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Finalists of Smithsonian Photo Contest Revealed

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Despite the numerous advances in camera technology, we still struggle to take a decent photo. We have an extensive collection of blurry photographs taken at gigs where, frankly, it could be Rick Astley or The Jackson 5 duetting with Elvis up there for all we can tell.

But, fortunately, there are a lot of people who are rather skilled with a camera in their hands, as this incredible selection of photos demonstrates. They are 15 of the finalists of the Smithsonian.com Annual Photo Contest - now in its 12th year. The 26,500 entries received have been whittled down to ten finalists per category - Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, Altered Images and Mobile - with photographers from 93 different countries represented.

The Readers' Choice winner will be selected by the public - head to Smithsonian.com to vote for your favourite (one vote allowed every 24 hours) before 30 March. The triumphant entry will be announced on 31 March, alongside the category winners.

Take a look at a selection of 15 below, and marvel at some breathtaking images - click on each one to enlarge.


2015 Smithsonian.com Annual Photo Contest Finalists

 

Image: Matjaz Krivic (Ljubljana, Slovenia). Taken: Bani, Burkina Faso

"This photo was taken at the suburban village. At the end of the day, the children went swimming at the river at of the end the village"


Image: Brian Yen (Hong Kong). Taken: Hong Kong

"Densely packed christian cemetary in Hong Kong."


Image: Ana Yturralde (Valencia, Spain). Taken: Beneficencia (Ethnology Museum of Valencia), Valencia, Spain

"An albino child attends an exhibition about albinos at the Ethnology Museum of Valencia."


Image: Anne Marcom (McMinnville, Oregon). Taken: Independence, Oregon

"July 4th celebration on the bank of the Willamette River in Independence, Oregon."


Image: Matjaz Krivic (Ljubljana, Slovenia). Taken: Ommo Valley, Ethiopia

"Onno, a teenage girl from the Arbore tribe."


Image: Kevin Morgans (Wirral Peninsula, Cheshire, U.K.). Taken: Lake Clark National Park, Alaska

"Grizzly bear walking in an estuary in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska."


Image: Pham Ty (Vietnam). Taken: Vinh Hy bay, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

"Sewing the fishing net"


Image: Ray Collins (Sydney, Australia). Taken: New South Wales, Australia

"Light refracts through the curves of a breaking wave."


Image: Olivier Douliery (Arlington, Virginia). Taken: Washington, DC

"U.S. President Barack Obama stands in the Oval Office of the White House October 7, 2014 in Washington, DC."


Image: Kristen Keefer (Glenwood Springs, Colorado). Taken: Glenwood Springs, Colorado

"Leslie is a tiny little lady who works with the big dogs. Her attitude and sarcasm allows her to fit in just fine with the rough edged construction men."


Image: Jorge Fernandez (Spain). Taken: Kayah State, Myanmar

"Girl looking out the window of a slow train, while an old woman sleeps."


Image: Alvaro Cubero Vega (Costa Rica). Taken: Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

"This is a harmless snake but very restless, getting out a photograph of his whole body was the challenge."


Image: Nicolas Reusens (Madrid, Spain). Taken: Near the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

"A snake swallows an unlucky frog."


Image: Sergio Carbajo Rodriguez (La Garriga, Spain). Taken: Hsinbyume Pagoda, Myanmar

"Young buddhist novices playing in Hsinbyume Pagoda, Myanmar."


Image: Viet Phuong Tran (Hanoi, Vietnam). Taken: Thuong Tin, Hanoi, Vietnam

"On the village river"


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