ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Best Of Photojournalism 2007 judges picked winners today in the Television division categories of Solo Video Journalist, News Feature (Editors) and News Feature (Photographers), Under Deadline Spot News, Under Deadline / General Editing, and Deadline News at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg.
The Best Of Photojournalism 2007 competition is sponsored again this year by Canon and Avid.
The winning videos can be viewed here on the Poynter Institute's Web site.
In the category of Solo Video Journalist, first place was awarded to Dan Weaver of KUSA-TV in Denver for “Independence Bells.” Second was Matt Renoux of KUSA-TV Denver for “Mine Rescue Training,” and third place was Weaver again for “Apartment Fire.” There were no honorable mentions awarded. A finalist in this category was “The Price of Beans” by Jon Mills of WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, MI.
“This was a tough category to know where to set the bar,” judge Regina McCombs said. “A number of truly great photojournalists have essentially been ‘one man bands,’ but most of those who entered in this were young journalists getting started. We ended up with an assortment of spot news, features, and general news that’s a bit of apples and oranges, on top of the fact that none of us are thrilled with idea of the proliferation of VJs in the first place.”
In the News Feature (Editors) category, Matthew Rafferty of WJW-TV in Cleveland, OH, won first place with “Just A Matter Of Time.” Second place went to Joshua Shea of KCNC-TV in Denver for “Girl Scout Cookies,” and third place wa Ryan Borgman of KDVR-TV in Denver for “Just The Neatest Thing.” An honorable mention was awarded to Jeramy Rosenberg of KMGH-TV in Denver for “Krav Maga.” Finalists in this category included “Pig Farm Abuse” by Brandi Paulson of WKYC-TV in Cleveland, and “A New Home” by Shea.
“I loved the ‘It's Just a Matter of Time’ story. This was an incredibly edited story even down to the font selection,” judge Stephanie Ottjepka said. “There was a great use of slow motion. All the dissolves blended well so that it wasn't an ugly picture when the two images were superimposed. The phone call ring was startling, which in this story was a good effect. The use of her mouthing the words ‘matter of time’ over him, saying it just reinforced the pain this woman is going through. Nice use of wides and blurry shots. The ending music worked great, faded up perfectly, and the shot selection that accompanied it was fabulous. This ending is a well-edited tease.”
In the editing News Feature (Photographers) category, Steve Rhodes of WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, IN, won first place for “Brush With History.” Second place was Greg T. Johnson of WFAA-TV in Dallas for “The 5 Browns,” and third place was Corky Scholl of KUSA-TV in Denver for “Sister Molly.” An honorable mention was awarded to Chad Zellmer of WYFF-TV in Greenville, SC, for “Garage To Grammy.”
Finalists in this category included Chris Bollini of KFTY-TV in Santa Rosa, CA, for “Crunch Time”; Steve Rhodes of WTHR-TV in Indianapois for “King Of Swing”; Eric Blumer of KCNC-TV in Denver for “Last Man Standing”; Douglas Burgess of WFAA-TV in Dallas for “Off The Wall”; Byron Reed of KUSA-TV in Denver for “She’s Right Here With Me”; and David Bradford of WJW-TV in Cleveland for “Talking Dirty.”
“The first place winner made excellent use of music, shot selection, and effects to tell the story of a Marine’s coping with Alzheimer's disease by creating paintings of his time in service during WWII and Korea,” judge Michael Humphries said. “The pacing of this beautifully-crafted story was perfectly executed.”
“‘Brush with History’ had a nice use of music and style to convey a mood. I liked the time warps to the music off the top,” Ottjepka said. “I really liked the way the editor introduced the Alzheimers, with the three edits pulling out of the hallway, fading to black and then the sequence where he is forgetting. I thought this was well done. The style stayed consistent and wasn't overpowering.”
Ryan Borgman of KDVR-TV in Denver won first place in the Under Deadline Spot News category for “She Is So Lucky.” Second place went to Borgman for “Oh My Gosh,” and third place to Shawn Montano of KCNC-TV in Denver for “Get Out.” An honorable mention was awarded to Brad Ingram of WGHP-TV in High Point, NC, for “Eastern Guilford High School Fire.”
“Overall, this category was pretty good,” judge Humphries said. “However, the four winning entries really stood out from the pack. Plenty of pace-setting natural sound and good shot variety set them apart from their competitors.”
“The first place story, ‘She is So Lucky,’ used seamless natural sound and great shot selection to tell the story of a car-in-a-river story. The editing was tight and the story structure was sound. A very solid, well-crafted piece from start to finish. ‘Oh My Gosh’ really stood out because of the way the editor used a crying woman as a recurring character throughout the piece. As the story begins, we see and hear her crying as her apartment building burns and, during the course of the story, we see and hear her several more times, until the editor bookends the piece with her sad lament.”
In the Under Deadline / General Editing category, first place was Joshua Shea of KCNC-TV in Denver for “Just Another Wrestler.” Second place was Ryan Borgman of KDVR-TV in Denver for “It’s For Molly,” and third place was Shea again with “The Gas Man.”
“The winning entry was in another league compared to the rest of the entries,” Humphries said. “It was very good, and it's even more impressive that it was cut in an hour. All the shots were placed intelligently. There were nice subtle emotional edits. For example, after her dad is revealed, there is the edit of her giggling. I liked the ponytail shot when the reporter is talking about her father’s perspective. The last shot of her ending a match, pushing her hair off her face and smiling, is a nice way to end it. This is a good example of finding the nice moments and really putting them to work for the story. The pacing was good and the natural sound was not distracting.”
“Overall, this category was somewhat lackluster,” Ottjepka said. “The three stories that placed clearly stood out above the rest. The other pieces in the group did not show the same attention to detail as the winners, with some inconsistencies in natural sound levels, rough-sounding natural sound breaks, and weak endings.”
In the Deadline News category, Mike Rashid of WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, PA, won first place for “Water Hazard.” Carly Danek of KOKI-TV in Tulsa, OK, won second place with “It’s Gonna Get Bumpy,” and Brian Fiser of WHO-TV in Des Moines won third place for “Snored In.” Finalists in this category included “105 Year Old” by Troy Hale of KMSP-TV in Minneapolis, MN, and “It’s Gonna Be Bad” by Greg Johnson of WFAA-TV in Dallas.
“Four hours doesn’t give one much time to turn a story, but there were several stories here that did it with style,” judge Joel Eagle said. “The winner took a routine flooding story and made it memorable. Goods natural sound, nice visual images, and personality!”
“We saw a lot of stories that could have been so much better if they had simply shot sequences, kept their shots clean and clear of distractions, and found a compelling personal center to their story,” judge Mark Morache said.
In the Sports Photography category the judges did not award any winners for first, second, third place or honorable mentions. Contest co-chair Merry Murray explained: “There were only four entries in this category this year after dividing it into two categories, Sports and Sports Feature. The judges disqualified one entry, feeling it was a Sports Feature. They chose not to award any winners in this category with only three to choose from.”