News Archive

NPPA Members Win Top Three Spots In 2005 Gordon Parks International Photography Competition

NPPA member Sarah Meghan Lee of Albuquerque, NM, is the winner of the 17th Annual Gordon Parks International Photography Competition, announced by The Gordon Parks Center for Culture and Diversity at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, KS. Second place was awarded to NPPA member Benjamin Rusnak of Boca Raton, FL, and third place went to NPPA member Dr. VME Edom Smith, of Chesapeake, VA.

Parks, a world-renowned photojournalist, filmmaker, novelist, poet, and composer was born in Fort Scott in 1912. The Gordon Parks Center for Culture and Diversity was established at Fort Scott Community College in 2004.

Parks personally picked the winners after the competition was narrowed down to finalists, and they were asked to submit a large print for Parks to review. In a handwritten note that Parks sent with his selection of the winners to the Gordon Parks Center executive director Jill Warford, the legendary photographer wrote: “Dearest Jill – This was a most difficult task. All of the pictures are wonderful and it took hours and a lot of thought to reach a decision. My love and congratulations to all contestants! – Gordon Parks.”

Lee’s winning photograph showed a young woman waiting for medical treatment in a Haitian hospital, and that treatment never arrived. Rusnak’s second place photograph showed Angela Mercado, a mother of five, welling up with tears as she talked about the donated land and the new home that will be built on it for her family to live in, replacing the shelter made from black plastic sheeting that they live in now. Smith’s third place photograph shows a Sunday afternoon street scene in Rocheport, Missouri, a small river town “that’s seemingly isolated from the rest of the world,” the photographer wrote.

Lee, an NPPA member since 1998 who has taught at the Santa Fe Workshops and is represented by ZUMA Press, started photography as an assistant to a picture editor at USA Today before working with international relief agencies in Rwanda covering the refugee crisis in the mid-1990s. Her work as a freelance photojournalist has appeared in USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe.

Rusnak, a staff photojournalist for Food For The Poor, has been an NPPA member since 1992. Smith, a photojournalist and educator who is the daughter of Professor Clifton C. Edom andVi Edom, and is a director of the Truth With A Camera Workshop, has been an NPPA member since 1995.

First place in this year’s contest received an award of $1,000, with $500 awarded for second place and $250 for third place. An exhibit of the finalists’ photographs will hang at Fort Scott Community College.

Parks awarded honorable mentions to Dean Tokuno of Yuba City, CA, for his picture “To Feel the Sunshine One Last Time”; to LouiePalu of Toronto, Ontario, for “Hands of Help”; to David Humphreyof Pendleton, IN, for “If Only My Eyes Could See”; and to AbirAbdullah of Dhaka, Bangledesh, for “Rescued Dead Child.”

Other finalists this year included Leroy Skalstad of Milwaukee, WI, for “Homeless Couple”; Jonathan French of Washington, DC, for “Blue Fields”; Debra Cram of Kittery Point, ME, an NPPA member, for “Queer”; Helen M. Giovanello of Torino, Italy, and New York City, for “Mother Of Fallen Soldier”; Keith Shawe of Tacoma, WA, for “Smoke”; and Steven Herppich of Cincinnati, OH, an NPPA member and a staff photojournalist for The Cincinnati Enquirer, for “Election.”

The photography competition is an integral part of the center’s Celebration for Culture and Diversity and it’s been conducted there since 1990. More than 3,100 photographers from around the world have participated in the annual program that, inspired by the photography of Parks, reflects important themes in life such as social injustice, the suffering of others, and family values.

Entry forms for the 18th Annual Gordon Parks International Photography Competition will be available after February 1, 2006, on the Web site, www.gordonparkscenter.org.

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A Letter From Paris: Perpignan's Report Card

One in a series of regular dispatches from the front lines of photojournalism:

By John G. Morris

PERPIGNAN, FRANCE - Visa Pour l’Image, the photojournalism festival held here annually the first week of September, serves as a kind of report card on the state of the world. The report this year was anything but excellent. The year began with the horrible aftermath of the tsunami. Just as the festival was getting underway, came word and equally horrible first pictures of hurricane Katrina. It was a bit too much.

Nevertheless, the festival was once again the family reunion of the world’s photojournalists. More than 3,000 professional photographers, journalists, picture editors, and agency representatives from 61 countries paid their dues (50 Euros) to attend the 29 exhibitions, the six nightly projections, the interminable “debates,” the previews and press conferences that make Perpignan unique.

Visa Pour l’Image can be described as a circus with three major rings and innumerable sideshows, presided over by ringmaster Jean-Francois Leroy, a journalist who learned the trade at Paris Match and has directed Visa for seventeen years. The three circus rings are the refurbished 16th century Couvent des Minimes, which houses more than half the exhibitions; the modern Palais des Congres, whose seven floors house the commercial sponsors and the world’s picture agencies, as well as two theaters and a rooftop restaurant; and theCampo Sampo, once the courtyard of a nunnery, now fitted with bleachers for hundreds of lucky spectators. Those who don’t get in are welcome to watch on another screen, at Place Gambetta. Surrounding all this (and much more, including a fort, a palace, a cathedral, a town hall, and too few hotels) sits the city of Perpignan.

The printed program for Visa is a big booklet of 57 pages, which is condensed into a little leaflet of 28 pages with map – indispensable in this city where streets wander like goats. Alphabetically, the 24 one-person picture shows this year ran from Eddie Adams to MichaelYamashita. Eddie’s was a posthumous tribute to a man known affectionately in the profession both for solid photojournalism and for showmanship. Michael’s show was on the Korean DMZ, the demilitarized zone and “last remnant of the Cold War.” He photographed it forNational Geographic in the winter of 2002-03 but unfortunately little has changed.

There were also retrospectives by Claude Dityvon, once considered the enfant terrible of French photography, and by David Burnett, the Washington-based photographer from Contact Press Images. Burnett, one of the few American photojournalists who actually speaks their language, astonished the French press by the number of world events he has managed to cover in the past 35 years, from the coup d’etat ofChilean General Pinochet to the campaign of John Kerry. Adriano Bartolini, a respectful paparazzo to the Pope, showed John Paul II in blue jeans.

The kind of show that sends Visa director Leroy to the wall (to hang it) is a photographer’s passionate statement of a cause. As usual at Perpignan, there were plenty:

* Contact’s Kristen Ashburn won last year’s Canon Female Photojournalism award, and was thus guaranteed a show this year. Her photographs of AIDS victims in Zimbabwe were a powerful indictment of the Mugabe regime, which welcomes journalists with prison sentences, eviction, or extinction. This year the award went to Claudia Guadarrama, for a show at Perpignan next year.

* Heidi Bradner of Panos Pictures began photographing the first Russian assault on Chechnya 10 years ago. She then lived in Moscow and speaks Russian. Her pictures pull no punches: “I have tried to give a human face to the many victims of this war,” on both sides. She now lives in London.

* Asim Rafiqui of Sipa, a young photographer who is a Pakistani born American of Kashmiri descent, now living and working from Sweden, has launched an all-out photographic attack on the “interim” government in Haiti which replaced that of the democratically elected President Aristide. His images show the brutality of the present regime.

* Marcus Bleasdale is an English writer who was first inspired by the Congo of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. He left a banking job to see for himself. He found little had changed and published a book, One Hundred Years of Darkness. He hopes that his reportage, which he calls “The rape of a nation,” will shock the world into action.

