Summer Results for P.O.M.

This summer edition of Photo of the Month was judged by Fred Lum, of the Globe and Mail. 


1. FEAsumAPR2

BATHURST, N.B. (24/06/17) - Dennis Lavigne grabs and sorts lobsters in the traps as fast as he can. Lavigne, works on a rented boat with the Peter-Paul family who started lobster fishing five years ago when the market was down. Photo: Andrew Ryan

SHANNONVILLE, Ont. (08/04/17) - Zack Winhold drifts his imported Japanese, purpose-built drift car on the Shannonville track on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. It took Winhold and his friends close to four years to build his Nissan S14 before he could finally drift it on track. After overcoming a mountain biking injury Winhold turned to drifting as a way to have fun without having to deal with as many injuries. Photo: Andrew Ryan

3. FEAsumAPR3

BATHURST, N.B. (24/06/17) -  Dennis Lavigne looks through one of the Peter-Paul family's 300 lobster traps on the Bay of Chaleur. Photo: Andrew Ryan


First - Like placement of elements in this composition. Eye moves from right to left following lobster fisherman -> trap -> ocean. Is he pulling lobsters or about to throw back undersized or by catch. I wonder if going bit wider would put the viewer in the mind space of being out on a vast ocean = feeling small in the world. A bit of selective post processing would emphasize the main elements in the photo (ie- the centre with the lobster and fisherman’s face)

Second - Interesting point of view. Good to get inside for a passenger’s look at drifting. Looking at the idea of drifting, I’m wondering again if a slower shutter would have better imparted the feel of drifting. Maybe the steering wheel being turned ? Getting inside the car was a good idea nonetheless.

Third - Really like the contrast between the yellow trap and the murky blue sky and boat deck. A working lobster boat deck can be a crazy place to work but possibly a lower angle might have been worth trying, possibly with some movement, if the photographer didn’t try that. There’s being economical on assignments, but there’s also leaving the safe shot to try another angle because theres nothing worse than looking at the edit later and thinking they should have grabbed a few more photos.


1. NEWsumAPR2

Valerie Laforest, 12 right, and Mahée Arsenaux, 9 left, use their noise makers during the Acadian day Tintamarre. The Tintamarre is marked by Acadian making as much noise as possible by hitting pots and pans a tradition meant to remind the British settlers of their existence. Photo: Andrew Ryan/The Northern Light


TORONTO, Ont. (20/06/17) — George McIntyre stands in front of the crowd of attendees at the Toronto Candlelight AIDS Vigil at Barbara Hall Park in Toronto's Church Wellesley Village on Jun. 20, 2017. A few hundred people gathered at the park for a candle light vigil in memory of those lost to AIDS.

École secondaire Nepisiguit graduate Bruno Haché opens the door for Kassandra Duguay on prom night in Bathurst. It's not uncommon for high school graduates to show up to prom in outlandish vehicles--from tractor trailers to hot-rods.  Photo: Andrew Ryan/The Northern Light

First place - Showed good composition and placement of elements within the frame. I like all the different lines running throughout the photo. Bit of a nit, but cropping out the small white triangle at bottom left  and red bit at top would remove very slightly distracting objects. There are times to leave frames a bit messy but this is not one.

Second - Nice moment with backlight and out of focus rain on the lens echo the shape of the umbrellas and strong lights. I’d like to have seen the photographer take a risk and slow the shutter down more so the rain comes down in longer streaks.

Third - It’s odd that we don’t see the entire vehicle since that’s the premise of the prom night but the expression of the girl in the car leaves me wondering what she’s thinking and makes this photo work. The hand reaching creates some anticipation. Are these two prom dates and he’s going to be a gentleman and open the door for her ?


1. SPTsumAPR1

Cjay Good, 6, argues with teammate Justin Ward, 7, at the season opener of the Chaleur Soccer Club under 8 league. Cjay's Parents are Stephanie and Craig Good from Beresford.  Photo: Andrew Ryan/The Northern Light

2. SPTsumAPR2
BATHURST, N.B. (08/07/17) -  Bathurst Red Sox pitch during sunset at the city's baseball diamond. Photo: Andrew Ryan/The Northern Light

3. SPTSeptWal1
KINGSTON Ont. (16/09/2017) Jake Hollet (racer #42) passes his competitors in the Modified Lawn Mower Race at the Kingston Fair and places first. He's a resident of Kingston, 21 years old and has been competing in races for 6 years.

