It's that time of the year again, when The Smithsonian Magazine announces the finalists of their hotly contested photo contest. Year after year, the contest continues to blow us away with the quality of entrants, with only the cream of the crop qualifying as the 60 finalists, narrowed down from over 48,000 submissions.

The submissions are split into 6 different categories, Travel, Altered Images, Mobile, Natural World, People, and The American Experience. We here at Bored Panda have compiled a list of the finalists, which you can check out below and choose your favorites. There is still time to vote for your choice to win the Reader's Choice prize, you have until March 26th and can do it here.

So scroll down and prepare to be dazzled by these varied and masterful shots, and contribute by voting for your favorites in each category, it will be a tough task to choose just one!

#1 Affection, Natural World Finalist

Affection, Natural World Finalist

This is my favorite black skimmer photo that I have taken in all the years following a little-known colony. Every year I select a nest when the parent is on eggs, then follow that same nest until they fledge. I choose one nest because colonies are chaotic; you will miss some shots by pointing the lens at hundreds of birds. One morning I got into position and lay there for an hour until sunrise when a parent flew in directly to feed the baby. The baby was inches away from me, so I couldn’t get the feeding photo. However, after the baby gobbled down the fish, I captured it running up to the parent and displaying the behavior pictured.

Thomas Chadwick Report

Full Name 1 year ago

Most people just don't get what nature photographers go through to get their shots. For every golden one you get you miss 25 that you saw but couldn't capture, and that's after hours and hours and wasted trip after wasted trip. You knocked this one out of the park and it was all worth it.

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#2 Joy, Natural World Finalist

Joy, Natural World Finalist

A seal pup enjoys the morning breeze on Düne Island in Germany.

Erika Valkovicova Report

Vlad Horobet 1 year ago

Rare picture of me after getting enough sleep.

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#3 Soul Of The Winter Woods, Altered Images Finalist

Soul Of The Winter Woods, Altered Images Finalist

A spotted deer stag on a cold winter morning in the forest

Swaroop Singha Roy Report

Jef Bateman 1 year ago

Expecto patronum

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#4 Making Incense, Travel Finalist

Making Incense, Travel Finalist

Decoratively dyed bundles of incense dry in Quang Phu Cau, a commune in Hanoi, Vietnam. In Buddhist countries like Vietnam, incense is an irreplaceable part of traditional festivals and religious ceremonies.

Tran Tuan Viet Report

Lua boots 1 year ago

Coral reef of incense...amazing <3

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#5 Sardines In The Sun, Natural World Finalist

Sardines In The Sun, Natural World Finalist

Sardines emerge from a coral wall in cobalt waters just a few yards from the shores of Cebu Island in the Philippines. They move in a single undulating cloud of silver that twists, turns, shrinks, expands and wraps itself around any object that gets in its way. At times, it becomes a thundercloud, blocking out the sun or clapping violently as it suddenly flips its formation to evade a predator.

Giacomo Marchione Report

riley.girl 1 year ago

I see an elephant in the top left of the photo! This is absolutely stunning!!!

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#6 Bear And Salmon, Natural World Finalist

Bear And Salmon, Natural World Finalist

This brown bear successfully captured a salmon in Kuril Lake. There is no happier bear than a bear with a fresh salmon in his mouth! The bears at Kuril Lake are in a state of hyperphaghia, meaning they are always hungry. They must gain weight before the winter’s hibernation and catch up to 40 salmon a day to achieve that.

Roie Galitz Report

Heather Johnson 1 year ago

I highly recommend watching the movie "Bears". This picture reminds me of it. It's amazing!

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#7 Ray Of Zeus, Natural World Finalist

Ray Of Zeus, Natural World Finalist

On New Year’s Eve in 2016, a sea cliff collapsed near Kalapana on Big Island, Hawaii. A dramatic stream of lava, called a fire hose, started to shoot out of the cliff. Before the sunrise, I captured this dramatic picture, where the lava cascaded into the ocean, creating steam and lava bombs. The lava stream stopped in March 2017.

florent mamelle Report

reece n 1 year ago

Why Zeus and not Pele, whose volcano that is?

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#8 The Window, Natural World Finalist

The Window, Natural World Finalist

During my stay at a Costa Rican hotel, I noticed that red-eyed tree frogs flooded the gardens. As I approached this frog, it climbed into one of the holes in a leaf, as if it were sticking out a window.

