Deadline for Smithsonian Photo Contest Draws Near

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A magical moment at the Haystack Rock, Andy Bokanev (Seattle, WA), Photographed May 2009, Cannon Beach, OR, Finalist in the Altered Images Category in the 7th Annual Contest
A magical moment at the Haystack Rock, Andy Bokanev (Seattle, WA), Finalist in the Altered Images Category in the 7th Contest

For the 8th year in a row Smithsonian Magazine is holding a photo contest that draws entries from around the world. The quality, depth and breadth of the finalist and winning photographs is stunning, and offers not only a look at the world around us, but at the people who make the photographs.

While the photographs take front stage, keep in mind that not everyone who takes them is a professional photographer. The only requirement for entering the contest is being 18 or older.

The deadline is looming — you have until December 1st to submit a photo in one of five categories:

Americana—Events, objects or activities connecting the American people to their history or their cultural heritage.

The Natural World—Animals, plants and landscapes; geological or climatological features; and scientific processes and endeavors.

People—Individuals from all walks of life.

Altered Images—Photographs manipulated for artistic purposes by applying digital and/or traditional special effects (i.e. colorizing, toning, collage, photo composites, HDR, etc.).

Travel—Locales, peoples or activities in the United States and abroad that convey a sense of place.

Workers on a refinery tank, Garret Suhrie (Los Angeles, CA), Photographed February 2007, Roswell, NM, Finalist in the People Category in the 7th Annual Contest
Workers on a refinery tank, Garret Suhrie (Los Angeles, CA), Photographed February 2007, Roswell, NM, Finalist in the People Category in the 7th Annual Contest

Click here for the complete rules and how to enter. Each of the category winners gets $500 as does the Readers’ Choice winner. The Grand Prize winner gets a Grand Canyon vacation.

What are the judges looking for? “Technical quality, clarity and composition are all important, but so too is a flair for the unexpected and the ability to capture a picture-perfect moment.” In other words, your eye and your heart and the way you look at the world are going to matter as much as your technical proficiency.

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