Some “Featured Entries” and “Editors’ Pick” from the Smithsonian’s 17th Annual Photo Contest
The Solitary Tree of Lake Wanaka
The iconic solitary tree at Lake Wanaka, South Island (NZ). A picture of inanimate stoical quality that’s awe-inspiring. I hope this amazing tree survives the onslaught of attention from being famous, so may future generations can enjoy this natural landmark.
by Jensen Chua
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Cowboy by Denis Karasev
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Rush Hour in Ho Chi Minh City
Got stuck in a traffic jam at one intersection in Ho Chi Minh City, normally it is after working time about 5pm to 7pm. So many motorbikes with several vehicles, but no higher overpass are reasons that make traffic jams in this city.
by Huynh Thanh Huy
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Stepping Out of the Shadows
A woman carrying a striped black and white umbrella passes some gates.
by Laurence Bouchard
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Thousands of Volkswagen and Audi cars sit idle in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert. Models manufactured from 2009 to 2015 were designed to cheat emissions tests mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Following the scandal, Volkswagen recalled millions of cars. Aerial image (photographed from a plane).
by Jassen Todorov
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Smithsonian magazine and Smithsonian.com place a Smithsonian lens on the world, looking at the topics and subject matters researched, studied and exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution — science, history, art, popular culture and innovation — and chronicling them every day for our diverse readership.
I would like to see your photos of doors. The image can include doors made of any material such as wood, metal and glass. They could be close-ups of doors or a wider view, but photos must have the door as the focus. Entries can be in black and white or colour.
Rua de Santa Maria, Fuchal – chicken door
by Peter Samwell
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Meet the photographer behind the grand prize—winning photo and learn how it was taken.
On a stormy spring day, crisp winds blew across the snowy peaks outside Upernavik, Greenland. Locals considered the balmy -30°C temperature a warm March evening, so they scampered to run errands under the setting sun. Photographer Weimin Chu had settled on a slope near the airport with views of colorful homes below.
Hoping to photograph a person strolling or children playing in the landscape, he was excited to see a small family making their way under the streetlights instead. Working with precision in the low light, he captured the image he had envisioned—and the grand prize of the 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest.
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Photographer Weimin Chu describes the “wow moment” that led to his stunning image.
more by Sarah Polger at National Geographic
“In this contest I would like to see your photos which look like the type of image shown on picture postcards found all over the world in souvenir shops. The photo can be taken in any location, but should look like a photo on a postcard.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson, credited as a pioneer in street photography, gave us the concept of the “decisive moment” in image making. Of his transition as an artist from painting to photography, he said, “I suddenly understood that a photograph could fix eternity in an instant.” For our Street Scene 2019 Photo Contest, we want to see your best photographs that capture a candid moment, an interaction of people, places, forms and light that tell a unique story.