Salvador Colvée Nebot Report

Full Name 1 year ago

Kilroy.

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#9 Red Chili Pepper Pickers, Travel Finalist

Red Chili Pepper Pickers, Travel Finalist

Countless chili peppers surround laborers in the Bogra district in the north of Bangladesh. More than 2,000 people work in almost 100 chili farms in Bogra in Bangladesh to supply local spice companies with chilies for use in their recipes. Chili peppers are a major part of the Bengali cuisine popular in Bangladesh and are used as part of a combination of spices for various meat dishes, including chicken and beef.

Azim Khan Ronnie Report

Full Name 1 year ago

God bless these workers. Thanks for making my food delicious!

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#10 Pinnacle Of Existence, Natural World Finalist

Pinnacle Of Existence, Natural World Finalist

Energy travels hundreds of miles across the ocean and comes to a dramatic end when it reaches our shores.

Oreon Strusinski Report

stellermatt 1 year ago

you are not a drop in the ocean, you are an entire ocean in a single drop.

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#11 Seahorse, Natural World Finalist

Seahorse, Natural World Finalist

Hippocampus denise, one of the smallest seahorses in the world, clings to the branches of a gorgonia along with shrimp that are well hidden.

ALEX VARANI Report

Vlad Horobet 1 year ago

Yes, I spent 2 extra minutes looking for shrimps in this image. Camouflage.

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#12 Boatman, Travel Finalist

Boatman, Travel Finalist

A boatman enjoys the leisure of reading a newspaper on his boat.

Debashis Mukherjee Report

Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

He reminds me of one of those otters that wraps himself in kelp so he doesn't float away (by the way, what is the green stuff?)

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#13 Rhino From Chitwan, Altered Images Finalist

Rhino From Chitwan, Altered Images Finalist

There are about 600 rhinos in Chitwan National Park. It was a pure adventure to follow wild rhinos in their natural habitat. The main instructions, in case a rhino ran in my direction, were to climb a tree; if there was no tree, to run zigzags. The red color of the grass comes from my imagination.

Tanya Sharapova Report

stellermatt 1 year ago

rhino's are just old fat unicorns. true fact.

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#14 Yaks Beside Pangong Lake, Travel Finalist

Yaks Beside Pangong Lake, Travel Finalist

Yusuf Chiniwala Report

Rhân 1 year ago

the background looks like it is painted :D

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#15 Lion's Mane Jellyfish, Natural World Finalist

Lion's Mane Jellyfish, Natural World Finalist

A lion’s mane jellyfish is lured by a rich plankton soup.

Martin Prochazka Report

#16 Nyc, Mobile Finalist

Nyc, Mobile Finalist

This picture was taken during the New Year holiday in NYC from the Roosevelt Island aerial tramway. Despite the rain, there is a festive mood in the frame. Raindrops resemble Christmas balls.

Tatiana Borodina Report

Bob the Minion 1 year ago

So annoyed that it doesn't fit my laptop background. Amazing image !

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#17 Rain, People Finalist

Rain, People Finalist

Niloofar is an Iranian nomad girl living in the Babanajm nomad region south of Shiraz city in Fars Province, Iran.

SEYED MOHAMMAD SADEGH HOSSEINI Report

DancingToMyself 1 year ago

She's a mermaid? :p

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#18 Salt Field Workers, Altered Images Finalist

Salt Field Workers, Altered Images Finalist

These are women who work in a salt field in Vietnam. I altered the image to black and white and made the background black to emphasize the women.

Matty Karp Report

Edmon Lagahit 1 year ago

amazing!

#19 A Perfect Flutter, Mobile Finalist

A Perfect Flutter, Mobile Finalist

I took this shot at Gangasagar Mela. The Gangasagar Mela is one of the biggest religious festivals of India. The patterns formed by the drying saree in the wind, as well as the light and shadow play, attracted my attention. I was able to complete it by adding the presence of a lone man.

Sirsendu Gayen Report

Full Name 1 year ago

In the right conditions, it ain't the gear. This is spectacular. Sure beats a photo of your latest meal on Instagram.

#20 Care, People Finalist

Care, People Finalist

Care goes beyond gender. I went to the small slum near to my house in the morning, and I saw that this man was feeding his grandchild while his daughter, the infant's aunt, held him. It shows me something different than my society. In Bangladeshi society, care work is usually done by a female member of a family.

