HERE’S HOW NJ
it’s always daunting to send out an
invitation with no idea how people
will respond. Such was the case with
the inaugural New Jersey Monthly and
Unique Photo Cover Search 2018. In
March we invited photographers—
amateurs, professionals and students—to
submit their best New Jersey photos
for a chance to appear on the cover of
this issue. Unique Photo sweetened
the pot with a long list of valuable prizes. Still, we could only guess how many
people might enter.
You can imagine how thrilled I am
to report that the contest garnered
631 entries (you can view them at
The entries are as varied as they are
wonderful—a delightful smorgasbord
of amazing Garden State images.
Photos could be submitted in one
of five categories. The nature category proved to be the most popular by
far, accounting for more than 70 percent of the entries. The Jersey Shore
was the most popular location; other
frequently photographed spots included Paterson’s Great Falls, Liberty
State Park in Jersey City and Grounds
for Sculpture in Hamilton Township.
Sunrises and sunsets were the most
popular subjects. Other favorites:
lighthouses (especially Barnegat
Light), 9/11 memorials and birds of
all kinds, including many shots of our
state bird, the American goldfinch.
The winner? If you looked closely
at our cover, you know it’s Diane LaPreta’s “Moon Over Mariner’s Landing,” a composite of images LaPreta
shot near her hometown of Wildwood
Crest and entered in the special category. We think it’s one of the most enticing photos ever to grace the cover
of New Jersey Monthly.
You can view our overall runner-up
on the Contents page (page 5) and the
rest of our category winners and runners-up in the contest album starting
on page 54. Combined, they create a
gorgeous picture of our Garden State.
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