Northwest – July 2020 – General News

Judges Comments

We were struck at the clear indecision on the parts of the entrants over where to draw the line between general and spot news when it came to protests. We drew the line somewhere at the tear gas and rubber bullets. Before that line it's still a planned event, but after that, all bets are off and while there might have been some expectation of the violence, one cannot "plan" how to make photos once that happens and it needs to be in spot news. First place had strong emotion, well composed, command of the light and a sense of intimacy that all make a great news photo. Second was the best of the general news protest moments, a different scene, with really strong use of the light, cleanly composed and a powerful moment. Third came down to the best of the rest of the genre. We really liked the moment, the light, we felt the composition would have benefited from a bit of a crop. In an HM spot we liked the moment of the homecoming solider hugging his daughters, but the composition was, well, bad. A vertical moment left as a horizontal with too much dead space. Cropped to the moment it might have competed. And, in the name of furthering the education aspect of the competition, an entry from the Portland protests, which had a number of good, albeit spot-newsy, photos, might have merited some sort of recognition but the edit was too loose (and it was, arguably, mis-categorized). We strongly encourage better editing. This can be a real downfall in this category, the inclusion of sub-par images in a grouping in hopes that the strongest images will pull the whole up, but instead the weaker drag it down.

Judges: Sean D. Elliot/The Day, Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel, Jim Evans/Retired