Kent PorterSanta Rosa Press Democrat
Terry PiersonThe Press-Enterprise
Shmuel ThalerSanta Cruz Sentinel
Mark E. Johnson/University of Georgia, Dr. Kyser Lough/University of Georgia, Dr. Andrea Hudson/University of Georgia
The first place winner was an immediate choice - a dramatic moment that checks all the technical and compositional boxes. This feels like it could have been a painting or blocked out for a film scene and it made a few of us mildly jealous. The eye moves back between the three players, each living in their own world but linked together by one play. The second place image is the visual definition of the decisive moment - just as the player impacts the wall, ball in glove, face distorting. The tight crop heightens the impact of the moment. We went back and forth between the placement of the second and third place images quite a bit. The third place image has some smart planning demonstrated - moving up to a higher location helped clean up the background, a perpetual problem in track and field. The elegance in the athlete’s posture, the simplicity of the composition and the drama of the moment all aligned to show the grace of the high jump which is normally not seen in a still photograph.