1st Annual Photo Contest Winners and Finalists

See the winning photos from our 2003 contest

Guadalajara, Mexico • Photographed July 2002
After lunch with Mexican friends, Hays took the family's three daughters to a park. To take 4-year-old Gabriella Nuño's picture, Hays had to "wrap my camera strap around my neck two and a half times." Ben Hays
Hangzhou, China • Photographed March 1994
"I spent six weeks in Hangzhou," says Shaw, an ophthalmologist, "and the day before I left, spring arrived and the cherry trees around the lake started to bloom." Blake Shaw
WINNER: Travel
Havana, Cuba • Photographed November 2003
Pyburn had just settled into her 14th-floor hotel room when she looked down at an "old street slicing through the city, fat pillars of buildings in deep disrepair.... I now see that the juxtaposition of rooftops sets up an intriguing study of present-day life in Havana." Susan Pyburn
WINNER: People
Southern Ethiopia • Photographed December 2002
Wolf, an overland adventure expedition leader in Africa, says this "adorable Hamer child [was] showing off" in the remote tribal areas of Ethiopia's Omo Valley. "His sparkle and charm captured my heart." Sarah T. Wolf
WINNER: Natural World
Asheville, North Carolina • Photographed May 2003
Soufas describes this driveway photo of her dog, a German shorthaired pointer named Grady, as a "rhythmic pattern of spots and rocks" the painter "George Seurat might be intrigued by. Pointer-lism, if you will (sorry, Georges)." Marianne Soufas
Black Rock Desert, Nevada • Photographed August 2003
Odom was at the Burning Man arts festival when she came upon Michael Christian welding the final pieces of his sculpture Klimax. "I love the lighting and the sparks from the welder's torch," she says. "It makes me smile." Linka A. Odom
WINNER: Americana
Zanesville, Ohio • Photographed September 2003
Science teacher and pilot Irene Baron spotted these flags from a Cessna 172 during her town's bicentennial celebration. Baron says that event coordinators instructed the people carrying them "via loudspeaker" to smile for the camera Irene Baron
Santorini, Greece • Photographed September 2003
Udell says of these island houses: "It gives me the impression of a miniature world come to life. The interesting shapes, sizes and colors make me want to explore the different buildings and hidden pathways." Kathy Udell
FINALIST: Natural World
Wapakoneta, Ohio • Photographed August 2003
Noyes caught this American bullfrog lurking among the lily pads in a pond near his home. "It seems to me," he observes, "that the number of bullfrogs I see is decreasing as time marches on." Peter M. Noyes
FINALIST: Americana
Bryant, South Dakota • Photographed Summer 1948
After World War II "we needed a boost to our spirits," remembers Johnson of the 1948 Ford her family purchased—the first, she says, sold out of Oneida, South Dakota. "We were the envy of the town." Helen Ruth Johnson
FINALIST: Natural World
South Island, New Zealand • Photographed March 2001
Upon entering a New Zealand greenhouse, Sande was immediately attracted by the "textures and patterns" of the resident aloe vera plants. Seonacherie Sande
FINALIST: Natural World
Bluff, Utah • Photographed November 2001
Esquerra, a retired computer consultant, was attending an amateur photography workshop in Monument Valley when, he says, the cat's-face cloud spoke to him. "Here I am," it meowed, "capture my image!" Carlos L. Esguerra
FINALIST: Natural World
Ksar Ghilane, Tunisia • Photographed April 2003
"Despite all the warning to the contrary," says Andreatta, an engineer, who severely taxed his patience to capture this beetle, "I took my camera into the desert and still have Sahara dust in it to prove it." Alejandro Andreatta
Chicago, Illinois • Photographed August 2003
What intrigues Gruber about this photograph taken at Chicago's Art Institute is that "the [museumgoer] looks like she belongs in the painting, despite everything telling us she doesn't." Tim Gruber
Puerto Vallerta, Mexico • Photographed July 2003
"Just as I snapped the shutter," says Williams, a trumpet player, "this kid ran into the picture.... Wow! I knew I had something very special. It was almost spiritual like going up a stairway to heaven." Oscar Williams
FINALIST: Americana
Cranfills Gap, Texas • Photographed October 2003
Robinson was drawn to this former Norwegian settlement, where her own grandfather once lived. "The tree with its great arms stretched out and the church underneath... these things remind me of the great pioneers of Texas." Laura L. Robinson
FINALIST: Americana
Big Springs, Nebraska • Photographed Summer 1964
Root, who died of esophageal cancer as we went to press (but after being notified that he was a finalist), snapped this photograph of his father, Victor (far right), and Victor's dog, Duke. Nile Root

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