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Enter Your Work for Free in Smithsonian Photo Contest

Calling all photographers: the 12th annual Smithsonian Photo Contest deadline is coming up on November 28th. Have you entered yet? It’s free, so you should probably get on it.

Entries fall into six categories: The Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience, Altered Images, and Mobile Photos. There’s one grand prize of $2,500, then each category has its own winner at $500, and there is a Reader’s Choice award who will receive $500, too.

They will announce 60 finalists in February and after that will hold a month-long online vote for the Reader’s Choice Award. We’ll give you a heads up when you can vote. You can read more about the contest and the rules here. For inspiration, Smithsonian spokesperson Melissa Wiley shared some of her favorite entries so far:

Mediabistro Course

Get a Literary Agent

Get a Literary AgentWork with a publishing consultant to find the right agent for your book and write a query that will get the deal done! Starting December 3, learn the best methods for finding a literary agent, how to choose the right agent for your book, the etiquette of seeking literary representation, and how to stand out among the numerous queries agents receive daily. Register now!

Deadline for National Geographic Photo Contest on Halloween

NGLogo560x430-cb1343821768You have only three more days to get your best photos into National Geographic Magazine for the pub’s annual photo contest. If you have photos dying to be seen and shared, this contest is a great way to get exposure and a shot at some serious cash.

But the competition is quite tough. According to the magazine, more than 7,000 entries from 150 countries rolled in during the 2013 go-round. The top winner wins a grand prize of $10,000 and a trip to the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2015. (That seminar alone sounds like an awesome prize, and what a resume booster.)

Click here for the rules of the contest, and here for more information. Even if you’re not entering the contest, it’s worth following NG‘s photo blog each week for editor’s picks of photos. Now go forth and snap photos!

 

Dreamstime Stock Photos Adds Social Features for Designers

dreamstimeDreamstime, a stock photo agency we’ve covered before, has added a new social feature to their platform. Via a fancy algorithm (aren’t they all fancy?), the platform will now make suggestions to users choosing a photo based on past preferences and similar searches from other designers. Sort of like when you can see what you Facebook friends have watched on Netflix. It means you get to see more images and merchandise that actually works with what you’re doing.

They’ve also added a share feature for most major social networks; by sharing what pics you’re choosing, you give them more data to make recommendations for you. Says cofounder Serban Enache:

We turn this data around to help create a better, overall user experience. In an effort to expand our horizons, both of Dreamstime’s new features are key in driving user discovery, as well as assist customers in easily finding contemporary stock images that they never knew existed. Users will now have the opportunity to take a peek at stock photos that other designers and photographers are selecting, and have the option to further explore on first sight.

Now even stock photos, which are the epitome of impersonal, want to be your friend on Facebook.

Dreamstime Launches WordPress Plugin for Stock Photos

dreamstimeFinding images is my least favorite part of writing on the web. As a freelancer, it’s worse, because you don’t get to play with an organization’s subscription to Getty Images. It’s one thing when you can pull editorial photos for breaking news. It’s another entirely when you’re writing about, well, stock photos and need some media.

So let’s just say it: in those cases, it’s probably better to create your own art. But until they find me another in the hour in the day, stock photos it is.  Read more

This Is Why You Don’t Show Twitter Streams Live On TV

It could happen to anyone: You’re following a hashtag or a trending news topic on Twitter, and bam, you’re assaulted with hashtag spam or, worse, some sexually explicit item you don’t want to see.

Most of us quickly scroll away or close the browser, offended and put off for seconds. But what if you can’t pan away quick enough to avert not only your eyes but your viewers eyes from seeing … well everything?

Denver TV Station Fox 31 found out the hard way yesterday that you really need to curate that user-generated content before you put it up on screen. In the course of scrolling through Twitter images of the deadly helicopter crash in Seattle, the show went to the Twitter feed of photos from the crash scene.

Unfortunately, this was a crash course in the crassness of the Internet. The images weren’t selected ahead of time and so ended up being a hodge podge of pictures, including some off-topic and inappropriate things users had tagged to ride the coattails of the news cycle. That’s how the Denver morning show team ended up showing some non-relevant images that included food, Edward Scissors Hands and a penis. Yeah, that. On live TV. The reaction of shock on the anchors’ faces says it all:

surprisetweet

Many of the videos of this have been pulled down, but if you for some reason want to see the actual broadcast, Deadspin still has it posted in full. (Obviously, NSFW.)

The station did issue an apology, but it’s the type of thing you can’t unsee — and a lesson we hope nobody else needs to re-learn.

While reporting breaking news about the crash of the KOMO-TV helicopter in Seattle, FOX31 Denver accidentally broadcast an offensive photo while scrolling live through a Twitter feed of pictures from the crash scene.

The photo was mistakenly broadcast by our control room. It did not come from the tablet many viewers saw being used by one of our anchors.

We apologize for the inadvertent broadcast of the image and we are taking immediate steps to prevent such an accident from happening again.

This is why you don’t show uncurated feeds on live TV. And while we’re on it, really, you should be verifying any of those images you share before airing them anyway. This wouldn’t have happened if that step had taken place.

(h/t Deadspin)

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