Straight up, this was a very weak category image wise and entry wise. Only 3 ?

First - The hand coming from right totally makes this photo since it echoes the children’s gestures.  Love the expression on the one kid who appears to be debating or arguing something. Good eye getting all the elements together at the right moment. Having said that...Cropping.Command Z is your friend. The swing and person at left should have been cropped out. It adds nothing to the photo and is distracting and photographer should have caught this. Losing those elements would have made a much stronger photo. So again, try a crop and if it doesn’t work…Command Z ;)

Second - This was the golden hour and that light is great. Some judicious post processing (marquee, feather and levels/ curves) would focus the eyes back to the pitcher​ at centre left at. Find the key part of the photo and try to emphasize that. It’s dark and loses attention to the right side which is brighter, but nothing is going on there. I understand people are very spooked about how far to post process but this is when you ask other students or faculty about the lines that can’t be crossed.

Third - The subject is in focus. The composition leaves much to be desired however. Photo feels awkward since the subject is leaving the frame with empty space to the left. While I’m not always big on rules, action should be moving TOWARDS something in the frame, not exiting. Perhaps showing a wider view including other lawn mower racers would have brought more to the photo vs tight shot of one competitor. 


1. PRTAugAI1

MONTREAL, Qc. (26/05/17) — Singer-songwriter Lou Laurence plays a guitar while posing for a portrait in Montreal's Mile End.


Justy Molinares hangs in her anti-gravity yoga hammock at Studio Aero X in downtown Bathurst. Photo: Andrew Ryan/The Northern Light

3. PRTsumAPR1
BATHURST, N.B. (24/06/17) -  Claude Boucher poses for a portrait while fishing for flat fish. Boucher fishes regularly on Youghall beach in Bathurst.  Photo: Andrew Ryan/The Northern Light

First - Good portrait and not the usual static posed photo. Once again, cropping rears its ugly head. That sliver of wall on the left should have been cleaved off. It’s distracting and tries to draw attention away from the singer. Some slight post processing to even out the photograph would add some balance for me. I really appreciate that the subject doesn’t claim the entire frame and that this is a very enviro portrait showing something about the subject. Very well done.

Second - Haha. Good expression and a unique positioning of the subject. The hanging fabric gives us an important clue as to why the subject is upside down. A bit of curves/ levels on the face would draw the viewer to the subject but that’s not major. Good job looking for something different.

Third - Clean portrait, nothing distracting. Would it have been better tighter ? Not sure. Good job to make sure the subject’s face doesn’t get lost with the hood pulled up. Good tones overall.


No Entries.


One.single. entry. 

Strangely, only one photo in a Multi Pic category. Don’t know if it was a mistake/ tech error uploading or not but it’s disheartening to see this category with such poor representation. Multi pics are where a photographer can show how they see and process stories and if they can break it down into individual parcels to form something whole.

Andrew Ryan +525
Andrej Ivanov +150
Amy Walton +25


Points are awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honourable Mentions.
1st place - 100
2nd place - 50
3d place - 25
HM - 10

February Results for P.O.M.

This edition of Photo of the Month was judged by Mike Aporius of the Winnipeg Free Press. Instagram  Twitter


WIARTON, Ont. (18/02/17) - Two years ago, Ryan Deska (29) began building a cabin on land found south of the Bruce Peninsula. Off-grid living has become a kind of nostalgic yet necessary phenomenon, with many people seeking an alternative, self-sustainable way of life. This accomplishment has nourished Deska, and the process of building it himself, with the help of his family and a few friends, has inspired him to lead a lifestyle that he can be proud of. Photo by Vanessa Tignanelli

(02/12/2017) BELLEVILLE, Ont. - A resident of downtown Belleville shovels the sidewalk in front of his house during a blizzard. Photo: Chris Donovan 

3. FEAJanCGD02
(02/11/2017) PICTON, Ont. - About 30 men and women braved sub-zero temperatures in the buff to compete in Picton’s annual shitless ice fishing competition. Photo: Chris Donovan 
Easy first place for a couple reasons. I was drawn into the mystery. I was curious what this was all about. And it had a FULL caption to fill in the blanks. I found many photos submitted didn’t even have names of the subjects.
One of my biggest pet peeves is “A man walks down the street…” “A youngster jumps in the puddle…”
Names are so important for local media outlets. These nameless people are the people we serve.
That said…this photo got me on multiple levels and left me wanting to know more.

