Every year, the Smithsonian.com Annual Photo Contest wows us with incredible images from around the world. The chosen pictures capture awe-inspiring scenes from nature as well as a glimpse into other cultures and their everyday lives. For its 15th year, the competition received 48,000 submissions from photographers in 155 countries and territories in six categories, including Natural World, The American Experience, Travel, People, Altered Images, and Mobile. The esteemed judges somehow narrowed this massive selection down to just 60 of the most unique and memorable photographs.
The finalists in Smithsonian.com's 15th Annual Photo Contest showcase an exciting variety of subjects. One shot, called Joy by Erika Valkovicova, features an adorable scene of a jubilant seal pup in Germany. Another image, called Boatman, is a bird's eye view of a man in India as he leisurely enjoys his newspaper on a rowboat. No matter the subject, each picture is masterfully composed and will elicit an emotional response, whether that's joy or sorrow.
Which photograph is your favorite? Now’s the chance to make your voice heard; Smithsonian.com is giving you the chance to vote for the Readers’ Choice Award until March 26, 2018. The following day, they’ll announce the Grand Prize, Readers’ Choice, and category winners and open the 16th Annual Photo Contest for submissions.
View 15 of our favorite photos, below—and don't forget to check out all of the 60 finalists on Smithsonian.com!