Farhana Akther Report

Kristel 1 year ago

I hope this will bring some change. That not only females are seen as caretakers of children. This picture itself might not bring change over there, but I do hope the situation changes. All family members can take responsibility of a child. Not only females.

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#21 Seeing Double, Natural World Finalist

Seeing Double, Natural World Finalist

Gulls soaring over a beach cast precise shadows over the sand and water, seeming to double their numbers.

Vikas Datta Report

Marcio Junior 1 year ago

amazing...

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#22 The King, Altered Images Finalist

The King, Altered Images Finalist

Griffon vulture portrait

Pedro Jarque Krebs Report

Heather Johnson 1 year ago

Gotta love vultures. They're natures janitors!

#23 Birthplace Of Statue, Mobile Finalist

Birthplace Of Statue, Mobile Finalist

A sculptor shapes a statue from stone using his professionalism, strength, concentration, art and time.

Aung Ya Report

RaroaRaroa 1 year ago

Where is this?

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#24 Working In The Dockyard, Mobile Finalist

Working In The Dockyard, Mobile Finalist

This ship just docked, and the man started cleaning the hull.

Wiebe Dekker Report

Aahzmandus Pervect 1 year ago

The man looks like a cartoon character.

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#25 Umbrella Market, Travel Finalist

Umbrella Market, Travel Finalist

When I went to take photos of an apartment, I saw a woman through market umbrellas.

Thanh Tran Report

Jef Bateman 1 year ago

Southeast Asia somewhere - Vietnam?

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#26 After A Long Day, The American Experience Finalist

After A Long Day, The American Experience Finalist

At the end of the night—after the after-party and the after-after-party—in, yes, the hotel lobby, the bride and groom finally retire to their room. This is the last glimpse of the bride before the door shut.

Geoffrey Giller Report

Full Name 1 year ago

So many couples don't consummate on that night because they are asleep before their heads hit the pillow.

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#27 Simple Motions, Altered Images Finalist

Simple Motions, Altered Images Finalist

Every summer I visit a village where I have two nice "girlfriends." This photo is from a long series called "Simple Motions," where the two Russian "babushkas" have fun with the hula hoop, play football or do their gym.

Petr Lovigin Report

#28 Stepping Out Of The Shadows, Mobile Finalist

Stepping Out Of The Shadows, Mobile Finalist

A woman carrying a striped black and white umbrella passes some gates.

Laurence Bouchard Report

Full Name 1 year ago

This is from a cell phone? There's detail all the way into the brightest part. Wow. I'd never have guessed (aside from the 4:3 aspect ratio). Unbelievable shot.

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#29 Rare, Mobile Finalist

Rare, Mobile Finalist

This is Maggie. She has two rare chromosome duplications, one of which she's the only child on record to have. This photo captures not only her vulnerability, but also the magnitude of the science for which we are so grateful. A little girl and her "Gigi" already way too familiar with hospitals and doctors offices than any child should be.

Sara Jacoby Report

Jef Bateman 1 year ago

Where is this? It doesn't seem that they are equipped for child.

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#30 3/11, Mobile Finalist

3/11, Mobile Finalist

A man cycles past Tatsuo Miyajima’s "Counter Void" installation in Tokyo.

Laurence Bouchard Report

#31 Stairs, Altered Images Finalist

Stairs, Altered Images Finalist

There are not many other animals as productive as sheep. They give us wool, milk, meat. Their memoirs are usually short. The pool of names is repeated every two years on our farm. We have already had two Queens, three Theos and four Fables.

Adam Żądło Report

#32 Renewal, Altered Images Finalist

Renewal, Altered Images Finalist

This was shot in a pool and inverted upside down.

Meaghan Ogilvie Report

Marcio Junior 1 year ago

Look at the girl's knees... weird :D

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#33 A Belgian Angel, People Finalist

A Belgian Angel, People Finalist

A man is going home after attending the Meyboom festival in Brussels.

Alain Schroeder Report

Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

reminds me of Wings of Desire

#34 Swimming, People Finalist

Swimming, People Finalist

A refugee of the Democratic Republic of Congo swims on his back in the waters of Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro.

