10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Every year, Smithsonian Magazine launches a photo contest culling the most amazing images from a globe's worth of submissions. Here are our ten favorites from the pool of finalists.

Photograph by Graham McGeorge (Jacksonville, Florida). FINALIST: Natural World

McGeorge spent a quiet 6 hours trying to get the perfect image of this eastern screech owl out of its nest. (Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, April 2013, Canon 1D Mark III)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Christopher Doherty (North Palm Beach, Florida). FINALIST: Natural World

Breath at sunset, captures a sea turtle at a dive site called Black Rock. (Kāʻanapali, Hawaiʻi, August 2013, Nikon D7000)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Ken Lee (Lake Balboa, California). FINALIST: Travel | VOTE FOR THE READERS' CHOICE WINNER

Ricardo Breceda's sculpture garden. Lee waited for a moonless night to capture the Milky Way, and he light painted the sculptures to "conjure up a sort of 1950s sci-fi movie feel, with two atomic creatures doing battle under the stars." (Borrego Springs, California, August 2013, Nikon D7000)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Nidal Adnan Kibria (Dhaka, Bangladesh). FINALIST: Travel

Action Hero. As part of a show called "Well of Death," a biker performs a stunt at a village fair to celebrate Rath Jatra, a Hindu festival.
(Dhamrai, Bangladesh, June 2012, Lumix FZ 100)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Nidal Adnan Kibria (Dhaka, Bangladesh). FINALIST: Travel

Action Hero. As part of a show called "Well of Death," a biker performs a stunt at a village fair to celebrate Rath Jatra, a Hindu festival.
(Dhamrai, Bangladesh, June 2012, Lumix FZ 100)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Candy Feng (Starkville, Mississippi). FINALIST: People

Feng's son is dwarfed by the looming majesty of a glacier at Fjallsárlón. "I stood there for a while, contemplating and admiring. I wanted to remember that moment forever," says Feng. (Fjallsárlón Glacier, Iceland, June 2013, Canon 40D)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Mark Kaplan (Carrollton, Texas). FINALIST: Americana

Dust swirls around citizens of Black Rock City as they peek into the "Black Rock Bijou Theatre," an art installation at the 2013 Burning Man festival. (Black Rock City, Nevada, August 2013, Nikon D7100)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Carol Lynne Fowler (Seeley Lake, Montana). FINALIST: Americana

A champion bronco bucks a champion rider at the Helmville Rodeo. (Helmville, Montana, September 2013, Canon 5D Mark III)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Nicolas Reusens (Madrid, Spain). FINALIST: Altered Images

A red-eyed tree frog underwater. (El Arenal, Costa Rica, March 2013, Canon 5D Mark III)


10 Incredible Images From This Year's Smithsonian Photo Contest

Photograph by Michael Frank (Rochester, New York). FINALIST: Altered Images

Frank says what strikes him most about this image of the abandoned Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church is, "the sense of stillness. A stillness marked by anticipation, not unlike the stillness felt in a theater between acts." (Detroit, Michigan, October 2013, Canon 7D)


You can view the rest of the finalists, and vote on the Reader's Choice winner here!