Ansel Adams started with with a Kodak No. 1 Box Brownie.

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter,” remarked Ansel Adams.

Like many, Adams started with just humble means, a Kodak No. 1 Box Brownie his parents had given him, long before he would gain notoriety for his black-and-white photographs that inspired the designation of California’s Yosemite National Park in 1940.

Whether the photograph is captured by a practiced professional or someone who has a serendipitous moment with his camera, we recognize that some of the most authentic photographs of the American West come when something unseen seems to have guided the photographer. For our first annual photography contest, we invited our readers to share those moments with us in four categories: Re-enactment, Landscape, Historic Spot and Ghost Town. True West awarded the grand prize winner $500, and $200 to each of the first-prize winners of each category. Just for fun, we also opened up the contest for “Mystery” entries that did not fit in the other categories but celebrated the American West just as well.

True West’s editors have twice recognized David R. Stoecklein as the “Best Living Photographer of the American West.” We are honored he could serve as our judge for this year’s contest.

Who knows, we could have the next Ansel Adams among these photographers.

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