Peter PereiraThe Standard-Times
Jerrey RobertsDaily Hampshire Gazette
Mark GarfinkelBoston Herald
Judges: Peggy Peattie/San Diego Union-Tribune, David Poller/San Diego Union-Tribune, Howard Lipin/San Diego Union-Tribune, Misael Virgen/San Diego Union-Tribune, Hayne Palmour IV/San Diego Union-Tribune, Alma Cesena/San Diego Union-Tribune, David Brooks/San Diego Union-Tribune, John McCutchen/San Diego Union-Tribune, Luis Cruz/San Diego Union-Tribune
Looks like there are a lot of fires in this region. Big ones. First place was a clear choice because it gave us the emotional entre into the impact of the blaze via the displaced resident with their head in their hands at left. Not sure if the photographer was there for the flames, but it doesn't matter. The human factor gives a greater connection to the new event. Second place is an almost painterly image of a huge blaze. Being able to see how the flames leap out of windows on at least two sides of the house at once gives it a third dimension you don't usually get at night. The stream of water to the left keeps the viewer in the frame, as does the light source lower right. The firefighters take on the same hue as the fire itself and the plume of smoke looks unmanageable. Third place gave us the drama of how a firefighter must lean into an abyss of unknowns from the top of a ladder to do their job, putting their trust in their fellow firefighters to keep them safe. We don't even see a hose on the ladder so we wonder if they are being brought down or heading up. Shows the magnitude of the fire.