* Kadir van Lohuizen of Vu, supported by a Dutch NGO, documented the world diamond industry, starting with the dismal conditions of African miners. Thanks to groups such as Fatal Transactions, there has been modest reform, embodied in the Kimberley Agreement of 2002.

* Gerard Ranciman’s color portraits of the survivors of Hiroshima, shown at Perpignan as a mural 40 feet long by 10 feet high, are one of the few Visa projects to be widely published – on the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb. His story made Paris Match, Time, London’s Sunday Times, Stern, Oggi, and Hola. Will it now be forgotten?

* Alexandra Boulat, one of the founders of the agency VII, returned to Perpignan with a story on “Women of the Axis,” meaning Mr. Bush’s axis. Her story was recently published in Paris Match, with text by Caroline Mangez. It was obvious that the women of Afghanistan do not see the wearing of the burqa and the black abaya (which the two women were forced to wear) in the same way as do western women.

* Paul Lowe, who may also be remembered for his coverage of the first war in Chechnya, reminded us of still another war, with a show called “Scars,” from the war in Bosnia. It’s also a book.

* The plight of Palestinians, generally favored in Europe over their Israeli occupiers, was the subject of two exhibitions. Vu’s Jerome Equercalled his “Gaza, Life in a Cage.” Reuters presented the work of its three Palestinian photographers, who happen to be brothers: AhmedJadallah, Suhaib Salem, and Mohammed Salem. The title of their exhibition: “Gaza – Funeral Days.” The preface explained: “For years in Gaza, every day has been a funeral day … This exhibition is a simple sample of their daily work.” Next year should be different, at least in Gaza.

* Unsurprisingly, the occupation of Iraq was either the main subject or was touched on in five exhibitions. Two were by AFP photographers,Patrick Baz and Mauricio Lima. One was by Time’s Russian contract photographer Yuri Kozyrev, who covered both sides. One was by freelance Jerome Sessini, who was in Iraq from March 2003 to January 2005. He says, “I shall be returning.”

* Lynsey Addario, who won the Fujifilm Young Photographer award, to me did the most remarkable job in Iraq, although she worked there only five days. Assigned by the weekly newspaper supplement Life, she arrived during the fierce fighting at Fallujah, and managed to photograph wounded Marines in the Air Force Hospital at Balad. Getting signed releases, she photographed faces, eloquent witness to the sacrifices made by American fighting men (she says that no women were on the front lines). After holding her pictures for four months Lifereturned them. Fortunately, they were almost immediately published by The New York Times Magazine.

* Magnum’s Paul Fusco also defied Pentagon attempts to sweeten the sour news of Iraq by photographing American funerals for servicemen and women killed in Iraq. His story, much like that published in News Photographer in March, 2004 (“When War Comes Home”), was published in Mother Jones.

* Finally we come to CARE, the international NGO, which conducted a competition of its own, judged by Jean-Francois Leroy. It was won byJuan Medina of Reuters, for his shocking coverage of lives lost as men and women attempt to flee Africa for the Canary Islands – Juan’s country. CARE also showed the four runners-up, in mini-shows of 10 pictures each. They were by: 1) Thierry Falise, on the Karen rebels of Burma; 2) Jan Grarup of Politiken on the Romas of Slovakia; 3) Lizzie Sadin, on the curse of being born female in India; and 4) FrancescoZizola on the victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. Lest Visa be accused of showing only things that most people are against, it’s worth reprinting the CARE exhibit’s explanation of what the organization stands for:

CARE seeks a world of hope, tolerance, and social justice 
where poverty has been overcome and where people live
in dignity and security.

I am not going to attempt to review the evening projections, for the simple reason that I found it impossible to take notes in the dark. However, thanks to the use for the first time of digital projection instead of slides, the evening screenings were the best ever. Created by a small company called Abax in the small town of Chagny in Burgundy, near Le Creusot, they may well revolutionize this fast-growing medium.

Perpignan’s Palais de Congres is beginning to resemble a Las Vegas trade show, with ever more elaborate displays by sponsors Fujifilm, Canon, and Apple. A constant spectacle at Apple was a line of people checking their email on a dozen computers. One floor of the Palais this year was devoted to space for 18 of the relatively new photographer cooperatives that have sprung up all over the world, with Aina, created by the Paris-based Iranian photographer Reza, heading the list.

On the floor above, the International Press Center housed 38 agencies this year, five fewer than last, but including seven new names: Editing, Images de, IPJ, Photoshot-UPPA, Pixpalace, Studio B, and Top. Seven of the 43 listed last year did not show up, at least under the same names. There were some new hats on old heads: Vin Alabiso, former photo director for AP, came as a consultant to New York Times Syndication. Mark Grosset, son of the founder of Rapho, came as editor and agent for Russian photographers, going back to Soviet times.

Brian Storm, who made his name at MSNBC and then Corbis, launched his new company MediaStorm with a presentation of five films that combine stills and video, from the work of freelancers. To me the most moving was “Never Coming Home,” a series of glimpses of and comments from families who have lost loved ones in Iraq, with photos by Andrew Lichtenstein of Corbis and audio by Zac Barr of StoryCorps.

National Geographic was at Perpignan in full force, making it clear that the switch from Kent Kobersteen to David Griffin would not alter their commitment to Visa. In return, the Geographic seems to get at least two exhibitions a year. In addition to Yamashita’s DMZ there was a fascinating color story by Stephen Alvarez called “Maya Underworld,” on the curious mixture of Mayan and Catholic ritual in Central America that is now threatened by evangelical Christianity.

Only four U.S. newspapers bothered to enter the competition for Visa’s Daily Press award (which was won by Ian Grarup for his Darfur coverage that appeared in Politiken in Denmark). The four were the Dallas Morning News, Newsday, The New York Times, and theWashington Post. The Times, which now owns The International Herald Tribune, sent its new assistant managing editor for photography,Michele McNally, as well as the IHT’s picture editor, Cecilia Bohan, and the Times’s Paris bureau picture editor, Daphne Inglese.

Magnum, which last year gave a big party, decided this year to hold a serious symposium, presided over by David Alan Harvey, on the outlook for sales of photojournalistic work through galleries and auctions. The discussion, like most panel discussions at Perpignan, seemed interminable and inconclusive. Meanwhile, Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak was making a photograph of an unidentified man floating in a New Orleans street that made a double truck color spread in both Time and Paris Match.

By now, the sale of photo reproduction rights through the web has become so commonplace that it almost goes unnoticed. The big agencies – Corbis, Getty, Magnum – offer hundreds of thousands of images to their clients. At a Perpignan press conference, Evan Nisselson, founder of Digital Railroad, made an effective pitch to “the little guys,” freelance photographers and small agencies, announcing three new clients: 4See, a Portuguese agency; Veras Images, a collective based in New York; and Stephen Alvarez, the freelance photographer whoseNational Geographic story on Mayan religion was exhibited. The Geographic also sells pictures.

Ryuichi Hirokawa, editor-in-chief of Days Japan, a monthly Japanese picture magazine created on the first anniversary of the Iraq war, March 20, 2004, brought copies of his first quarterly edition in English. It leads with a challenge to “media around the world (who) gave unquestioning and uncritical support to the U.S. war on terror, thus limiting itself to covering the perspective of the only one side. Photos of victims of the war were quietly removed, for fear that they would threaten the ‘legitimacy’ of the war. Victims were neatly hidden from our eyes.”

