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Predictable, we know, but how could we resist? By Sarah Zlotnick

Between swooning over the picture of the sweet couple that Danie Smallwood submitted to last month’s “Caught in the Moment” contest and planning for our stuffed-to-the-brim Valentine’s Day Guide (be sure to check it out for restaurant specials and dozens of great date ideas), it seemed only fitting to focus on falling in love for our February photo contest. Are your friends and family sick of staring at all your mushy photos? Send them our way. Proposals, first dates, hand-holding, wedding pictures, Eskimo kisses—if the picture’s got anything to do with love, sweet love (in Washington, of course), we can’t wait to see it. PS—We’re also on the lookout for love stories for a special Valentnine’s Day feature. If you’re better at writing this stuff down than capturing it with a camera, be sure to share those as well!

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Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 01/31/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Because the dreary snow-drizzle outside is depressing us. By Sarah Zlotnick

In December, we ran a Snowmaggedon photo contest, and readers submitted hundreds of awesome pictures from last February's storm. Today, we're showing you thirteen of our favorite runners up (view the finalists here) because the current weather situation is just one big, grey-sky tease. Let's get to the white stuff already! 

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Posted at 09:14 AM/ET, 01/26/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
What's your favorite "Caught in the Moment" picture? By Sarah Zlotnick

>> See a slideshow of the finalists

January's candid photography contest swamped the Washingtonian offices with some of the most vibrant photography we've seen in months. Playing off the "Caught in the Moment" theme, participants snapped their subjects in all sorts of surprising poses and positions. Hey Washington—thanks for the mid-winter pick-me-up!

The six shots you see here represent the cream of the crop. See the full pictures in our finalists' gallery, then vote for your favorite in the poll below (It's tough this month!). The photograph with the most votes as of noon on Tuesday, February 1 will be published in the March issue of The Washingtonian.

Please remember to play fair! The rules allow one vote per person, and we monitor the polls closely. If we catch voting irregularities for a particular photograph, it’ll be disqualified.      

*To help keep this contest fair, we’ve elected to use an IP-address-based poll. This means that if you’re voting from an office or network setting, not everybody in that setting will be able to vote. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope you’ll encourage coworkers to vote from their home computers.

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More>> Capital Comment Blog | News & Politics | Party Photos 

Posted at 02:14 PM/ET, 01/25/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
We’ll forgive your focus just this once By Sarah Zlotnick

Truly excellent impromptu photographs take serious dedication. For every killer concert picture or funny party photo, there are five dozen closed-eye, off-angle shots. Yep, candid photography can be a tough business—which is why we’re using January’s photo contest to celebrate the times you got it right. Be it a quiet moment between lovers or Rallying to Restore Sanity, send us your best candid picture, and it could end up as a January finalist.

Here’s how the contest works: Submissions will be accepted until noon on Tuesday, January 25. Our judges will sift through the entries to find their five favorites, and reader votes ultimately determine the winning photo, which will be published in the March issue of The Washingtonian.

Photos—one per e-mail, please—should be sent to photocontest@washingtonian.com. Be sure to include the photographer’s name, phone number, e-mail address, and place of residence along with a sentence or two about the photo, where it was taken, and an explanation of why it fits the theme. You can submit as many photos as you’d like, but make sure each is 300 dpi and at least four by six inches. And remember, the photographer and the subject must be from the Washington area, which includes the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

>> See a slide show of past winners

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Posted at 07:21 AM/ET, 01/03/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Relive Snowmaggedon, then vote for your favorite! By Sarah Zlotnick

>> See the Snowmaggedon Photo Contest Finalists

Well folks, we were definitely impressed with your photo contest efforts this month. Between the Twitter #hashtags, bros mugging with their jeeps, and impromptu snowball fights, it was great to see the truly fun side of the storm that ate Washington show through.  That being said, the judging process was not without its few touching moments—K.N. Vinod, the paramedics who reconnected your father's oxygen supply deserve much more than the shout-out we're attempting right here. 

The six shots selected here don't cover all our favorites, but do best represent a cross-sample of angles and subjects.  See them up-close in our finalists gallery, then vote for your favorite in the poll below. The photograph with the most votes as of noon on Monday, January 3 will appear in the February issue of The Washingtonian, just in time to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the storm that inspired it. 

Please remember to play nice! The rules allow one vote per person, and we monitor the polls closely. If we catch voting irregularities for a particular photograph, it’ll be disqualified.   

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Posted at 01:50 PM/ET, 12/20/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
This month, we pay our respects to the storm that ate Washington By Sarah Zlotnick

Georgetown University alum Charlie Nutting shot this photo of a man kite-skiing—yes, really kite-skiing—on the National Mall during last February's snowstorm, and entered it into June's People-Watching photo contest.
Last February’s Snowmageddon will go down in Washington history. As with the legendary blizzard of 1996, people were trapped in neighborhoods and homes for days on end—sometimes without power, almost always without modern modes of entertainment. Those who braved the storms—and brought cameras along—ended up with some epic pictures. With the probable onslaught of winter (who can tell with global warming anymore?), we’ve dubbed December’s photo contest “Snowmageddon” in hopes of collecting your best shots of wintry white. No, the photo doesn’t have to be from last winter’s Snowpocalypose, but that certainly won’t hurt.

