Monday, November 14, 2011

CPOY Reaction

Domestic Picture Story-

I saw the first portion of this judging but had to listen to the podcast later to finish listening to the judging.  I'm always interested to hear how the judges explain what they are looking for.  When I hear them talk about no weak images or no images that aren't interesting it makes me think about some images I've previously added that I didn't think were the most compelling but I feel like they needed to be included.  I think that's a really tough situation.
Something that was really interesting was the discussion they had about spot news and how it's more difficult for the photographer to show their personality and who they really are when you are so crunched for time and capturing the moment.  I remember when I used a spot news photo essay for my original blog post and everyone commented how it was a good group of photos but hard to pin point the focus all at the same time.  It's an interesting thought how similar and different spot news and other stories with a longer timeline can actually be.
   Of the finalists I was really attracted to the California beach pictures because even though it wasn't focused on one person, it made me feel like I could understand what was going on there and how life is growing up in a place that seems to most as such paradise but so familiar for the subjects in the photos.  I was also attracted to the diving story because the light and the angles used were so appealing to my eye and I really felt like it told a good story.  I was also impressed by the photograph where he's standing alone on the high dive, not because it was particularly stunning, but because of the caption and direct quote from him about even though being the best is great it can also be lonely.  It shows a lot about him and gives a lot of insight what it's like to be training as an onlympic athlete.

The Sunday large group multimedia was a much smaller group but they talked about each story extensively.  What I heard from the judges was the most important thing to them was a site that was easily navigable while also providing an abundance of news and information in a timely and concise manner.  They were all a fan of the coal piece because they liked the way it looked, it offered many different things including a coal calculator for each reader to calculate how much coal they use individually each year. The story incorporated above average to great professional level work in all aspects from still photographs, to videos, to reporting, and web design.

One of the biggest pet peeves of the judges was time lapse used in a few of the finalist work.  They said they believe it is used too often because of the ability of everyone to do it now.  So note to self, lay off the time lapse for a few years.

The strongest pieces in this were heavily based on  high level of reporting that had been edited down to the bare nuts and bolts of what was trying to be said while also not giving up any of the character in the story.  That struck me as the most important thing I would take away from that part of the competition because I have a tendency not to want to cut things down because I don't feel like it will have the same effect if cut out parts of it.  In reality being able to cut and piece stories back together in a smaller and easier to handle package is the best way to really tell the story.  I really feel like I'm getting better with that and I'm definitely glad I saw this portion of the competition because if nothing else it was a great reminder of what others look for in a good story.

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