Determined to show “the hard reality of the world,” Mr. Hirokawa held the first Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards contest. The first prize went to Prakash Singh for a tsunami photo, the second to Q. Sakamaki for a Liberian war photo; third prizes went to Nina Bermanfor her Purple Hearts photos and to Evelyn Hockstein for photos of Sudanese refugees and raped women.

Greg Kelly of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation came to preview his film on war photography called “Words Are Not Enough.” The film consists of interviews with 24 leaders in the field, including David Douglas Duncan, James Nachtwey, Don McCullin, Maggie Steber,Gary Knight, Peter Howe, Hal Buell, Patrick Chauvel, Alexandra Boulat, Larry Towell, Horst Faas, Philip Jones-Griffith, JeromeDelay, David Leeson, and your correspondent. The film, which will air in Canada in November, attracted a small audience because of a scheduling problem.

John G. Morris, formerly of The New York Times and Magnum and now living in Paris, is the author of Get The Picture: A Personal History Of Photojournalism (University of Chicago Press, 2002).

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John G. Morris: It's Just One World

This Op/Ed essay was written by John G. Morris, formerly of The New York Times and Magnum and now living in Paris, who is the author of Get The Picture: A Personal History Of Photojournalism (University of Chicago Press, 2002).

PARIS, FRANCE - Hurricane Katrina struck the American Gulf Coast just as the 17th annual Visa Pour l’Image, the international photojournalism festival, opened in Perpignan, in southwest France. Katrina’s first photos were promptly screened. Several photographers and one editor, National Geographic’s senior editor David Griffin, abruptly returned to cover it. The three thousand photojournalism professionals gathered here were acutely reminded that nature spares no one. Katrina made Americans realize that we too can use some help. We’re not really so different from the rest of the world.

European journalists, arriving in New Orleans, reported that the scenes reminded them of the Third World – or even Baghdad.

* * * * *

When the National Press Photographers Association was founded in Atlantic City in 1946, World War II had ended a year earlier. Most of NPPA’s founders were veterans of the war in one way or another. Some were press photographers who had covered it for the picture pool (Acme, AP, INP, and Life). A few had covered it as cameramen for one of the five twice-weekly newsreels. Others had served as photographers in the armed forces.

When the war ended, most of those photographers were happy just to cover their hometowns again. Their publishers were glad to leave picture coverage of the rest of the world to the wire services, which largely relied on foreign affiliates. Life and National Geographic were about the only American publications that consistently sent photographers overseas.

In the 1950s things began to change. Cameras themselves went worldwide, with Cologne’s Photokina awakening the photo industry to its international potential. The Korean War introduced Japanese cameras and lenses. Independent picture agencies sprang up, led byMagnum but soon followed by many others, in Paris, London, Stockholm, Milan. World Press Photo was born, encouraging photographers around the world.

Swiftly, television took over the screen from newsreels. Vietnam brought war directly into the home, but the front was still far away. It took awhile for Americans to question the assumptions on which that war was based, but the result was disillusion.

Television soon proved more economical than print for reaching the mass audience through advertising. One by one the big American weeklies went out of business. But print did not die. Clever publishers discovered they could make money by whetting the taste of special audiences – for sports, for fashion, for celebrity, for finance. Newspapers found that photos could do the same for them. Art directors joined newspapers, and founded the Society for Newspaper Design. Editors discovered that they could win awards by occasionally sending a star photographer abroad. Television anchors parachuted to backdrops faraway – and soon came home.

Routine world news, however, continued to suffer. American networks closed their foreign bureaus. Little attention was paid to the work of the United Nations and its related agencies – state legislatures got more space. America’s price for this inattention is colossal. Polls reveal the abundant ignorance of the American public when it comes to foreign affairs, or even geography. Smugness is rampant in an America that seems incapable of appreciating either the metric system or Charles Darwin.

If it takes catastrophe to bring mankind together, we are now blessed. We’ve certainly had enough of it in the new century. From New York on 9/11 we have traveled to Kabul to Baghdad to Madrid to Fallujah to the shores of the tsunami to the London Underground to Katrina, to name only the big tickets. It is a credit to American photojournalists that we have gone to all of them, attempting to report what really happened. We’re not so good at reporting why it happened.

The record of recent events is unsettling, but hope dies last, as my fellow Chicagoan Studs Terkel has said. I still have hope for our country, a country for which I bleed even though I have lived overseas for 22 years. My generation – Tom Brokaw prematurely called it the Greatest Generation – is tired. You younger photojournalists take it from here! Yes, we must overcome!

- John G. Morris 
Paris, September 30, 2005

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NPPA And NPPF Now Taking Applications From Photojournalists For The Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund

DURHAM, NC  – The National Press Photographers Association, along with the National Press Photographers Foundation, today announced that applications are now being accepted from photojournalists for the NPPF/Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, a disaster fund established to help photojournalists who have lost their homes, lost their jobs, or may have been separated from their families because of Hurricane Katrina.

An application for consideration for relief is now available as a downloadable Acrobat .PDF file here. Those wishing to apply for funds should download the form, print it out, answer the brief questions, and send in the request as soon as possible. Complete instructions are on the form.

A committee has been established to receive and review the requests for aid. Those on the committee include NPPA past president BobGould at WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, MI; John Ballance at The Advocate in Baton Rouge, LA; and Tim Mueller at The Advocate.

Gould says that funds will be distributed based on need, affiliation with NPPA, and how much money is in the relief fund. NPPA members will be given first priority.

NPPA and NPPF solicited donations from the journalism community and the public to create the fund. The NPPF, often referred to simply as “the Foundation,” is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) charity; all donations to the NPPF and to the Katrina Relief Fund are tax deductible.

Those who wish to donate money to the NPPF/Hurricane Katrina Relif Fund can click here to download an Acrobat .PDF version of the donation form. The form has instructions about how to make a donation via check, credit card, or PayPal and where to send the donation. PayPal members will be given an online link to use for their donation.

For more information please contact Gould at [email protected].

Click here to download the .PDF form to apply for the relief fund. See related story from earlier, and a fund raising story here.

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Best Use of Photography: 2nd Quarter 2005 Results For News, Feature, Picture Pages, Sports, Multi-Page

Because of the extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina, there will be added categories for the 3rd Quarter Best Use of Photography contest. There is precedence for this: categories were added for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and for 9/11 coverage in 2001.

ALL PAGES RELATED TO KATRINA, including its hit on south Florida and the damage in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, should be entered in the following 3 categories:

KATRINA FRONT PAGES: these would be the A1's of your papers.

KATRINA SINGLE PAGES: all other single page entries.

KATRINA MULTI PAGE: all entries of more than one page: but no more than 30 pages in each entry (suggestion: the tighter you edit the entry the better chance it has of winning).

EACH CATEGORY IS LIMITED TO 10 ENTRIES.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEPARATE ALL YOUR ENTRIES BY CATEGORY when you send them ... and make sure to get them to me on time, because they will be sent out to the judges on time. A suggestion: If you mail the entries rather than use one or two day delivery, leave at least a week for them to arrive.

AND MAKE SURE THE MULTI PAGE ENTRIES ARE PROPERLY PREPARED (read the rules posted on the NPPA site if you don't remember them!)

If you have any questions, call Mark Edelson at 561 820-4490 or eMail me at [email protected]


 

2005 2nd Quarter BUP Results

Judges for news, feature, sports, and picture pages: Paula Nelson and Thea Breite. The Boston Globe. Judges for multiple page entries: Sara Guinn, Larry Larsen, Jeff Saffan, Kenny Irby. The Poynter Institute for Media Studies. 

