DURHAM, NC (March 15, 2013) – Renowned as “the contest designed for photojournalists by photojournalists,” the National Press Photographers Association's Best Of Photojournalism competition is ready to start picking finalists in the Still Photojournalism, Video Photojournalism, Photojournalism Editing, and Multimedia Photojournalism contests.
Update: Multimedia categories are being judged live online now, watch here.
Judges are set to begin the week of March 17, contest chair Terry Eiler said, but before that happens a panel of approximately 50 working professional judges around the world will be using a "direct-to-judges" system using Photo Mechanic and Adobe Bridge to rank, score, and rate the entries. The on-site final round of judging for the Multimedia contest and the Editing contest is scheduled March 21 through 25. 2013. The dates for the on-site judging for the Still contest are still being finalized. The Video judging will take place at Michigan State University from March 26 through 29.
Judging a contest the size of Best Of Photojournalism is a massive undertaking, Eiler explained. He said NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism is actually four separate contests under one name, since the divisions are Still Photojournalism, Video Photojournalism, Photojournalism Editing, and Multimedia Photojournalism. In the Still division alone there are 29 categories, and judges there will review more than 32,000 Still images. Each category will have five judges, an no judge will review more than four or five categories.
For the final round of judging a different panel of working professional will gather with Ohio University VisCom faculty member Stan Alost and Eiler at Ohio University's School of Visual Communication (VisCom) in Athens, OH. At VisCom they will spend three or more days evaluating the finalists to pick the winners in Still categories. The next two days will be spent picking winners in the Photojournalism Editing division, and then the following two days will be spent picking Multimedia winners.
In the Video division, there are 11 individual and six compilation categories. Each category will be judged by at least three working professionals, who will review more than 560 Video entries. A panel of three will judge the final round. In the Video Editing contest, there are 11 individual categories along with one compilation category. A total of 166 Video Editing entries will be reviewed live by two final judges.
Judging for the Photojournalism Editing division is coordinated by VisCom's Alost, and the Multimedia Photojournalism judging is coordinated by Eiler and Alost. The Video judging is coordinated by Merry Murray of KSNW-TV in Wichita, KS.
The live rounds of judging at VisCom will be done using a PhotoShelter interface, Eiler said.
The list of primary judges in the Still and Editing contests is long, a panel of experts from around the world who will be tasked with judging into the final round for three or four categories. Eiler said the names on this list may or may not be named as judges for the final round, which will be live on the OU VisCom campus. The final judges are in the process of being determined. But some of the primary judges that photojournalists around the world might recognize include, in the Still contest, Ami Vitale, Amy Sancetta, Bill Frakes, Brian Smith, Bruce Strong, Dan Dry, Dave Labelle, Dudley Brooks, Eli Reed, Gail Fisher, Gary Bogdon, Irwin Thompson, Ken Light, Kim Komenich, Lynn Johnson, Mary Calvert, Michel duCille, Molly Roberts, Pat Tehan, Peggie Peatie, Regina Boone, Smiley Pool, and Victor Vaughn.
A few of the judges in the Editing contest include Bert Fox, Bill Ostendorf, Chris Wilkins, Jim Colton, Nicole Frugé, Karl Kuntz, Kathleen Hennessy, Mark Dolan, Mike Davis, Larry Roberts, Sherman Wiliams, and Pim Van Hemmen.
Some of the judges who are already confirmed for the Video division include Lynn French of KPNX-TV in Phoenix; Brian Kaufman, a videographer for the Detroit Free Press; Seth Voorhees of YNN in Rochester, NY; Amanda Dennis, the NPPA Video Editor of the Year in 2012; Shawn Montano, an instructor in Multimedia Graphic Design for Front Range Community College in Longmont, CO; Matt Rafferty, a video editor at CNN; and Merry Murray.
NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism contest is sponsored this year by Ohio University's School of Visual Communication (VisCom) and Michigan State University.