After a continuous run of almost a decade, contest participation has gotten extremely low. See Contest is definitely dead. Now what? for more, and for possible next steps to revitalize it.

Also, you may instead want to check out the new Photo Competition on the main site!

This is the place to submit and vote on photos to be featured on the the main site. This contest should showcase your best quality work, demonstrating at least moderate skill with a camera and a general understanding of the artistic aspects of photography. Remember, the selected photo will be displayed on our main site header for a week. Submit something that you and the members of our site will want to look at and admire for seven days! This contest is for the community to choose what they LIKE (not what they dislike), so downvotes aren't allowed — see below for more.

Contest Format

Starting in December 2012, this contest follows a new perpetual format with continuously-rolling voting. Submit and vote on photos whenever you like. Every Monday (give or take; it's done by hand when site moderators have a spare moment), the top-voted image will be selected as the winner, and:

Then, the contest will continue with the remaining photos in the thread.

(Note that the themed photo contest will work on a different scheme.)

Voting Rules

  • Vote up as many images as you like.

  • Make sure to look at the "active" tab for this question to see new submissions.

  • Up votes only! Do NOT vote down your competitors! If you don't like an image, don't vote. (If you notice a downvote on an entry, make a note in a comment, and that will be taken into account when the weekly winner is selected.)

  • When you vote, consider the small size primarily, even if a larger image is linked. This contest's primary function is to select a header image, and we need the winners to be successful at that size.

Submitter Rules

  • Showcase your best work in any genre of photography by providing your image inline in an answer.

  • You may enter one photo per week. This is on the honor system, but abuse will eventually earn a strong talking-to.

  • Don't re-enter the same photo. Since the contest is continual, there's no need. You may withdraw an image from the contest at any time by deleting the answer.

  • You may edit your entry to fix problems or to add missing information, but don't switch the photo itself for a different one, or make gratuitous edits simply to "bump" the entry.

  • Images must be 210 px high and up to 375 px wide. This is the requirement for the header. Please feel free to provide a link to a larger version, but as explained above, the primary focus is on the header image.

  • For the same reason, images must be in landscape orientation.

  • Images must not contain any artificially added borders, watermarks, or decorations of any kind.

  • Do not use this as a forum for photo critique. Use chat instead, or ask a specific question about your image on the main site.

  • The submitted image must conform to this site's content license, cc-wiki with attribution required. If you're not comfortable with that, this isn't the contest for you.

Submitter notes

Be patient! This contest is relatively obscure, and it takes a while for images to accumulate votes. It's normal for really excellent images to have only one or two upvotes even after a time. The format of the contest should let them rise to the top eventually.

Feel free to include a concise description that explains the image, the emotions behind it, and so on, and perhaps some explanation of gear and exposure settings. This site is a collaboration for teaching and learning, so it's great to know those things — but it's not required for the contest.

When we get up and running with featuring these photos on the blog, this will provide the opportunity to go into more depth and to engage in conversation about your work.

