Smithsonian Photo Contest Finalists Are Stunning In Totally Different Ways

Smithsonian Photo Contest Finalists Are Stunning In Totally Different Ways
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Smithsonian Magazine has just announced the absolutely incredible finalists in what is now its 10th annual photography contest. Here are some of our favourites; they will take your breath away.

Smithsonian was forced to narrow down over 37,600 submissions from photographers in 112 different countries to the mere 50 you can see in full here. Voting for the Readers Choice winner will be open to the public through March 29, and the final winners will be announced in coming months. Disagree with our picks? You can vote for yourself right over on the Smithsonian website.

Alternating Rice Plots in Bascon Valley by Hai Thinh Hoang: For this shot, the photographer had to climb a mountain for two hours and reach an altitude of 617m.

Picture: Hai Thinh Hoang

Visiting the Bronx Zoo by Vanessa Bartlett: As the photographer was taking shots of his habit, this gorilla skipped over to her and watched her watching him for an entire half hour.

Picture: Vanessa Bartlett

An Onlooker Witnesses the Annular Solar Eclipse as the Sun Sets on May 20, 2012, by Colleen Pinski: In explaining her photo, the photographer was inspired by the eclipse because “anyone can look at it and feel touched by a ‘beyond this world’ experience.”

Picture: Colleen Pinski

The Milky Way Galaxy Exploding from Mount Rainier by David Morrow: “The stars almost looked as though they were erupting from the mountain and I knew this was a moment in time that I had to capture,” says the photographer.

Picture: David Morrow

Rice Terraces Close to Harvest Season by Vo Anh Kiet: Hundreds of photographers congregate at these ready-for-harvest rice terraces each year to attempt to capture the grain’s blossoming.

Picture: Vo Anh Kiet

Monks Releasing Lanterns During Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai, Thailand, by Daniel Nahabedian: By releasing the lanterns, these monks are hoping their negative thoughts will be carried away, as well, allowing them to fully focus on the future.

Picture: Daniel Nahabedian