ST. PETERSBURG, FL - In the opening days of judging NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism competition at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the panel has picked winners in the Still Photography categories of Art of Entertainment, Conceptual Photographic Illustration, News Portrait and Personality, Sporting Field of Play, Sports Action, and Sports Enterprise.
In addition, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, in partnership with NewsU, will be hosting a live series of Webcasts this week from the Best Of Photojournalism judging. By watching, you'll get an inside look at the Still Photography and Web categories as they're judged, and Poynter's host Kenneth F. Irby will conduct a 15-minute live interview and conversation with a different BOP judge each day.
The daily Web casts will start at 1 p.m. EST each day, and in case you miss them they'll be archived on the Poynter Web site. They're free, and you can enroll in the NewsU "course" online here.
In the News Portraits and Personality category, first place is Olivier Douliery of Abaca Press. Second place is Genaro Molina of the Los Angeles Times, and third place is Per-Anders Pettersson of Getty Images. An honorable mention was awarded to Platon, shooting for Time magazine.
"The first place photograph of the Dahlia Lama was a unanimous selection of the judges," Suzette Moyer said. "It is a uniquely composed photograph. It stands out against the other portraits, which makes it a first place winner. The second place photograph of Brian Grazer had good composition and the framing of his hair standing up is an iconic look at Grazer. The third place photograph is nice moment with space surrounding it. The honorable mention photograph of Putin was chosen because of his glare coming out at the viewer."
In the Sports Action category, first place is Julie Jacobson of the Associated Press. Second place is Damian Strohmeyer of Sports Illustrated, and third place is Andrew Yates of Agence France-Presse. Honorable mentions were awarded to Chris Tyree of The Virginian-Pilot; Chris Detrick of The Salt Lake Tribune; and Cameron Spencer of Getty Images.
"The judges were unanimous about choosing this tack photograph for first place," judge Deanne Fitzmaurice said. "It is a wonderful moment; the photographer reacted and just nailed it, a beautiful picture. Second place was an unusual picture and thats what we loved about it. It was graphic, clean photography with different seeing. And this won the judges over."
In the Sports Enterprise category, first place is Tomasz Gudzowaty of Yours Gallery. Second place is AJ Mast, shooting freelance for the Associated Press, and third place is John Gress of Reuters. An honorable mention was awarded to Nicolas Asfouri of Agence France-Presse.
"The first place photograph is completely fantastic," judge Jens Kristian Soegaard said. "Ive never seen anything like it before. It's a sport we dont know much of, the exercise is done underwater and the picture is taken under difficult circumstances. Its very well composed. The second place photograph is very well executed; there is nothing in the photograph that shouldnt be there. It has impact and its very close to the human emotion. Third place is also an unusual photograph of a little guy who is either celebrating his victory or drowning his defeat. Its not that easy to see. It looks like there may have been some wagering going on, as there is money on the bar. Honorable mention makes us a little bit scared because its a picture of a plane flying through a street where people could easily get hit. Its an unusable picture and its exciting to look at."
In the Sporting Field of Play category, first place is Seamus Murphy shooting for Sports Illustrated. Second place is Matt Marton of the Daily Southtown, and third place is Jonathan Newton of The Washington Post. Honorable mentions were awarded to Steven Achiam of Dagbladet Borsen/Grazia Neri, to Kevin Lorenzi of the Beaver County Times, and to Nhat V. Meyer of the San Jose Mercury News.
"The first place image of quail fighting in Afghanistan is the kind of picture you put on your wall and look at forever," judge Mary F. Calvert said. "It is a great example of and overall picture that really counts. There are many great moments in this picture and the composition is excellent."
In the second place photograph, "You can instantly identify with the photograph of the basketball team getting ready in the locker room," judge Dudley Brooks said."It says a lot about who they are and their relationship with each other."
In the Art of Entertainment category, first place is Sylwia Kapuscinski of The New York Times. Second place is Carsten Snejbjerg of World Picture News, and third place is Sarah L. Voisin of The Washington Post. Honorable mentions were awarded to Sam Dean of The Roanoke Times, and Andrea Mohin of The New York Times.
"The first place photograph shows the work that it takes to get to this point," Brooks said. "Its a nicely layered, a nice moment you dont get to see that often." Calvert said, "I thought it was a great uncommon moment and that the photographer actually thought to just step back and give the picture atmosphere."
In the Conceptual Photographic Illustration category, first place is Jon M. Fletcher of The Florida Times-Union. Second place is Bill Manley, and third place is Andrea Levy of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, OH.
"The first place illustration picture worked for me because it was very sophisticated," Calvert said. "It was a very good idea to illustrate and idea that is so complex. And they did it so simply and brilliantly."
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Photographers from more than 140 countries entered this year's Best Of Photojournalism competition, which has remained a free contest with no entry fees since its beginning. More than 4,000 people entered the contest, up more than 25 percent over last year, and there are more than 21,000 entries totally over 58.000 individual items (photogrpahs, clips, and Web sites).
Winners of each day's categories will be announced daily on the NPPA Web site, and the BOP's Photojournalists of the Year and the winner of Cliff Edom's "New America Award" will be announced at the end of the week.
Judges for this year's Best Of Photojournalism still photography categories are Dudley Brooks, formerly of The Washington Post and who is now with Ebony/Jet Magazines; Suzette Moyer of the St. Petersburg Times; Jens-Kristian Soegaard, the director of photography for Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten (the main daily newspaper in Denmark); Mary F. Calvert of The Washington Times; and Deanne Fitzmaurice of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Judges of BOP's Web categories are Ellyn Angelotti, an adjunct faculty member and editor for The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, FL; Michelle Maltais, a deputy editor of business and technology for the Los Angeles Times' Web site; Irwin Thompson, the deputy director of photography for The Dallas Morning News; Seth M. Gitner, a multimedia journalist for Roanoke.com and The Roanoke Times; and Thea Breite, multimedia photography editor for The Boston Globe.