"Montana is ugly", said no one ever.

From the wide-open prairies and river bottoms in eastern Montana to the soaring peaks and mountain valleys in the western half of the state, the view around here isn't too shabby. I've lived in the Treasure State for most of my life and the beauty of Montana still makes me say "wow" almost every day.

Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
The oldest photo of Montana! Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
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Instaworthy since 1860.

Photographers - both amateur and pro - have focused their lenses on Big Sky Country for over 150 years. The image above is believed to be the oldest known picture ever taken in Montana. Bird Tail Rock on the Benton Road was taken around 1860, according to the Library of Congress. Bird Tail Rock is located between Helena and Fort Benton in Cascade County.

Wild Goose Island, St. Marys Lake, Glacier National Park
Credit: DonFink
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Postcards, anyone?

According to research conducted by royalty-free stock photo and content agency 123RF.com, Montana ranks second in the nation for most photographers per capita. Their Google data analysis revealed what we already know... Montana is great for picture-taking.

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Credit: Madalyn Cox, Unsplash/eberhard 🖐 grossgasteiger on Unsplash
Credit: Madalyn Cox, Unsplash/eberhard 🖐 grossgasteiger on Unsplash
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People, places, things.

One thing I love is that we have so many cool subject matters to capture in Montana. Obviously, we have breathtaking scenery. Old homesteads, rusty cars, and antique machinery always catch my eye. And there are plenty of horses, western scenes, and wildlife scenes to capture. Photographers with giant, expensive telephoto lenses come to Montana from around the globe for a chance to see a grizzly bear or a big bull moose wander into focus. Fish photography is a surprisingly popular subject too.

Canva
Canva
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Only Hawaii has more photographers than Montana.

The study indicates that Hawaii has 123.87 photographers per 100,000 people, the highest of all states. Montana was right behind, with 110.39 camera toters per 100K. Rounding out the top five are Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. Mississippi had the least amount of photographers, with just 39.3 per 100,000 residents.

We'd love to see the coolest Montana photo that you've ever taken! Share it with us via email: mornings@billingsmix.com. You can also send photos on our station Mobile App.

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