Xavier MascareñasThe Sacramento Bee
Alex SlitzLexington Herald-Leader
This was a tossup between first and second, ultimately the monarch story won out even though it has some flaws, it just had such good imagery and story. They need to take out a few photos. The first two images are the same. You only need one (take out the second. Image #3 and #6 are also the same (take out #6 its the weakest in color, composition, and tone) and #4 and #5 are also the same (take out #4). The last two images in the series felt like a double-ender of a person who wouldn't commit to the ending of the butterfly. It's a risk of an ender, but its strong, and it's like you're metaphorically letting him take flight but then you're bringing it back to the casket just to hit them over the head with the death aspect. (lose the flower photo and end with the butterfly, why hit them with death when you just hit them with flight?) The court photo is fantastic. I look through images of courts all the times and this one is clean and expressive and close. It makes me proud. The drag won third. Its good. Good shooting, good lighting, inall a very nice collection of photos but it just didnt have the soul the other two did.
Judges: Sammy Jo Hester/La Times, Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian, Isaac Hale/The Daily Herald