Saturday, February 25, 2012

White House News Photographers Association Judging Reflection

I enjoyed my visit to the White House News Photographers Association Judging on Saturday afternoon. It was a good experience to see what photography experts think makes a great photograph. I first stopped into the multimedia-judging portion on the second floor. When I was up there they were judging projects in the Simple Multimedia category. The judges debated a lot about what makes a simple multimedia project vs. a complex multimedia project. While it is not always easy to distinguish, I got some good ideas for different elements of multimedia that I can use in my final project. I watched pieces about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, a youth project involving building a boat, and a Muslim comedy tour. When I was there the judges advised the moderator to just show about a minute of each one. The reason for this was the judges actually had received the entries to watch a few weeks prior. My viewing of the projects was really just a teaser since I did not get to watch them in their entirety. The moderator suggested that in the past they did sit there and watch all of them completely but the judges insisted on just watching little bits to get a refresher, which I thought was a shame. My main takeaway from the multimedia judging was the variety of elements I can use in my project (still photography, video, narration, audio recordings, graphics, animations). After that I headed downstairs to the still photography judging. When I got there the judges were going through sports images. This was really entertaining because I want to be a sports journalist and it is the area that my final project will probably entail. When they talked about what they were looking for in the photographs, they used vocabulary that we had discussed in class like the rule of thirds, symmetry, and entry points. Emotion and color balance were also important things they took into account. They ended up giving first place to a picture of Redskins players and a coach celebrating a touchdown, which did very well with symmetry and showing jubilation. I thought the coach’s expression with a big smile and yelling really made the photograph. It was easy to identify the emotion and magnitude associated with scoring that touchdown. It really came through well while looking at this great picture. I am glad that I went to the photography and multimedia judging because it gave me some nice framework and ideas to know when putting together my own projects.

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