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    As with all past contests, I'd like to stress the up-vote only policy. Let's keep our contest cordial. This is not a place for critique or a forum within which to express dislike, choose what you like, have fun, and let the contest roll! – jrista Dec 4 '12 at 22:22
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    See also: Regarding ties. Regarding image size/shape/orientation. – jrista Jan 8 '13 at 1:53
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    Please use this thread for discussion of what we should do about the PotW contest threads going forward. I agree that there are issues involved with a single everlasting thread, and we should be open to suggestions. – jrista Apr 8 '14 at 0:16
  • I suspect very few people are digging down to the bottom - based on dates and my past upvotes on other pictures and where they are in the heap now. A link to the entry page may help (or may exist and I've missed it). Something like ENTRIES START AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE - HAVE A LOOK – Russell McMahon Oct 9 '14 at 13:27
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    @RussellMcMahon It does say Make sure to look at the "active" tab for this question to see new submissions. which is like that but better. :) – mattdm Oct 9 '14 at 13:33
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    I suspect that the "active" link needs to be much much much ... better highlighted. Using it may even get Jakub to look again. Without usin it it's a slow job finding the end. – Russell McMahon Nov 10 '14 at 7:49
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    Can the "active" 'button' be replicated on the main front page? It would be MUCH more noticeable being there. If you can make it garishly objectionable (eg flashing alternately lime green and magenta :-) ) it may work even better. Odds are there are many users who do not really notice the path leading into the woods .... – Russell McMahon Nov 16 '15 at 11:07
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this photo contest is no longer ongoing; we should not be accepting submissions in this question. – scottbb Jan 20 '20 at 19:39
  • @scottbb I just submitted; and it is ongoing. – 10 Rep says get vaccinated Jul 27 '20 at 16:23
  • @10Rep Well, it's not really ongoing. The highest-voted submission was posted as the photo of the week on the main page. But that hasn't happened in many months. But thanks for submitting anyways. =) – scottbb Jul 27 '20 at 17:17
  • @scottbb Oh, didn't know it's not ongoing. But I like this idea :) – 10 Rep says get vaccinated Jul 27 '20 at 18:59
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    I’m voting to close this question because the purpose of the competition, to update the Photo of the Week header, has changed (due to Stack Exchange redesign), and also because these contributions no longer get posted to main. This competition is defunct. Can we please close it? – scottbb Jul 29 '20 at 22:37

468 Answers 468

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Perfect reflection

Perfect reflection

📷 Nikon D3500, Nikkor 18-55mm at 26mm, aperture f/16, shutter 1/50s, ISO 100.

⛰️ Lake Matheson in New Zealand.


‘Ferns' Orb, occluding the sun - Wellington Civic Square

Ferns' Orb, occluding the sun - Wellington Civic Square. Shot on RPX25 35mm film

Full Size


Monochrome sparrow

Tree sparrow on log

Full size on Flickr

The subject is a tree sparrow (Passer montanus). Taken in the Delta del Ebro national park in Spain. The thing which I love about this is how a one-colour palette1 can still allow so much beauty.

1 If I convert to HSL, change the hue for every pixel to be the average of the whole image, and convert back, only someone who knows their sparrows would spot that something was wrong without doing a side-by-side comparison. If I ask the GIMP to reduce to an optimal palette of 9 colours (the minimum to allow the cap to be a different hue to the background), it really does take a side-by-side comparison.

  • Excellent photo, excellent write-up. Bravo! – scottbb Nov 17 '17 at 20:32
  • That is an excellent photo, and kudos for using GIMP, it really is a very capable piece of software. – Alex Dec 22 '17 at 13:54

Dusk at the beach

Larger image - Dusk at beach

CameraNIKON D5100

Focal Length18mm

Shutter Speed1/3 s




Sunset through a peekhole

This picture was taken via my mobile camera (ASUS Zenfone 2 ZE551ML) at Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan. I kept the EV at -2 and ISO at 400. The image hasn't been photoshopped or edited via any software.

enter image description here

  • Please resize to comply with the requested format. – Matthieu Moy Mar 6 '16 at 19:27
  • @MatthieuMoy: Is the image format okay now? I resized it via an online picture editor without cropping it. Please do let me know. Thanks! :) – Janus Boffin Mar 10 '16 at 18:32
  • You should crop it. Instructions say "210 px high and up to 375 px wide", so just drop the white borders around the picture. – Matthieu Moy Mar 11 '16 at 7:45
  • @MatthieuMoy: Done! :) – Janus Boffin Mar 11 '16 at 11:30
  • Nice photo! Imagine what you could do with a DSLR... – 10 Rep says get vaccinated Jul 27 '20 at 21:54

enter image description here

Nikon D3200

Focal length: 260mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter: 1/640s
ISO: 400


Two Lion brothers sharing an affectionate moment.


