30
votes

Theme

This theme seeks your best straight-out-of-camera JPEGs: no adjustments, curves, tweaks, post-processing, cropping, or straightening is allowed. Think "Polaroid", "Instax", "Kodamatic", etc.

Be as creative as you can before pressing the shutter button: external filters, in-camera filters, in-camera HDR functionality, scene modes, or other creative settings are acceptable if set/configured before the image is captured.

This also means no processed raw images: shoot RAW+JPEG if you want, but only submit the JPEG produced from the camera.

Scans of film shots are welcome to submit too. Please use your best judgment as to what constitutes "creative darkroom techniques" or scan touchups. Follow the spirit of the rule as best as you can.

There's no way to enforce the SOC rule, this is all on the honor system. Let's have some fun and see what we can get, Polaroid-style. =)

Edit: Editing for downsizing or reducing JPEG quality only to satisfy the 2MB upload limit is perfectly acceptable. Sorry for not making that clear originally.

Voting Rules

  • Vote up as many images as you like
  • Please, up votes only! Do NOT vote down your competitors! If you don't like an image, don't vote
  • Voting closes on March 1, 2021 at 12:00 AM UTC. The winner will be chosen based on votes at that time

Submission Rules

  1. One photo submission per answer. Multiple entries are encouraged, but please don't spam answers. The aim is quality over quantity.
  2. Post only photos taken by yourself or the person with you.
  3. All entries should include a line of text with the location, subject, and date.
  4. The submitted image must conform to this site's content license, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA 4.0) with attribution required.
  5. Do not use this as a forum for photo critique. Use chat instead, or ask a new question about your image.

Next Contest

  • Suggest a theme for the next contest. Leave a single comment below in the format,

    Theme: <one sentence description>

  • Upvote the comment(s) with the theme you would like to see next time.

Good luck!

8
  • 3
    I'd like to suggest "available darkness" as the next theme. It's an old phrase from film photography days, when it was significant effort to get beyond ISO 1600 and still get an image with a full tonal scale.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Feb 16 at 17:49
  • 3
    @Luuklag, See (for one example): "Proposal: Rules for New Photo Contest on Main Site", the decisions with respect to this have been made after a discussion on meta.
    – Rob
    Feb 17 at 15:10
  • 1
    @AJ Better be since I posted two. I'm sure any camera is fine including a phone. Just don't do any processing aside from getting the picture to fit into the upload size restrictions.
    – Eric S
    Feb 19 at 15:21
  • 1
    @AJ absolutely, phone photos that aren’t edited are elgible.
    – scottbb
    Feb 19 at 15:46
  • 3
    Theme: Reflections. Use of mirrors or windows to get reflections.
    – Eric S
    Feb 22 at 18:13

55 Answers 55

32
votes

Maroon Bells in Moonlightnear Aspen, Colorado. September 25, 2015

Maroon Bells in Moonlight, near Aspen, Colorado, September 25, 2015. 2:45 AM

Taken at the edge of Maroon Lake in the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area, west of Aspen, Colorado, USA, two nights before full moon at 2:40 AM.

Nikon D800E and PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 ED lens; ISO 3200, ƒ/5.6, 30 sec.

This was trying to dial in Scheimpflug tilt to maximize depth of field with a wide aperture, under dark conditions. I learned a lot in the effort; primarily, I still have a lot of practice to go.

