15 Amazing Finalists from the 15th Annual Smithsonian Photo Contest

Smithsonian has just announced the finalists of the 15th Annual Photo Contest. This year, the race received 48,000 submissions from photographers in 155 countries and provinces. From dynamic portraits to breathtaking sceneries, these 60 images stood out to their photo editors as unique and memorable.

Voting for the Readersa

Choice win is now open. Readers can come back every day to vote for their favorite finalist. Voting is limited to one vote per user per period and runs through 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on March 26.

Smithsonian will announce the Grand Prize, Readersa

Choice, and six category wins (< em> Natural environment, The American Experience, Travel, People, Altered Images, Mobile ); as well as open up their 16 th Annual Photo Contest on Tuesday, March 27.


A( c) SEYED MOHAMMAD SADEGH HOSSEINI. All rights reserved.

Niloofar is an Iranian nomad girl living in the Babanajm nomad region south of Shiraz city in Fars Province, Iran.


A( c) Erika Valkovicova. All rights reserved.

A seal pup enjoys the morning breeze on DA1/ 4ne Island in Germany.

Ray of Zeus

A( c) florent mamelle. All rights reserved.

On New Yeara

s Eve in 2016, a sea cliff collapsed near Kalapana on Big Island, Hawaii. A dramatic river of lava, called a burn hose, started to shoot out of the cliff. Before the sunup, I captured this dramatic video, where the lava cascaded into the ocean, creating steam and lava bombs. The lava stream stopped in March 2017.


A( c) Debashis Mukherjee. All rights reserved.

A boatman enjoys the leisure of reading a newspaper on his boat.

Pinnacle of Existence

A( c) Oreon Strusinski. All rights reserved.

Energy travellings hundreds of miles across the ocean and comes to a dramatic objective where reference is reaches our shores.


A( c) Thomas Chadwick. All rights reserved.

This is my favorite black skimmer photo that I have taken in all the years following a little-known colony. Every time I select a nest when the mother is on eggs, then follow that same nest until they fledge. I choose one nest because settlements are chaotic; you are able to miss some shootings by pointing the lens at hundreds of birds. One morning I got into position and lay there for an hour until sunup when a mother wing in immediately to feed the child. The baby was inches away from me, so I couldna

t get the feeding photo. Nonetheless, after the baby gobbled down the fisheries sector, I captured it running up to the mother and displaying the behavior pictured.

Red Chili Pepper Pickers

A( c) Azim Khan Ronnie. All rights reserved.

Countless chili pepper surround laborers in the Bogra district in the north of Bangladesh. More than 2,000 people work in virtually 100 chili farms in Bogra in Bangladesh to furnish local spice companies with chilies for use in their recipes. Chili peppers are a major part of the Bengali cuisine popular in Bangladesh and exist as part of a combination of spices for various meat dishes, including chicken and beef.

In the Desert

A( c) Jassen Todorov. All rights reserved.

ATVs driving fast and furious in the wilderness of Southern California. Aerial image( photographed from a plane at sundown ).

Umbrella Market

A( c) Thanh Tran. All rights reserved.

When I went to take photos of an apartment, I considered a woman through market umbrellas.

Sardines in the Sun

A( c) Giacomo Marchione. All rights reserved.

Sardines originating from a coral wall up cobalt water just a few yards from the shores of Cebu Island in the Philippines. They move in a single undulating cloud of silver that twists, turns, diminishes, expands and wrappings itself around any object that get in its behavior. At hours, it becomes a thundercloud, blocking out the sunshine or clapping violently as it abruptly flips its formation to sidestepped a predator.

Making Incense

A( c) Tran Tuan Viet. All rights reserved.

Decoratively dyed sheaves of incense dry in Quang Phu Cau, a commune in Hanoi, Vietnam. In Buddhist countries like Vietnam, fragrance is an irreplaceable part of traditional festivals and religion ceremonies.


A( c) ALEX VARANI. All rights reserved.

Hippocampus denise, one of the smallest seahorses in the world, clings to the branches of a gorgonia along with shrimp that are well hidden.

Breakfast at the Weekly Market

A( c) Thong Huu. All rights reserved.

In northern Vietnam, people come to the weekly market to exchange goods and culture. They usually wake up very early to go to marketplace and have breakfast here.

The Window

A( c) Salvador ColvA( c) e Nebot. All rights reserved.

During my stay at a Costa Rican inn, I noticed that red-eyed tree frogs flooded the gardens. As I approached this frog, it climbed into one of the holes in a leaf, as if it were sticking out a window.

Summit Eclipse

A( c) Jason Hatfield. All rights reserved.

Mountaineers witness totality of the 2017 overshadow on the highest mountain in its route, 13,809 a

2 Gannett Peak. Deep in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, reaching the summit requires two days of backpacking, a 12+ hour climbing period, and crossing two glaciers.

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