Ian WitlenFreelance - RMV Wire Service
Amy Beth BennettSun Sentinel
First Place: We appreciated the diversity of images for this package that told the overarching story from shooting to protest. The vigil photos were full of so much emotion. After looking at a ton of vigil photos this month, this photographer knocked it out of the park. The image of the student yelling from on top of the vehicle was well composed and one of the best in the package. The rest of the protest photos were tasteful and showed that while these were still kids, they were very serious about rallying together. Different angles and good composition throughout rose this to the top. The single black and white photo was confusing, but it didn't distract from the story. Second Place: The vigil photos were well shot and showcased great emotion and we loved the photo of the students jumping over the fence. A few photos could have been edited out to reduce redundancy, but overall we appreciated telling all sides of the story as the first place entry did. The first photo of the people on their phones is what helped raise the package up. Third Place: We felt the strongest images in this package were at the end, but it still told a well rounded story. A few redundant images could have been pulled out at the beginning to make the package even stronger. These images weren't just selected because they were all of one of the most news-worthy events of the year, it was because they were the best story telling packages. Most of the other entries had no narratives, needed to be severely edited down, or entered into other categories, either as general news or have the best image pulled out and entered as a feature single. Also, as a side note, if you photograph something that is a huge event or something that a lot of photographers may be covering, PLEASE have a more unique name than "Parkland Shooting" or "wrestling," even with the phone numbers in the file names, it was very difficult to figure out which photos belonged to what package when the names were so similar.
Judges: Amanda Morrison/Watertown Daily Times, Daytona Niles/Watertown Daily Times, Chris Lenney/Watertown Daily Times