Sum of Its Parts: Under the Cover, October 2012

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To celebrate this issue's Best Towns 2012 winner, Richmond, Virginia (“Southern Comfort“), we printed two covers. One, a photo of downtown Richmond, is for newsstands; the other—for subscribers—is a composite of the same shot made up entirely of reader-submitted images. Here's a look at how we turned 16,000 photographs into one.

2,600: Pictures Seattle photographer Michael Hanson took during a four-day shoot in Richmond, from which we selected our cover image.

1,411: Reader-submitted photos Boston artist Robert Silvers selected—and then sorted by color, shape, and texture—for his composite.

16,000: Image tiles (including duplicates) used by Silvers in his final rendering.

To zoom in on each of the thousands of images that appear on our cover—and to find one you submitted—visit this page.