An inspiring collection of contestants for the Smithsonian Photo Contest.
Alternating Rice Plots in Bascon Valley by Hai Thinh Hoang: For this shot, the photographer had to climb a mountain for two hours and reach an altitude of 617 meters.
Image: Hai Thinh Hoang
Visiting the Bronx Zoo by Vanessa Bartlett: As the photographer was taking shots of his habit, this gorilla skipped over to her and watched her watching him for an entire half hour.
An Onlooker Witnesses the Annular Solar Eclipse as the Sun Sets on May 20, 2012 by Colleen Pinski: In explaining her photo, the photographer was inspired by the eclipse because “anyone can look at it and feel touched by a ‘beyond this world’ experience.”
The Milky Way Galaxy Exploding from Mount Rainier by David Morrow: “The stars almost looked as though they were erupting from the mountain and I knew this was a moment in time that I had to capture,” says the photographer.
Rice Terraces Close to Harvest Season by Vo Anh Kiet: Hundreds of photographers congregate at these ready-for-harvest rice terraces each year to attempt to capture the grain’s blossoming.
Monks Releasing Lanterns During Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai, Thailand by Daniel Nahabedian: By releasing the lanterns, these monks are hoping their negative thoughts will be carried away, as well, allowing them to fully focus on the future.