NEWS:

1st: The Dallas Morning News, April 9, 2005
“Go in Peace, Pope John Paul II”
Jamie Huckabee, Anne Farrar, Willliam Snyder, Barbara Davidson, Smiley Pool
Judges’ comments: Absolutely gorgeous, really smart. A wonderful, unexpected photo played just beautifully. The page is extremely elegant. The headline doesn’t intrude on the photograph. It’s gutsy…even though it shouldn’t be. Some newspapers might say “we need to see the Pope.” This group recognized the value of this image and played it the way it should have been played.

2nd: Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2005
"Smugglers Accelerate the Use of Cars"
Rob St. John, Mark Boster
Judges’ comments: Really strong photos. The subject is focused. The lede photo is really nice and played well. Even though the secondary photo is large, it doesn’t compete with the lede. There is a great deal of content that is easily accessible because the design doesn’t interfere with the impact of the photographs.

3rd: Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 2, 2005 
Metro/State section front
Vickie Kettlewell, Brian Peterson
Judges’ comments: This page works because the photo column played as a centerpiece gives the page a “breath of fresh air.” The photo is gorgeous and it’s played really nicely with space surrounding it. The centerpiece package infuses some air into the otherwise very newsy front section page, yet still looks as if it belongs. Everything else is clean, well-cropped and doesn’t interfere.

HM: The Orlando Sentinel, April 16, 2005 
“It’s like the loss of our own child”
Team
Judges’ comments: The linear manner of the layout really gives you the before and after feeling. The sense of loss is communicated. The quote works well to help you to understand the story quickly.

HM: The Hartford Courant, June 5, 2005
“809 Days”
Bruce Moyer, Suzette Moyer, Anja Niedringhaus
Judges’ comments: Nice, clean, simple, strong photo. The ambiguity of the photo – are we the good guys or the bad guys – works well to communicate the idea of the package.


 

FEATURE:

1st: Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2005,
“In Spain, the Complete Dali”
Richard Derk, Kirk McKoy, Annn Moonen
Judges’ comments: Everything is perfect. Really nice use of the photograph of Dali. He is effectively placed coming out of the corner of the page. The smaller images are used well and indeed work well small and don’t compete because of their placement on the page. Everything comes together to make a really “eye popping” page.

2nd: The Hartford Courant, June 2, 2005,
“The Perfect Pea”
Elizabeth Bristow and Michael Kodas
Judges’ comments: The type and the photograph work beautifully together. VERY clean, VERY simple, beautiful photograph with great use of the shallow depth of field. Green type for the word “pea” was a nice touch.

3rd: Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2005,
“Beyond Hurt”
Kirk McKoy, Rob Gauthier, Steve Banks
Judges’ comments: Wonderful mood and use of light in a photograph on a page that is cleanly organized. Terrific use of a quote instead of a straight caption. The words “darkness” and “despair” from the quote are strengthened by the image itself. The use of gray type doesn’t overpower the image and the space around the photograph and the words helps the flow of the page.

HM: The Orlando Sentinel, May 1, 2005, 
“Outdoor Adventures”
Team
Judges’ comments: Wonderful movement. It feels as though the image is powering right off the page. The type doesn’t compete for attention. Really nice.

HM: The Hartford Courant, May 1, 2005, 
“Not in the swim”
Elizabeth Bristow and Jen Rochette
Judges’ comments: Wonderful, fun photo…didn’t like the type in the photo and separated so much from the SWIM.

HM: The Oregonian, May 14, 2005, 
“Dancing chic to chic”
Rob Finch, Mike Davis, Michael Rollins, Molly Swisher, Randy Cox

HM: The Oregonian, April 22, 2005,
“Seven days of one big red ball”
Jamie Francis, Mike Davis, Michael Rollins, Kira Park, Randy Cox

HM: Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2005, 
“A distinct science”
Hal Wells and team


 

PICTURE PAGE:

1st: The Oregonian, June 19, 2005, 
“Every Day is Father's Day”
Motoya Nakamura, Mike Davis, Gabrielle Glazer, Michael Rollins, Beth Weismann, Randy Cox
Judges’ comments: Very simple story. Everyone could do it, yet it’s photographed VERY well and designed simply. There is a good, strong relationship between the images. They stand on their own and don’t compete. Each image has the size it needs to “read” or be seen.

2nd: The Hartford Courant, April 17, 2005 
“Outside Gate E, the Family Gathers”
Bruce Moyer, Mark Mirko, Suzette Moyer
Judges’ comments: Beautiful portraits, divinely used. Layout is done around the photography. The big bulls eye (the belly) photo was a wonderful choice for the lede photograph and everything else works around it in a somewhat circular motion. In other words, the layout mimics the lede photograph. It’s not crowded and the space helps the reader navigate through the double truck. Really nice.

3rd: Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2005, 
“A Harvest of Despair”
Mary Cooney, Gail Fisher, Michael Whitley, Carolyn Cole
Judges’ comments: Nice to see the lede image used so well. Clean, simple, strong content. Sometimes when you have a double truck, the thought is that you have more space to use and the tendency is to use more. That temptation was resisted and a clean effective layout using 4 photos over 2 pages was the result. Each photo makes a very different point in telling the story.

HM: The Concord Monitor, Aril 5, 2005 
“Drip, Drip, Drip”
Dan Habib, Preston Gannaway
Judges’ comments: Very unique photos of a very ordinary process played cleanly and simply. Wonderful lede image. Too bad about the curry chicken salad ad and such.

HM: The Dallas Morning News, April 9, 2005 
“The People's Mass”
Anne Farrar, Michael Hamtil, William Snyder, Smiley Pool, Barbara Davidson
Judges’ comments: Nice use of visual repetition of graphics, figures, patterns that creates a visual theme that holds the page together. Simple, nice.

HM: The Albuquerque Tribune, May 24, 2005,
“Swinging in the breeze”
Craig Fritz, Natalie Ramirez, Mark Holm
Judges’ comments: The whole idea of the page is “seeing” and there are 3 simple images that represent great seeing organized simply on the page. Great lede image. Wonderful lines and composition.

HM: The Concord Monitor, April10, 2005, 
“Weaving a New World”
Dan Habib, Preston Gannaway
Judges’ comments: Not just a collection of images on a barbershop, but a story about a changing neighborhood wonderfully illustrated and beautifully shot. It tells the story of new immigrants by a change in everyday services. Wonderful lede image.


 

SPORTS:

1st: The News & Observer, April 23, 2005, 
“Over and out”
Kevin Keister, Robert Willett, Jon Blasco, Jennifer Bowles
Judges’ comments: Very solid. Very big story that managed to use 3 distinct elements of the story, illustrated strongly, that don’t repeat content. The tight photos with the quotes are good. The unique scene of the press conference gave a strong sense of place and everyone withstood the temptation to crop it. The “behind the scenes” of the coach wrapped it all up nicely. Well covered, photographed, displayed and packaged. The other elements on the page don’t compete. Very impressive.

2nd: The Oregonian, April 17, 2005,
“Stoudamire”
Bruce Ely, Joel Davis, Lisa Cowan, Patty Reksten, Randy Rasmussen
Judges’ comments: Very nice idea. The concept of the photo composite is really fun. The package itself could have used some visual clues to help the reader understand the approach more quickly and to facilitate the understanding. Suggestion was made to make the “How it was done” box more prominent because believe it or not…it took us some time to find the explanation. Also would have liked to see a cutline relating something important about the player under the composite photo. We had to work to figure it out. (Keep in mind, we are coming to this page as the reader would…without any prior knowledge of the idea of the package.) Really nice stretch of the imagination, though. Well done.

