Friday, May 23, 2008



This Contest was judged by: Fresno Bee staff photographers: Craig Kohlruss, Mark Crosse, Darrell Wong, Kurt Hegre and Heidi Huber; assistant director of photography Renee Fernandes and Associated Press freelance photographer and photojournalism professor Gary Kazanjian.

1st Reena Rose Sibayan, The Jersey Journal, Knee in the groin
2nd Saed Hindash, The Star-Ledger, Comforting daughter during fire
3rd (Tie)John O'Boyle, The Star-Ledger, Speaking for her daughter
3rd (Tie) Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, Fire station burns

Comments: The judges were impressed with many of the images in the news category, particularly the spot news situations. The restraining of the distraught brother of a murder victim was especially evoking. A number of images from this photographer would have worked well in a series, but we settled on the first-place winner. Third place was a tough decision so we finally decided on a tie (hope that’s ok).

Feature Single
1st Jeff Granit, Greater Media, Young dancer
2nd Michael Karas, Herald News, Palm burning
3rd Sarah Simonis, Freelance, Nurse Listening to Breath

Comments: The judges had a lot of disagreement in this category. There were few strong images that rose to the top, making arguments for finding the top three difficult. We finally decided on the young dancer as the first place because it had some style and beauty in a simple image. Second place, while interesting and technically well done, didn’t do much for some of the judges because it was so straight-forward. Third place was an interesting moment in an interesting story, but was a tough read as a single image. It might have been more successful in a multiple package. Some of the other images would have done better had they been more technically on the mark.

1st Chris Faytok, The Star-Ledger, Super catch
2nd Tony Kurdzuk, The Star-Ledger, Wrestling jubilation
3rd Peter Monsees, The Record, Inverted wrestlers

Comments: This category created quite a discussion among the judges, especially with the Super Bowl catch photo. First place rose to the top in many ways, but because this moment was “the moment” in the game, some judges moved it to the top – while others considered whether or not the photo could stand on it’s own, without regard to its significance. We finally agreed the outcome of the play in the story has to have some weight. The other photos stood out because they captured special moments in sporting that went beyond the usual action.

1st Patti Sapone, The Star-Ledger, Basketball player
2nd Peter Monsees, The Record, Lady and her dog
3rd Greg Pallante, Record Sports Magazine, Wrestling portrait

Comments: Good portraits are technically perfect, show great composition, and capture the spirit or personalities of their subjects. It was hard to find all three in this category. Our top choice was the basketball player because it was the most successful portrait. Several photos used lighting well, but relied only on that fact and not enough was to capture the subject’s character. The second place picture had more of a moment to bring interest to it.

1st John O’Boyle, The Star-Ledger, Wrestling feature
2nd Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, Reflections on racism
3rd Ed Murray, The Star-Ledger, Cancer patient

Comments: Unfortunately the judges were not very moved by the multimedia packages. While the subject matter was interesting on many, they generally they went on far too long or used too much video interview alone and not enough b-roll. The wrestling feature did the best job of using audio interviews with compelling imagery. Much the way good photography brings a reader into the story, good video should be used throughout a multimedia piece with informative audio to add impact. Most of these would have been better if they were more carefully edited and made a little shorter. We awarded second and third for their efforts to move beyond the ordinary.

Hope these comments aren’t too tough. They are meant to be constructive and helpful. We want to see good work as much as anybody. Thank you for the opportunity to judge your contest. Good luck!

Friday, May 16, 2008


This Contest was judged by: The Idaho Falls Post-Register Photo Staff

1st Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Waheedah Muhammed
2nd Tyson Trish, The Record, Trailer Court Resident
3rd Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Solari Does Homework

Feature Single
1st Tyson Trish, The Record, Ski Slope
2nd Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Long Shadow
3rd John O’Boyle, The Star-Ledger, Mosaic Dance Theater

1st Michael Karas, Herald News, Paterson Catholic Bball
2nd Bryan Littel, The Bridgeton News, Swimming
3rd Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Wayne Hills Bball

1st David Warren, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Twin Bball Players
2nd Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Passaic Police Officer
3rd John O’Boyle, The Star-Ledger, Rudolph Koenig

Feature Multiple
1st Bryan Littel, The Bridgeton News, Recount
2nd None Awarded
3rd None Awarded

1st John O’Boyle, The Star-Ledger, Music
2nd John O’Boyle, The Star-Ledger, Dance
3rd Thomas Franklin, The Record, Christmas Lights

1st Peter Monsees, The Record, Truffle
2nd Michael Karas, Herald News, Leaf
3rd Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Halloween Candy

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gallery Opening, April 18th 6-9 pm

Be sure to mark your calendars. On April 18th from 6-9 pm NJPPA member Carmine Galasso's gallery opening titled 'Crosses.' Prints from his new book 'Crosses: Portraits of Clergy Abuse' will be on display at the Lott Gallery @ DriveIn24 located at 443 West 18th St between 9th and 10th in Chelsea. Between 7-9 pm there will be a candle light vigil for survivors, family and supporters outside of the gallery. The work will be on display through May 8th.


