Each year, Smithsonian Magazine puts out a call for photographers — amateur and professional alike — to submit their best shots in five categories: Americana, the Natural World, People, Travel and Altered Images. This year, for their 11th contest, they added a special prize for photos taken on mobile devices. They announced their 60 finalists yesterday, and as usual, the photos they received — even the ones taken on cell phones — are remarkable.
There's an eastern screech owl hiding in a crook of a tree in Georgia. And a group of locals playing billiards out in the open by Namtso Lake in Tibet (this one was taken by a Canadian). And the image you see above, of a Mongolian eagle hunter out on the steppes.
Check out 10 of our favourite images in the gallery above, and head over to the Smithsonian site to see the rest, and to vote for the Readers' Choice prize winner, which will be announced, along with the individual category winners, on May 15.