The finalists of the 13th Annual Smithsonian Photo Competition have been announced. Each year, Smithsonian Magazine hosts a photography competition, with this year’s contest yielding over 46,000 entries sent in from 168 countries. Among the participants, 10 finalists have been chosen for each category in this 12th annual competition in each of the following categories: The Natural World, Travel, People, The American Experience, Altered Images, and Mobile. Captions were written by the photographers.
New development. “Little boxes” about to be built in a newly constructed development just north of Rio Vista, California. Photographed by Jassen Todorov.
The Little Jumping Spider. A jumping spider, smaller than a chocolate chip, sits on a begonia flower petal. I did not travel far and wide, or to any remote corners of the Earth, to capture this photo. I actually took it in my hometown of Tewksbury, New Jersey. Not glamorous, I know. But the reality is, some of the most magnificent and beautiful creatures can be found right in your own backyard. Photographed by Barbara Storms.
Canoeing Under the Aurora. In 2014, I completed a 221-day solo canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Quetico Provincial Park. I had been dreaming of such an adventure for many years, dreams inspired by memories of incredible scenes such as this. This photograph captures a moment of generous reward for having overcome many challenges along my journey. For three hours, the undulating curtain of green and red spikes created an awesome, mesmerizing spectacle best viewed in silence and reverence. The image inspires new adventures and a strong desire to protect wilderness areas everywhere. Photographed by Gary Fiedler.
Streets Is Watchin’. On December 13, 2014, nationwide actions against police killings and racial profiling included a “Millions March” that drew tens of thousands to the streets of New York City. It was the largest single protest of the post-Ferguson movement and the culmination of daily actions in New York City since a grand jury elected not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner. Photographed by Saundi Wilson.
Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag. This is a yellow-headed jawfish male that incubates its eggs (or its brood) in its mouth. That’s right-the male carries the babies. In the beginning, the jawfish is able to swallow the eggs, keeping them hidden, and occasionally spits them out to grab a bite, then sucks them back in, all in one gulp. It is fascinating to watch, and quite a challenge. The challenge gets tougher as the brood develops and gets larger. What was so sweet though was that after about an hour of observation with this little fish, he accepted that I was not a predator and that my presence could actually protect him. Soon he became comfortable and almost even proud to show off his family to be. Photographed by Suzan Meldonian near the Blue Heron Bridge in Florida.
Women’s Compartment of a Suburban Train. Every day 7.5 million people make use of the suburban trains in Mumbai. Therefore, it is the biggest suburban network of the world. Almost every train has separate compartments for women to avoid sexual abuse. Photographed by Tamina-Florentine Zuch in Mumbai, India
Elko, NV. I was on the last leg of my cross country drive from Chicago to Davis, California, with my girlfriend. We walked around Elko at night looking at all the retro neon hotel signs when I saw this bench next to this mundane ad for Airgas and was immediately reminded of a bizarre Edward Hopper setting. I told my girlfriend to go sit on the bench and look up into the sky as if waiting for something. Photographer: Maximilian Canepa.
Ross Sea Pancake Ice. “Pancake Ice” as seen from a vessel during late summer in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Photographed by Sam Edmonds.
Sun Head. My garden has many flowers, and every day red squirrels come to visit. I am almost always ready to take some shots of these wonderful animals. Photographed by Geert Weggen in Bispgården, Sweden.
female red squirrel standing under flower
The Smithsonian magazine is was founded by former Life editors in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., so it naturally has this sort of National Geographic vibe.