Exploring San Diego


San Diegan's Pacific Beach sunset phone pic up for Smithsonian photo of the year

pacific beach sunset smithsonian jacqueline mckune.png
Posted at 11:35 AM, Mar 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-16 14:35:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It's something many of us do in San Diego: We see a picturesque sunset. Rummage around for our phone and open up its camera. Snap a photo and post it to social media.

One San Diegan who did just that could see her photo named the Smithsonian's mobile photo of the year.

Jacqueline Mckune was walking along the Pacific Beach boardwalk with a group of friends when they stopped to notice the serene orange glow of the evening's sunset.

"It happened to be a really good sunset too, we just took some previous pictures before with the whole group," McKune said, and that's when she noticed a particular subject against the scenic backdrop.

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The silhouette of man creating massive bubbles with rope strung between two poles against the soft glow of the sunset.

"So this guy’s making these huge bubbles … and I saw the colors with the sunset behind it," McKune said.


She posted her photo to Facebook and soon, commentators suggested she submit it to a photo contest. After a quick search, she came across the Smithsonian's 16th Annual Photo Contest.

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That was in June of 2018. McKune's photo would slowly climb with interest: First being a photo of the day, then an "editor's pick."

"It was really, really exciting," McKune says.

Now, it's a finalist in the mobile category against 9 other finalists picked from thousands of submissions from hunderds of countries. And locals can help make sure it takes home the prize by voting on the Smithsonian's website here.

"I’m hoping to get at least the photo category," McKune said. "I’m usually a dramatic person so [if I win] there’s probably a scream in there."

Voters can submit one vote per day until March 29 at 2 p.m. for McKune's photo.