The competition, in its 17th edition this year, has been organized annually since 2003 by the Smithsonian magazine, which is the official journal published by the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex based in Washington, D.C.
The winning photo, titled ‘A fish seller displays his goods,’ was taken by British photographer Jon Enoch during his visit to Vietnam in February 2019.
Enoch said he was impressed with bikers in Vietnam who transported heaps of merchandise piled on their motorbikes. He spent a week chasing down riders and their cargo and convincing them to pose for the camera.
His photo of one driver expertly balancing many transparent packages of ornamental fish on the back of his motorbike beat 59 other finalists to win the US$2,500 grand prize of the competition.
|The photo ‘A fish seller displays his goods’ by British photographer Jon Enoch wins the grand prize of the 17th annual Smithsonian magazine photo contest.
“It’s an image that crystallizes a tradition, one that may not exist for much longer,” the editors of the magazine said.
It added, “Hanoi has plans to ban motorbikes by 2030 to cut down on emissions, something that is wonderful for the environment but will certainly change how business gets done.”
The Vietnamese capital city, as well as other metropolises in the country, is often associated with the sight of street vendors riding motorbikes and selling an assortment of items on the street.
The Smithsonian magazine’s photo contest attracted 36,000 entries sent in by photographers from 145 countries and territories to compete in its six categories of Natural World, People, Travel, The American Experience, Altered Images, and Mobile, as well as a Readers’ Choice award.
In the travel category, a photo capturing farmers harvesting and washing water lilies before selling them at the market in Moc Hoa District, located in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, was also included in the list of finalists.
The photo ‘Blooming’ by Thien Nguyen, capturing a fishing net moving underneath the water surface in the south-central province of Phu Yen, Vietnam, also made this list.
|The photo ‘Me and Myself’ by Dasha Pears wins the Altered Images award of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest.
|The photo ‘Shields strikes back’ by Terrell Groggins wins the American Experience award of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest. In the photo, Olympic champion Claressa Shields (right) meets Hanna Gabriels in a boxing match at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, Michigan on June 22, 2018. Shields suffered a first-round knock-down by Gabriels — the first time that had happened in Shields’ career — but went on to win the match by unanimous decision. Shields is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, and the first (male or female) to win a gold back-to-back in successive Olympic Games.
|The photo ‘Iceberg tower,’ capturing sunset over an iceberg tower in Disko Bay, by Natnattcha Chaturapitamorn wins the Travel award of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest.
|The photo ‘Home survives direct hit from tornado’ by Matt Gillespie wins the Readers’ Choice award of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest. The home was in the direct line of a tornado that hit Ellerslie, Georgia. Most of the trees on the property had fallen, but the house stood with minimal damage.
|The photo ‘Dungan wedding’ by Yam G-Jun wins the People award of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest. In the photo, Madina, 20, an ethnic Dungan, is covered by a red veil before she leaves for the groom’s house during a wedding ceremony in Milyanfan, Kyrgyzstan. Dungans wear traditional Chinese-influenced wedding gowns, follow traditional Hui Chinese wedding ceremonies from the 19th century and practice endogamy, but due to shrinking population size, they have stopped the practice and allowed Dungans to marry other ethnicities.
|The photo ‘At sunset’ taken by Victoria Gorelchenko when she was waiting for her husband in a parking lot and noticed the beautiful light wins the Mobile award of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest.
|The photo ‘Adélie penguin on an iceberg’ by Conor Ryan wins the Natural World award of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest. The photo shows an Adélie penguin standing on an iceberg off Devil Island, Antarctica.
|The photo ‘Blooming’ by Thien Nguyen is included in the Travel category’s finalist list of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest. In the photo, a fishing net is seen moving underneath the water surface. Many local fisherman families along the coastline of Phu Yen Province in Vietnam will follow the near-shore currents to catch the anchovy during peak seasons. Only a small proportion of the entire catch is sold fresh, with most of it being dried or salted. Salted anchovy is the most important raw material to create traditional fish sauce; the humble anchovy becomes the spirit of Vietnamese cuisine.
|The photo ‘ Harvesting water lilies’ taken by Tuan Nguyen Tan in Moc Hoa District, located in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, Vietnam, is included in the Travel category’s finalist list of the Smithsonian magazine’s 17th annual photo contest.