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The 14th Annual 2016 Smithsonian Photo Contest is OPEN! In 2003, the Smithsonian Institute initiated an annual photography contest offering cash prizes in multiple categories. The 14th annual contest started March 22, 2016, and concludes November 30, 2016. The contest is open to photographers who 18 years old or older. Last year, the Smithsonian received over 46,000 submissions from photographers in 168 countries and territories. Some of the entries are simply stunning. Click here to see the winners and finalists from the 2015 13th annual contest.

Mojave National Preserve

Smithsonian Photo Contest Categories

There are six (6) contest categories in the 14th annual contest taken from a variety of subjects that are of special interest to The Smithsonian;

  1. Natural World: Animals, plants and landscapes; geological or climatological features; and scientific processes and endeavors.
  2. Travel: Locales, peoples or activities in the United States and abroad that convey a sense of place.
  3. People: Individuals from all walks of life.
  4. The American Experience: Events, objects or activities connecting the American people to their history or their cultural heritage; photographs that tell us what it means to be an American and provide a sense of what it is like to live in this country.
  5. Altered Images: Photographs manipulated for artistic purposes by applying digital and/or traditional special effects (i.e., colorizing, toning, collage, photo composites, HDR, etc.).
  6. Mobile: The Smithsonian will award a prize to the best photograph submitted in any of the other categories that was taken with a mobile device (phone or tablet).
  7. Sustainable Travel: This is a special category recognizes a photographer who demonstrates leadership and an active commitment to travel for environmentally responsible purposes, generating positive social, economic, or environmental outcomes in the local communities traveled to and ensuring the destination remains an attractive place to live, work and visit for future generations.

Photo Contest Prizes

  • Grand Prize: $2,500
  • Category winners: $500
  • Readers’ Choice: $500
  • Mobile Photography: $500
  • Sustainable Travel: see website for details

Click here for the Smithsonian Photo Contest rules.

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