‘Natural World’ Finalists At The 2017 Smithsonian Photo Contest

Here are the 10 finalists in the ‘Natural World’ category at the prestigious 2017 Smithsonian Photo Contest. The 15th edition received 48,000 submissions from photographers in 155 countries and territories in six categories: Natural World, The American Experience, Travel, People, Altered Images, and Mobile. The esteemed judges narrowed this massive selection down to just 60 of the most unique and memorable photographs. You can discover many more amazing pictures on the Smithsonian website (link below).

Natural World finalists at the 2017 Smithsonian photo contest
Joy – A seal pup enjoys the morning breeze on Düne Island in Germany. – © Erika Valkovicova
Natural World finalists at the 2017 Smithsonian photo contest
The Window – 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
Natural World finalists at the 2017 Smithsonian photo contest
Affection – 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
Natural World finalists at the 2017 Smithsonian photo contest
Bear and Salmon – 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 salmons a day to achieve that. – © Roie Galitz
Natural World finalists at the 2017 Smithsonian photo contest
Sardines in the Sun – 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

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