Spectacular Winners of Smithsonian’s 14th Annual Photo Contest

Ramadan Prayers
© Pradeep Raja Kannaiah. All rights reserved.
This shot is of women praying inside Istiqlal Mosque during the month of Ramadan.
Grand Prize

The votes have been tallied and the winners are in! After receiving a staggering 48,000 submissions, the 14th Annual Photo Contest has just announced the talented photographers who took the top prizes in their competition. Year after year, it remains one of our favorite photo contests because of the unique perspectives it showcases from across the world—2016 saw entries from 146 countries and territories. From this wide selection, the judges pared down the images to 70 finalists and now nine winners, including the coveted Readers’ Choice.

This year, photographer Pradeep Raja Kannaiah was awarded the Grand Prize for his image titled Ramadan Prayers. The photo, which was also a Travel category finalist, features a shot of women praying inside of the Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque during Ramadan. But rather than being a straightforward photo, Kannaiah has created a palpable sense of motion by using a subtle double exposure effect. As the women stand up and down, traces of their past movements are visible in the shot, as if there are ghosts standing beside them.

You can see all of the winners and finalists of’s 14th Annual Photo Contest here. And if you’re eager to enter next year’s competition, now’s your chance—the 15th Annual Photo Contest is now open for submissions. Good luck!

Check out the spectacular winners of’s 14th Annual Photo Contest. photo contest winners 2017

Look Me in the Eye
© Prelena Soma Owen. All rights reserved.
I am always looking for unique ways to showcase the beauty of elephants in the hope that it will make a difference in the way they are viewed and appreciated. This image was taken when a herd of elephants came down to the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana for an afternoon drink. The opportunity presented itself as the the trunk of the elephant in the foreground framed the eye of the elephant in the background. I focused on the eye, and with some creative cropping, was very pleased with the final result.
Natural World Category Winner

smithsonian photos

© Alina Rudya. All rights reserved
A man bikes by a Peter Hazel sculpture at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada.
Mobile Category Winner photo contest winners 2017

Resting in an NYC Laundry Room
© Milan Sach. All rights reserved.
This photograph is of a woman in an NYC laundry room. It seems like she’s recalling something that recently happened to her. The subject is defeated, hurt and exhausted from this cycle she is in, like the cycle of a washing machine.
Readers’ Choice Winner photo contest winners 2017

Before the Portrait
© Stephanie Foden. All rights reserved.
Lila Chosa sits on the side porch of her house while her family and friend get ready for a portrait behind her. Lila’s grandmother, Heart Warrior, has spent years battling to keep custody of her grandchildren in Minnesota. It’s part of a long history of Native American removal and resistance.
The American Experience Category Winner

smithsonian photos

A Man Looks Out the Door
© Greta Rybus. All rights reserved.
In this image, a man is looking out a door that just hours before led to his family’s bedroom. The tide was particularly high that day, and because of rising sea levels, the sea had risen high enough to chew away at the home. The back rooms crumbled into the sea while his family carried their belongings out the front door. Several homes fell into the sea that morning. In an overpopulated community like Guet Ndar, the fishing village in Saint Louis, Senegal, many families may live in one home. So the loss of a home is particularly impactful.
Sustainable Travel Category Winner

photo contest

Step by Step
© João Borges. All rights reserved.
I was surprised when I saw this old shoemaker shop with two workers, one of them a young woman doing a job usually done by older men. The look in her eyes is as strong and heavy as her work.
People Category Winner photo contest winners 2017

Individual Communication
© Peter Nutkins. All rights reserved.
Commuters on the London Underground are communicating. They are not communicating with each other, but across the world from their cell-like positions on the platform.
Travel Category Winner

photo contest

© Jim Mneymneh. All rights reserved.
Dance improvisation in the studio.
Altered Images Category Winner 14th Annual Photo Contest: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Smithsonian Magazine.

The post Spectacular Winners of Smithsonian’s 14th Annual Photo Contest appeared first on My Modern Met.

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