Here’s how the contest works: Submissions will be accepted until noon on Monday, December 20. Our judges will sift through the entries to find the five best, but it’s up to you, dear readers, to vote for your favorite. The winner will be published in the February issue of The Washingtonian, just in time to commemorate the first anniversary of our snowstorm double whammy.

Photos—one per e-mail, please—should be sent to photocontest@washingtonian.com. Be sure to include the photographer’s name, phone number, e-mail address, and place of residence along with a sentence or two about the photo, where it was taken, and an explanation of why it fits the theme. You can submit as many photos as you’d like, but just make sure each is 300 dpi and at least four by six inches. And remember, the photographer and the subject must be from the Washington area, which includes the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

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Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 12/10/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
Vote for your favorite abstract pic By Sarah Zlotnick

>> See a slideshow of the finalists

Well, folks, the entries are in, and we’ve pulled our artsy favorites. These five finalists aren’t necessarily the weirdest shots in the bunch, but each features a creative, unexpected angle on everyday Washington life. See our favorites up close in the finalists’ gallery, then vote for your choice below. The photograph with the most votes as of noon on Tuesday, November 30, will appear in the January issue of The Washingtonian.

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Posted at 08:15 AM/ET, 11/24/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
An outlet for your inner art-school auteur By Sarah Zlotnick
Patrick Carlson's "Rainy Windshield"—originally submitted for August's transportation-themed photo contest—served as direct inspiration for November's contest.

Let’s face it—the last person to fully appreciate your avant-garde photography was probably your Chico’s-wearing college art professor. Surrealist portraits, architectural angles, “texture” shots—they all sound cool in theory, but there’s only so much Dadaism your adoring fans can be subjected to. But don’t worry, wannabe Man Rays and David LaChapelles, we’ve got the perfect outlet for the tortured artist inside you: For November’s photo contest, we want your kookiest, most abstract, artsy-fartsy photos, and we want them all.

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Posted at 10:42 AM/ET, 11/09/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
Help us pick the spookiest picture in Washington By Sarah Zlotnick

>> See a slideshow of the finalists

Well, ladies and gents, the submissions—and the verdict—are in: With a tendency toward austere government offices and (obviously necessary) caution tape around abandoned buildings, Washington just doesn’t photograph that scarily. This may be due to our young age (a mere toddler at 220 years old!)—perhaps we haven’t given the ghosts enough time to settle in yet. But anyhoo, in our searches, we did manage to uncover a few photographs that may send a shiver down your spine. See our favorites up close in the finalists’ gallery, then vote for your pick below. The photograph with the most votes as of noon on Friday, October 29, will appear in the December issue of The Washingtonian.

Please remember to play nice! The rules allow one vote per person, and we monitor the polls closely. If we catch voting irregularities for a particular photograph, it’ll be disqualified.

*To help keep this contest fair, we’ve elected to use an IP-address-based poll. This means that if you’re voting from an office or network setting, not everybody in that setting will be able to vote. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope you’ll encourage coworkers to vote from their home computers.

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More>> Capital Comment Blog | News & Politics | Party Photos 

Posted at 02:50 PM/ET, 10/22/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
In honor of everyone’s favorite October holiday, we’re on the hunt for your spookiest pictures By Sarah Zlotnick
Vincent Carney's photo of an empty room at the abandoned Henryton Hospital Center— originally submitted for April's architecture photo contest— directly inspired this month's contest.

Select a feature in this package:

From trick-or-treating down Embassy Row to dance parties at the Black Cat, this city sure loves Halloween. To gear up for the big night, we’ve dubbed October’s photo contest “Haunted” in hopes of rounding up your most spooktacular photos of Washington. Black-and-white shots of the Exorcist stairs, abandoned houses, leafless trees in the dead of winter—go ahead, we dare you to scare us. 

Here’s how the contest works: Submissions will be accepted until noon on Thursday, October 21. Our judges will select the finalists, then we’ll open it up to you to select a favorite. The winner will be published in the December issue of The Washingtonian.

Photos—one per e-mail, please—should be sent to photocontest@washingtonian.com. Be sure to include the photographer’s name, phone number, e-mail address, and place of residence along with a sentence or two about the photo, where it was taken, and an explanation of why it fits the theme. You can submit as many photos as you’d like, but make sure each is 300 dpi and at least four-by-six inches. And remember, the photographer and the subject must be from the Washington area, which includes the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

>> See a slide show of past winners

Our policy on photo rights: The photographer retains the copyright. However, because the photographer has submitted his or her photo to the contest, the magazine has the right to print the winning photograph in the current issue of the magazine and online as well as in any future issues as long as usage is related to the photo contest. The magazine also has the right to use the finalists online in relation to the photo contest.

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Posted at 12:01 PM/ET, 10/21/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()