(Really) Stunning Pictures and Photos

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Photography is a very powerful medium and a very difficult craft. Excellent photos don’t only display some facts — they tell stories, awake feelings and manage to share with the audience the emotions a photographer experienced when clicking the shot button. Taking excellent pictures is damn hard as you need to find a perfect perspective and consider the perfect timing. To achieve brilliant photography you need practice and patience. However, it is worth it: the results can be truly stunning.

Below you’ll find 50 brilliant photos and stunning pictures — some pictures tell stories, some are incredibly beautiful, some are funny and some are very sad.

All pictures are copyright of their respective owners. Please explore the further work of the photographers by browsing through their work. We’ve tried to cover different themes so that everybody will find something interesting and spectacular for himself / herself. All screenshots are linked und lead to the pages from which they’ve been taken.

You may also want to take a look at the following posts:

(Really) Stunning Pictures and Photos

Water and a Girl3
Beautiful composition, excellent scenery, amazing play of colors.

Mind-Blowing Photos - water4

The Ball is Coming!5
Analogue shot with Seagull 6×6 (Chinese clone of Rolleiflex), made in 1983. “The gulfball is suspended on a fishing line in front of the camera. It was a stormy day. So I had to shoot 5 or 6 films for getting one image with the ball in the center position AND a light reflection on the golf club.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Hey Tina! When you see this: Call me! I'm not angry with you any longer ....6

Sky7
The sky is reflected in a drop of water. Beautiful scenery.

Mind-Blowing Photos - : Sky8

Returning to the same ocean9
Beautiful sand textures, beautiful composition and somehow a very sad story hidden behind the image.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Returning to the same ocean.10

Tree11
A colorful tree from a different perspective.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FFFFOUND!12

Gizmo13
How adorable is that?

Mind-Blowing Photos - Gizmo14

Glittery Ball15
“The reflection in this water droplet, it looks like the glitter is stuck to the water, but NO, it is reflections from the glitter on the feather.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Glittery Ball16

Yaw? Weeeee17
You probably shouldn’t try this in your local trains. Such pictures are unforgettable.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Yaw? Weeeee18

Leap of Faith19
What does being one step away from falling into the abyss feel like? The photo is taken by Paul Perton.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Leap of Faith20

Astronaut Self-shot Over Earth21
Could this be the best self-shot ever? It’s truly out of this world.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Astronaut Self-shot Over Earth22

Autumn in red23
Pure beauty. No words are necessary.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Autumn in red24

FlickrMeeting – Genova – G325
Blue baloon, a small detail, gives the picture an incredible power.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FlickrMeeting - Genova - G3 - [Ghe semmu + DieciCento + Milanoue!!W ]26

Sea in the sea27
Incredible scenery. Apparently, the shot was made on the boat in the middle of the sea.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FFFFOUND!28

If I was an old building…29
“If I was an old building I would want to be by the ocean. Till’ the end of times”. Photographed at the old fishing piers of the Texas Bolivar Peninsula.

Mind-Blowing Photos - If I was an old building..... by `foureyes on deviantART30

Bee the Cat31
“It’s hard to get the right exposure, with them being white, and with the fact they don’t stay still unless they’re sleeping.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - bee32

Passing the Golden Gate Bridge33

Mind-Blowing Photos - Passing the Golden Gate Bridge34

Glow35
Smoke from a leaf pile.

Mind-Blowing Photos - g l o w by Haneck - DPChallenge36

Swimming pool37
Taking a look at the swimming pool. From a quite different perspective.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FFFFOUND!38

Reflect39
A reflection from the louvre’s pyramid.

Mind-Blowing Photos - reflect40

Time To Go Home…41
“Tthe way the birds are lined up makes the composition extraordinary fantastic.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Time To Go Home...42

Seagull on a sign43
This seagull seems to have its own personal understanding of human’s rules.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Seagull on a sign44

Marshmellow girl45
A beautiful composition.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo46

Refashioned Dahlia47
Photo taken at Duncan Garden in Spokane, WA.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Refashioned Dahlia48

Bird and Meat49

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo50

Water drop51
A photo taken at the exact right time. Available as a desktop wallpaper in various resolutions.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Another 17 Fantastic Free Wallpaper Images | Crestock.com Blog52

Mt. Fuji53

Mind-Blowing Photos - Mt. Fuji54

Two ways at looking at a fish55

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo56

Blessed fog57
A shot of Grande Madre di Dio in Torino, Italy.

