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The time to enter the 25th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is running short -- entries will be accepted for another few days, until June 30, 2013. The first prize winner will receive a 10-day Galapagos expedition for two. National Geographic was once more kind enough to allow me to share some of the later entries with you here, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Photos and captions by the photographers. Also, be sure to see Part 1, earlier on In Focus. [46 photos]

From the 'Sense of Place' category, a couple paddle out for a sunset surf in the coastal surfing town of Byron Bay, Australia. (© Ming Nomchong/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)     

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WSJ Staff

In today’s pictures, baseball players remember Jackie Robinson in Boston, North Korea marks an anniversary, a man goes face-to-face with a sculpture in Paris, and more.

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Another year has come and gone and with it hundreds of thousands of images have recorded the world's evolving history; moments in individual lives; the weather and it's affects on the planet; acts of humanity and tragedies brought by man and by nature. The following is a compilation - not meant to be comprehensive in any way - of images from the first 4 months of 2012. Parts II and III to follow this week. -- Paula Nelson ( 64 photos total)
Fireworks light up the skyline and Big Ben just after midnight, January 1, 2012 in London, England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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Norwegian model turned photographer Simen Platou has always been enthusiastic about photography, but it was after working as a model in the fashion industry in Asia that he became increasingly interested in the field. "- And by taking a leap of faith, I skipped my Master studies in Finance and decided to go 100% for photography (sorry, mom and dad)," he says. "There's a whole new wave of photographers entering this world via instant gratification online, and the potential to reach a worldwide audience has been a massive motivation for me to go for photography."

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NEWSPAPER BOMBED
NEWSPAPER BOMBED: Policemen stood outside the offices of This Day Newspapers in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday. The paper, one of Nigeria’s leading publications, was rocked by bombs that killed two security men and a suicide bomber and injured five of support staffers. (Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images)

FIGHTING FOR A MEDAL
FIGHTING FOR A MEDAL: France’s Sarah Loko, in blue, fought against France’s Automne Pavia in the women’s 57 kg category bronze match at the European Judo Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Thursday. Pavia won. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)

AT AN END
AT AN END: A victim of violence instigated by Liberian ex-leader Charles Taylor watched his trial Thursday inside the Special Court in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday. Mr. Taylor was convicted of arming an insurgency that committed war crimes in Sierra Leone. (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)

REMEMBERING
REMEMBERING: Valentina Lopatyuk, 79, cried Thursday at the grave of her son, Viktor Lopatyuk, 29, at the Mitino Cemetery a memorial in Moscow for the victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Russians were marking the 26th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident. (Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press)

FIGHTING THE FLU
FIGHTING THE FLU: Indonesian agriculture officials euthanized chickens suspected of being infected with bird flu in Denpasar, Bali, Thursday. An eight-year-old boy in the region died of a suspected case of bird flu on Tuesday. (Made Nagi/European Pressphoto Agency)

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Hindus around the world -- from South Asia to Britain and beyond -- observe many colorful holidays throughout the year. Recent festivals include the Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrating the birth of the elephant-headed deity, and Janamashtami, the birth anniversary of the god Krishna. The range of experiences at these celebrations runs from joyfully loud and spectacular to solemn and contemplative. Each devotee celebrates in a distinct, personal way even while joining the larger community. Hinduism is the world's third-largest religion; the majority of its one billion adherents are concentrated in India, but sizable communities exist all over the globe. I hope you enjoy these vivid, intriguing glimpses of Hindu festivals photographed over the past few months. [39 photos]

Devotees carry an idol of Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, into the water from Girgaum Chowpatty beach before immersing it in the waters of the Arabian Sea on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, on September 11, 2011. Idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual send-off of his journey towards his abode in "Kailash", while taking away with him the misfortunes of all mankind. (Reuters/Vivek Prakash)

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When British photographer Kate Friend recently traveled to Bali, there weren't only lazy days and drinks with umbrellas that were on the agenda. The Creative Director of Mother Magazine was planning a shoot for Ben Trovato. The outcome is a mind blowing story exploring both the model's world above and beneath the surface. "- Well the story was inspired by a black sand dreamscape, an inverted wilderness; the beach at the end of the world," Kate says, and continues "- I also wanted to explore the sensation of freedom in space. Shooting underwater was a great way to do this. Each image has its dream-equivalent; Widika's above-water and below-water worlds. The shore stands at the edge of her subconscious; she walks the fine line between real and fantasy, between this world and the next."

Perfect for the role in Kate's story What Lies Beneath, Widika @ Ford NY was styled by French Vietnamese designer MaiKhanh Bertrand, and sat at the back of the stallion Daytona.

Kate's first camera came on a keyring when she was about 6: "- It was tiny, it took only 8 photos on a miniature film. I took one photo a day, all in the snow. It was immediate aesthetic discipline, and at the same time a path to endless new opportunities." Now the NYC and London based photographer is making a name for herself internationally, proving her immense talent with stories that take your breath away.

