The Best Free-Entry International Photography Contests

(and 6 paid entry ones where the fees is less than 20$ or 1000 Rs.)

Free Entry:

  1. Sony World Photography Contest
  2. Nikon International Photo Contest
  3. Olympus Global Open Photo Contest
  4. NTU International Photography Awards
  5. Istanbul Photo Awards
  6. Alexia Foundation Grants
  7. Cortona On the Move Photo Contest
  8. Smithsonian Photo Awards
  9. Leica Oskar Barnack Award
  10. Comedy Wildlife Photo Contest
  11. Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year Awards

Paid (relatively cheap) Entry Fees:

  1. Gomma Grant
  2. National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
  3. Pictures of the Year International Photo Contest
  4. Kuala Lumpur Photo Awards
  5. Travel Photographer of the Year Awards
  6. Big Picture, Natural World Photography Contest
P_20170520_194657
Street art, Berlin

To Pauline Wong

Do
A deer
you taught me
how to stretch
my fingers around
crotchets and minims
how to read
clefs and breves

Re
A drop
I pause and begin
at the tap of your foot
the rap on my knuckles
the metronome stands
nothing but a symbol

Mi
A name
you gave me
patience in semibreves
happiness in quavers
fleeting semiquavers
and I showed off
with the demisemis

Fa
A long long way
we exist in two timezones
You said one day
we’ll watch an orchestra
together at the Esplanade
I still wait for that day

So
A needle
I, the thread
that you tried so hard
my fingers to unknot
“Octopus hand”
you say when my wrist
raises itself as I attempt
to reach beyond an octave

La
A note
you play
for me to sing
the examiner must
be impressed
I must not tarnish
your repute
But Aural always
took me over

Ti
A drink
one day we’ll share
when I find you again
It’s been seven years
and counting
but you’ll always be
the one that taught me
how to practice
how to feel
how to be
my art

And you will bring me back to
Do

No one knows me like the piano
in my mother’s home
– Sampha

thepianist

A Leash for my Sanity

If I could confront

my sanity with a look

and a leash to boot

I’d have my life pulled

from the pages of a book

which I have yet to write

from chapters that know

no boundaries and no sin

where the Devil is innocent

where the angels are drunk

where we revel in transgression.

I need a leash for my sanity

do you hear me

I need a leash

for a sanity

that was never mine.

Home

Home is not the concrete construct
where your mother resides
and your father returns to
It is not the land
your passport claims you belong to

Home is a state of mind
the environment you miss the most
when you live in a foreign land

Home may not be where you were born
but it may be the land
where your heart was first torn
where you first set foot in a classroom
and found your first crush

The place where you know the slang
a little too well
for your parents’ liking
Where you can get lost
and still be at ease
You know the streets
like the back of your hand

It is a place you complained of
when you knew no better
but when you left
you wished you left a letter
to show your gratitude
all the things you took for granted
that you couldn’t find
in the place your parents call home
in another place that you now call home

The smells, the tastes
the sounds and the sights
The faces that passed
as the years went by
you wish you could keep
in a little box in your heart
carry it around and open it
when you can take no more
You need to feel at home once more.

Cheers to Babylon

We’ll meet again one day

in Babylon, it’s not far away

I’ll lay out my armour

you’ll leave your armchair

We’ll sing tales of old

We’ll find out in time

Mozart’s unfinished requiem

You’ll play Lacrimosa

and I’ll call you Barbarossa

We’ll look for St. Clementine

is he still on his tea and croissants?

We’ll sing of Galileo

and reminisce Ronnie Dio

Do you think he feels hollow

Despite them chanting

Eppur Si Muove

And when you’ve found love

And I’ve found life

we’ll send each other postcards

written in the dark

in the shadows of a theater

while Lubitsch paints a story

and we find we’re turning thirty

We’ll raise our pens in silence

Cheers to Babylon.

 

Je Suis Enchante

I see my dreams

they lie in glass bottles

with stoppers made of

my mind’s fuzziness

They toss and turn

like a ship on high seas

a ship in a bottle

once in, never to escape

the entrails of our conversation

lie strewn across the waves

I see a whirlpool

Its froth, my chatter

spiralling inward

Do you see the sails

how they wave for help

to an invisible audience

And the trombone player

breathes faster

Allegro vivace

as it sinks

Your voice

follows me to the end

You guide

the orchestra

of a thousand ships

Je suis enchante

Hideout

via Daily Prompt: Hideout

I needed a prompt to let the floodgates out this time. I have a scar on my arm and I don’t know where it came from. I have discovered divinely immersive music after a long time. Tigran Hamasyan, Shai Maestro, Takuya Kuroda, Thelonius Monk and a little more Jazz make up my evening playlists. I have a very strong feeling that I need to be doing something else, i.e. not research, with my life. But I don’t know what and I’m unsure as to whether I even want to find out. Maybe I’m comfortable with the idea of a comfortable position as a scholar or researcher. But as was said in Dead Poets’ Society, isn’t poetry, romance, beauty and love what we live for? Do I need a noble pursuit to justify my existence or is that an overly exaggerated, capitalistic view? Do I owe it to my parents to keep pushing on in this field? I think I know the answer to the last question.

I need to know what constitutes satisfaction. Happiness, I am aware of. But true satisfaction, I have yet to experience. The mental kind, not the physical. Is it the practicalities of life clashing with the picture I’ve painted in my head of what life should be like? Is it just a childish pursuit of idealism that has left me in want of a state that I may never attain? Am I asking too many questions, throwing a fishing line into a polluted river and expecting the finest catch? Can I be trusted with finding my way in this world?

And if I assume this is all an illusion, why does that have to make it less real? Can curiosity get any curioser (“and curioser!” Cried Alice)? Am I painting the person in the mirror with impermanent watercolors? Am I too enraptured by fleeting encounters that were never meant to be? Or is this all just an excuse for me to hole up in my hideout and bury my head in the sand when reality comes knocking at my door?