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The American Society of Magazine Editors announced the nominations for the 2009 National Magazine Awards yesterday. In the three photography categories, most of the nominated magazines are returning contenders–but there were a few surprises.

This category honors effective photography in three entire issues. The nominees are: Bon Apetite; GQ; National Geographic; T, The New York Times Style Magazine; and W magazine.

This category focuses on single stories documenting events or news subjects in real time. The nominees are: Harper’s magazine; National Geographic; The New York Times Magazine (two nominations); and Time magazine.

This is a newer category meant to honor single stories that include great portraiture, food, travel, and other types of editorial photography (and photo illustration). The nominees are: Bon Apetite; GQ; Gourmet; The New Yorker; and W magazine.

It is nice to see that Bon Apetite did received two photo nominations–the magazine in its latest incarnation is looking very nice. As a longtime ASME member and judge, I’m of two minds about the recent decision to allow newspaper magazine supplements enter the competition. (The Pulitzers don’t allow magazines to enter, after all.) In point of fact, the New York Times is the only newspaper that puts out the quality magazines that the National Magazine Awards celebrate. And with three nominations, the Times has done very well this year. It’s something to celebrate in a year that has been grim in the mag industry.–David Schonauer