3rd: The Dallas Morning News, April16, 2005, 
“Don't put it past him”
Michael Hamtil, Tom Fox, Rob Schneider
Judges’ comments: Headline and dek makes this package work. They help to explain the concept of running the photo vertically without beating the reader over the head. The photograph is extremely well done, composed tightly and not static. Great elements of movement and every inch is used to communicate. We often face the question of what we can do to maximize the impact of an image. This works. Nothing else on the page competes. NICE and a bit of fun and surprise..

HM: The Anchorage Daily News, April 5, 2005 
“Carolina Coup”
Team
Judges’ comments: Strong, solid image with great impact. It’s cropped well and used excellently to maximize the content. The supplemental images don’t compete on the page.

HM: The Palm Beach Post / La Palma, June 24, 2005
“Wimbledon, fuego al rojo vivo”
Mark Edelson, Em Mendez, Associated Press photos
Judges’ comments: Good collection of images that work really nicely together. It’s a light look at Wimbledon. Nicely shot, played, cleanly displayed. It works.


 

MULTIPLE PAGE:

1st: The Hartford Courant, June 5, 2005, 
"By the Numbers"
Bruce Moyer, Suzette Moyer, and numerous wire and agency photographers.
Judges' comments: Was by far an impressive and compelling entry that was packed with information and extremely approachable. The work exhibited masterful integration of elements and pacing and space. The picture editing was bold, clear and thoughtful and the presentation really pulled you in. The comprehensive timeline is the backbone, and structure that held up the photography, graphics and written stories in a powerful way.

2nd: Los Angeles Times, April 2005, 
"The Death of Pope John Paul II"
Colin Crawford, Mary Cooney, Calvin Hom, Steve Stroud and Alan Hagman
Judges' comments: Pope John Paul: Looking back on this historic occasion, the judges felt that this was one of if not the best collection photographic reporting amassed. The overall visual narrative is breath taking. The marriage of photographs, written stories and headlines are well crafted and integrated. The commitment to visual reporting is obviously respected and being celebrated. 

3rd: The Palm Beach Post, May-June 2005, 
"The Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs"
Team
Judges' comments: WOW! This is outstanding daily coverage. They were all over this event and owned the photographic coverage. Every aspect and angle is presented in the report, they clearly set out to “own and dominate” the coverage. This is an outstanding example of blanket coverage.

HM: The Palm Beach Post, June 2005, 
Florida Food and Travel, "Return of the Barefoot Mailman"
Tim Stepien, Michael Alicea, Kristen Bergman Morales, Jenna Lehtola, Nicole Neal
Judges' comments: This is a very creative and exciting use of illustrative photography. The planning is clear and it exhibits tremendous risk taking. “A gamble that paid off huge dividends.” This is an example for other papers to be bold, honest and creative. We should all take a chance every now and then. 

HM: The San Jose Mercury News, April 10, 2005,
"Pope John Paul II"
Caroline E. Couig, Mark Damon, Jeff Hindenach

HM: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, May 1, 2005,
"Survivors"
Mike Stocker, Tim Rasmussen, Nicole Bogdas

HM: The Palm Beach Post, April-May 2005,
"Liberation 1945"
Greg Lovett, Mark Edelson, Daniela Dornic Jones and staff

HM: The Commercial Appeal, June 12, 2005, 
"Murder in Mississippi"
Jeff McAdory, John Sale, John Nelson

HM: The Naples Daily News, May 8-10, 2005, 
"Africa: Seeds of Hope"
Eric Strachan, Judy Lutz, Lexey Swall

 

Comments? Corrections? More information? Next quarter's deadline? Contact BUP contest chair Mark Edelson at [email protected]

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Orange County Register's Bruce Chambers Photographs Dramatic Rescue Of Katrina Victim 15 Days After Storm

Orange County Register photojournalist Bruce Chambers and reporter Keith Sharon have been traveling, sleeping, eating, and living with the California Task Force 5 Search and Rescue team of Orange County, CA, for the last two weeks as they work in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Chambers tells News Photographer the circumstances that led up to his being in the right place at the right time to make this week’s dramatic image of a New Orleans resident from his home:

By Bruce Chambers

After Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, reporter Keith Sharon worked the phones to catch a ride with our county’s swift water rescue team. That team was dispatched to New Orleans just a few days after the hurricane hit. We were denied access to them because they were flying on military transport. However, the following day we were given two hours notice to join up with Task Force 5 on a bus ride to New Orleans. I had absolutely no idea the assignment was coming and had one hour to pack and say goodbye to my family.

What followed was a 32-hour-bus ride to Dallas, TX, where FEMA directed us to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for a well-deserved night’s rest. What we didn’t know was that the stay would be a four-day delay while FEMA bureaucracy tried to get its act together and find us a slot in the FEMA rescue camp at the NFL’s New Orleans Saints training center in Metairie, LA.

The frustration of the team was thick and unbearable. Trained to rescue people, with veterans from 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing, the team was embarrassed to be housed in a four-star hotel while people went unsaved. To make matters worse, they were ordered to keep a low profile in Dallas in order to avoid any impression that they were enjoying themselves while people died. Even more frustrating, 10,000 refugees were pouring into the Reunion Arena next door to the hotel, and the team was told not to go there and help because they had to ready to move at any time. Some ignored their orders and volunteered at the arena, passing out food and spending time with people who were hurting. To make the situation even more bizarre, there was an anime convention being held in the hotel. Conventioneers, dressed as cartoon characters, mingled with the firefighters.

Finally the call came to move, and Wednesday morning the team arrived in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans. Immediately, half the team went on assignment to the northern neighborhoods, which were the most flooded in New Orleans, and waited for boats to begin a search. No boats ever came. The only thing they saved was a parakeet left by an evacuee on the raised highway while they waited. The bird became their mascot and was renamed Katrina. Again, bureaucracy slowed them down.

For the following four days the team traveled to St. Bernard Parish, about two hours southeast from central New Orleans, to search house to house, often in waist-deep water, in bayou like conditions. Resources, particularly boats, were scarce commodities. Hundreds of boats littered the streets, but the team was not allowed to confiscate them for use. Team leaders spent hours building connections with other agencies to insure collaboration with their boats and transportation in order to get the job done. In those four days of work the team, delayed and a week too late, did not discover one live victim. They marked dead body locations, entering each home and marking the homes they searched with fluorescent paint. Their final day they met a family that had stayed in place and needed food, water, and other comforts of life. They made a special run the following day with a truckload of clean water, cigarettes, food, and ice. Up to that point, that humanitarian mission was the highlight of a frustrating two weeks.

On Tuesday, September 13, the team was working its second day of searching in the Broadmoor District of New Orleans. Another bureaucratic policy change was eating at them. They had been ordered to stop forced entry into homes. They could only enter if one of their search dogs alerted on a home or if they heard noises. They found several dead bodies in the neighborhood, and a few residents who came out to meet them but remained in their homes after the team’s doctor checked their welfare.

The team completed its work and was cleaning up, decontaminating their boots and gear, when a medical aid call came in from a nearby National Guard unit. I had been documenting the work of the team’s logistics leader that day, as we had switched into the mode of writing and photographing personality profiles. The logistics chief drove a red fire department pickup, and the doctor and a paramedic jumped in the cab. Sharon and I jumped onto the tailgate and rode along for the two-mile stretch. We arrived on scene to see the National Guard treating Edgar Hollingsworth, 74, on the sidewalk outside his home at 1927 Lopez Ave.

