After falling in love with the breathtaking photos of the National Geographic Photo Contest last year, the Smithsonian magazine has captured my heart as well through their 9th annual photo contest. The magazine has chosen 50 finalists out of 67,059 images. The allure of this competition attracted over 14 thousand photographers from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The editors who chose the finalists will also choose the Grand Prize Winner and the winners in each of the five categories. The categories include The Natural World, Americana, People, Travel and Altered Images in which they are selected based on technical quality, clarity and composition, a flair for the unexpected and the skill to capture a picture-perfect moment.