10
  • 2
    @sweetandtangy Which light spots, specifically? If you're talking about the tiny points of light, those are stars (yes, really). If you zoom in, you'll see they streak ever-so-slightly from upper-left towards lower-right, because the shutter was open for 30 seconds and the Earth rotated while the shutter was open. If you're talking about faint "smudges" of light near the upper-left and continuing towards the center, they are lens flare.
    – scottbb
    Feb 17 at 0:14
  • 6
    @sweetandtangy Well, it was taken at 2:40 AM. Middle of night. The moon was 2 nights before full moon, so about 95% full. As it turns out, seemingly counterintuitively, a 95% moon is about half as bright (luminous intensity) as the full moon. A 100% full moon is about 18 stops (roughly 350,000 times) less light than the sun. I wasn't exposing for the stars, I was exposing for the scene, knowing it would look like daylight, using about 19 stops more exposure than a bright sunny day exposure would be.
    – scottbb
    Feb 17 at 0:37
  • 2
    It looks surreal and very peaceful. Congrats! If you're interested, the portion of the sky is a relatively empty region between Aquila & Capricornus. The brightest star is Altair, on the right (between two dimmer stars), and Deneb Algedi is on the left of the picture. Altair is a star of the summer triangle, so it makes sense it would be close to the horizon, late at night in September. Again, well done, this is the kind of picture I wouldn't mind hanging on my wall. I want to dip my toe into this lake after a long hike! Feb 17 at 13:23
  • 1
    @scottbb: Also, our eyes have a huge dynamic range. Without light pollution, and once eyes are accustomed to the darkness, it's impressive how well one can see in the mountains when the moon is full or almost full. You don't see colors as well as the D800E sensor, though. :D Feb 18 at 15:56
  • 1
    By the stars and the Moon positions it looks more like September 26 2015, 0:40 MDT, see screenshot from Stellarium. The full Moon was on September 28 night in that year. I guess your 2:40 timestamp is your home-timezone time.
    – Ruslan
    Feb 19 at 12:25
28
votes
+300

My profile picture: Black & White Self - Caveman. Not sure about the "photojournalist-style", but it's definitely straight out of camera.

It's a self portrait, taken in front of my house, in Stuttgart, on the 26th of September 2009.

Shot with D90 in RAW+JPG mode, and BW preset already applied. The only thing I changed after taking the picture was to choose "M" size in order to stay under the 2MB limit. (Here's a large JPEG in original size and with EXIF preserved.)

self-portrait

Here are the notes I wrote when I posted this picture on Flickr 10 years ago:

This is one of the easiest tricks on a longboard. You don't even need to know how to ollie!

Just take your board in one hand, run, jump, place your board under your feet, land and ride away....

The most difficult part was to trigger the camera at the right time with an unreliable ML L3 trigger. I don't know if my batteries are running low, but I had around 20% success rate.

Are there any other options for self photography? Something wireless but with 99% reliability?

strobist, kind of cross lighting :

bare SB-600, 1/4, 24mm, front camera left, mounted on a gorilla pod SLR on the floor (this flash casts the main shadow)

snooted SB-25, 1/8, 85mm, back camera right, mounted 20cm away from the wall, parallel to both the wall and the ground in order to prevent casting shadows in the frame.

Both flashes triggered by Cactus V4

Camera triggered by an unreliable ML-L3 remote control in my right hand.

D90 + Tokina 11-16

16mm, f/7.1, 1/200s

I cropped it a bit for my profile picture and flickr but the above picture is untouched.

25
votes

enter image description here It's a simple onion peel on an old board high in the mountains.

Mykulychyn village, Ukraine.

8 November 2014

25
votes

enter image description here

Taken with my Galaxy S9 and no filters on June 12th 2020 in North Idaho USA

5
  • 6
    What is so ironic about this shot is that I've spent days (or months for the solar eclipse) planning a shot but then this sunset just happened and was changing so fast I didn't have time to get my camera out so I was forced to use my phone. I'm thankful I was able to capture just how beautiful/scary the sky was.
    – tecbuilt
    Feb 17 at 15:26
  • 1
    Isn't that the way it goes? I love the careful planning and research to capture shots like eclipses, rocket launches, alpenglow sunrises in a certain part of the year, etc. But sometimes serendipity and a convenient pocket camera or phone produce some of the most memorable shots. Part of the pain/joy dichotomy of photography, I guess? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    – scottbb
    Feb 17 at 21:38
  • Nice! It looks like it was shot on Velvia. Feb 18 at 8:38
  • 1
    If you don't mind me asking, what body of water is that? I used to spend a lot of time in North Idaho (By Pend Oreille/Priest) so this picture is super nostalgic for me :)
    – DJMcMayhem
    Feb 19 at 4:43
  • 1
    This is the Pend Oreille river just a couple miles outside of the town of Priest River
    – tecbuilt
    Feb 19 at 13:59
24
votes

I was just getting into hobby photography and had access to the base hobby photo lab as I learned to process and print B&W film.