A colorful bench mosaïc somewhere in colorful Amsterdam

  • Accidentally downvoted this, sorry – the_limey Oct 23 '20 at 10:54
  • I'll edit. No problem. – Deschele Schilder Oct 23 '20 at 13:01
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    @the_limey You can vote back up again. – Deschele Schilder Oct 24 '20 at 0:46

Hamburger Bahnhof - Berlin

enter image description here

An Enfuse composite of three photos. Bigger version

  • Why is there a 'Hamburg station' in Berlin though? – Abhranil Das Feb 7 '13 at 11:20
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    It's a former train station of the Berlin-Hamburg railway line. Hence the "Hamburg station" I guess. Now it's a contemporary art museum. – Saaru Lindestøkke Feb 7 '13 at 16:05
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    Note that this entry has an illegal downvote, which should not be counted for contest purposes, because downvoting is against the rules. – mattdm Sep 8 '18 at 15:32

Portrait of a Barred Owl

Portrait of a Barred Owl

See the rest of the set here

  • Note that this entry has an illegal downvote, which should not be counted for contest purposes, because downvoting is against the rules. – mattdm Sep 8 '18 at 15:32
  • I accidentally downvoted this, sorry – the_limey Oct 23 '20 at 10:53

Taxi Noir

An urban abstract shot with a modified square-aperture lens.

Higher-res view and more info on Deviantart: http://fav.me/dan283o


Icicle melting of a flower bud

Captured this moment on a cold April morning as the frost was starting to melt.

Nikon D5200 f/18 1/200 ISO-620 taken with reverse ring method (hence focal length not known)

enter image description here


enter image description here

I was sitting near a wooden hut and saw this little kid playing and had to take a photo of this kid with such a background in the alps.

Full-sized picture can be found here

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    lol. I couldn't tell that the kid was swinging just by looking at the small picture. I thought maybe he was climbing a 5.15 or 6.0 pitch like a world class rock star. Nice picture! – scottbb Jun 11 '18 at 19:51
  • @scottbb haha thanks! – watchme Jun 12 '18 at 8:12

"Hey, what's up?!"

enter image description here

This photo was taken in June 2018, in the Gobi desert.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix G DMC-G81
Focal Length: 140mm (full frame equiv.: 280mm)
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter: 1/1000
ISO: 320

Willow in a foggy autumn morning...

Taken handheld with Canon 700D and 70-300mm lens.

Settings: 70mm, 1/8 sec, f/16, ISO 200

enter image description here

  • 2
    See item 4 in the "Submitter Rules above - It says: "Images must be 210 pix high and up to 375 pix wide. This is the requirement for the header. Please feel free to provide a link to a larger version, but as explained above, the primary focus is on the header image." - you'll need to downsize this tomeet this requirement. – Russell McMahon Dec 7 '15 at 5:12
  • @RussellMcMahon done, thank you for the notice – Zlatomir Dec 7 '15 at 15:25

enter image description here

Shot with Sony A7R and adapted Carl Zeiss 25mm Distagon (for C/Y mount), ISO 100, f/8, bracketed around 1/500s (3 exposures combined in Photomatix with final adjustments in Lightroom)



Full image version: https://unsplash.com/photos/_5JtKjB3mto

I loved how the ocean waves merged the water with the shore, and the two "smiles" in the water were like some kind of audience.


enter image description here

Camera        Canon EOS 5D
Exposure      0.02 sec (1/50)
Aperture      f/2.8
Focal Length  50 mm
ISO Speed     1600

Original in portrait, available at flickr


enter image description here

Taken with my first DSLR, a Nikon D3200.

Shot at Lake George, NY.