Mind-Blowing Photos - blessed fog58

Family of bugs59

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo60

Pigeon Point Lighthouse61
“Once per year at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse they shut down the weak insipid modern (presumably electric) light and switch over the the 5 kerosene lamps and fresnel lens of the original, as it was 135 years ago.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Pigeon Point Lighthouse62

Fire Shot63
Location: Changa Beach, Coquimbo.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FIRE SHOT64

A conversation65
Fox, bird and snow. This picture is titled “Good afternoon, my name is chikiricuatro”.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo66

Shanghai – Acrobatic67
Picture taken during an acrobatic show in a Shanghainese theatre.

Mind-Blowing Photos - CHINA - Shanghai - Acrobatic68

Northern lights as seen from space69

Mind-Blowing Photos - Digg - Northern lights as seen from space (Pic)70

Crystal clarity71

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo72

Skier’s Paradise73
“Climbing partner at 17,000′ on Denali carrying his skis down to around 16,200′ where he will be able to ski down the rest of the way to base camp at 7200′.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Skier's Paradise74

Bird and Water75

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo76

Photograph Taken at the Exact Right Time77

Mind-Blowing Photos - Sawse - Stir it Up! » Blog Archive » 25 Photographs Taken at the Exact Right Time78

All alone.79
This shot is taken on a Norway’s cliff Prekestolen (also known as Preacher’s Pulpit).

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo80

Looking out of the window81

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo82

Above the clouds83
The shot taken during the flight from Vienna to Frankfurt, approaching Frankfurt.

Mind-Blowing Photos - above the clouds84

The Waves85

Mind-Blowing Photos - teahupoo_1.jpg (JPEG-Grafik, 1280x821 Pixel)86

The Waves. One more time.87

Mind-Blowing Photos - FFFFOUND!88

Cockfight89
Taken by Jan Sochor.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Cockfight – Photo Essay – Jan Sochor90

Polar lights91
Öxarárfoss in Iceland – Aurora Borealis taken by Arnar Valdimarsson.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo92

Concentration93

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo94

Cat and deer95

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo96

Here floats a bubble in the air…97

Mind-Blowing Photos - he floats a bubble in the air...98

A girl portrait99

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo100

Sources and Resources

You’ll find many more excellent photos, illustrations and pictures on the following sites:

