Summer night skies over Haleakala volcano. Photo by Ron Raport.

HAWAII Magazine's 15th annual Reader Photo Contest winners and finalists

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How’s this for a great Hawaii photo?

Wait ‘till you see it full size.

When you do, we know you’ll be as impressed as we were with the grand-prize-winning entry in HAWAII Magazine’s 15th Annual Reader Photo Contest.

Last spring and summer, we asked our reader ohana to send us their best photos of the Islands in four subject categories: Outdoors, Culture, People and Abstract. Thousands of you—from the mainland U.S., multiple other countries and here in Hawaii—sent in your favorite photos, capturing everything from Hawaii’s beloved natural beauty and multicultural, multifaceted people to surprising “view askew” abstract images of life in the Islands.

When it was time to choose nine winners—one grand prize, four first prizes and four second prizes—our staff judges scrutinized every photo, argued over some and saved our favorites. Two days later, we had our winning photos and a collection of amazing finalist photos.

This year, there was little argument over the best photo of the bunch: Bothell, Washington-based Ron Raport’s stunning panorama photo of a clear summer night sky over the summit of Maui’s Haleakala volcano. Blown up on our Macs here in the office, lights turned down for full effect, Ron’s photo simply floored us every time we looked at it.

Ron’s reward for his winning photo? Airfare for two to Maui from his nearest Hawaiian Airlines gateway city, and a six-day, five-night stay at The Kapalua Villas Maui. Ron also received a Canon Powershot A3400 IS digital camera, three-day car rental from Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, prizes from Jams World and Maui Preserved, and restaurant gift certificates for Star Noodle and The Gazebo.

First-place prizes (one winner in each category) scored prizes from Gray Line Hawaii/Polynesian Adventure Tours, Jams World, Maui Preserved, Waimea Valley and Wet’n’Wild Hawaii. Second-prize winners received prizes from Jams World, Maui Preserved, Waimea Valley and Wet’n’Wild Hawaii.

Want to see all of the winning photos and finalists?

On the slideshow below, we present all of our 15th annual Reader Photo Contest’s winning photos and the bulk of our finalist photos in each of the four subject categories. The finalist photos didn’t win prizes but we thought they deserved to be seen by everyone. (Click on the frame of the slideshow to enlarge it and the images on your computer.)

A big mahalo from HAWAII Magazine goes out to our very generous photo contest sponsors, and to the thousands of HAWAII readers and admirers of our home Islands who entered the contest. The first call for entries in our 16th annual Reader Photo Contest will be announced in the May/June 2013 issue of HAWAII, here on HawaiiMagazine.com, but follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

Now, prepare to be transported to our home islands, wherever you are in the world, with this slideshow of our 15th annual Readers Photo Contest prize-winning Hawaii photos and finalist entries below. To see our winners, click here.

We hope each inspires you to enter this year’s contest.

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