At first I followed the doctor to the sidewalk and began photographing the doctor. (That photograph was on The Washington Post's front page the next day.) However, soon the Task Force 5 Leaders arrived and signaled us to back off. Apparently a commander of the National Guard unit was upset and yelling at his own guard unit videographer for shooting the scene and was ordering him away. A CBS News camera crew was at the end of the street arguing for access to the scene. I snuck a few frames from my camera, with a telephoto, while the camera sat on my lap, as I sat on the pickup’s tailgate across the street.

The Task Force leader asked Sharon and I to unload the truck because they weren’t sure if an ambulance was coming. We complied because we were the only ones there able to do the job. So while the Task Force 5 medics attended to Hollingsworth, we stacked logistics supplies on the sidewalk across the street. An ambulance arrived on scene. The CBS crew eventually prevailed and I went back to shooting the scene. Wanting to get the house in the background, I stepped around behind the ambulance gurney. Just as National Guard Specialist Manuel Ramos lifted Hollingsworth off the sidewalk onto the gurney I took the photograph.

After Hollingsworth was transported to the hospital we interviewed the National Guard commander and our own medic team. We returned to base and transmitted the photograph and story by cell card modem.

The guys of Task Force 5 were in a celebratory mood. After nearly two weeks of frustration they had finally been able to participate in a live rescue. Sixteen days after the hurricane hit, Edgar Hollingsworth – who was near death when discovered – was the first live rescue in New Orleans in the past two days. The team’s counterparts, the swift water rescue team, had tales of saving more than 400 people and that stuck in their guts. That day the team ordered pizza from the newly opened Dominos Pizza, smoked cigars, and played stickball in camp.

Most importantly, the team was hopeful that their rules of engagement would be changed with the evidence of this rescue. They wanted their ability to carry out forcible entry to buildings to be restored because they felt they were missing people who could not cry out or respond to their calls.

Earlier in the day another California task force had passed Hollingsworth’s home while he was inside unconscious on a couch; they knocked on the door, marked his home as cleared with fluorescent orange paint, and then moved on. Then a National Guard unit from San Diego, assigned to protect the Task Forces working in the area, passed the house. A few guardsmen peered in the window of Hollingsworth’s home and spied his foot on the couch. They broke the door down, against the rules, and found him barely alive.

After nearly two weeks, 80 members of Task Force 5, with their 11-truck convoy, were able to say they took part in rescuing one person. Their doctor, Peter Czuleger, performed a specialized IV procedure on the man, there on his sidewalk, which kept him from certain death.

Personally, I think these men and women of Task Force 5 were true heroes, in every meaning of the word, whether they saved anyone or not. They stayed disciplined and true to their mission, following orders and doing whatever they could with horrific conditions. They performed the grim task of body location and worked in neighborhoods away from the cameras, offline from the main story. They did it with a smile and were happiest when a day was a full day of backbreaking labor in the heat. I saw men go to their knees from exhaustion while breaking down doors and searching homes. I saw men who were immersed in toxic water, after falling through the floors of floating mobile homes, while desperately seeking to save victims trapped inside.

They never gave up hope and if one man was saved through it all, so be it. Hopefully in days to come they will have more success, but their work was necessary and they should be proud of their efforts. I’m proud of them and look forward to covering them in action when they return to Orange County in their regular jobs as firefighters and paramedics.

Ironically, the decision for us to leave the unit had been made the day before my photograph of Hollingsworth’s rescue was taken – in the last possible hour of our deployment with the team. God works in mysterious ways.

Chambers can be reached at [email protected].

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What Happened To The Hurricane? This Is Civil Warfare And A Refugee Crisis

By Marko Georgiev

I went to shoot a storm, found myself in civil warfare, and ended up in a refugee crisis.

What happened to the storm? I kept asking myself this a few days into the assignment, which was given to me by the national desk at The New York Times, as I stand in front of these hungry and angry mobs full of people pushing and screaming, or see them begging and banging on the windows of my truck, wanting a ride out of town. “I’ll give you three bucks if you take me out of here!” I hear someone screaming as I drive away. “Please, that’s all I have …,” his voice fading behind.

Sincerely, I was trying to help! I was trying to help as much as possible. Since day one, when I ended up at the flooded Ninth Ward, just across the St. Cloud’s bridge. Water was up to the roof tops. Voices screaming “HELP!” and “OVER HERE!” in the distance, and only three flat boats with SWAT members bringing people “ashore.” I got on one boat, thinking, "Boy, this is going to be a great photo op!" Me, on the rescue boat, imagining all the shots that I’ll take.

But it wasn’t like that. I keep snapping until we reach the first survivor, an old man, hanging off the roof of his porch, screaming for help. Snapped a few shots and then helped the SWAT officer Cris Mandry get this man onto the boat. Didn’t ask for his name. The SWAT guys received a tip from some people stranded on the second floor of their house, so we went searching for an old woman, apparently alone in her house. We bang on the roof, officers yell her name, no answer. Grim silence for a second, and we move on to other houses.

People on their roofs, plastic bags with belongings in their hands. Stranded dogs on the roof of a shack, wet and sad looking. We found a man just holding onto the metal window bars. He was just standing there with water up to his chest. The police officers had to peel him off the bars. The man was in shock, no words, no sound, just an empty look in his eyes. We move onto the next house pulling people out from their windows, roofs, water everywhere. I tried to help and when I wasn’t needed I took pictures. Times-Picayune photographer Alex Brandon, who was already on the boat, was helping and photographing at the same time too. When came back to shore I wanted to drop my cameras and continue helping but there were only three boats, and I was the extra seat on the boat so much needed for those people trapped in their homes. I went to my car and filed what I'd shot.

We moved on. It's dark as we crossed back onto the bridge. There were still about 200 rescued people on the other side, but all the other streets were flooded. People were banging on the window of my truck, asking for water, a ride, crying, while others just sat silent. We stopped to talk to people. An officer came over and asked for my spare tire. He told me not to pull over here, but down the road a bit further. So I did. He said he told me that to get me out of the crowd because, “It is not safe to stop.” Later on we heard that these same 200 people, rescued but stranded on this dry median, were rioting - angry at spending the night on the street with no one to bring them to a shelter.

When we got up and started rolling the next morning, Poydras Street seemed kind of flooded. I was just there yesterday! There was no water then! But now the levies had been breeched, and the water was rising. I walked through the water to the Superdome and took a few pictures of people trying to get there, walking in water as I was. In some spots the water was chest deep. We drove to the Garden District where there are some people at a K-Mart pushing shopping carts loaded with stuff! “Let's get some water!” I said to my colleagues, New York Times reporter Joe Treaster and Times-Picayune reporter Gordon Russell (whose house I had spent the night at). We get out from the car and realize that the store was not open, but hundreds of people had stormed inside, looting. I went inside and started shooting, afraid that someone might attack me for being a witness to this event. No one seemed to care. They were busy taking items from the shelves. Clothes, alcohol, computers, televisions; some even carrying food. I saw a uniformed security person carrying some items too. He didn’t even stop to answer my questions. A man riding a bike with a rifle in his hand passed me – it was time to leave.

I went back to St. Cloud bridge where a few hundred people were standing on any dry spot they could find. Apparently they had been there since yesterday or from the moment they got rescued from their flooded homes. They were waiting for the single military truck that was taking people out of there to the Superdome. A few people already started to collapse, and soldiers were trying to pick up the old and sick first.

