Treasure Trove

Our first ever photo contest yields a rich and various bounty

As we pored over the more than 12,000 entries for our first photo contest, we were sometimes reminded of Ansel Adams' observation that every picture, even a landscape with no one in it, involves "two people: the photographer and the viewer." We had no idea how much we would enjoy peering through our readers' lenses. We traveled overseas and attended backyard picnics, we admired covered bridges and cracked up at canine antics. And the children! Hundreds of playing, splashing, eating, frowning, laughing kids. We sought entries in five categories corresponding to subjects in which SMITHSONIAN specializes: Americana, The Natural World, Travel, People and The Arts. Many images were extraordinary, and the judging proved daunting (see Editor's Note). Our 50 finalists hail from 19 states and include young (Lisa Swarbrick, 21) and old (Helen Ruth Johnson, 86), rural (Tennille, Georgia, pop. 1,453) and urban (New York City, pop. 8,084,316). Thank you to all who participated. Smithsonian's second photo contest will have the same categories and, in a new twist, will allow entries to be submitted electronically. We'll announce the rules in September. Please, no entries in the meantime! –Helen Starkweather

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