Good composition/movement/mood.
I almost discarded it because of the lack of name though…almost.

Quirky photo with visual layers. The caption could use a proof read though as this is labeled as a ‘shitless’ ice fishing competition.

No HM.


1. NEWfebYAG8

TORONTO, Ont. (02/15/17) — A man salutes towards the podium at the “freedom rally” hosted by TheRebel, a right-wing media outlet at Canada Christian College in Toronto. The rally was held in response to motion m103, an anti-islamophobia motion proposed by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid. Photo by Yader Guzman


(02/02/2017) BELLEVILLE, Ont. - Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside of Belleville city hall to honour the lives lost in the shooting at the Quebec City mosque several days earlier. Photo: Chris Donovan 

3. No Third place.

NEWS (NEW) — Can be spot news, a picture of an unscheduled news event for which no advance planning was possible, or general news, a picture with serious content and strong human interest of a scheduled or organized news event.

A great example of being on the ball at all times. I’m not sure how long this ‘salute’ was up (I’ve seen multiple angles), but this is by far the best and most truthful photo of the bunch.
Photos can tell half-truths, so captions become even more important. Was this a Nazi salute or is it an homage to the Hunger Games?
Do your digging and add information to captions, even after you’ve submitted them. Always remember the journalist in photojournalist.

- genuine moment between these two women. I can assume I know what this is for, but there is zero caption information. It was bound for a second-place finish, but I have to discard it.

Good use of negative space to add weight to the composition. Well thought out. Nice work.



1. PTfebCGD02
(02/11/2017) BELLEVILLE, Ont. - Loyalist Lancer Faheem Mohammad dives for possession of the ball during the third quarter of a 86-76 loss at home to the Canadore Panthers. Photo: Chris Donovan


BELLEVILLE, Ont. (28/01/17) - Hannah Dossett waits to receive a serve from a La Cité Coyotes player on Jan. 28, 2017.  Photo by Andrew Ryan

3. SPTfebYAG1
BELLEVILLE, Ont (02/18/17) — The Loyalist Lancers women’s volleyball team celebrates a playoff win against the Mohawk Mountaineers. The team now advances to the OCAA championship tournament held in Windsor Ontario. Photo by Yader Guzman


OTTAWA, ONT. (03/03/2017) The two first skaters make their way down the ramp and over the first jump on the ice track. In a display of competition the American skater jumps overtop of his opponent to secure his position in first place. Photo By Colin Emerson

Excellent peak action in a poorly-lit gym. Not an easy feat!

Looking past peak action to capture something different is always refreshing. There is a real anticipation to this. 

I see a tonne of celebration photos, but you lucked out on this one with that player ducking her head. That’s a good example of being sharp and ready.

HM – SptFebCAEb
This is great action but too tight of a crop. The image is degraded too much…but I get the intent.
Not everyone has a 400 2.8 to play with.

***I really liked the aqua fit photo (SPTFebVGT2), but it shouldn’t have been in this category. If it was in feature, it would have placed.


WIARTON, Ont. (18/02/17) - Two years ago, Ryan Deska (29) began building a cabin south of the Bruce Peninsula. Off-grid living has become a way for people to find an alternative, sustainable way of life. This project has been nourishing for Deska, and the process has inspired him to lead a lifestyle that he can be proud of. It is still a work in progress, with each undertaking providing a new trial, a learning opportunity, and a reason to escape from the city for awhile. Photo by Vanessa Tignanelli

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (03/03/17) - Adele Dibben (84) winds down after an Aquafit class last Friday at the YMCA of Central East Ontario Belleville Branch. "I'll be 85 at the end of March! Can you believe I've been coming for 30 years?" she says. Aquafit is proven to be a beneficial workout for seniors, with the buoyancy of the water relieving joint pressure and muscle pain. At the YMCA on Friday mornings, the Aquafit classes are transformed into a sing-along workout by instructor Karen Smith. To end the class, Dibben relaxes to the soft music that has replaced the classic Elton John tunes, closes her eyes, and stretches. Photo by Vanessa Tignanelli

3. PRTFebCGD02
(02/20/2017) SAINT JOHN, NB - Kim Atkinson, better known as “Kim Dylan,” plays some Bob Dylan tunes on a cold afternoon in uptown Saint John. “I’ll be going on tour before you know it,” said the busker who has been playing on Saint John streets for decades. Photo: Chris Donovan


A peaceful moment and environment that makes total sense for this character and story. Well done.

