Smiley N. PoolThe Dallas Morning News
Ralph BarreraAustin American-Statesman
There are publishable single images in each story, but they don’t hang together as stories. What is the story in each one? We don't see a connection with images that build a narrative. All three need serious work on the captions.... Ruby's story – don’t know she has cancer until the 5th picture. Ruby at the door laughing – caption totally inappropriate to the story… tumors could “blossom” again??? Ewww. What you have is confusing – Ruby seems like a likeable woman but laughing and smiling all the time doesn’t show us her life, only the mask of her life and the way she’s dealing with it. Confusing that she’s getting a degree but she already has one? Isn’t she going to UTA? We don't get that until almost the end. Photographer needs to sequence the images and write the captions so the story unfolds as a narrative.. Instead, we’re bouncing around but we don’t really understand what the story is, what the important ideas are. The photographer seems to have missed a lot and shows us only process images – Ruby does this, Ruby does that, etc. If the photographer had captured a few moments that reveal something deeper or help us to see and feel Ruby as more than the facts of her life, this could be an interesting story. Camera to subject distance is almost exactly the same frame to frame – using the environment as a part of the picture, using light and darkness to convey emotion would help. (The computer image begins to do this a bit.) Captions need serious work and could help move the story beyond incidental facts. There are publishable single images here but it doesn’t hang together as a story. Rice farmer – The pictures don’t tell a story. We see shots of parts of the process of rice farming, but they don’t connect in any way. The captions, which need work for better idea and word flow, are often redundant without helping us to understand why we should be looking at the pictures. If this is a family farm, where is the family element in pictures? Do they begin or end work at the same time? Do they hang out together? Seeing how they are a family would be more interesting than telling us that they’re related. Pictures need editing – only use the strongest combine image. The photographer got into the truck – that’s great – but the picture is more about Ronald looking at the machinery than the harvesting because of the way it’s framed. The photographer doesn’t use vantage point as a way to see and tell something… everything is from the position of presenting what’s there. What is the story here? Is it about how to harvest rice or is it about a family farming rice for a long time, hoping to be more profitable? Photographer needs to decide and then focus on that story.
Judges: Loret Steinberg/Rochester Institute of Technology, Christopher Capozziello/Freelance