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Friday Happy Hour: Viral Photos of 2012 & More

As the year draws to a close, it’s only appropriate that we share a few stellar photo projects that have come out in the last week or so of Decem...

As the year draws to a close, it’s only appropriate that we share a few stellar photo projects that have come out in the last week or so of December. This will be the last Friday Happy Hour of 2012 – enjoy your holiday season and best wishes for a happy new year!

Favorite viral photos of 2012

Wired put together a list of their favorite viral photos of 2012 at the end of November, and while the news is old, it’s still fun to revisit these sensational projects. Check out a few of our favorite images here and then the full list, with great descriptions of the photographer and his/her work.

Photo by Seth Casteel, whose series was by far one of the year’s biggest hits.

Photo by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu, whose long-exposure and time-lapse photos of Japanese fireflies was of otherworldly beauty.

Photo by Tim Mantoani, who took portraits of famous photographers holding their most iconic or favorite photos in his book, Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends.

American Photo images of the year

American Photo magazine brought together their editors with some of the industry’s “keenest observers” to select the most important images of 2012. “Some names appear multiple times: New York and Time magazines continue to commission groundbreaking work, and photographers such as Martin Schoeller and Peter Yang had such a great year that we couldn’t pick just one shot for each of them,” they say. Here are a few of our favorites from the list – see them all here.

Photo by Alejandro Cartagena, who “wanted to photograph the unintended consequences of suburbia in Mexico.”

Photo by Pari Dukovic, who tried to capture the iconic Kim Kardashian in a more natural state in tune with his background in art history.

Photo by Martin Schoeller, who photographed the annual festival of twins on assignment for National Geographic.

Pete Muller’s “Machine Gun America”

Photojournalist Pete Muller has seen a parallel between his work in South Sudan and parts of the U.S. – both have cultures where civilian-owned weaponry is commonplace and valued, if not necessary. Fresh from his trip to South Sudan, Pete traveled to the annual Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show (OFASTS) where he photographed gun enthusiasts – men, women, and children – staring down the mouths of some of the world’s most devastating weapons.

Photo by Pete Muller

Photo by Pete Muller

In wake of last week’s school shooting, his images seem especially poignant. However, Pete is quick to point out that he was treated with nothing but “inclusive respect and moving hospitality” from the gun community. Check out his full series and a heartfelt write-up here.

John Dunne completes 12-month long project in Ireland

It takes patience to photograph the same plant for 12 months straight, but Irish fine art photographer John Dunne was up to the task. The project was commissioned by Bright3D, a company specializing in designing visitor centers and in this case, the Malahide Castle and Gardens in Ireland. John’s job was to photograph rare plant specimens collected by the late 7th Lord Talbot de Malahide as part of a massive refurbishment and revitalization project.

“The project required me to meticulously plan for both the entire year and on a per site visit basis to ensure each plant was captured at the right time in each season,” writes John in a recent blog post. “By the time I submitted the final set of images…I had produced a total of 240 images over the course of 12 months.” Check out his full gallery and blog post on the project here.

Ornaments break, jello plops in slow motion

As Rick Robinson of Vision Research’s Phantom cameras showed us, slowing motion can show a totally unforeseen and fascinating side to everyday events. On that same note, the Brigham Young University (BYU) Splash Lab posted a video featuring smashing ornaments, jello shaking, popcorn popping and more at 4,000-12,500 fps. The result is both beautiful and compelling:

Be sure to check out what else the photo team is doing at BYU on their blog.

POYi Competition call for entries

It’s that time of year! Pictures of the Year International is calling for entries for its 70th annual contest. Read up on the rules and submit your photos here.

2013 “Eyes of History” Student Contest

The White House News Photographers Association is pleased to announce the 2013 Student Photographer of the Year Contest, which honors photographic excellence and visual storytelling. Students are invited to visit the website for rules and information to enter today. Submit your portfolio to be called the WHNPA “Eyes of History” Student Photographer of the Year!

Happy holidays from PhotoShelter

Everyone here at PhotoShelter wants to you wish you a very happy holiday season, and best wishes for a wonderful new year! To celebrate, we put together our favorite photos from PhotoShelter members – click through to see them all.

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