Out my barracks window - Darmstadt Germany, 1974

Out my barracks window

Minolta SRT-303, Vivitar 70-210mm (I think)

Per request for more detail:

This was an American Army base in Darmstadt Germany, "Cambrai-Fritsch-Kaserne". To the left out of picture is the main gate. I'm on the 3rd floor on one side of the road. This picture is across the road and is actually an on-post day care facility. I thought the juxtaposition of the kids, the sign, and the barbed wire was interesting.

0
19
votes

My girlfriend taking her Minolta SRT303b apart for inspection. I like how you can still see all the mechanical parts and their function. Hamburg, Germany / 14.02.2021

Minolta SRT303b - scaled submission

View full-size submission

Fuji X-T4 7Artisans 35mm f0.95 1/52s ISO 1250

3
  • 1
    I love this one! The narrow focus makes it kinda mysterious as to what the rest of the mechanism is doing or looks like.
    – wilkgr
    Feb 21 at 9:28
  • 1
    Thank you so much! We had a deeper look into the inner workings of the tiny bowden cable. It looks fairly complicated, but once you get the hang of it, those are basically just two wires going from the bayonet lens mount (for reading aperture) and the iso/shutter speed dial to a contraption moving an "brightness target" up and down in the viewfinder (this camera has a small button cell for reading brightness). Pretty stunning technology!
    – FlixMa
    Feb 21 at 13:49
  • 1
    Oh wow! That sounds fascinating!
    – wilkgr
    Feb 22 at 1:50
17
votes

Waltrop, Germany, Bumble Bee approaching Goldenrod, 2020-06-13

Resaved from Gimp with lower JPEG quality in order to fit upload constraints. Bumble bee approaching goldenrod

16
votes

"Reflecting" - Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. - September 13, 2020

Reflecting

Canon Powershot SX610 HS - ISO 80, 77.62mm, f=6.9, 1/160s

16
votes

Flying home for Christmas.

Flying home for Christmas.

Nikon D3100, Helios 44-2 (58mm), 1/60s, f=2, ISO 3200. Hand-sized figure in front of Christmas tree. December 2020.

0
15
votes

Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, California, 9 June 2017 (Galaxy Note 5)

Richmond–San Rafael Bridge

2
  • It looks interesting! Were you flying or is there a huge mountain nearby? Feb 17 at 12:27
  • 1
    @EricDuminil Yes, it's from a plane.
    – nanoman
    Feb 17 at 18:52
15
votes

Cloud outside backdoor Bisbee Arizona 1/31/2021

Cloud outside backdoor Bisbee Arizona 1/31/2021

1
  • 1
    Great example of a lenticular cloud!
    – scottbb
    Feb 19 at 16:25
15
votes

Varkala, Kerala, India

An evening shot from Cliff side beach in Varkala, Kerala, India. Resized to reduce the file fize. No other edits. Taken on 10th Sept 2017.

14
votes

I've tried to adhere to the spirit of this, even though I can't obey the letter - so this was from my original NEF, opened in Ps, no adjustments made, then saved as a smaller jpg. My 'proper version' of this is just a tighter crop, but this is the full uncropped original.

The photo is a 90 second manual exposure using a cheap variable ND at almost maximum, I ran in half-way through & sat still.

enter image description here

BTW, it's titled "Do Fear the Reaper" which is a little lost at this size, hence the usual crop. Play on words on the song title in the sheet music on the piano - the 'nt is covered by the leaf, blu-tacked on.