Next we walked through the murky water to the Superdome again. Word of an evacuation spread around. We arranged to separate and meet one hour later at the same spot for a briefing. One hour later we meet and all at once said to each other – this is the story! The Superdome had turned into Super Doom. Fights, muggings; reports of dead babies, rapes, murders. We are stunned, but we go back again. It is dark, smelly, hot, and crowded. The scenes we encountered are beyond description. A handful of military soldiers tried to deal with angry crowds. It was near-riot situation. We walked out and went to file. Later on the same day they started to evacuate people from that miserable place to what became another miserable place – the Convention Center.

In the next few days it all went down. I tried to stay unbiased and to shoot and cover the story the best way possible. I also tried to help as many people as I could. I met a woman, barefoot, on the street at 6 a.m., needing a ride to her nephew’s house. So I picked her up, realizing that the place she wanted to go to is flooded. I asked a policeman on the street what to do and told me to take her to the Convention Center. What luck. She might have been better off on the street. I snapped a few frames while she was walking away to the Center.

One of my fellow photojournalists asked me to check on his wife and daughter, stuck in a hotel on Canal Street. I didn’t know them but had their names. I got there late and they had already started kicking people out of all the hotels. They had left 15 minutes earlier. Fearing for their safety at that damned Convention Center, I went driving down the street in a scene that looked like pictures of the evacuation of Saigon, yelling their names in vain to every person I saw. No answer, but empty looks from faces who wished that it was their names I was calling out. I felt like shit.

I stopped to shoot an unattended fire raging in a building off Canal Street. Along came a group of three old people pushing some sort of makeshift stroller. One of the old ladies must have been around 90, half lying on the stroller, half dragging her feet, supported by an old man, William P. Davis. She was too weak to speak, urinating on herself. She was about to die. I could see it in her eyes. This lady walked the earth for nearly a century and she was going to die like a stray dog in her own excrement. I begged the cop who was standing there monitoring the fire to take her somewhere safe. After much pleading he finally got a car and took her to Jefferson Parish hospital.

We drove by the Convention Center where there were no cops, no military, and no promised evacuation buses. Only thousands of people. Hungry, tired people. Looting cars, rioting, running from one place to another. No place for my big truck to be with enough gas for a 100 mile trip. Not if we wanted to stay and tell the world what is happening down here.

On the way back to Gordon’s house we saw cop cars and officers with raised guns and a body that was covered in blood. I raised my camera, shot a few frames, and the next thing I knew I found myself thrown down and slammed onto the car, hands up in the air and a gun pointed in the back of my head. Camera ripped off my hand, while the car is franticly searched for weapons. They let us go and I realized too late that one of my CF cards is missing.

Later that day I went back to the Center, trying to shoot more bodies. I found one in the storage area by the kitchen. A small group of refugees and I were trying to find a body of a dead baby stomped to death, and a teenage girl raped and throat slashed, apparently stashed in one of the kitchen fridges. We searched fridge by fridge. We hear voices of some thugs screaming and threatening us, coming our way. It was time to go.

The days went by, the same images everyday. One big blur of desperate faces. I kept pinching myself to make sure that I was actually in America and not in Darfur, Mogadishu, or Kosovo. I kept shooting and trying to help. When the last person from the Center got evacuated, I left too. I left for my dry and air conditioned apartment while other colleagues and reporters are still there. We came to take our trophies and left. They have to stay. No place to go. This story will become their lives. Or is it the other way around?

Marko Georgiev is a freelance photojournalist from New Jersey who frequently shoots for The New York Times.

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2006 NPPA-Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant Goes "Digital" With Entry Rule Changes

LOUISVILLE, KY  – “The NPPA-Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant for 2006 still has the theme ‘The Changing Face of America,’ but now we have new rules for entering the contest,” grant administrator Bill Luster announced today.

“All photographs entered as a portfolio or as an example of work done on the actual sabbatical proposal must be entered in digital format. There’s no need to send photographic prints, slide duplicates, copied prints, or books. The only written material one should send is the entry blank and the entry proposal (available online at www.nppa.org).”

Luster says these are the new entry rules: “You may enter in your portfolio up to 40 images. Please send only .JPG images that are up to 10 inches wide plus the depth, or 10 inches deep plus the width, at 200 DPI. Please send at ‘Image Quality 6’ (or ‘High’) .JPG compression.

“Please place all the images on a CD-ROM. Sequence the images in the order that you want them to be viewed by naming the pictures 01.jpg through 40.jpg.

“Captions must be included for ALL images (in the image file’s ‘File Info” field, as well as printed out on a sheet of paper). In addition the entry must also include a portrait of yourself. (Your biography photograph does not count as one of the 40 images.)”

The deadline for entering is December 28, 2005. A completed entry should include:

  • An entry blank;
  • A written proposal;
  • A CD-ROM with the images, maximum of 40 in an sequence, plus a biographic portrait of the photographer;
  • Captions for all the images (printed out on a sheet of paper, plus in the images’ “File Info” field).

NPPA-Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant 2006 entries should be sent to:

Bill Luster
3613 Sorrento Avenue
Louisville, KY 4024

For more information contact Luster at [email protected]

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Photojournalists Covering Katrina Fall Victim To Growing Violence, Chaos

By Donald R. Winslow, News Photographer magazine

AUSTIN, TX – As photojournalists continue to document the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s violent assault on the Gulf Coast, today they also found themselves documenting new violence and death among the survivors, the refugees, and the looters and police and rescuers in New Orleans, while some photojournalists even fell victim to the violence themselves. And a reporter for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans is still missing and has not been heard from since last weekend when he was sent to Mississippi to cover the storm. (He's since been found.)

Two veteran photojournalists - NPPA member Rick Wilking of Reuters and Getty's MarkWilson - were robbed of cameras and computer equipment today while on assignment in a neighborhood in New Orleans, and a photojournalist and a reporter were confronted at gunpoint and slammed against a wall by police following a shoot-out between looters and cops that left at least one person dead.

Another photojournalist -Lucas Oleniuk of theToronto Star - was knocked to the ground by police, his gear taken from him initially, when he photographed them shooting at looters and then beating one. In response to the growing violence and an increasing sense of despair among the stranded survivors, some television networks have hired armed private security firms to protect their journalists as they work to cover the story.

Peter Kovacs, managing editor of The Times-Picayune, says reporterLeslie Williams, who was assigned to cover the hurricane on the Mississippi coast, is still missing. No one at the newspaper has heard from Williams since last weekend. Kovacs posted a note to Poynter’s JimRomenesko saying, “He's an extraordinarly cautious guy and he's covered a lot of hurricanes. So I'm thinking positive thoughts even though I haven't heard anything. I keep thinking he's okay." By Friday, the newspaper learned that the reporter's mother is also missing. Kovacs said they have assigned a reporter in Mississippi to search for Williams. (He's since been found.)

The environment journalists are working in has shifted from one of a post-storm rescue and recovery to one that’s more akin to urban warfare. Tonight’s news reports a desperate situation in New Orleans that is spiraling out of control, with fighting breaking out among the hurricane survivors, more looting and gunfire, reports of anarchy in many areas, and more bodies floating in the waterways and in the debris. Today there were reports of rapes taking place in and around the Superdome while outside the Convention Center bodies litter the sidewalks. More dead have been dragged to the corners of the building, the Associated Press reports, as there are no resources to deal with picking up the dead. Amidst this chaos and growing tension, photojournalists find themselves working in a growingly hostile environment where they are less welcome today than yesterday.