Another moment where it looks like the camera is invisible to the subject. That is something to always strive for.

Good light/framing. I would like to see a bit more of the guitar, but this still works as a solid portrait.

No HM.

*** Some missed opportunities in this category. Missing captions. Lack of names. Spelling mistakes.

These things look horrible in a portfolio and will not get you hired…no matter how good you are.

1) MPXdecCGD01

2) MPXfebCGD2

I was about to point out the lack of info provided on what the point of this story is, but the visuals work together for a pretty solid slice of life. It’s a great portrait of a town.
That said, it’s only a beginning. This is something you can go back to for years and follow. I see a lot of storytelling layers with it.
The foundation is definitely there.

There is a good variety of images here, but it lacks focus. This is all about the skin! And fish.
Everything else takes away from that.

No Third or HM. - where is everybody? Projects are where you should be shining.

I need to point out a couple things…

“VI. All entries must include a caption. The caption may be the original published caption or a freshly produced caption that clearly explains in 40 words or less what the picture shows (who, what, where, when and maybe why). Entries with incomplete or missing information may be excluded.”

There were many entries that had spelling errors or lacked information.
If you can’t enter proper information for a contest, what makes me think you can do it on the job?
People get written up for stuff like this, so I need to stress the importance of names, spelling and proper information. Anything less can damage the reputation of the outlet you’re working for.
So, don’t be shy. Ask people. Be journalists. door is always open for help.

Mike Aporius
Director of Photography/Multimedia
Winnipeg Free Press

Updated Points 2,245 - Chris Donovan (+400) 1,390 - Vanessa Tignanelli (+250) 595 - Andrew Ryan (+50) 520 - Noah Park 425 - Yader Guzman (+125) 220 - Bea Serdon
175 - Lori Christmas
110 - Colin Emerson(+10)
100 - Taylor Bertelink 60 - Raven McCoy
50 - Jonny Ludlow 50 - Liam Smyth 25 - Curtis O’Connor 20 - Aman Parhar (+20)

Past Points
1,845 - Chris Donovan 1,140 - Vanessa Tignanelli 545 - Andrew Ryan 520 - Noah Park 300 - Yader Guzman 220 - Bea Serdon 175 - Lori Christmas 100 - Colin Emerson 60 - Raven McCoy 50 - Jonny Ludlow 50 - Liam Smyth 25 - Curtis O’Connor 20 - Aman Parhar

Points are awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honourable Mentions.
1st place - 100
2nd place - 50
3d place - 25
HM - 10

January POM Results

January Results for P.O.M.

This edition of Photo of the Month was judged by Giordano Ciampini. Twitter / Website

1. FEAJanCGD03
(01/10/2017) TLAQUEPAQUE, Mex. - Martin, 23, takes a hit of crystal meth while waiting for customers. Martin washes cars at an intersection most days and is a small-time drug dealer on the side, in the slum of El Tapatio near Mexico's second biggest city, Guadalajara. Photo by Chris Donovan

2. FEAJanCGD01
(01/8/2017) MANZANILLO, Mex. - Three fisherman cast their lines into the ocean in Manzanillo, a port city on Mexico’s west coast. Dozens of fisherman line the beach every morning and bring their hauls of fish to local restaurants and markets. Photo by Chris Donovan, Loyalist College

 3. FEAJanCGD02
(01/10/2017) GUADALAJARA, Mex. - Manuel works around the clock as a taxi driver in Guadalajara to support his daughter on meager wages. He has racked up close to a million kilometers on his cab. Photo by Chris Donovan.