2
  • 5
    “spirit”... I see what you did there.
    – scottbb
    Feb 16 at 15:11
  • 5
    @scottbb - I shall steadfastly pretend that was entirely intentional & not in the slightest that I didn't even realise until you mentioned it ;))
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 16 at 15:18
14
votes
+150

Idaho Sawtooth Mountains

Idaho Sawtooth Mountains on Sept 13, 2016. Taken with an iPhone 6s auto exposure. Only processing is reducing jpeg quality to fit upload constraints.

2
  • I really like this photo. Excellent detail and colors! +150
    – scottbb
    Feb 21 at 17:43
  • @scottbb Thanks. I took more with my good camera but wanted a picture on the iPhone to text to the kids. Amazing scenery.
    – Eric S
    Feb 21 at 18:56
13
votes

London, Big Ben, January 16th 2013

enter image description here

I didn't know much about photography back then (and still don't) but luckily, subjects like these are willing to stand still for a while to experiment with exposure time and other settings. Of ~25 photos, this was the only one where you could read the time. The Moon is overexposed though, but I like it so much that is has been my desktop background for nine years now.

Canon EOS 1100D, EF-S 18-55 mm, 18mm, 1/50 s, f=3.5

11
votes

No specific title, my cat napping in the sun. I'm by no means a pro, but always enjoy capturing either nature, or parts of daily life, like here, one of the daily naps of one of my cats.

Settings : Canon EOS 100D, EF-S 18-55mm, Focal 38mm, f/6.3, Exposure 1/100s

picture

2
  • Cats win per default on the internet ;-)
    – Arsenal
    Feb 19 at 12:22
  • Simply adorable!
    – wilkgr
    Feb 21 at 9:30
10
votes

No idea which flower that is, I was trying to do a boring macro shot, but messed up the settings. Allen's gardens, Toronto. Sept 5, 2020

flower

1
9
votes

Cherry (?) Blossoms, March 2019, San Francisco area

enter image description here

Taken with an LG G3, allegedly ƒ/2.4, 1/1724, 3.97mm, ISO50

9
votes

Taken 24 August 2014 near Lac Pavin, Saint-Flour, Auvergne, France, with an Olympus Stylus TG-870.

enter image description here

8
votes

A stem with a pink flower and a leaf framed by a lens fog

  • Taken with a Nikon D5300 using the 18-55 kit lens on September 23, 2016.
  • It was a damp, drizzly day, and I was out walking around the hillside in my college campus. My lens fogged up, but the centre remained clear, which allowed me take this.
8
votes

The moon.

  • November 19th, 2020 at 4:55PM, Santa Fe New Mexico
  • Nikon D7500
  • Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports
  • 600mm, 1/320s, f/6.3
  • Resized to 25% to fit upload requirements

And I thought I was shoot RAW that day. LOL

enter image description here

8
votes

Tree, spotlights and snowfall

Tree, spotlights and snowfall at Gorky Park, Moscow on January 01, 2019.

Taken on a Huawei P20 Pro, auto settings (f/1.8, 1/50s, ISO 100).

P.S. Had to resize image to fit 2 Mb limit.

8
votes

Firework, 1 January 2021. Nottingham, U.K.

Shot on iPhone 11.

5
  • Hi Tim. I edited your post to use Imgur's image display option by adding an l (lower-case "L") to the image filename (before file extension). Note that I didn't resize your upload at all. Clicking on the image link still points to the full-size image you uploaded. I did this because Stack Exchange sizes large images to fit the width of the post area, which makes portrait-oriented images very large. If you don't like my edit, you can revert it. =)
    – scottbb
    Feb 18 at 0:49
  • @scottbb that’s fine! Thanks for running the competition!
    – Tim
    Feb 18 at 0:50
  • @scottbb What's wrong with displaying portrait orientation images at full width? I prefer it to these smaller version. When clicking through, the image is usually way too tall to fit on a (landscape) monitor.
    – Michael C
    Feb 18 at 1:47
  • @MichaelC When displayed at the Imgur l size, the portrait images tend to have the same area as the landscape images that take the full width of the post area. That's all. Just a visual similarity so portrait images don't heavily dominate. I'll happily stop making adjustments; I admit it's only a personal preference.
    – scottbb
    Feb 18 at 3:10
  • I guess it all depends on whether one is viewing on a (vertical) mobile device or a (horizontal) monitor...
    – Michael C
    Feb 18 at 16:14
7
votes

I find it very hard to reconcile the "straight out of camera" condition with the 2MiB size limit of image uploads.

