5th Annual Photo Contest Winners and Finalists

See the winning photos from our 2007 contest

FINALIST: Altered Images
A too-brief flame
Wojnicz, Poland • Photographed March 2006 Grzegorz Wojcik
FINALIST: Altered Images
A dog sitting still
Fargo, North Dakota • Photographed October 2007 Emily Gerhardson
FINALIST: Altered Images
A rural farmhouse
Near Chestertown, Maryland • Photographed February 2007 Marc Tkach
FINALIST: Altered Images
Strawberries in chrome
Alexandria, Virginia • Photographed March 2005 Keith Bryant
FINALIST: Altered Images
The truth lies behind the mask
Miami, Florida • Photographed September 2007 Erick Jimenez
FINALIST: Altered Images
Humankind and the loneliness of the modern world
Warsaw, Poland • Photographed October 2006 Michal Karcz
FINALIST: Altered Images
Suspended in a dream sea
Ankara, Turkey • Photographed January 2007 Okan Ozdemir
FINALIST: Altered Images
Different levels of the inner self
Bucharest, Romania • Photographed February 2007 Vlad Birdu
WINNER: Altered Images
Miniature children playing in a drinking fountain
Chakdaha, India • Photographed December 2007
The fountain was shot in Pennsylvania and the children (the photographer's niece and nephews) in Chakdaha, India. "The person in the background is me," says Pal. "The idea was to show the necessity of cleaner and safer water, not just for drinking but for everything." — Abigail Tucker Anupam Pal
FINALIST: Americana
A game of ball near ceremonial tepees
Buffalo County, South Dakota • Photographed October 2007 Bernie Hunhoff
FINALIST: Americana
A view of a nearby Russian Orthodox Church
St. George Island, Arkansas • Photographed August 2005 Bill Yeaton
FINALIST: Altered Images
Wilted hosta and oak leaves
Poughkeepsie, New York • Photographed November 2007 Russ Martin
FINALIST: Americana
A birthday cake and candles
Gilchrest, Texas • Photographed November 2007 Jacy Grannis
FINALIST: Americana
Neon lights on the exterior of a bar
Galveston, Texas • Photographed December 2006 David Feuerbacher
FINALIST: Americana
A Coney Island isolation booth
Coney Island, New York • Photographed July 2006 Paula Botstein
FINALIST: Americana
A Navajo guide awaits a group of tourists
Monument Valley, California • Photographed May 2007 Tom Gillespie
FINALIST: Americana
Little League team silhouetted against a dugout wall
Numida, Pennsylvania • Photographed June 2007 Tracy Sudol
WINNER: Americana
Illuminated by spotlights, the Washington Monument gleams against the nighttime sky
Washington, D.C. • Photographed April 2007
Photographing the Washington Monument late one night, Wills watched tourists get up close to stroke the stone. "It struck me that like America itself, the Washington Monument could not be fully appreciated from afar. Its grandeur grows as you approach." — Abigail Tucker Lance Wills
READER'S CHOICE
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat
Santa Ana, California • Photographed June 2007
"This was the play that scored the winning run in the bottom of the last inning," says Weiderhaft of a championship Little League game between crosstown rivals in Orange County. "I focused my camera through the chain-link fence" to capture the moment of both thrilling victory and stunning defeat. — Abigail Tucker Rhonda Weiderhaft
FINALIST: Natural World
A bear runs after salmon
Hallo Bay, Arkansas • Photographed August 2007 Al Vinjamur
FINALIST: Natural World
Small lizard on a thumb
Caracas, Venezuela • Photographed April 2007 Ivan Nava
FINALIST: Natural World
A long exposure of Bodega Bay
Bodega Bay, California • Photographed April 2007 Marc Krutiak
FINALIST: Natural World
A lone tree emerges from early morning fog
Tuscany, Italy • Photographed August 2007 Johan Ensing
FINALIST: Natural World
Close-up of a dragonfly
The Colony, Texas • Photographed July 2007 Mark Foster
FINALIST: Americana
Parked at the Blue Swallow Motel, Route 66
Tucumcari, New Mexico • Photographed July 2007 Bernice Kelly
FINALIST: Natural World
Water flowing in a gorge
Cullasaja Gorge, North Carolina • Photographed September 2007 Scott Hotaling
FINALIST: Natural World
Dance of Japanese cranes
Hokkaido, Japan • Photographed February 2007 Simone Sbaraglia