  • Pixdaus.com101
    A social community dedicated to sharing photos. Pixdaus is a place where anyone can post his pictures, photos and others rate it. If it’s cool it gets to the main page and more people can enjoy it.
  • Ffffound.com102
    Image bookmarking. An invitation-based service.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/12/really-stunning-desktop-wallpapers/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/03/10/35-fantastic-hdr-pictures/
  3. 3 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quizz/2305516912/
  4. 4 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quizz/2305516912/
  5. 5 http://www.flickr.com/photos/konderminator/1352838736/
  6. 6 http://www.flickr.com/photos/konderminator/1352838736/
  7. 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7241355@N04/2443637808/sizes/l/
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7241355@N04/2443637808/sizes/l/
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alikhurshid/496143156/
  10. 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alikhurshid/496143156/
  11. 11 http://ffffound.com/image/656fae7f58bd143f7f8dfc67e1b42299ac8d8257?c=800688
  12. 12 http://ffffound.com/image/656fae7f58bd143f7f8dfc67e1b42299ac8d8257?c=800688
  13. 13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/todorrovic/2287792473/
  14. 14 http://www.flickr.com/photos/todorrovic/2287792473/
  15. 15 http://ninazdesign.deviantart.com/art/Glittery-Ball-II-43430022
  16. 16 http://ninazdesign.deviantart.com/art/Glittery-Ball-II-43430022
  17. 17 http://incredimazing.com/page/Yaw_Weeeee
  18. 18 http://incredimazing.com/page/Yaw_Weeeee
  19. 19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulperton/
  20. 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulperton/
  21. 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/22116941@N06/2207918764/
  22. 22 http://www.flickr.com/photos/22116941@N06/2207918764/
  23. 23 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=16483
  24. 24 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=16483
  25. 25 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jody_art/1433425995/
  26. 26 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jody_art/1433425995/
  27. 27 http://ffffound.com/image/d0bfcaa674f91ba195e37e2ac2bbe59ad73ce1b2?c=825271
  28. 28 http://ffffound.com/image/d0bfcaa674f91ba195e37e2ac2bbe59ad73ce1b2?c=825271
  29. 29 http://foureyes.deviantart.com/art/If-I-was-an-old-building-33538946
  30. 30 http://foureyes.deviantart.com/art/If-I-was-an-old-building-33538946
  31. 31 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lutty/2258884774/
  32. 32 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lutty/2258884774/
  33. 33 http://incredimazing.com/page/Passing_the_Golden_Gate_Bridge
  34. 34 http://incredimazing.com/page/Passing_the_Golden_Gate_Bridge
  35. 35 http://dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=621334
  36. 36 http://dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=621334
  37. 37 http://ffffound.com/image/fc0cf35defd734d487da86d69d65facd1674baed?c=837090
  38. 38 http://ffffound.com/image/fc0cf35defd734d487da86d69d65facd1674baed?c=837090
  39. 39 http://www.flickr.com/photos/franklumix/134418433/
  40. 40 http://www.flickr.com/photos/franklumix/134418433/
  41. 41 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brncos3/2270202145/
  42. 42 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brncos3/2270202145/
  43. 43 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sameli/1898511953/
  44. 44 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sameli/1898511953/
  45. 45 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=14245
  46. 46 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=14245
  47. 47 http://www.flickr.com/photos/my_planet_by_jim/1397633226/
  48. 48 http://www.flickr.com/photos/my_planet_by_jim/1397633226/
  49. 49 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=11942
  50. 50 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=11942
  51. 51 http://www.crestock.com/blog/photography/another-17-fantastic-free-wallpaper-images-96.aspx
  52. 52 http://www.crestock.com/blog/photography/another-17-fantastic-free-wallpaper-images-96.aspx
  53. 53 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=6528
  54. 54 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=6528
  55. 55 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=22790
  56. 56 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=22790
  57. 57 http://www.flickr.com/photos/regolare/2210994807/
  58. 58 http://www.flickr.com/photos/regolare/2210994807/
  59. 59 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=8402
  60. 60 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=8402
  61. 61 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mumbleyjoe/2043508173/
  62. 62 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mumbleyjoe/2043508173/
  63. 63 http://www.flickr.com/photos/julio_salinas/215778708/
  64. 64 http://www.flickr.com/photos/julio_salinas/215778708/
  65. 65 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=32810
  66. 66 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=32810
  67. 67 http://www.flickr.com/photos/92706698@N00/517330477/
  68. 68 http://www.flickr.com/photos/92706698@N00/517330477/
  69. 69 http://digg.com/space/Northern_lights_as_seen_from_space_Pic
  70. 70 http://digg.com/space/Northern_lights_as_seen_from_space_Pic
  71. 71 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=17713
  72. 72 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=17713
  73. 73 http://www.flickr.com/photos/52756285@N00/1390662667/
  74. 74 http://www.flickr.com/photos/52756285@N00/1390662667/
  75. 75 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=1935
  76. 76 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=1935
  77. 77 http://www.sawse.com/2007/11/02/25-photographs-taken-at-the-exact-right-time/
  78. 78 http://www.sawse.com/2007/11/02/25-photographs-taken-at-the-exact-right-time/
  79. 79 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=1559
  80. 80 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=1559
  81. 81 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=33451
  82. 82 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=33451
  83. 83 http://www.flickr.com/photos/michi_p/1543561453/
  84. 84 http://www.flickr.com/photos/michi_p/1543561453/
  85. 85 http://www.ferket.com/jvlt/images/teahupoo_1.jpg
  86. 86 http://www.ferket.com/jvlt/images/teahupoo_1.jpg
  87. 87 http://ffffound.com/image/490122709f47a7c2198a02eb691d7e9560419140
  88. 88 http://ffffound.com/image/490122709f47a7c2198a02eb691d7e9560419140
  89. 89 http://www.jansochor.com/photo-essay/cockfight.html
  90. 90 http://www.jansochor.com/photo-essay/cockfight.html
  91. 91 http://flickr.com/photos/arnar
  92. 92 http://flickr.com/photos/arnar
  93. 93 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=12890
  94. 94 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=12890
  95. 95 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=19788
  96. 96 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=19788
  97. 97 http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_oracle/253625459/
  98. 98 http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_oracle/253625459/
  99. 99 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=26615
  100. 100 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=26615
  101. 101 http://www.pixdaus.com
  102. 102 http://www.ffffound.com
  103. 103 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/12/really-stunning-desktop-wallpapers/
  104. 104 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/03/10/35-fantastic-hdr-pictures/

