Lonely Planet Writer

See the breath-taking global winners from the Smithsonian.com Photo Contest

The winners and finalists of the 13th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest have finally been chosen. The final selection was whittled down from more than 46,000 submissions from photographers in 168 countries and territories.

If you’re feeling inspired, entries are now open for the 2016 contest.

Grand Prize

“Volcanic material flows from Mount Sinabung, as seen from the village of Jeraya, North Sumatra, Indonesia on June 26, 2015.”

Remaining on the Slopes of Mount Sinabung
‘Remaining on the Slopes of Mount Sinabung’. Image by Albert Ivan Damanik

Sustainable Travel

This photo was taken in an orphan school in Likoni, “one of the poorest neighborhoods in Mombasa, Kenya”, where the photographer was working for two months.

sustainable travel photo winner
‘My Time’. Image by Tihomir Trichkov

Altered Images

This firefly photo was taken over several long exposures and merged together.

Synchronous Fireflies
Synchronous Fireflies. Image by Radim Schreiber

The American Experience

“Transport For Christ, an international trucker ministry, has placed 45 mobile chapels at truck stops across the United States. The chapels offer Bible study, worship services and counselling from volunteer chaplains. They also give drivers a break from the struggles and solitude of life on the road.”

Trucker Chapel
‘Trucker Chapel’. Image by Lauren Pond.


A separate compartment for women on a Mumbai train.

Women's Compartment of a Suburban Train
‘Women’s Compartment of a Suburban Train’. Image by Tamina-Florentine Zuch

Natural World

A little monkey sits in Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan.

A Little Monkey on a Cliff
A Little Monkey on a Cliff. Image by Hidetoshi Ogata.

People’s Choice

Clare, the Bull Terrier, photographed on an abandoned train. This photo is from a larger series called Leave Only Pawprints: Urbex Adventures With My Bull Terrier Claire.”

Orient Express
Orient Express. Image by Alice van Kempen.

View the full list of finalists here.