Breaking News Photography
WINNER: PATRICK FARRELL, THE MIAMI HERALD
“A People in Despair: Haiti’s Year Without Mercy”
In 2008, The Miami Herald repeatedly dispatched photographer Patrick Farrell to Haiti, which bore the brunt of the Atlantic hurricane season. In fact, he was there the night Hurricane Ike, the fourth storm to hit Haiti in a month, re-flooded the already overwhelmed country, swallowing lives and homes. In all, more than 800 Haitians died and more than 1 million were left homeless by the unrelenting series of storms.
One judge noted the “picture of the father holding his deceased daughter evoked a visceral emotional response in me. It put a human face on the disaster, and revealed the pain that a parent goes through when having to bury their own children. Compositionally, it allowed me to first focus on the father and daughter, and then move beyond them to the surrounding faces watching the same scene.”
Director of photography at the Herald, Luis Rios, said: “Patrick’s photography is the most provocative and at times disturbing storytelling work that I have ever seen or edited. It is exceptional documentary photography with a purpose: to chronicle the misery and heartache of the Haitian people.”
Farrell, who has been a photographer at the Herald since 1987, said: “Our readership at The Miami Herald responded very generously to the storm-battered needs of the Haitian people in a frenzy of giving I haven’t seen in some time.”
Link to Pictures: http://tinyurl.com/djzsjs
WINNER: MELISSA LYTTLE, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES
“Girl in the Window”
The veteran police detective who found Danielle said he’d never seen a worse case of abuse. Her emaciated, dirty frame was covered in insect bites. At 7, she was still wearing a diaper, one that was soaked and swollen, leaking from the legs, obviously not changed for days. She was unable to speak and could only communicate in grunts. Isolated and neglected, she was a feral child.
“While the past was impossible to photograph, talking to doctors who examined her, judges and case workers who fought for her, and even the birth mother who did this to her, helped piece together Danielle’s history,” photographer Melissa Lyttle said. “Their stories helped shape the main question that would be central to Danielle’s story: Could love and caring make up for a lifetime of neglect?”
Lyttle documented Danielle and her new family from February to June, then spent almost the entire month of July editing and working on the multimedia presentation. The story published online Aug. 1, then ran as a six-page special section in the St. Petersburg Times on Aug. 3.
Judges said the final product is: “A winner for its ability to take the reader into the life of a feral child. The trio of photos starts with a headshot that appears to be a normal child, and the following two photos give a glimpse into the struggles of a family dealing with this girl. It is photojournalism at its best.”
Lyttle said: “In the week after the article ran, calls from people who wanted to adopt foster children increased by 33 percent. Hits on the Heart Gallery adoption Web site soared from 500 to 2,000 a day. Child abuse hotlines reported an unprecedented spike in calls. One family, who had fostered a boy for years, said the story made them decide to adopt him.”
Link to Pictures: http://tinyurl.com/6n97yc
WINNER: HEINZ KLUETMEIER WITH JEFF KAVANAUGH, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Years of planning by Sports Illustrated senior staff photographer Heinz Kluetmeier and assistant Jeff Kavanaugh paid off when their underwater camera, firing at eight frames per second, captured the most dramatic finish in swimming history: U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps’ final lunge to beat Serbia’s Milorad Cavic by 0.01 of a second to win the men’s 100-meter butterfly at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The victory marked the seventh of Phelps’ eight gold medals, the most ever for an athlete in a single Olympics.
The photograph shows that the fingers of Phelps’ right hand are bent as they pressed against the electronic touch wall while Cavic’s fingers have not yet touched, something that even videotape could not show.
It will be remembered in years to come as one of the most historic sports photographs ever taken at an Olympic Games.
Judges said the photo “told the entire story in one image, and evoked an amazing response. It was clean and simple, and revealed just how important a fraction of a second is in sports races.”
Kluetmeier said the experience was “a reaffirmation of what photojournalism is all about: Having good ideas about how to cover a story, being creatively able to adjust to things as they change, and finally willing to work incredibly hard over long hours. And after all that perhaps a little luck.”
Link to Pictures: http://tinyurl.com/ku2qjy