The South Carolina Department of Commerce invites area shutterbugs to enter a contest celebrating the beauty of the state's countryside. The deadline to submit photographs to the 2009 Rural Summit Amateur Photography Contest is Friday, Feb. 6. The top ranked images can bring in a first prize of $500, a second prize of $250 and a third prize of $100 for their artists; winners will be chosen during the 2009 South Carolina Rural Summit, scheduled for Feb. 22-24 at Clemson, and winners will be notified no later than March 31. Photos must be submitted as 8-by-10 inch images, with the photographer's name and title of the photo on the back of each entry. Each entry must include a registration form and a signed release form. Contestants are limited to two photo entries each. The contest is open to photographs of rural South Carolina subjects only, and photos with a person as the focus are not eligible for entry. Entries must be the contestant's own original work, may be in color or black-and-white format, and may be portrait or landscape in configuration. Employees of the South Carolina Department of Commerce are not eligible to enter the photography contest. Contest entries may be submitted to: Community & Rural Planning and Development, South Carolina Department of Commerce, 1201 Main St., Suite 1600, Columbia, SC 29201. For more information and complete contest rules, visit the contest's webpage at www.sccommerce.com/2009southcarolinaruralsummit/photocontest.aspx, or call Flora Atchison at (803) 737-1876 or email her at fatchison@sccommerce.com. Contact Suzanne Stone at sstone@aikenstandard.com.