Essex National Heritage Commission is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest. The annual photo contest encourages photographers of all levels to “capture” the living landscapes, unique places, and interesting people of Essex County, MA.  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 for their award-winning submissions to this year’s contest. All of the photographs were taken within the Essex National Heritage Area and represent one of three contest categories: “This Land is Your Land”; “People at Work and Play”; and “Four Seasons”.

2017 Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winner

  • “Rockport Reflection,” taken by Ken Jordan of Lynn

Category: This Land is Your Land

  • 1st Prize: “Colby Farm Pumpkins,” taken in Newbury by Susan Zappala of Rowley

  • 2nd Prize: “Seaport Landing,” taken in Lynn by Karen Hosking of Salem
  • 3rd Prize: “Gardens at Glen Magna Farms,” taken in Danvers by Susan Plutsky of Beverly

Category: People at Work and Play

  • 1st Prize: “Solitary Launch,” taken in Gloucester by William Putnam of Andover
  • 2nd Prize: “Special Bonds,” taken in Danvers by Laura Ganz of Danvers
  • 3rd Prize: “Shadow Box Magic” taken in Ipswich by Donna Bambury of Middleton

Category: Four Seasons

  • 1st Prize: “Winter” taken in Middleton by Pamela Hartman of Middleton

  • 2nd Prize: “Big (Old) Pink” taken in Newbury by Stan Franzeen of Salem
  • 3rd Prize:  “Cosmic Summer,” taken in Ipswich by Deric LePard of Salem

People’s Choice Winner

  • “Sailors Delight,” taken in Gloucester by Jen Maguire of Hamilton

Photo Contest Reception and Exhibit

The public is invited to attend the 2017 Photo Contest Reception on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 5 p.m., in the gallery at Hunt’s Photo & Video in Melrose (located at 100 Main Street, Melrose, MA 02176-6104). 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 2017 Photo Contest Exhibit.  The reception is free and open to the public; please register for the event by visiting our website:

The eleven winning images will be exhibited for one year at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem (2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA 01970) and at the office of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (160 Main Street, Haverhill, MA 01830). 

See all the winning photographs on the Essex Heritage Facebook page:

Prints for the Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest exhibits were generously provided by Hunt’s Photo & Video.  Prizes for the Photo Contest were generously contributed by Hunt’s Photo & Video and the National Park Service.