Here's What Lies Beneath by Kate Friend, for Ben Trovato:

Credits
Photography - Kate Friend
Model - Widika @ Ford NY
Styling - MaiKhanh Bertrand
Stallion - Daytona

Full story inside the post.

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As pretty much always…let’s start with some features….today’s around the world trip starts with Andrea Bruce’s work from Afghanistan… then we’ll head to Haiti with Jonathan Torgovnik, and to Florida with Anthony Suau…

Features and Essays - Andrea Bruce: Taliban Threat (VII Network: December 2010) Province of Faryab in northern Afghanistan

Features and Essays - Jonathan Torgovnik: La Piste Tent Camp (Reportage by Getty Images: December 2010) Haiti

Features and Essays – Anthony Suau: Florida Foreclosure Fraud Crisis 2010 (Facingchange.org: 2010)

Next to Palestine with Ladefoged…then to Bali with Stanmeyer, followed by Cameroon with Bouvet and New Jersey with Abdulaziz….

Features and Essays - Joachim Ladefoged: Growing Up Palestinian in the Age of the Wall (VII: December 2010)

Features and Essays – John Stanmeyer: Bali (New Yorker Photo Booth: December 2010)

Features and Essays - Eric Bouvet: Cholera in Cameroon (VII Network: December 2010)

Features and Essays – Mustafah Abdulaziz: New Jersey Bear Hunt (WSJ: December 2010)

Yesterday saw big student protests (Panos Pictures coverage | NYT slidehow) in London against the government’s plans to increase university tuition fees… I was at Parliament Square covering the event myself,  and I have to say that it is a bit sad too see  all the media coverage today concentrating almost solely on the rioters who attacked Prince Charles’ Rolls-Royce on Regent Street as well as the violence done to Treasury and Supreme Court buildings surrounding the Parliament Square…and the large majority of demonstrators who were entirely peaceful in their protest, barely getting a mention…  I disagree with the Metropolitan Police policy on kettling those obviously peaceful protestors… who last night were kettled until  8.30pm at the Square, and after it started looking like they were finally being let out, it turned out they were actually only pushed to the Westminster Bridge, where everybody felt like sardins in a tin… I know as I was there kettled with them until 10.30….

Matt Dunham from Associated Press hit the jackpot with his photo of Charles’ and Camilla’s limo being attacked…In Boston Globe Big Picture you can see it full frame…

Most media went for the crop…

In Guardian, he tells you how he got the shot….

Articles/Interviews – Guardian: How AP’s photographer got ‘the money shot’ of Charles and Camilla (Guardian: December 2010)

I happened to notice, by the way, Brighton’s own Simon Roberts work his 5×4 magic behind the police lines at Parliament Square yesterday…. which reminds me that according to his Twitter feed , @simoncroberts, he has new assistant, Harry….

PhotographersHarry Watts

Mathias, whose work I featured on Tuesday’s post, got featured on Verve Photo on Wednesday…

Articles – Verve Photo: Mathias Depardon (Verve: December 2010)

One of my Panos faves, Ian Teh is featured in Verve today with a photo from the Merging Boundaries series I was raving about last week…

Articles - Verve Photo: Ian Teh (Verve: December 2010)

Articles – Guardian: Photographer Pietro Masturzo’s best shot (Guardian: December 2010)

Big news…

Articles – BJP: VII outsources distribution to Corbis (BJP: December 2010)

One of my Perpignan flatmates Sebastian Liste, won yet another award…

Articles – BJP: Terry O’Neill Award goes to Sebastian Liste (BJP: December 2010)

Sebastian is also one of the Fotovisura shortlisted…

GrantsFotovisura grant finalists

Format festival got pre-launched in London couple of days ago and the website is now live…

FestivalsFormat International Photography Festival

Articles - Guardian: Featured Photographer Carl de Souza (Guardian: December 2010)

Articles - Guardian: Before Colour: photographer William Eggleston in black-and-white (Guardian: December 2010)

InterviewsAlec Soth (Artcards: 2010)

Features and Essays - NYT: Actors Create 14 Decisive Moments | 14 Actors Acting (NYT Lens: December 2010)

Year in Pictures gallery by Adam Dean…

Features and Essays – Adam Dean: 2010 Year In Pictures (Photographer’s website: December 2010)

I put a link to Palani Mohan’s latest work on Reportage by Getty Images site the other day, and I ended up having a look also at his personal website…

PhotographersPalani Mohan

Also checked Luke Banks’ site, after I saw his work on Telegraph’s Telephoto…

Photographers - Luke Banks

Photographers - Katja Heinemann

AgenciesVII Photo December 2010 Newsletter

CollectivesMJR Weekly Collection 81

Twitter - Terry O’Neill

TwitterKrista Rossow

Blogs – Chip Litherland: 100 things completely right about our jobs (Photographer’s blog: December 2010)

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