This contest was judged by: The Pensacola News Journal Photo Department

1st Michael Karas, Herald News, Wayne Mayor Wins
2nd Bob Sciarrino, The Star-Ledger, House Fire
3rd John O’Boyle, The Star-Ledger, Keever Funeral

Feature Single
1st David Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Lapse
2nd Marcin Szczepanski, Courier-Post, Christmas Train
3rd Tyson Trish, The Record, Moeller New Home

1st Tyson Trish, The Record, Soccer Save
2nd Mel Evans, AP, Lost Helmet
3rd David Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer, Blocked Kick
HM Tyson Trish, The Record, Gatorade Bath

1st Peter Monsees, The Record, Violin Player
2nd Robert Sciarrino, The Star-Ledger, Bill Dane
3rd David Warren, Philadelphia Inquirer, Hexadecimal Display

Feature Multiple
1st Michael Karas, Herald News, Homeless
2nd None Awarded
3rd None Awarded

1st Peter Monsees, The Record, Rising Star Violinist
2nd Marcin Szczepanski, Courier-Post, For the Love of Dominoes
3rd John O’Boyle, The Star-Ledger, Cowboy Funeral

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This Contest was judged by: The Post-Tribune in Merrillville, Indiana. Clip Coordinator, Staff photographer Scott M. Bort Judges: Photo Editor Andy Lavalley, Assistant Photo Editor Jeff Nicholls, Staff Photographer Stephanie Dowell, Freelance Photographers Guy Rhodes, Chuck Mitchell, Scott Brandush and Jason Coons.

1st Place: Michael Karas, Herald News, Praying Chairman
2nd Place, Bryan Littel, Bridgeton News, Mourning Family
3rd Place, Thomas E. Franklin, The Record, Car Fire

Comments: A thin category- what, not much news going on in the Garden State? The top three rose to the top quickly. 1.) Good moment, very clean. The news value skyrocketed once judges realized it was the hospital board chairman. 2.) A good emotional moment with the mother. 3.) Very clean image that reads immediately.

Feature Single
1st Place, John O’Boyle, Star Ledger, Hard as Nails
2nd Place, Tyson Trish, The Record, Slyfox Hug
3rd Place, Kevin Wexler, Herald News

Comments: Judges felt this was one of the weaker categories. And, the lack of cutline information, including names, was surprising. 1.) Nice moment but judges were surprised other images from this shoot (as seen in the multi-media category) weren't entered. Lack of the subjects name nearly knocked the image out of contention. 2.) Decent moment with good colors and layers. 3.) Lovely light on main subject. The background worked against this entry.

1st Place, Marcin Szczepanski, Courier Post, Soccer Header
2nd Place, David M. Warren, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Just Missed
3rd Place, Bryan Littel, Bridgeton News, Shower for the Coach
HM, Greg Pallante, North Jersey Media Group, Basketball Portrait
HM, Greg Pallante, North Jersey Media Group, Fencer Portrait

Comments: Lots of soccer headers and diving receivers. 1.) The best of many, many soccer-header photos. Nice light, clean background and peak action. 2.) Good shot - Judges agreed any of us would have been pleased to come back with this on a Friday night. 3.) A nice celebration shot. Nice job of sticking around to get something different. HMs.) Strong Portraits – Surprising to see portraits in sports in light of there being an actual portrait category. These would have been strong competitors in the portrait category.

1st Place, Thomas E. Franklin – The Record – Libero Portrait
2nd Place, Leslie Barbaro – Herald News – Local Artist
3rd Place, Kevin R. Wexler – Injured Dog

Comments: Judges struggled after the obvious first-place choice. 1.) Well conceived and executed. 2.) Well lit but it felt contrived in the overall feeling of the photo. 3.) News value kept this in third place. We debated if this belonged in news instead of portrait.

