Smithsonian has just unveiled the finalist’s photos of the 15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest. The contest received 48,000 submissions this year from photographers in 155 countries and territories.
Voting for the Readers’ Choice winner is now open and you can head there to cast your vote by clicking the link. Readers can come back each day to vote for their preferred finalist. Voting is restricted to one vote per user per day and runs through 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on March 26.
Niloofar is an Iranian nomad girl living in the Babanajm nomad region south of Shiraz city in Fars Province, Iran.
A seal pup enjoys the morning breeze on Düne Island in Germany.
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.
Energy travels hundreds of miles across the ocean and comes to a dramatic end when it reaches our shores.
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.
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.
ATVs driving fast and furious in the deserts of Southern California. Aerial image (photographed from a plane at sunset).
When I went to take photos of an apartment, I saw a woman through market umbrellas.
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.
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.
Hippocampus denise, one of the smallest seahorses in the world, clings to the branches of a gorgonia along with shrimp that are well hidden.
In northern Vietnam, people come to the weekly market to exchange goods and culture. They usually wake up very early to go to market and have breakfast here.
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.
Mountaineers witness totality of the 2017 eclipse on the highest mountain in its path, 13,809′ Gannett Peak. Deep in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, reaching the summit requires two days of backpacking, a 12+ hour climb day, and crossing two glaciers.