“The Smithsonian.com photo contest provides our viewers with an exciting visual archive of the world through an amazingly diverse lens,” said Molly Roberts, chief photography editor of
Smithsonian magazine, via e-mail. Since 2003 the publication has collected 329,880 images, then geotagged more than 265 thousand of them to 231 countries/territories and 16,481 cities.
Through 11:59 p.m. on March 21, 2016, readers can vote for their favorites among 70 finalists spread across seven categories, such as the American Experience, Natural World, or (new this year) Sustainable Travel. Winners will be announced on March 22.
Cast your vote here.
This was taken during a festival parade in Nice, France. A little Spider Man was not afraid of the monster.
Category: Travel | Location: Nice, France.
Remaining on the Slopes of Mount Sinabung
Volcanic material flowing from Mount Sinabung, as seen from the village of Jeraya, North Sumatra, Indonesia on June 26, 2015. Indonesia's Mount Sinabung intermittently spewed burning ash and gas, a week after authorities told residents to evacuate the danger zone that lay within a radius of seven kilometers (4.4 miles).
Category: Natural World | Location: North Sumatra, Indonesia
Photographer: Albert Ivan Damanik
One of a series called
Leave Only Pawprints: Urbex Adventures With My Bull Terrier Claire. Category: Altered | Location: An Abandoned Train in Belgium
Photographer: Alice van Kempen
Young Love in Mexico
A couple embraces on a carnival ride at La Fería de Guanajuato, a state fair held annually and attended by half a million people on some nights.
Category: Travel | Location: León, Guanajuato, Mexico
Under the Aurora
Canoeing under a star-filled sky splashed with the aurora borealis is one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences of a wilderness canoe trip. Day 191 of a seven-month solo canoe journey taken by the photographer.
Category: Sustainable Travel | Location: Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada
Photographer: Gary L. Fiedler
In China, the subway is the most impossible place to be alone.
Category: Mobile | Location: Shanghai
Photographer: Jungeng Wang
The Washing Machine
Taken from a quadcopter over the start of the three-mile La Jolla Rough Water Swim, otherwise known as the Gatorman, one of the top ocean races in the United States. Swimmers line up in the cove shoulder-to-shoulder. At the sound of the horn, they all jump into the water and swim as fast as they can to distance themselves from the group.
Category: Altered | Location: San Diego
Photographer: Kevin Dillard
Two girls prepare for the Gajan festival, at which they will perform a play based on Indian mythology.
Category: People | Location: Baghnapara, Bardhaman, West Bengal, India
Photographer: Krishnasis Ghosh
Truck driver Ben Blackburn, 46, participates in a Bible study session at the Transport For Christ mobile chapel on Oct. 23, 2013. TFC chaplains helped Blackburn enroll in trucking school after he lost his job during the recent economic recession.
Category: The American Experience | Location: Lodi, Ohio
Photographer: Lauren Pond
Lightning bugs blinking synchronously in almost complete darkness in an image taken using the latest low-light camera technology.
Category: Altered | Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tenn.
Photographer: Radim Schreiber
A scene from the annual wildebeest migration.
Category: Sustainable Travel | Location: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Narok County, Kenya
Photographer: Ricardo Cisneros
Ross Sea Pancake Ice
Pancake ice viewed from a vessel during late summer in the Ross Sea.
Category: Natural World | Location: Antarctica
Photographer: Sam Edmonds
The Frame of Creativity
The craze for theater is still alive in Kolkata, where an actor prepares for a stage performance.
Category: Travel | Location: Cooch Behar, West Bengal, India
Photographer: Sujan Sarkar
A school in Likoni, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Mombasa, Kenya, that provides opportunities for 150 children, as well as a building for 30 orphan kids to sleep in. Here is the school director's daughter on a break in a classroom in spring 2014.
Category: Sustainable Travel | Location: Likoni, Mombasa, Kenya
Three Black Cows
After evening rain is followed by a foggy morning, the sun rises over the autumn plain to reveal three black cows through the mist.
Category: Travel | Location: Staraya Erikla, Ulyanovsk, Russian Federation
Photographer: Valery Romanov