Sarah NaderNorthwest Herald
John WilliamsThe Northwest Iowa Review
Matthew ApgarNorthwest Herald
Amanda Morrison/ Watertown Daily Times, Justin Sorensen/ Watertown Daily Times, Stephen Swofford/ Watertown Daily Times
Don’t be afraid to crop into peak action even if it becomes an unconventional shape. Several photos were made exponentially better just by cropping something out of the background that was unnecessary. This category had the most entries. It also had the most technical problems of the categories. Photos that may have otherwise won (or at least been considered) based on moments or peak action were rendered barely useable because of poor toning, lack of crop, and bad color balance. Additionally, there were some great standalone photos that were weighed down by a multiple picture entry, which maybe would have won had they been entered individually. First Place: This photo had the most foresight and creativity to get an interesting photo out of what is normally downtime at a sporting event. Technical skill easily elevated this image to the top. Second Place: Solid celebration photo with lots of good reaction on both sides. We thought this photo would have benefitted from cropping the ref out despite liking the legs being lifted in the air, because the ref is a little bit too distracting in the background. Third Place: We wanted there to be more action in this photo so badly. It placed third because despite the lack of action, the lighting made it one of the more interesting sports photos to be entered. We wished the photographer would have played with this idea longer to get a good action shot with interesting light.