Smithsonian Photo Contest 2016, which received about 48000 entries from photographers living in 146 countries, has finally released the names of its winners. From Ramadan Prayers by Pradeep Raja Kannaiah (which won the Grand Prize) to the surreal shot of elephants in Botswana by Prelena Soma Owen, many pictures were acknowledged as outstanding and memorable by the editors!

Following are the winning pics from the Smithsonian Photo Contest’s 2016 issue which also marked the successful completion of the competition’s 14th year! Scroll down and enjoy what we call ‘the art at its best!’.

# Grand Prize Winner of 14th Smithsonian Photo Contest (2016)

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Ramadan Prayers by Pradeep Raja Kannaiah

This shot is of women praying inside Istiqlal Mosque during the month of Ramadan.


# The American Experience Category Winner

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Before the Portrait by Stephanie Foden

Lila Chosa sits on the side porch of her house while her family and friend get ready for a portrait behind her. Lila’s grandmother, Heart Warrior, has spent years battling to keep custody of her grandchildren in Minnesota. It’s part of a long history of Native American removal and resistance.


# Mobile Category Winner

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Surreal by Alina Rudya

A man bikes by a Peter Hazel sculpture at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada.


# Readers Choice Winner of 14th Smithsonian Photo Contest (2016)

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Resting in an NYC Laundry Room by Milan Sachs

This photograph is of a woman in an NYC laundry room. It seems like she’s recalling something that recently happened to her. The subject is defeated, hurt and exhausted from this cycle she is in, like the cycle of a washing machine.


# Natural World Category Winner

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Look Me in the Eye by Prelena Soma Owen

“I am always looking for unique ways to showcase the beauty of elephants in the hope that it will make a difference in the way they are viewed and appreciated. This image was taken when a herd of elephants came down to the banks of the Chobe River in Botswana for an afternoon drink. The opportunity presented itself as the the trunk of the elephant in the foreground framed the eye of the elephant in the background. I focused on the eye, and with some creative cropping, was very pleased with the final result.”


# Travel Category Winner

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Individual Communication by Peter Nutkins

Commuters on the London Underground are communicating. They are not communicating with each other, but across the world from their cell-like positions on the platform.


# Altered Images Category Winner

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Improvisation by Jim Mneymneh

Dance improvisation in the studio.


# People Category Winner

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Step by Step by João Borges

“I was surprised when I saw this old shoemaker shop with two workers, one of them a young woman doing a job usually done by older men. The look in her eyes is as strong and heavy as her work.”


# Sustainable Travel Category Winner

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A Man Looks Out the Door by Greta Rybus

“In this image, a man is looking out a door that just hours before led to his family’s bedroom. The tide was particularly high that day, and because of rising sea levels, the sea had risen high enough to chew away at the home. The back rooms crumbled into the sea while his family carried their belongings out the front door. Several homes fell into the sea that morning. In an overpopulated community like Guet Ndar, the fishing village in Saint Louis, Senegal, many families may live in one home. So the loss of a home is particularly impactful.”