ISO 100 @ 1/400
  • Hi pobourgeois, please read the rules in regards to size. Your image must be 210px in height (As a requirement for the site header on the main site. – damned truths Jul 3 '13 at 2:08
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    I did my checkout dives for my scuba diving on Lake George. Always forget that it is actually someplace people visit. – AJ Henderson Jul 3 '13 at 15:34
  • Yes ! We are from Quebec, Canada and I went there with my family. Awesome landscapes and great city with all the outlets and little shops/store around the lake. We really enjoyed our trip ! – Pierre-Olivier Jul 3 '13 at 22:29
  • Note that this entry has an illegal downvote, which should not be counted for contest purposes, because downvoting is against the rules. – mattdm Sep 8 '18 at 15:32

Rialto at night

Rialto Bridge at night

Taken on a lovely stroll through the nighttime Venice, Italy. It is remarkably quiet and peaceful there at night.


This is a picture of a RF toy helicopter flying in front of a painting of Ladakh, painted by my mother.

enter image description here

Full size image available at 500px

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    Wow - almost real! – Cullub Feb 28 '15 at 14:30
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    Great, it looks super real if you don't know it wasn't a real helicopter :) – 10 Rep says get vaccinated Jul 27 '20 at 16:07


Higher-res view and more info on Deviantart: http://fav.me/diowsg



Taken while hiking through Bymarka in Trondheim, Norway.

enter image description here

  • The link had died... – user56599 Apr 17 '17 at 23:51
  • @FighterJet Thanks for the heads-up. Unfortunately I do not have a Flickr account anymore, so I a afraid the link will stay dead for a while. – Saaru Lindestøkke Apr 20 '17 at 19:39
  • That's fine; I was thinking it would make a great desktop background, which is why I wanted the big version. – user56599 Apr 20 '17 at 22:59
  • @FighterJet I've posted the link on Imgur and updated the link my original post. Hope you enjoy it as a desktop background! – Saaru Lindestøkke Apr 21 '17 at 1:08

Green light for love

enter image description here


Tree in Vedauwoo, WY.


Larger version here.

  • I really like this. Very nice image! – scottbb May 29 '18 at 3:36
  • @scottbb Thanks! – Lars Kotthoff May 30 '18 at 1:33

Just a few well love pencils


Let the day begin! / 500px


I wish good luck to all!


enter image description here

Larger Version

I have taken pictures that are much more technically demanding, but I like this one because it makes the most of a drab setting: a small Phoenix, AZ backyard in winter.

  • Canon 6D with 24-105mm L
  • Edited with Lightroom and Exposure 5
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    I love it!! very cute!! – Bala Mar 6 '14 at 6:15

The roof at Utrecht Central Station

enter image description here


Hermit crab

Camera: Nikon D90 + 18-200
Focal distance: 200mm (like 300mm on 35mm-film)
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/8
Shutter speed: 1/160s
Mode: full auto :-b

I still had not learnt the manual/priority modes, but I'm proud of this photo. Extracted from raw with manual adjustment of chromatic aberration, curves, saturation... Maybe I boosted the contrast too much...

  • not that I'm a very good photographer but I'm finding it difficult to concentrate on the main subject. – Sandeep Singh Rawat Jun 19 '13 at 6:43
  • Thanks for the advice, @SandeepSinghRawat. Maybe I will try a different crop. – comocomocomocomo Jun 20 '13 at 5:56
  • I think the cropping and subject content is OK. Depending on the original I MIGHT have moved the frame right slightly - but maybe not. A link to a larger version and what is outside the cropping would be useful. | One problem with the small image size PLUS the 1.78:1 crop demanded by the format here (if you want a max allowed size image), is that it significantly affects the content and cropping choice. Crop for best appearance and the image often loses "punch" as a header. Crop for max punch and you lose content. – Russell McMahon Nov 26 '13 at 7:32
  • ... In this case, if you crop to increase subject content you either decrease width or start losing legs at bottom and or shell at top. I think what you've done is a reasonable choice. [This is all my opinion only - others may have quite different ideas. But, I've anguished over best-mix on a number of occasions and so far have had several that made their way to the top, so I guess that at least some agree with me.] – Russell McMahon Nov 26 '13 at 7:34
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