This image was the grand prize winner in Smithsonian Magazine’s Photo Contest in 2010. Over 4,500 photographs flooded in from all over the world—105 countries in all—to compete in five categories: Altered Images, Americana, The Natural World, People and Travel. Ultimately, a panel of judges on the magazine staff chose 50 finalists, and of those, they selected five category winners and one grand prize winner while Smithsonian.com readers voted for their favorite image online.
To take the grand prize winning photograph, Kyaw Kyaw Winn didn’t have to go far. He traveled from his home in Yangon to the countryside of old Bagan to capture an image of young Buddhist monks. “You can see monks everywhere in Myanmar,” he told Smithsonian. “I am Burmese and I like our traditional culture and want to share it with other people around the world.”