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When we announced the 1977 Texas Monthly Photography Contest, we hardly expected what we got: over a thousand entries in every common photographic medium (color prints, color slides, black-and-white prints) using every camera format from the lowly Instamatic to the mighty Linhof, and representing every level of expertise from rank amateur to seasoned professional. A deluge of envelopes and craftily wrapped cardboard boxes, a veritable sea of of submissions flowed through our office door, right down to the last minute of the last day. Who would ever have thought there could exist so many pictures of bluebonnets, children, sunsets, oil derricks, and cowboy boots? Certainly not us.
Our contest judges, Texas photographers Ron Scott and Geoff Winningham, were unperturbed by it all. They methodically reduced the 1190 entries to scores and then to a dozen that were considered worthy of the winner’s circle.
What follows are nine honorable mentions, one third-place winner, and a tie for first (no second place named). Why these particular pictures, you ask? In the captions, we let the judges speak for themselves.