It’s that time of the year again, when The Smithsonian Magazine announces the finalists of their hotly contested photo contest. Year after year, the contest continues to blow us away with the quality of entrants, with only the cream of the crop qualifying as the 60 finalists, narrowed down from over 48,000 submissions.
The submissions are split into 6 different categories, Travel, Altered Images, Mobile, Natural World, People, and The American Experience. We here at Bored Panda have compiled a list of the finalists, which you can check out below and choose your favorites. There is still time to vote for your choice to win the Reader’s Choice prize, you have until March 26th and can do it here.
So scroll down and prepare to be dazzled by these varied and masterful shots, and contribute by voting for your favorites in each category, it will be a tough task to choose just one!
This is my favorite black skimmer photo that I have taken in all the years following a little-known colony. Every year I select a nest when the parent is on eggs, then follow that same nest until they fledge. I choose one nest because colonies are chaotic; you will miss some shots by pointing the lens at hundreds of birds. One morning I got into position and lay there for… Read More
This is my favorite black skimmer photo that I have taken in all the years following a little-known colony. Every year I select a nest when the parent is on eggs, then follow that same nest until they fledge. I choose one nest because colonies are chaotic; you will miss some shots by pointing the lens at hundreds of birds. One morning I got into position and lay there for an hour until sunrise when a parent flew in directly to feed the baby. The baby was inches away from me, so I couldn’t get the feeding photo. However, after the baby gobbled down the fish, I captured it running up to the parent and displaying the behavior pictured.
Decoratively dyed bundles of incense dry in Quang Phu Cau, a commune in Hanoi, Vietnam. In Buddhist countries like Vietnam, incense is an irreplaceable part of traditional festivals and religious ceremonies.
A seal pup enjoys the morning breeze on Düne Island in Germany.
A spotted deer stag on a cold winter morning in the forest
Sardines emerge from a coral wall in cobalt waters 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, shrinks, expands and wraps itself around any object that gets in its way. At times, it becomes a thundercloud, blocking out the sun or clapping violently as it suddenly flips its formation to evade a predator.
Countless chili peppers surround laborers in the Bogra district in the north of Bangladesh. More than 2,000 people work in almost 100 chili farms in Bogra in Bangladesh to supply local spice companies with chilies for use in their recipes. Chili peppers are a major part of the Bengali cuisine popular in Bangladesh and are used as part of a combination of spices for various meat dishes, including chicken and… Read More
Countless chili peppers surround laborers in the Bogra district in the north of Bangladesh. More than 2,000 people work in almost 100 chili farms in Bogra in Bangladesh to supply local spice companies with chilies for use in their recipes. Chili peppers are a major part of the Bengali cuisine popular in Bangladesh and are used as part of a combination of spices for various meat dishes, including chicken and beef.
This brown bear successfully captured a salmon in Kuril Lake. There is no happier bear than a bear with a fresh salmon in his mouth! The bears at Kuril Lake are in a state of hyperphaghia, meaning they are always hungry. They must gain weight before the winter’s hibernation and catch up to 40 salmon a day to achieve that.
On New Year’s Eve in 2016, a sea cliff collapsed near Kalapana on Big Island, Hawaii. A dramatic stream of lava, called a fire hose, started to shoot out of the cliff. Before the sunrise, I captured this dramatic picture, where the lava cascaded into the ocean, creating steam and lava bombs. The lava stream stopped in March 2017.
A boatman enjoys the leisure of reading a newspaper on his boat.
There are about 600 rhinos in Chitwan National Park. It was a pure adventure to follow wild rhinos in their natural habitat. The main instructions, in case a rhino ran in my direction, were to climb a tree; if there was no tree, to run zigzags. The red color of the grass comes from my imagination.
A sculptor shapes a statue from stone using his professionalism, strength, concentration, art and time.
During my stay at a Costa Rican hotel, 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.
Hippocampus denise, one of the smallest seahorses in the world, clings to the branches of a gorgonia along with shrimp that are well hidden.
A refugee of the Democratic Republic of Congo swims on his back in the waters of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro.
Niloofar is an Iranian nomad girl living in the Babanajm nomad region south of Shiraz city in Fars Province, Iran.
This picture was taken during the New Year holiday in NYC from the Roosevelt Island aerial tramway. Despite the rain, there is a festive mood in the frame. Raindrops resemble Christmas balls.
Energy travels hundreds of miles across the ocean and comes to a dramatic end when it reaches our shores.
Ronja grew up as the only girl on the remote and enigmatic island of Mykines, the westernmost of the Faroe Islands and home to some of the richest bird cliffs in the world. Her confirmation was the first to be celebrated in Mykines since 1962 because no young people had lived permanently on the island since then.
This was shot in a pool and inverted upside down.
I took this shot at Gangasagar Mela. The Gangasagar Mela is one of the biggest religious festivals of India. The patterns formed by the drying saree in the wind, as well as the light and shadow play, attracted my attention. I was able to complete it by adding the presence of a lone man.