Fabio Teixeira Report

BunnyBlubber 1 year ago

Id like to know his story

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#35 Green, People Finalist

Green, People Finalist

A vendor at a fun fair in The Meadows, Edinburgh

Gareth Bragdon Report

Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

love it!

#36 Breakfast At The Weekly Market, Travel Finalist

Breakfast At The Weekly Market, Travel Finalist

In northern Vietnam, people come to the weekly market to exchange goods and culture. They usually wake up very early to go to market and have breakfast here.

Thong Huu Report

Pragya Fating 1 year ago

Very surreal nd Beautiful.

#37 Beat The Heat, Mobile Finalist

Beat The Heat, Mobile Finalist

Kids beat the heat of summer by enjoying the water play area in a mall in Cebu City, Philippines.

Philip Am Guay Report

Christy Ann Tulod 1 year ago

SM Seaside Cebu ! proud cebuana here!

#38 Ronja On The Day Of Her Confirmation Ceremony, People Finalist

Ronja On The Day Of Her Confirmation Ceremony, People Finalist

Ronja grew up as the only girl on the remote and enigmatic island of Mykines, the westernmost of the Faroe Islands and home to some of the richest bird cliffs in the world. Her confirmation was the first to be celebrated in Mykines since 1962 because no young people had lived permanently on the island since then.

silvia varela Report

Full Name 1 year ago

I dunno, this makes me cringe. That would be one socially stunted girl. I can't imagine going through the turbulent adolescent years as the only one. Hope she can adjust if she eventually moves.

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#39 Split Screen, The American Experience Finalist

Split Screen, The American Experience Finalist

Industrial ponds, property of Waste Management, Inc., New Mexico. Aerial image (shot from a plane at 1,000 feet).

Jassen Todorov Report

Vlad Horobet 1 year ago

Looks like a fire damaged book. With blue pages. Amazing pic.

#40 Downstairs, Travel Finalist

Downstairs, Travel Finalist

The Paul Loebe House is a government building in the Reichstag area of Berlin worth seeing. I had to wait a while for someone to come down the stairs, but the wait was paid for by this shot.

Klaus Lenzen Report

Vlad Horobet 1 year ago

love the squares.

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#41 Untitled, The American Experience Finalist

Untitled, The American Experience Finalist

"I can cry in front of them, I can tell them my secrets. I buy them things and they calm me down. I just feel comfortable around them,” says twenty-six year old Lisa Schalm as she poses for a portrait inside of her bedroom in Brockport, New York, on Oct. 11, 2017. Lisa suffers from depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder and said that these reborn dolls are the only solution to help calm her symptoms. A reborn doll is a manufactured skin doll that has been transformed by an artist to resemble a human infant with as much realism as possible.

Brittainy Newman Report

Heather Johnson 1 year ago

I would've never know that these are reborn dolls if I hadn't read the description. Wow. That's amazing.

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#42 Leather Drying In Dhaka, Travel Finalist

Leather Drying In Dhaka, Travel Finalist

A woman at work on the street near a leather factory on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. These pieces of leather will become wallets, belts or parts of shoes and sell throughout the world.

Erberto Zani Report

Jef Bateman 1 year ago

Interesting. I got worried that they might be cultivating anthrax by drying their leather like that, so I looked it up. Google confirms that there have been serious outbreaks.

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#43 The Girl On The Swing, People Finalist

The Girl On The Swing, People Finalist

A girl swings in summer.

Viara Mileva Report

Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

love it

#44 My Post-Irma Street, The American Experience Finalist

My Post-Irma Street, The American Experience Finalist

This photo was taken right after Hurricane Irma hit Miami. This is my 5-year old son walking through our neighborhood.

Sandra Portal-Andreu Report

#45 Summit Eclipse, The American Experience Finalist

Summit Eclipse, The American Experience Finalist

Mountaineers witness totality of the 2017 eclipse on the highest mountain in its path, 13,809′ Gannett Peak. Deep in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, reaching the summit requires two days of backpacking, a 12+ hour climb day, and crossing two glaciers.

Jason Hatfield Report

#46 Roman Goods, Travel Finalist

Roman Goods, Travel Finalist

This stand is set up near Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta and caters to the tourists lined up to look through the keyhole that hosts a view of Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Nile Vincz Report

#47 Feliz Navidad, People Finalist

Feliz Navidad, People Finalist

Cuba, Havana. I wandered through downtown. The city was slowly coming to life after Christmas celebrations and was preparing for the New Year. Suddenly I found myself at a small market. When I saw this butcher, sitting among large red pieces of meat dangling from acid-green counter, I pressed the shutter button automatically.