FINALIST: Natural World
Emperor Penguin chicks begin the dance of life
Snow Hill Island, Antarctica • Photographed November 2006 Von Hawley
FINALIST: Natural World
Charmed, I'm sure: A garden snake up close
Liberty, Missouri • Photographed January 2006 Susan Vasquez
WINNER: Natural World
Young fish dart by a jellyfish in the sea
Mediterranean Sea • Photographed September 2007
"I'm an underwater photographer before all," says Vignaud, who photographed these juvenile fish and the jellyfish while diving off his father's sailboat. Some underwater photographers think "almost everything has been done already," he says. "I don't believe it." — Abigail Tucker Thomas Vignaud
FINALIST: People
A young Sikh celebrates the birthday of the great Sikh martyr Baba Deep Singh Ji
Amritsar, India • Photographed February 2007 Charles Meacham
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
A tribal birth in India
Purulia, India • Photographed August 2007
Six days after Betka Tudu's birth, female relatives and neighbors in the West Bengal village of Purulia gathered to bless him and "to protect him from harm's way," says Dey. Born into the Santhal tribe, Betka "unknowingly drew his distant kin closer than ever." — Abigail Tucker Anbhijit Dey
FINALIST: People
Preschool boys taking a break
Gujarat, India • Photographed July 2007 Asiya Khaki
FINALIST: People
A nun tidies up inside the Moldovita Monastery
Bucovina, Romania • Photographed September 2006 Cosmin Danila
FINALIST: People
A young man is doused in talcum powder during a rite of manhood
Kara, Togo • Photographed July 2007 Rowan Mark McGann
FINALIST: People
Coney Island dreamers
Coney Island, New York • Photographed June 2005 Eliud Martinez
FINALIST: People
Children playing in a schoolyard just before sunset
Quezon City, Philippines • Photographed April 2007 Samuel De Leon
FINALIST: People
Umbrellas against the rain
Dubrovnik, Croatia • Photographed September 2006 Zoltacuten Balog
WINNER: People
A group of boys watching a dance ceremony in their village
Near Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso • Photographed November 2006
Masked dancers greeted Schneider's tour group on a visit to the village of Boni, well off the beaten track in West Africa's Burkina Faso, but he was drawn to a group of watchful boys instead. "I wanted to capture that look of curiosity of these kids," says Schneider. — Abigail Tucker Hal Schneider
FINALIST: People
Climbing a sand dune during a windy afternoon
Mui Ne, Vietnam • Photographed June 2007 Vo Anh Kiet
FINALIST: Travel
Indian schoolchildren on their way home
Near Nagarjuna Sager Dam, India • Photographed November 2007 David Watts Jr.
FINALIST: Travel
Fish displayed against the red walls of a market tent
Kandy, Sri Lanka • Photographed January 2006 Carrie Grisham
FINALIST: Travel
Members of the Ambororo group, who have faced uncertainty since civil war interrupted their migration routes
Juba, Southern Sudan • Photographed April 2007 Christopher Farber
FINALIST: Travel
A temple guide resting in the Medinet Habu temple
Luxor, Egypt • Photographed November 2005 Rosanne Bruegmann
FINALIST: Travel
Local villagers bring produce to a floating market
Solomon Islands • Photographed August 2007 Liz Harlin
FINALIST: Travel
Lord Krishna checks his cell phone
Kolkata, India • Photographed April 2007 Joydeep Mukherjee
FINALIST: Travel
A narrow alleyway in the Blue City
Jodhpur, India • Photographed November 2007 Sudipto Das
FINALIST: Travel
Trams and people rushing by
Istanbul, Turkey • Photographed October 2006 Sina Demiral
FINALIST: Travel
A boat passing through the mountains
Guilin, China • Photographed June 2006 Ted Lee
WINNER: Travel
Woman praying during the Chhath Puja, a festival dedicated to the worship of the sun god
Agra, India • Photographed November 2007
At an annual Chhath festival in the city of Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, Hindu women immersed in water pray to the sun for prosperity for two days. They celebrate the setting sun first, says Sengupta, then "welcome the fresh rising sun on the very next morning." — Abigail Tucker Indranil Sengupta