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Local photographers focus on local places in Essex Heritage contest

SALEM — Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), a non-profit that manages and provides numerous programs preserving and enhancing Essex County’s historic, natural, and cultural places, announces the winners of its 2018 photo contest.

The annual contest encourages photographers of all levels to “capture” the living landscapes, unique places, and interesting people of Essex County. The contest is presented by Essex Heritage in partnership with Hunt’s Photo & Video, the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, and the National Park Service at Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites.

From rocky coasts and harbors and rural farms to historic downtowns and parks, photographers vividly captured a variety of special places in Essex County.


The winners


Grand Prize:

“Waves,”  (Laurence Spang)
  • “Waves,” taken in Salem by Laurence Spang of Salem


Category: A Closer Look

“Sunflower, All For Me,” (Ken Jordan)
  • 1st Prize: “Sunflower, All For Me,” taken in Newbury by Ken Jordan of Lynn

“Storm Damage,” (Caroline Stella)
  • 2nd Prize: “Storm Damage,” taken in Salisbury by Caroline Stella of Saugus
  • 3rd Prize: “Head Sails,” taken in Gloucester by Frank Conahan of Groton


Category: People Of Essex County

  • 1st Prize: “Sandstorm,” taken in Ipswich by Kristin Bender Kyllingstad of Beverly
  • 2nd Prize: “Essex Tech Teaching Moment,” taken in Danvers by Sue Plutsky of Beverly
  • 3rd Prize: “Winter Hop” taken in Peabody by Judy Schneider of Middleton


Category: Off The Beaten Path

  • 1st Prize: “Walking on Clouds” taken in Gloucester by Sarah Burrows of Wenham
  • 2nd Prize: “Appleton,” taken in Ipswich by Amy Smith of Gloucester
  • 3rd Prize: “Nature’s Window,” taken in Manchester-by-the-Sea by Stephen Dagley of Beverly


People’s Choice Winner:

  • “Monarch and Thistle,” Taken in Haverhill by Kathy Diamontopoulos of Haverhill


New to the Essex Heritage Photo Contest was an Instagram category. Instagrammers were encouraged to tag photos that they took during 2018 with #essexheritagephotocontest. More than 450 photos were entered and nine winners were selected for their stunning shots that captured the special quality of Essex County. The accounts that won:, @dcmills89, @funky_monkey_photos, @harbors_edge_photography, @lomachusetts, @saltwaterlabphoto, @sarahtracyburrows, @sjdagley, @tugapeaks

The public is invited to attend the 2018 Photo Contest Reception on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m., in the gallery at Hunt’s Photo & Video, 100 Main St., Melrose. At the reception, photographers will be presented with their awards and visitors will have a chance to meet the photographers as well as view the exhibit. The reception is free and open to the public; register at

The 11 winning images will be exhibited for one year at the National Park Service Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St., Salem. The winning photographs can be seen on the Essex Heritage Facebook page.

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