Alexey Kharitonov Report

Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

His face with the cheerful santa hat--perfect

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#48 Backyard, The American Experience Finalist

Backyard, The American Experience Finalist

Curtis, Kate and Jude, siblings, lie in their backyard in Watford, North Dakota. 6 July 2017. The Long family has five children whom they homeschool. Western North Dakota attracted families from across the nation during the recent oil boom. Watford, like other rural towns in the region, is now facing unemployment and overdevelopment since the decline of the oil industry.

Sarah Blesener Report

#49 Shadow Highlight, Mobile Finalist

Shadow Highlight, Mobile Finalist

A couple of ladies are passing in front of graffiti.

mohammad mohsenifar Report

#50 Life Directions, Altered Images Finalist

Life Directions, Altered Images Finalist

At one of white limestone quarries in Minya, Egypt. It’s the shaping phase. There’s a machine called “El fasalah” that the laborers here are using to cut and partition the mountain into stone blocks.

Nader Saadallah Report

Jef Bateman 1 year ago

It's cool to see how this is done.

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#51 Intersection, The American Experience Finalist

Intersection, The American Experience Finalist

This photo took place in Washington, D.C., during the Women's March on January 21, 2017. Officer Dixon is seen on duty, serving and protecting, during the event. The scarf she is wearing belonged to her late grandmother, affectionately referred to as "Boots" by those close to her.

Cappy Phalen Report

Full Name 1 year ago

What constitutes "altered"? These colours for sure did not come out of the camera like this, yet a couple of the "altered" category shots look like they were barely touched. I'm sure exposure adjustments are okay, but colours too?

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#52 Go Deeper, Altered Images Finalist

Go Deeper, Altered Images Finalist

Suburbia neighborhood swimming pool in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Natalie Christensen Report

Sykz 1 year ago

Wow. This awesome! Get visual and eye tweak,

#53 Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Altered Images Finalist

Behind The Wall Of Sleep, Altered Images Finalist

I listen to the sounds that surround me. I do not hear voices, the mist surrounds me, I just feel.

Rosita Delfino Report

Agnes Jekyll 1 year ago

Reminds me of This Mortal Coil album covers

#54 Backflip Submission, The American Experience Finalist

Backflip Submission, The American Experience Finalist

A wrestler does a backflip off the ropes of a wrestling ring in an attempt to defeat an opponent.

Dan Fenstermacher Report

hyprstorm 1 year ago

J O H N C E N A

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#55 Outdoor Activities, Mobile Finalist

Outdoor Activities, Mobile Finalist

This photo was taken in Playa Tarará, Havana, Cuba at 5:30 pm. I was going to the beach with my family. It was really hot. I saw people playing squash. Oh my god I thought! How can they manage! The colors were really bright, and I was attracted by the shadows.

Pier Luigi Dodi Report

#56 In The Desert, Travel Finalist

In The Desert, Travel Finalist

ATVs driving fast and furious in the deserts of Southern California. Aerial image (photographed from a plane at sunset).

Jassen Todorov Report

mbergen 1 year ago

Wow, this looks like fun!

#57 Barbershop, People Finalist

Barbershop, People Finalist

A barbershop in Maramba, Livingstone, Zambia

Oleksandr Rupeta Report

Meeow 1 year ago

2Pac in the house!

#58 El Clot (The Hole), Gypsy Wedding, People Finalist

El Clot (The Hole), Gypsy Wedding, People Finalist

El Clot (The Hole), is an apartment block in Valencia’s historic El Cabanyal neighborhood that has been under threat of demolition for 20 years. Gypsy families have occupied and restored some of the empty apartments in El Clot, where they live in poverty and under threat from law enforcement.

Jorge López Muñoz Report

Edy Eko 1 year ago

More of "el cleavagé"

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#59 Bow Girls, The American Experience Finalist

Bow Girls, The American Experience Finalist

Three girls stand with their bows outside of Travis Archery in Woodbourne, New York.

Stephanie Foden Report

Aahzmandus Pervect 1 year ago

This is just an ordinary photograph. I don't see anything worthy of the final selection. But, what do I know?

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#60

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