If the response to our Third Annual Photograph Contest -- more than 10,000 entries -- is any indication, photography is well on its way to becoming what one dealer and gallery owner recently predicted will be "the pervasive expressive art form of this era."

Because photography's increasing popularity has resulted in numerous opportunities for professionals to show and publish their work, we decided to limit our contest to "amateurs" -- those who have not sold one or more photographs for a total of more than $25 during the past year. Entries were accepted in four categories: color, black and white, "youth" (photos taken by persons under age 16) and "instant." The last category, new this year, reflects the growing interest in "instant" cameras like the Kodak Colorburst and the Polaroid SX-70; entries were not to have been manipulated in any way but submitted exactly as the camera ejected them.

Those who selected this year's winners are among the most distinguished practitioners of the art, both as photographers themselves and as judges of photography. W. E. (Bill) Garrett is associate editor/illustrations at National Geographic, where he is responsible for all graphic and photographic images, and is himself a veteran of many assignments, including long stints in the Far East. Fred Maroon, who served on Life magazine in its heyday, is a Washington-based, internationally known photographer and director of the prestigious International Center for Photography. On the following pages are their selections: four first-place winners, 12 second-place winners, and several honorable mentions, representing those thousands of images which opened our eyes.

Additional winners, not shown because of space: Honorable Mention, Color Brian Vick, Second Place, Instant Steven Moore, Second Place, Black and White Scott W. Gebhardt