Pinnacle of Existence Frozen Wave

Photo credit: Oreon Strusinski

It’s that time again, time for Smithsonian to announce the winners of their 15th Annual Photo Contest, one in which they received over 48,000 entries from photographers residing in 155 countries and territories. Photographer Oreon Strusinski took home the win in the “Natural World Category” with his stunning frozen “Pinnacle of Existence” wave image. “Energy travels hundreds of miles across the ocean and comes to a dramatic end when it reaches our shores,” said the photographer. Continue reading for more.

5. Breakfast at the Weekly Market – Grand Prize Winner

Smithsonian Photo Contest Winners

Photo credit: Thong Huu

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.

4. Rare – Reader’s Choice Winner

Smithsonian Photo Contest Winners

Photo credit: Sara Jacoby

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.

3. Making Incense – Travel Category Winner

Smithsonian Photo Contest Winners

Photo credit: Tran Tuan Viet

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.

2. Shadow Highlight – Mobile Category Winner

Smithsonian Photo Contest Winners

Photo credit: Mohammad Mohsenifar

A couple of ladies are passing in front of graffiti.

1. Rain – People Category Winner

Smithsonian Photo Contest Winners

Photo credit: Seyed Mohammad Sadegh

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