willing to beyond the norm, and get a photo of this monument from an angle that we don’t normally see. Now you can get an idea of just how rugged this area is, and besides it being a famous tourist site, makes this interesting photo.
Photo by Nika Akin from Pexels. We have all seen photos like this before from older photography. The exposure is spot on, because you have perfect blacks, and perfect highlights. This was done on purpose to lighten the image on the half of the face. Hardly any grey tones to this photo, but, this one works. It just makes the model more mysterious this way. This is a technique that only works when done this way. Very well done. And it’s good to see the talent put forward on this.

This concludes this year’s ART OF BLACK AND WHITE, VOLUME 7. Thanks to those who let me use their photos. You have amazing talent and perhaps we may use your photos again.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Photos of the Ocean !

Last week we had a great post of amazing photos of Rivers of the world. The response was tremendous. Now, to really add to even more beauty, this week’s Photos of the Week are all about the ocean. So many people in the world love photos taken of the ocean, ocean-side, etc. Here are today’s picks:

seaside
Photo by Fabian Wiktor on Pexels.com
cliffs in sea near coast at sunset
Photo by Sami Anas on Pexels.com
lighthouse
Photo by Lena Khrupina on Pexels.com
ocean water wave photo
Photo by Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com
light sea dawn landscape
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
beach birds calm clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
frozen wave against sunlight
Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com
abstract background beach color
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
white and black moon with black skies and body of water photography during night time
Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com
beach bench boardwalk clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
shallow focus photo of pink and brown jellyfish
Photo by Pawel Kalisinski on Pexels.com
backlit balance beach cloud
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
cottages in the middle of beach
Photo by Julius Silver on Pexels.com
lighthouse
Photo by Anand Dandekar on Pexels.com
red and blue hot air balloon floating on air on body of water during night time
Photo by Bess Hamiti on Pexels.com
beach during sunset
Photo by Bella White on Pexels.com
white boat beside tree under orange sky during sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
person standing on dirt surrounded by coconut trees
Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com
white and gray bird on the bag of brown and black pig swimming on the beach during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
beach bungalow caribbean jetty
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
white boats on body of water
Photo by Vincent Rivaud on Pexels.com
silhouette photography of boat on water during sunset
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com
photo of a turtle underwater
Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com
blue sea under clear blue sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
person laying on sand
Photo by Rebeca Gonçalves on Pexels.com
reflection of clouds on body of water
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com
lighthouse during golden hour
Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com