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Editor's Note

We employ a considerable amount of research to better know you, our readers—your likes and dislikes, your activities and hobbies. Recently this research, which comes from MRI (the firm that collects data for almost all major U.S. magazines), confirmed what we had strongly believed: You love photography. Over the past year Audubon ranked in the top 10 out of more than 250 magazines in terms of readers taking photos and also in the top 10 for the percentage buying a high-performance camera.

Now, for good reason, Audubon is thrilled to announce the first photo awards in the magazine’s 110-year history, in association with Nature’s Best Photography magazine. Frankly, we’re long overdue. Since its inception Audubon has led the way in nature photography, publishing some of the earliest outdoor, “in-action” bird images in the early 1900s as well as some of the first color nature photos in the 1960s.

“It used to be hard to take a good picture,” says Joel Sartore, one of the world’s preeminent wildlife photographers and a frequent Audubon contributor (“The Least Among Us”). “Focus and exposure were difficult to master, and the amount of time and money needed to buy gear and process film was prohibitive. Today digital makes all this fairly easy and accessible to many more people. It seems everyone’s a photographer.” Joel will be one of the judges in our awards, along with Audubon’s art team of Kevin Fisher, Kim Hubbard, and Todd Standley, and Nature’s Best Photography’s publisher Steve Freligh.

If the prospect of having your photo published in our January-February 2010 issue—where it will be seen by 1.6 million readers—and on—where it will be preserved forever—isn’t enough of an incentive to enter, consider the amazing prizes listed on the opposite page. Remember the photo of the collared aracari that was on our March-April cover? It was taken at Honduras’ Pico Bonito Lodge by renowned nature photographer Roy Toft. Well, Roy has agreed to offer one lucky winner an all-expenses-paid photo safari to the same location. “While on assignment for Audubon there, I was totally blown away and couldn’t think of a better place to bring people to photograph the amazing tropical birds,” he says. “The combination of Audubon magazine readers with Nature’s Best Photography makes it a perfect venue for this type of contest and particular prize.”

Like Joel, Roy believes Audubon couldn’t have picked a better time. “With so many people taking pictures, our world is being captured in pixels in ways that have never been seen before,” he says. “Without photo contests, many of these spectacular images would never find their way to the picture-viewing masses.”—David Seideman

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