National – July 2019 – Photo Story/Essay

Judges Comments

This was the toughest category because almost every story needed a tighter edit. A loose edit brings down a well-photographed story. If you no longer have a picture editor in the workplace, find someone who will look at your work. A second and third pair of eyes can reveal what an edit requires to make it tighter, thus making it stronger. Also, most stories suffered from too many wide-angle pictures that lacked different focal lengths or tight images. Pictures look the same without visual variety. First - The first place story answered all of these issues and thank goodness that the first photo of the tight face was included. Rule of thumb: would you recognize someone from the story if they walked in the door? Second - dramatically photographed and it helped that it rained this day. The mood of these pictures made the story. Three pictures could be edited from this story because they are redundant. Edit, edit, edit. Third - we liked the butterfly story because it was thoughtfully photographed, but this too could have used a strong edit. But we really would recognize this person if they walked into the room. 🙂

Judges: Sue Morrow/NPPA Magazine, Michael Rondou/Retired San Jose Mercury News, John Agnone/Retired National Geographic