March 4, 2015 at 4:04 pm

The 12th Annual Smithsonian Photo Contest Finalists

by twistedsifter


The finalists of the 12th Annual Photo Contest have just been announced. Selected from over 26,500 entries, these photos were submitted by photographers from 93 different countries. Smithsonian’s photo editors selected ten finalists per category—Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, Altered Images and Mobile—and it is up to you to determine the Readers’ Choice winner. The photograph that receives the most votes between now and March 30, at 5 p.m. ET, will receive a $500 cash prize and be announced alongside the Grand Prize and category winners on March 31.

The finalists range from a serene sunrise canoe in Minnesota to a train ride in Myanmar to a vicuña wandering the grasslands of the Andes. Some moments were sought out, others captured by chance. Votes are limited to one person per 24 hours.

Our friends at Smithsonian were kind enough to share a selection of the finalists in the amazing gallery below. You can see all 60 finalists at!



1. FINALIST: Natural World
Ray Collins



Light refracts through the curves of a breaking wave. (New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, July 2014, Nikon D4)



2. FINALIST: Natural World
Nicolas Reusens


© Nicolas Reusens / Photo Contest


“During my latest trip to Costa Rica I managed to photograph this beautiful snake in the worst of all situations (for the frog of course),” says Reusens. (Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica, May 2014, Canon 5D Mark III)



3. FINALIST: Travel
Brian Yen



“It’s well past midnight, and this densely packed neighborhood is dead quiet. It’s one of the largest Christian cemeteries in Hong Kong,” says Yen. “In Hong Kong, land is scarce. When you’re alive, you live in tiny little pigeon holes. When you’re dead, it doesn’t get much better.” (Hong Kong, June 2014, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III)



4. FINALIST: Travel
Jorge Fernandez


© Jorge Fernandez / Photo Contest


A girl looks out the window of a slow-moving train en route from Loikow to Yangon, Myanmar, as an old woman sleeps. (Kayah State, Myanmar, May 2014, Nikon D700)



5. FINALIST: Natural World
Kevin Morgans



A brown bear walks across an estuary. (Lake Clark National Park, Alaska, July 2014, Canon EOS-1D X)



6. FINALIST: People
Pham Ty



Women of a small village near Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam, sew a fishing net while their husbands fish. (Vinh Hy Bay, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam, November 2013, Sony NEX-6)



7. FINALIST: Travel | Photography
Sergio Carbajo Rodriguez


© Sergio Carbajo Rodriguez / Photo Contest


Young Buddhist novices play in Hsinbyume Pagoda, Myanmar. “Once the tourists leave the last boat to Mandalay, the pagoda and its terraces become the perfect playground for the kids,” says Rodriguez. (Mingun, Mandalay, Myanmar, November 2014, Nikon D600)



8. FINALIST: Americana
Kristen Keefer


© Kristen Keefer / Photo Contest


A female construction worker leans against a truck. “Leslie is a tiny little lady who works with the big dogs,” says Keefer. “Her attitude and sarcasm allow her to fit in just fine with the rough-edged construction men.” (Glenwood Springs, Colorado, October 2014)



9. FINALIST: Natural World
Alvaro Cubero Vega


© Alvaro Cubero Vega / Photo Contest


The caracolera is a common, but restless snake. “Getting a photograph of his whole body was the challenge,” says Cubero Vega. (Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, September 2014, Canon 5D Mark II)



10. FINALIST: Travel
Matjaz Krivic Reina


© Matjaz Krivic Reina / Photo Contest


Barita and friends play on the main minaret of the Grand Mosque in Bani, Burkina Faso, during Eid al-Fitr. (Bani, Burkina Faso, August 2014, Canon EOS 5D Mark II)



11. FINALIST: Americana
Olivier Douliery


© Olivier Douliery / Photo Contest


President Barack Obama stands in the Oval Office of the White House. (Washington, D.C., October 2014, Nikon D4)



12. FINALIST: Americana
Anne Marcom



Fireworks illuminate the Willamette River on the Fourth of July. “It was the first time for us watching fireworks over the Willamette River, and I didn’t know what to expect,” says Marcom. “But I was thrilled with the display.” (Independence, Oregon, July 2014, Olympus E3)



13. FINALIST: People
Viet Phuong Tran


© Viet Phuong Tran / Photo Contest


Two boys jump into a river near Nghiem Xuyen village, Vietnam, in the late afternoon. (Hanoi, Vietnam, August 2014, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II)



14. FINALIST: People
Matjaz Krivic



Onno is a teenage girl from the Arbore tribe. “Onno, like other women of the Arbore tribe, enjoys decorating herself with hundreds of beads,” says Krivic. (Omo Valley, Ethiopia, February 2012, Canon EOS 5D Mark II)



15. FINALIST: People
Ana Yturralde



A girl with albinism, the genetic condition causing an absence of pigmentation in the skin, eyes and hair, stares up in curiosity. “This was the day of the opening of one of my exhibitions about albinos. It took place in the Ethnology Museum of Valencia. Most of the attendees were parents with albino kids, and the director of the museum allowed me to take a photographic tour with the kids around the museum rooms. This little girl watched everything with big interest,” says Yturralde. “Nearly all albinos are severely visually impaired so her world is often one of only shadow and light. In this dark room, full of bright lines and their strong reflections, she could better focus her eyes looked around in curiosity at what I was photographing.” (Valencia, Spain, March 2012, Canon EOS 5D Mark II)




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