While many photo roundups tend to surface as “year end” type posts, the first full week in January showed us that it’s never really too late to look back and reflect on the previous year. We loved Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza’s selection of favorite images from 2012, and several other photo features (National Geographic Photo Contest, Christie’s auction pieces). Our personal favorites are below.
National Geographic announce photo contest winners
National Geographic announced the winners of its 2012 photo contest, which were selected from over 22,000 entries from 150+ countries. The Grand Prize winner receives $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2013. Check out our five favorite winning images below, and all the People, Places, and Nature winners here (the Grand Prize Winner was this familiar tiger shot).
The captions below are those provided by the photographer.
Viewers’ Choice for People: Expedition Amundsen – “A race that follows in the path of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen brings the contestants to the Hardangervidda Mountainplateu, Norway. 100km across the plateau, the exact same route Amundsen used to prepare for his South Pole expedition in 1911 is still used by explorers today. Amundsen did not manage to cross the plateau and had to turn back because of bad weather. He allegedly said that the attempt to cross Hardangervidda was just as dangerous and hard as the conquering of the South Pole. The group in the picture used the race as preparations for an attempt to cross Greenland.”
Honorable Mention, Nature: “Predation up close and personal – Near Komodo, Indonesia, I was surrounded by thousands of fish that moved in synchrony because of the predation that was happening. It was an incredible experience.”
First Place for People: “Amongst the Scavengers – In Dandora, Kenya. At the end of the day women are allowed to pick through the dumpsite.”
Honorable Mention, People: “Captive – Yayasan Galuh Rehabilitation Center is an impoverished mental health facility based in Bekasi, Indonesia that hosts over 250 patients. Most come from poor families no longer interested in managing their condition, or are unable. Some patients are homeless, deposited after being taken off streets by police The only medical treatment received is for skin conditions. No assessments, psychotherapy or psychiatric medications is available. Over one third of the patients are shackled in chains. These measures are implemented to those thought to be violent, uncontrollable and dangerous.”
Honorable Mention, Nature: “Red Fox catching mouse under snow – With his exceptional hearing a red fox has targeted a mouse hidden under 2 feet of crusted snow. Springing high in the air he breaks through the crusted spring snow with his nose and his body is completely vertical as he grabs the mouse under the snow. In Squaw Creek, Park Country, Wyoming.”
The White House’s year in photos
Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza selected his favorite images from 2012, offering a unique view of the past year. The captions are telling and poignant, describing not just the President’s thoughts and feelings, but the White House photographers as well. See them all here.
The captions below are those provided by Souza.
“Chuck Kennedy made this amusing photograph of First Lady Michelle Obama participating in a potato sack race with Jimmy Fallon in the East Room of the White House during a “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” taping for the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative.”
“From early spring to late fall, the light in the Oval Office is fairly consistent with the sun high in the horizon during the day. But during the winter months, the sun is lower on the horizon and splashes through the back window in the early morning and late afternoon. Here, in the midst of the morning light, the President talks on the phone with British Prime Minister David Cameron.”
“We had just arrived aboard the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn and the President was walking into the White House. I had seen this scene several times but had never been able to quite capture it the way I wanted. Here, finally, arriving at night, I was able to frame him walking into the light of the Diplomatic Reception Room, with the added bonus of his shadow being cast from the television lights off to the left.”
“There was still a little light left in the evening sky as the President and First Lady waved goodbye to President Shimon Peres of Israel following a dinner in his honor at the White House.”
“The President delivers remarks in the pouring rain at a campaign event in Glen Allen, Va. He was supposed to do a series of press interviews inside before his speech, but since people had been waiting for hours in the rain he did his remarks as soon as he arrived at the site so people could go home to dry off .”
“The President works on his Newtown speech at an auditorium in suburban Washington. Two days earlier, I had photographed him when John Brennan first briefed him on the shootings. Throughout that day, he reacted as we all did, which people witnessed when he delivered his statement a few hours later. Before we headed to Newtown for the Sunday night vigil, he went to watch his daughter Sasha, 11, at her rehearsal for the Nutcracker; he would be unable to attend her performance because of the trip to Newtown. During breaks in the rehearsal, he worked on his speech. His expression in this photograph may be subtle to the viewer, but not to me. There is emotion and resolve etched on his face, and he knew the importance of this speech for the nation.”
New York photography auction benefits The Global Fund for Children
The Financial Times (UK) is hosting its first U.S. photography auction in association with Christie’s, New York on January 19th. The auction includes iconic images from 1950-present, including Steve McCurry’s “Boy in Mid-Flight, 2007″ and a signed limited edition of a “Barack Obama III” by Nadav Kander. Learn more here.
Photographers refocus on new ventures
Entrepreneur magazine interviewed thee professional photographers who have built successful ventures, including PhotoShelter Co-Founder Grover Sanschagrin, mainly after realizing that changes to the industry were imminent. Grover is a former newspaper photographer, and decided to help create PhotoShelter: “It started with me wanting to help out my friends,” he tells Entrepreneur. “I saw there was more opportunity in technology than actually covering the news.” Other featured photographers included Craig Strong from Lesbaby and Sarah Petty from Joy of Marketing.com.
Photojournalist develops app to watermark your images on the fly
PhotoShelter member and photojournalist John D. McHugh developed Marksta so that photographers tired of having their images stolen online can watermark images on their cellphones before posting them to sites like Facebook or Instagram. Users can customize their watermarks in a number of different ways – font, size, color, drop shadow, etc.
McHugh told Wired.com that if risking his life in places like Afghanistan and putting photos out there, he wants to be recognized. Wired.com blogger Jakob Schiller responded:
“For us here at Wired, we find the general practice of watermarking horrendous. It ruins the photos and the chance of someone hiring you off of a watermark, paying attention to it or being dissuaded from stealing by it are approaching nil. It tends to read tacky and desperate…At the same time, we can see where photographers like McHugh are coming from. Photojournalists should be paid for their hard work and they can’t pay the bills with random, anonymous Tumblr shares.”
What do you say? Interested in the app?
RC heli cam flies over Trango Tower, Pakistan
Visual storyteller Corey Rich is at it again, this time with a video featuring adventure equipment Mammut’s Peak Project to celebrate its 150 year anniversary. The video below is sample footage captured from an RC helicopter while climbing Trango Tower in Pakistan. Absolutely stunning!
PhotoShelter is heading to Imaging USA
On January 20th – 22nd, we’ll be in Atlanta participating in one of the biggest photo events of the year – Imaging USA. This is the longest running national photo convention, expo and image exhibition in the United States. We can’t wait to get down there to join thousands of professional photographers from all over the country and the world. The best part? We’re giving out free ice cream and free drinks while we’re there. Check out the details and register for our happy hour on Monday, January 21st here.
Understanding stock photography in China
Former commercial photographer and President of the Stock Artists Alliance Shannon Fagan moved to China in 2010. Realizing the opportunity in this fast growing market, he started a production unit for stock photography with an emphasis on high-quality Chinese lifestyle imagery. Shannon was recently featured on China Daily in a video detailing how his story – how he shoots and the resulting images. Check the video, as well as a blog post we did on Shannon’s reaction to Getty’s licensing model.
Beautiful photos of bouncing sunlight beams
James Nizam used an abandoned house in Canada for his project “Trace Heavens” which features light sculptures captures with a large format camera. Nizam sliced gaps and holes into the house’s rooms, and then used small mirros attached to ball joints to direct the light beam around the room. He also stacked multiple exposures to get the best shapes and patterns. (via PetaPixel)