Feature Multiple
1st Place, Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Halloween Weddings
2nd Place, Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Soccer Practice
3rd Place, David M. Warren, The Philadelphia Inquirer, KTW Syndrome

Comments: First place went mostly to the tightest edit. Second and third each had a few strong images but contained others that didn't seem to belong. As an aside, Each of the entries had single images that would have competed well in the single categories. Do your rules allow shooters to pull individual images out of multiple entries?1.) Tight edit and overall best images made this first. 2.) Not bad for a daily feature package. 3.) A better-edited entry would have been first place – Good story, but poor execution.

1st Place, John O'Boyle, Star-Ledger, Mural Painting
2nd Place, John O'Boyle, Star-Ledger, Charles and Bette
3rd Place, Marcin Szczepanski, Courier Post, Family Harvest
HM, Jose F. Moreno, Courier Post,The Monster factory Old-Time Wrestling

Comments: We enjoyed watching these entries. Different styles of both video and audio slideshows. 1.) Well thought out with graphic shots. Good editing on a long-term project. However the time line on this project seems to jump at certain points which we found awkward. 2.) Great news story – Typography was awkward – We felt it could have been edited tighter. 3.) Surreal cranberry footage – The story cohesion doesn't come through. HM.) This piece needed a tighter edit. It was a fun story with good audio and visuals.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Judged by The Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, IL
James Bowey-Editor-in-Chief/Photo Editor
Eric Sumberg-Staff Photographer
Kate Weber-Staff Photographer

Overall: Not a particularly strong category. A lot of September 11th photos, but no single image of those was truly memorable.

1st Place: Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Corrupt Cop
Nice job of stepping back from the action to capture the crowd without using the wide angle. Lucky to have another photographer to fill in flash at just the right moment.

2nd Place: Tariq Zehawi, The Record, September 11th Memorial
Of the September 11th memorial pictures, this was the strongest. The eye is drawn to the girl quickly.

3rd Place: Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Street Naming
Photographer was close at the right time to capture a moment of grief

Overall: A lot of nice images, though many were game action that didn’t necessarily rise to the level of superlative images. We focused on rewarding those photographers who showed us that were thinking and not just reacting to the action.

1st Place: Tariq Zehawi, The Record, Face Kick
A solid game action shot, could have been cropped in closer to get the viewer right to the action, but easily the best picture of the group

2nd Place: David M Warren, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Football Reflection
A moody picture that uses the natural environment well to make something out a relatively humdrum activity

3rd Place: David M Warren, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sprints
While it is a similar style shot to 2nd place, this picture was good enough to supercede the other game action. A well-executed picture that makes the viewer want to look again.

Overall: The weakest of the singles categories. One photo would have won (Peter Monsees-bowling alley) if not for what appears to be poor toning. Others would have placed (Michael Karas-Statue unveiling) if he hadn’t crossed out the picture we liked.

1st Place: Leslie Barbaro, Herald News, Tattoo
A well-composed image. Lots to see in this image, a nice moment, though the cutline could have used more information.

2nd Place: Kevin Wexler, Herald News, Construction
A solid effort using graphical elements to tell the story

3rd Place: Peter Monsees, The Record, RV
Good lens choice helps this picture go from average to interesting compositionally

Overall: The winners were all strong images that were well composed/lit

1st Place: Thomas E Franklin, The Record, Gardener
Easily the winner, solid use of wide angle lens to tell the story beyond just the face and the task.

2nd Place: Tariq Zehawi, The Record, Cameramen
Good use of the world around us to get a nice effect. Use of lighting helped to show that the photographer was doing some thinking about how to pop the subject.

3rd Place: Tyson Trish, The Record, WWII
Austere portrait, simple, but given the subject matter, it seemed like an appropriate and well-executed shot.

Overall: Not many entries. Well-executed shots for the most part, all by one photographer.

1st Place: Peter Monsees, The Record, Salt Water
Picture would have been better served by a simpler layout, but a nice way to illustrate the issue.

2nd Place: Peter Monsees, The Record, Doctor Waits
Credit to the photographer for going on location but given that it was an illustration would have liked to have seen more emotion or distress given the subject matter. Well executed, but could have been superlative.

3rd Place: Peter Monsees, The Record, Chinese Medicine
Nicely composed.

Feature Multiple

1st Place: Tyson Trish, The Record-Moving Back In
Photographer was applauded for following family on multiple trips

2nd Place: Jose Moreno, Courier-Post-WrestlersNice work lighting. Could have won but the piece was brought down by posed shot. Wanted to see more behind the scenes, less event shots.