Reader issue #609 The cliché goes that a picture's worth a thousand words, but what happens when a picture is supposed to represent a single word?

"Allure." "Awkward." "Pattern." Those were the prompts for the Reader's fall photo contest, and they're admittedly challenging. Many things are attractive, or graceless, or feature the repetition of motifs, after all. But how do you capture those qualities in a photograph?

The response to our spring photo contest was, in a word, overwhelming, with double the number of entries we received last fall. For the first time in our photo competitions, last fall we built the contest around themes ("danger," "metamorphosis," and "liberation") rather than categories such as "people" and "places.
Our fourth photo contest represented a significant departure - both in the framing of the competition and the results. Instead of setting subject-matter limitations - such as previous categories "people" and "Quad Cities places" - we asked readers to submit photographs based on broad but evocative themes: "danger," "metamorphosis," and "liberation.
In designing our third photo contest, we decided to suggest - but not require - a spring theme. While it wasn't a criterion in our judging, several of the winners did indeed follow our advice - most clearly seen in Linda Ortiz's second-place-winning photograph in the "people" category, showing a young girl in field rich with green and accented by violet and a small dab of yellow.
The River Cities' Reader's photo contest is getting bigger. Much bigger. In its inaugural edition last year, the contest received roughly 80 entries. This year, we got 105. And while we published 12 winners a year ago, we're giving you 15 in this issue.
We received nearly 80 entries in response to the first-ever River Cities' Reader photo contest, and we couldn't be more pleased with the results. We divided the contest into three categories - people, Quad Cities places, and digitally altered - and the diversity of the entries shows the wide range of possibilities for the photographic arts.

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