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Smithsonian Magazine's 2012 Photo Contest

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The editors of Smithsonian magazine have just announced the 50 finalists in their 10th annual photo contest. They've kindly allowed me to share several of these images here, including some great shots from each of the competition's five categories: The American Experience, The Natural World, People, Travel, and Altered Images. Be sure to visit the contest page at Smithsonian.com to see all the finalists, and vote in the Reader's Choice Awards as well. [21 photos]

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An onlooker witnesses the annular solar eclipse as the sun sets in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 20, 2012. Photographed by Colleen Pinski of Peyton, Colorado, for the the Natural World category. (© Smithsonian.com)
An onlooker witnesses the annular solar eclipse as the sun sets in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 20, 2012. Photographed by Colleen Pinski of Peyton, Colorado, for the the Natural World category. (© Smithsonian.com)
Alternating rice plots in the Bac Son Valley, Vietnam. Photographed by Hai Thinh Hoang, of Hanoi. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Grandpa's helper, for the Americana category, photographed by Jenny Braun in Hampton, Minnesota, in July of 2012. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Ants holding seeds, by Eko Adiyanto, of West Java, Indonesia. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Lone Acacia, Sossusvlei Sand Dunes, Namibia. Photographed by Bob Bush of Altadena, California, in May of 2010. (© Smithsonian.com) #
A visit to Bagan, Myanmar in January of 2011. Photographed by Han Tha, from Yangon, Myanmar. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Musicians arriving at the bullring in Quito, Ecuador, in October of 2011. Taken by Raul Amaru Linares, of Bogota, Colombia, for the Travel category. (© Smithsonian.com) #
A man-made ice geyser in Duluth, Minnesota. Taken in December, 2011 by Nathan Carlsen, of Duluth. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Blues in the streets of Chicago, by Javier Arcenillas of Alcobendas, Madrid, Spain, for the American Experience category. (© Smithsonian.com) #
The awesome power of an Iowa tornado, in Mapleton, Iowa. Photographed by Timothy Wright of Omaha, Nebraska. (© Smithsonian.com) #
"Exploring the Night" A lone hiker viewed the path before him as the Milky Way rose in the night sky above Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. Taken by Jason Hatfield, Lakewood, Colorado, in May of 2012. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Rice Terraces Close to Harvest Season, in La Pan Tan, Mu Cang Chay, Yen Bai, Vietnam. Taken by Vo Anh Kiet of Ho Chi Minh City. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Christine, 20 years old, with her months-old first child under mosquito netting. Photographed in Mulungwishi, Deomcratic Republic of Congo by Paolo Patruno, of Bologna, Italy for the People category. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Policemen run across the National Congress in Brasilia during a demonstration against corruption. Photographed by Olivier Boels from Brasilia, Brazil. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Il Duomo di Firenze, by Garret Suhrie of Los Angeles, California. Submitted in the Altered Images category. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Apple Guy on location in the desert, by Ron Henderson of Dallas, Texas. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Annual bucking horse sale in Miles City, Montana. Photographed by George Burgin, of Billings, Montana. (© Smithsonian.com) #
River ferry operating in the early morning in Xiao Donjiang, China, by Teng Hin Khoo, of Shah Alam, Malaysia. (© Smithsonian.com) #
"Mummy, I am down here, and hungry!" A locally rare juvenile spiderhunter, photographed while trying to get the attention of its parents at the Borneo Highland Resort, in Sarawak, Malaysia by Bjorn Olesen of Singapore. (© Smithsonian.com) #
People harvesting salt at sunset by Giang Hai Hoang of Hanoi, Vietnam. Photographed in August of 2012 in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. (© Smithsonian.com) #
Breeding penguins in Antarctica in February of 2012, by Neal Piper, from Washington, D.C. (© Smithsonian.com) #

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