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    Stunning!

    -1
  2. 2

    Some very cool photos. The seagull on a sign isn’t real though.

    1
  3. 3

    Hii, Is the article posted by the individual in Mumbai. Its clear from the comment on the picture og guy peeping out of the train. Well thats the MUMBAI ki PEHCHAAN. really nice pics. Surely deserves bookmarking since its del.icio.us. kudos to poster from Aamchi Mumbai.

    2
  4. 4

    Very, very nice.

    1
  5. 5

    Impressive collection of images. I have the Northern Lights seen from space as my desktop, i may have a few other options now.

    It doesn’t matter if they are all real or who took them, if you appreciate interesting images, good photography and creative digital enhancement, then it’s a great compilation.

    2
  6. 6

    wow was für geile Fotos … Ich liebe diese Art fantastischer Fotographien!
    need more!

    1
  7. 7

    Omg! stunning photos indeed!

    0
  8. 8

    Fantastic Article!! “smashing”;)

    I like the Train-Picture most! Great Idea.

    0
  9. 9

    Nice…….. truly inspiring….. :-)

    0
  10. 10

    damn good moments!

    0
  11. 11

    Beautiful.

    0
  12. 12

    breathtaking!

    0
  13. 13

    absolutely stunning photos, thankyou for sharing :)

    0
  14. 14

    Really great photos, thanks a lot for showing.

    I can’t say which one I like the most. The golf ball is fantastic. Autumn in red also. And the bug family! Well, I like them all :)

    0
  15. 15

    Really incredible Photos!

    0
  16. 16

    What’s happened to Smashing Magazine? Usually your posts are informative and well-written, the commentary provided on this post is banal. Most of it should just be alt text as it’s a just say-what-you-see. Bring back the posts with purpose!

    0
  17. 17

    I really love “Yaw? Weeeee”, “Family of bugs” and “Sea gull on a sign” :D They are great.

    The rest of the collection is also brilliant, but these are my favorites.

    0
  18. 18

    Some of these have got to be the best photographs, I have ever seen. Ever!

    0
  19. 19

    simply amazing! :)

    0
  20. 20

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    April 28, 2008 3:46 am

    @Laura: thank you for your comment. We are not sure that these photographs need to be described any further. However, we’ll keep your remark in mind for the future posts.

    0
  21. 21

    Smashing is well out of its area of expertise here. Amongst other poor images are pictures of cats and dogs FGS. Get back on track hey? Or get some real photo experts on the team. Leave this sort of thing for the Flickr groups who know what they are talking about.

    0
  22. 22

    Stunning indeed. Bird on bird sign is one in a million.

    0
  23. 23

    Sigh. Greaaaat collection!

    0
  24. 24

    Some excellent, some total shoops…. CHARGIN MA LAZUR!

    0
  25. 25

    Daniel Edmundson

    April 28, 2008 5:06 am

    Sebastião Salgado
    (google his name)

    I have to agree that smashing is somehow out of expertise with this post…. but there are some nice pictures also.

    Chao,

    0
  26. 26

    [quote]This shot is taken on a Norway’s cliff Prekestolen (also known as Preacher’s Pulpit).[/quote]

    that is not Prekestolen. But the concept is the same.

    0
  27. 27

    really stunning!

    0
  28. 28

    I completely agree.

    0
  29. 29

    Cool and Amazing Photos…..
    Great collection with some repeated pictures.

    Good. Kepp it up!.

