The winners of the 17th Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest show slices of life from around the world. From Vietnam to Antarctica, these photographers use their cameras to document important moments in time.
This year's winning, taken in Hanoi by British photographer Jon Enoch, is especially telling. Enoch traveled to Vietnam in order to capture the bikers who transport heaps of merchandise piled on their motorbikes. His photo of one driver expertly balancing pet fish on the back of his bike won him first prize. It's an image that crystallizes a tradition, one that may not exist for much longer. Hanoi has plans to ban motorbikes by 2030 to cut down on emissions, something that is wonderful for the environment but will certainly change how business gets done.
Other winning photographs focus on a different type of change, specifically environmental evolutions. Conor Ryan won the Natural World category for his striking photo of an Adélie penguin perched on an iceberg in Antarctica. As sea ice shrinks due to warmer temperatures, these penguins are losing their habitat. In fact, over the past 25 years, their population has shrunk by 65%.
Natnattcha Chaturapitamorn's winning photograph of an ice tower in Greenland tells a similar tale. Located in Disko Bay, the spire of ice is photographed as it reflects the beautiful colors of the sunset. The incredible aesthetics of the photograph, however, don't hide the fact that Greenland is experiencing record levels of ice melt. This could spell disaster for the island, which sees three-quarters of its land covered by this ice.
Check out more of the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest winners below; and, if you're interested, submissions are already open for next year's contest.
The winning photos of the 17th Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest highlight life around the world.