However, this B&W photograph (using a red flash gel) qualifies.

Kitchen, "The Visitor", 2020-07-09
The Visitor

7
  • I find it very hard to reconcile the "straight out of camera" condition with the 2MiB size limit of image uploads. Yeah. Perhaps I should have added "modulo image resizing..." =)
    – scottbb
    Feb 17 at 0:41
  • Well, I am a stickler for rules. When I found that my on-disk JPEG copy wasn't right-side up (for my own purposes I had rather worked with the raw version), I dug out the old memory card and did the rotation in-camera. Since this only affects the EXIF info rather than the image data, I figured this should be ok.
    – user95069
    Feb 17 at 0:50
  • Hmm. That makes me wonder about the film shots. How does a film camera know it's in portrait mode? ;-)
    – scottbb
    Feb 17 at 0:52
  • BTW, I hope you don't mind, I used the Imgur size option to display a slightly smaller image here. The image link still goes to the full-size that you uploaded, but for display purposes, rather than filling the width of the post area, a scaled version is shown.
    – scottbb
    Feb 17 at 0:58
  • 4
    @scottbb I once had some friends laugh at my negatives because I was shooting 6x6 with a Holga, and I shot some scenes in landscape and some scenes in portrait mode .. lol
    – Peter M
    Feb 17 at 1:51
7
votes

Taken December 13, 2020 in Cabot VT. Backyard hill overlooking Winooski River. Taken with Nikon Coolpix W300. I had to "Adjust Size" down on the Mac to get it to a postable size (originally 3.8 MB)

7
votes

Taken September 28, 2020 on enter image description hereHighway 15, Walden VT. Taken with Nikon Coolpix W300. I had to "Adjust Size" down on the Mac to get it to a postable size (originally 3.8 MB)

6
votes

Rare(-ish) vehicle at my local garage, frosted over and back lit by morning sun:enter image description here Nothing fancy, just my trusty OnePlus 5.

1
  • 1
    If anyone is curious it's a Volvo L3314 aka Valp (Puppy) Feb 19 at 13:06
6
votes

I love happy accidents. I feel my camera skills are fairly decent and I have taken some good photos but sometimes I mess up and the results surprise me. We were hiking in Yosemite National Park and I usually leave my camera on auto to be able to take a quick shot of wild life or other situations where there isn't time to adjust the settings for the "perfect" shot. But in this instance I had switched to manual to take a photo in a bright light situation and forgot to switch it back to auto before I put my camera away. Well we came across this rock climber getting ready to rappel down the face of the mountain and I didn't want to miss the shot so I started shooting before looking at the camera to see what the settings were. By the time I noticed it was still on manual he was already down the face and I assumed the shot was ruined. But... Canon EOS T5i ISO = 100 f5.6 Exposure 1/800 Focal length 255mmenter image description here

6
votes


[1

This is one of the dogs I sat in Vancouver, after losing my own furry baby to greedy vets. Her name is Milka (like the chocolate :D) and she's the silliest girl alive.

This was taken with Nikon D750, 50mm f1/8, 1/320s, ISO3200.

5
votes

Exit Stage Left, John Perry Barlow

Exit Stage Left.

John Perry Barlow at Terrapin Station, the first reunion concert of The Other Ones/The Dead after Jerry's death. Weekend of August 3rd & 4th 2002, Alpine Valley, East Troy Wisconsin.

Straight scan of Silver Gelatin print

2
  • 1
    For a brief moment, based on the title, I thought you were referring to a different band. Nevertheless, respect. RIP Jerry.
    – scottbb
    Feb 16 at 18:06
  • 1
    @scottbb Well that weekend was a rush ;) RIP, Neil Ellwood Peart.
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 16 at 18:10

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