    0
  30. 30

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    April 28, 2008 5:32 am

    @all commenters: please notice: this post wasn’t supposed to showcase the best works of professional photographers – that is a different area we’ll maybe cover in the future. The intention of this post was different – to showcase some interesting and unusual pictures taken in real life.

    0
  31. 31

    gr8 work man ……… awesome pic’s

    0
  32. 32

    OMG….say no more….

    0
  33. 33

    I’m not really sure about this post, some of the images are great but it’s really let down by the animal portraits (I mean how many more cute dog shots does the world need?) and a few poor quality shots – the cloud formation on the Mount Fuji shot is amazing, but is it really a good photograph?
    For me photography is all about the light, some shots here demonstrate that perfectly (autumn in red, a girl portrait), but some others just look flat. No offence intended, just my opinion

    0
  34. 34

    There’re some nice photos there.. and of course, there’s nothing wrong with some nice photos.. But.. Personally I just expect more from this site – commentary, explanation – to learn or find out about something new – or have a trend or development pointed out where it wasn’t immediately obvious. I could have done without the kittens and puppies myself.. Which just goes to show that a list of photos assembled because they’re, well, nice, is pretty subjective – while a list of images showcasing some technique or trend has an undeniable value as something to learn from or be inspired by.
    My two cents.

    0
  35. 35

    leszek pietrzak

    April 28, 2008 7:17 am

    I knew the 11th picture before and indeed it is very beautiful. As of course are the other pictures.

    0
  36. 36

    I’m pretty sure that picture of the seagull was photoshopped. The outline of the seagull on the sign matches the silhouette on the sign perfectly, and the texture of the paint in the silhouette doesn’t match the texture of the paint outside the silhouette.

    But boy, wouldn’t it be funny if it were real?

    0
  37. 37

    Some nice photos here, but the seagull on the sign is a Photoshop job. Check out the silhouette of the gull and then the one on the sign beneath it.

    0
  38. 38

    Incredibly tasteless and overloaded with post-edit color tweaking, making it completely lifeless. You guyz like cheap poretretists on the street or Andy Warhol? Please decide.
    Stunning – waves, heights, cats and dogs? Those things appearing in your blog mark you as “first time in the internet” guy. Smashing? First time I see such a useless thread on this high-rated blog.

    0
  39. 39

    Just see number 40 photo make me dizzy, the other pictures instead feelings of beauty, peace, understanding, excellent list

    0
  40. 40

    The title says it all. Thanks for sharing. I’ve linked to my blog.

    0
  41. 41

    wow! i added this to my site too

    0
  42. 42

    unreal. people are so damn creative. i love it. thanks for sharing this. ill link it up on my blog

    0
  43. 43

    I really liked the tree from the picture 5 and the leap of faith of picture 9.
    Well, actually I liked them all xD

    0
  44. 44

    great post. these photoes really wake me up some fantastic mind for my website disign!!

    Inspirations , always come from the “different perspective” u think from.

    as Swimming pool and Yaw! weeeeeee !! =)

    0
  45. 45

    quite boring, visual yes, but boring.
    sorry.

    0
  46. 46

    Seriously… this post reminds me of those crappy emails that go around. Bird on a sign is obviously fake. The other photos aren’t that great. And theres no intelligent discussion as to why you guys think these are great. This is evidently a filler post. I await the next “real” post!

    0
  47. 47

    Those who criticize: you obviously don’t read the comments or have REALLY no idea about photography. Most of these pictures are indeed stunning, alhough it’s of course always quite subjective. Could you provide some links to pictures which you think are stunning! I’d like to see them!

    0
  48. 48

    Sure, I could – and then you’d see my own personal taste in photos.. Which may or may not do nothing for you. That’s really the point. There’s not a lot here but some photos someone likes – there’s nothing wrong with them – some are great… But what’s the point? These might inspire some people, but certainly not everyone. On the other hand, a post about techniques used to make certain types of photos would be useful independent of what you think of the end product – since you can learn from that, experiment with it, get something other than an idea of someone else’s taste.

    Even a post about something more specific than photos in general would be useful – photos taken at night, or portraits, or something – something to make a list like this a little more meaningful.

    0
  49. 49

    these guys rock.keep it up buddies.

    0
  50. 50

    Great selection, great photographs ;)

    Very well

    0

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