Smithsonian Travel Photography Contest | Voting Now Open

Warning: These will give you serious wanderlust

The Smithsonian Magazine Nature & Travel Photography Contest is one of the world’s most prestigious competitions. Every year the team receives thousands of submissions from snappers all over the world – this year they had “over 46,000 submissions from photographers in 168 countries and territories”.

They then face the unenviable task of whittling them down to 70 finalists across seven categories. This year the photos are divided into The American Experience, The Natural World, Travel, Sustainable Travel, People, Altered Images and Mobile.

“This year they had over 46,000 submissions from photographers in 168 countries and territories”

We’ve picked a few of our favourites from across the categories here to give you a flavour of what’s on offer. For the full list of finalists and to vote for the Reader’s Choice award head to before 21st March. The winners will be announced on 22nd.

Three Black Cows | Valery Romanov | Staraya Erikla, Ulyanovsk, Russia | "After evening rain and a foggy morning, the sun rose over the autumn plain, and three black cows appeared through the mist."
Leather Tannery | Natalia Ciobanu | Fez, Morocco | A leather worker lays out skins to dry in the sun
Lake Powell | Rick Wilking | Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, None, United States | A nearly-empty lake affected by the drought in the Western US
Spiderman Fights the Dragon | Adam Wong | Nice, France | Shot during a festival, this shows a little spiderman who’s afraid of nothing
Taking the Plunge | Ricardo Cisneros | Maasai Mara National Reserve, Narok County, Kenya | "I had the desire to photograph the wildebeest after reading about their great migration and how they face dangers in their journey. To me, sustainable travel is about never leaving behind things that can harm or change a delicate environment."
New Development | Jassen Todorov | Rio Vista, California, United States | A new property development waiting for the builders to move in.
Red China | Jian Wang | Beijing, China | A lady in red dress walks in front of a red wall
Summer Nights | Navid Baraty | Bryant Park, New York, United States | New Yorkers assemble with picnic blankets in Bryant Park for a movie night.
Catching the Sunset | Tuan Nguyen Manh | Da Nang, Vietnam | A fisherman casts his net in front of the setting sun
Women’s Compartment, Mumbai Train | Tamina-Florentine Zuch | Mumbai, India | Almost every suburban train in Mumbai has a separate women’s compartment to avoid sexual harassment
Cross to Bear | Nick Ng | San Pedro, Pampanga, Philippines | A devotee re-enacts one of the 14 stations of the cross. “Most of the devotees perform these morning rites for personal penance and self atonement”
Young Love | Eric Burg | León Guanajuato, Mexico | A couple embracing on a fairground ride
In the Midst of Monks | Wan Shun Luk | Larung Gar, Sêrtar, China | "The Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Sêrtar, China, is the biggest Buddhist settlement in the world and home to as many as 40,000 monks and nuns."
Canoeing Under the Aurora | Gary Fiedler | Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada | “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.”

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