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Capture an image of a luminous lighthouse, some fantastic foliage, or some awe-inspiring architecture and you could be a winner in the 2022 Essex Heritage photo contest. Photographers of all ages and experience levels are invited to participate in the contest by submitting images that capture the spirit of the Essex National Heritage Area, which spans the 34 towns and cities of Essex County.

The submission deadline is December 16. Photographs must have been taken in 2022.

Under the Bridge by Donna Bambury

Photographs must be submitted in one of four categories:

Downtown: Focused on the built environment, this category asks for striking images of the architectural treasures, urban centers, downtowns, streetscapes and/or public art that helps define the unique local character of the region.

New Encounters: This category wants images that show sites, stories, and scenes that photographers have just recently discovered or delved into.

Splash of Color: Capture the colors of Essex County, from lush fields of flowers or farmers market stalls piled high with vibrant produce to murals or street festivals.

Youth: Budding photographers from age 5 to 17 are invited to submit photos taken at home, parks, beaches, downtowns, farms – wherever in Essex County the exciting shots are.

The contest will award up to 12 prizes to photographers: one Grand Prize, a Youth category award, a People’s Choice award, and a first, second, and third prize in each of the other three contest categories. The award-winning photographs will be exhibited at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem.

Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley.

For more information, to enter, or to view previous years’ winners, visit