Toronto Star staff photojournalist Lucas Oleniuk was taken to the ground by police in the Spanish Quarter after he photographed a firefight between looters and police, and police were then reportedly “beating on” a looter. A coworker at the Toronto Star toldNews Photographer magazine tonight, “The cops saw him and put him down, and took his gear. At first they were going to take all of his cameras, but he talked them into only taking the memory cards and letting him keep the cameras.” Oleniuk’s coworker says the photojournalist, who was not injured in the incident, went to New Orleans the day after the hurricane hit.

New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Gordon Russell wrote on Thursday afternoon that “the city is not safe for anyone.” Russell and freelance photojournalist Marko Georgiev – who was shooting for The New York Times – were in the Lower Garden District in an SUV, Russell says, where he “feared for my life and felt our safety was threatened at nearly every turn.” Russell says throngs of hungry and desperate people overwhelmed the few military and law enforcement people on the scene at the Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and “there was no crowd control. People were swarming. It was a near riot situation.”

Georgiev says, “We came upon a body (while driving) apparently shot by the police. While I was still driving I took a few photos through the open window and I heard an officer yell, ‘Get that camera, now!’ About a half dozen cops started running toward the car. Since the car was still in motion, and I saw them drawing and raising their guns at us and afraid they would shoot us, I slammed on the brakes.

“Before I knew it, I was thrown out of the car, the camera ripped from my hand, the other camera taken from the car, and I was on the car with my legs spread, hands up, a gun pointed in my neck. I was unable to see what was going on with Gordon. I was screaming “We are press” and I saw things from my car thrown on the ground, and the car was being frantically searched by the police.”

Georgiev told News Photographer, “As soon as they confirmed that we were accredited press they mellowed down a bit and gave my cameras back, they threw Gordon’s notebook on the ground and ordered us to get lost. After quickly picking up our stuff and getting in the car we drove away, then I realized the CF memory card from my other camera was missing – but not the one with the picture of the dead body.”

The Times-Picayune’s online blog later quoted Russell’s description of the scene as being one that was “the result of gunfire between police and civilians that left one man dead in a pool of blood.” Russell wrote that he and Georgiev “retreated to my home where we hid, and plan to flee the city tonight.” Russell was quoted in the blog as telling the newspaper, “There is a totally different feeling here than there was yesterday. I’m scared. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m getting out of here.”

“I was afraid that we were going to get shot by some nervous police officer,” Georgiev said. “And that night in front of Gordon’s house (in New Orleans), were were rounded up by police and handcuffed while trying to file pictures from our cars."

Reuters and Getty Images confirm tonight that Reuters photojournalist Rick Wilking and Getty Images photojournalist MarkWilson had cameras and laptop computers stolen from a car they were using as they got out of the vehicle to photograph rescue efforts in a New Orleans neighborhood. Michael D. Sargent, vice president of news for Getty, said the two were not harmed and that they are safe tonight, but that their gear is gone. A Reuters picture editor in Washington said the trouble apparently started when the two photographers got out of their car with cameras and were seen, and then targeted, by a neighborhood crowd.

Pictures from earlier in the day by Wilking before he was robbed show people outside the Convention Center trying to revive an elderly woman who has collapsed, and a man holding a tiny baby in his arms as he covers with a sheet the dead body of an elderly man who is sitting in a chair, reportedly left there for two days now, as thousands of survivors stand by waiting for evacuation buses. Yesterday, Wilking’s photographs showed a dead woman sitting in her wheelchair outside her home in East New Orleans where her family had left her after the storm.

Many of today’s pictures from New Orleans show refugees dealing with a growing sense of despair as relief efforts failed to materialize in many areas and evacuation efforts were halted due to violence. A picture by photojournalist Michael Ainsworth of the Dallas Morning News of people shoving in a crush as they lined up to board an evacuation bus ran huge, six columns across and deep, on Friday's Dallas Morning News front page. At The Advocate in Baton Rouge, LA, the front page was dominated by a picture shot by photojournalist Richard Alan Hannon of storm refugees holding a woman and praying over her "as her life ebbed away" on the sidewalk outside the Superdome where refugees waited for food, water, and evacuation.

NBC News has reportedly hired a private security firm whose officers are former soldiers or police, and who are licensed to carry weapons and trained to protect news crews as they do their jobs, to protect their staff members in the Gulf Coast region as they report the hurricane aftermath story. The move was prompted by what the news crews were witnessing: looting, gunfire, crimes, and gun-totting gangs moving freely about the streets. NBC News vice president David Verdi in New York told Paul J. Gough of The Hollywood Reporter, “We’ve never been in a situation domestically like this, where the populace has been cut off from the rest of the world and there’s no food and water.”

The Times-Picayune is still out of their building and some staff members are working from a remote location at the journalism school atLouisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. CNN and WWL-TV have also based some operations out of LSU, as well as one of KHOU-TV’s satellite trucks.

The Times-Picayune tonight hopes to put out their first print edition since the hurricane hit, using the presses at the Houma Courier and delivering the newspaper wherever they can reach. They’ve published daily on the Internet and made downloadable Acrobat .PDF files of the newspaper and posted them on their Web site.

At the Biloxi Sun-Herald there’s still no electricity and no plumbing. They’ve dug trenches outside the building to use as latrines, and several recreational vehicles have been parked in the paper’s parking lot. The newspaper is still awaiting the arrival of a fuel truck to keep their generators going and they’ve increased security at the site. Today they printed and distributed a 24-page, two-section paper to 20,000 readers. They have now been able to make contact with up to 70 percent of Sun-Herald employees, and half of those reached report that their homes have been destroyed. Sun-Herald columnist Jeanne Prescott lost her sister and brother-in-law to the storm, Knight Ridder reports.

Read yesterday's story about photojournalists covering Hurricane Katrina's aftermath and the efforts newspapers and television stations are making to cover and publish the news.

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Fund Established To Help Bob Brandon

While television photojournalist Bob Brandon underwent surgery in a Denver, CO, hospital yesterday to improve his ability to breathe, friends and coworkers established a fund to help his family with any costs they accumulate during his extended illness.

Brandon, known as one of the leading television photojournalists in the broadcast industry who was twice named the NPPA Television News Photographer of the Year, has been in stable but critical condition in a Denver trauma hospital after he was found on the floor of his home August 23. Friends say he may have collapsed there several days before he was discovered.

Sharon Levy Freed reports via eMail yesterday after the surgery that "Bob is still really sick, but there is now reason for hope.”

The fund has been created in Brandon’s daughter’s name and friends and supporters are encouraged participate in this effort to help the family. Freed asks that checks be made payable to: “Kristi Brandon fbo Robert Brandon” and mailed to Heritage Bank, 811 South Public Road, Lafayette, CO, 80026, addressed to the attention of Debbie Boucher.

Brandon was NPPA’s Television News Photographer of the Year in 1976 and again in 1980 while he was with KPRC-TV in Houston, TX. He's a co-recipient of a national Emmy for his work on CBS's 48 Hours as well as having two national Emmy nominations. His work includes stories for CBS News, 60 Minutes, NBC News, The Today Show, Dateline, ABC Evening News, Prime Time Live, and 20/20. He is also a faculty member for the annual NPPA Television NewsVideo Workshop, and was president of Helical Post, a video digital post-production facility in Denver.

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