Michael M. SantiagoPittsburgh Post-Gazette
Antonella CrescimbeniPittsburgh Post-Gazette
Strongest category we had by far, but still not as many entries as we were hoping. We looked at the first place vigil scene for a long time finding moments in the crowd. It's a different tableaux from a normal vigil and the eye moves from the center duo around the frame to other mini-moments of grief, selfie-taking, and hints of the balloon release. I would have loved to see more from this take. On the left edge of the frame we are missing a moment with balloons, but the photographer might have been cropping out some distracting element. This photo took on a lot more risk and there's a lot more worth discussing than the less complicated second place image. We went back and forth between second and third place for awhile, ultimately settling on the flood damage image for its clean execution and subtlety of information. The blue on blue on blue palette and squares within squares of framing were lovely. This photo is solid and competent but not as risky as the first place photo. Third place we also discussed for awhile. It seems like they are at a safe, medium distance which creates a barrier for engaging in the content of the photo. Its good storytelling potential, nuance and moments, but the photographer needed to engage the situation, actively create a frame instead of just grabbing a picture. It's part of the job of the photographer to make us stop for a moment and engage. We passed this photo up the first few times we looked at it.
Judges: Julia Robinson/Freelance, James Gregg/Austin American-Statesman