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We got an incredible number of incredibly good photos sent in for the Kentucky Living 2003 reader photo contest. On the day after the deadline, when the post office wheeled in seven large cartons of entries, I knew it had succeeded beyond my wildest imagining.

In all we received 5,442 entries. But that’s just part of the story. Besides the numbers, the photos were outstanding. The technical quality was generally high, and the submissions showed a lot of artfulness and creativity.

In other words, there are a lot of excellent photographers among the readers of Kentucky Living. And we were fortunate that so many shared their abilities with us.

Another point I want to make is to apologize and explain, to everyone who didn’t win, that the competition was really tough. Just because your photo wasn’t chosen as one of the 21 we’re printing this month, doesn’t mean you didn’t send in a good photo.

A photo by Clay Arnold of Danville, who is served by Inter-County Energy Co-op, proves that point. As I wandered around the room with the four photographers who served as judges, looking at the final few contenders, I pointed to this picture as one I especially liked. They agreed, but rattled off several reasons why the other entries in the Scenic category were better candidates.

That hurt my feelings (emotions run high when creativity is involved), so I grabbed it and declared defiantly, “Well, then, I’m going to run it in my editor’s column.”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that with all the pictures. I know that every entry was somebody’s favorite picture. Thank you to everyone who entered and helped make this contest such a success.

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