Smithsonian Magazine has enjoyed a long (and well-deserved) reputation for its mind-boggling photography. Their social media is similarly adorned with amazing professional photos. But once per year, Smithsonian lets the amateurs take a shot. Today, we’re looking at the magazine’s annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest, and there are a surprising number of amateur photos that placed in the competition. The contest received more than 47,000 entries. What an Herculean job it must have been to review and judge them!
As with most photography contests, there is an over all winner, as well as a Readers’ Choice award and category winners. The categories are Mobile, Altered Images, The American Experience, Travel, People, and the Natural World. They seem deceptively simple, but the contestants’ interpretation of those categories varies wildly. I cannot overstate how much enjoyment I got out of scrolling through the contests finalists’ photos. What amazing images!