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (01/27/17) — Michael Alexander, an employee at La Cultura Salumi Inc., scrubbing the floor clean as Frank Abballe, the owner, waits to spray more water. La Cultura Salumi Inc., opened five years ago, is Belleville's only dry-aging meat plant. "We feed people. So it's important to keep this place clean," says Jane Abballe, Frank's wife and co-owner of the business. Since its opening it has been recognized by many popular restaurants in Toronto, such as Bar Isabel. Photo by Noah Park
This category was a bit thin on the “found" moments in that the subjects seemed camera aware, the moment wasn’t at the peak of action, or the image’s technical qualities were lacking (out of focus, sunken shadows, weak crops). The features which won and placed were solid moments which show the slice of life in a given person’s world. Although the content, being foreign or far-off places, can impact how we take in the information, the moments found were decidedly relatable from a domestic perspective, either due to the location or due to the human activity.

First place is unreal. The content being what it is, technically it’s a solid frame, tack sharp, and at a moment where the subject seems to be entirely oblivious or ambivalent about the photographer’s presence.

Second place is an aesthetically pleasing image, it’s something you’d see on the wire or in a paper as a weather feature, or as part of a picture story /essay as a frame you can add in to take a ‘breath’ from the main thrust of a story.

Third place has an interesting human subject (I have a soft spot for taxi drivers) in their natural environment, but it can be said to be picking from low-hanging fruit. This image would have benefitted from a bit lower shutter so we can see a bit more drama in the field of view beyond the driver in the rear view.

The HM is a great little slice of a workplace, it begs questions relating to what sort of factory this is. It didn’t place because although the moment has charm to it, it is on the wrong end of the centred subject. Would have liked to see a face.

Walk about lots, be out in the world with people, the moments are just waiting for us to witness them.

NPAC defines the feature category as: A single photograph of an unstaged situation that has a high human interest element and/or a fresh view of an everyday scene.


BELLEVILLE, ONT. (01/12/2017)  Prime Minster Justin Trudeau laughs at a joke a member of the crowd made about his father the late Pierre Trudeau’s time in office, during his cross country tour stop in Belleville. Photo by Colin Emerson, Loyalist College

TORONTO, Ont. (21/01/17) - The Women's March on Washington, Toronto edition, brought about 60,000 bodies to Queen's Park on January 21, 2017. Men, women and children marched together down University Ave. to prove that we will continue to be united and push for equality, diversity and freedom, even in the face of a shifting America. Protests against Trump have become a fight for humanity worldwide. Photo by Vanessa Tignanelli, Loyalist College

3. NEWJanYag1
Toronto, Ont (01/21/17) — Niki Nephin and her daughter Millie joined the estimated 60,000 protesters for the Women’s March on Washington in downtown Toronto. Photo by Yader Guzman.

1 - CAE2
2 - VGT2
3 - YAG1
HMs - VGT1 & CGD03

Protest pictures can be compelling but they inherently can also drift into cliche. Many of these would have been helped by finding moments or graphical elements in the fore- and background to tell the story instead of focusing on people’s signs (although there *is* a time and place for that if the thrust of the story is signage). There was also a distinct lack of spot news, which is an essential skill set that needs to be developed in order to work the freelance circuit as well as for would-be staffers. When you learn the rhythm of a city, you get an idea of when trouble tends to start, and failing that, you can always listen to the scanner for a few hours.

First place is a great little moment to catch the PM in. He’s an inherently photogenic person, so grabbing photos of him during those in-between moments of composure is important to the news of the day, it’s how we show that those in power are human beings like the rest of us, in spite of the power they wield.

Second place is a really lovely little moment between mom and daughter. Be aware of including children in protest pictures, because largely they aren’t capable of giving consent and are brought along by more politically-minded parents. It’s important that we, as photojournalists don’t use the most vulnerable amongst us as props or political tools. This is one instance which protesters can be humanized without being exploitative.

Third place is very well composed and an aesthetically pleasing image to view, but it didn’t place higher due to the news value in the image. General news should be compelling and timely subject matter as well as technically adept and aesthetically pleasing, viewers need to actually see the news value in it without having to read the caption. I would have categorized this as a feature rather than news.

The HM is a great series of portraits, but needed to be labelled as a composite image, as it is a series of photos placed on a canvas. There is news value in streeters or portrait series, but make sure to posit them in a way where I can identify what the story is through the environment the subjects are located in. Kudos for a well shot and interesting set of pix, and especially for including a variety of colours and ages. All too often we prioritize the faces and voices of non-POCs (people of colour), and although over 70% of Canadians are either immigrants or children of immigrants, POCs are highly underrepresented in news photographs.

NPAC defines the news category as: A single photograph with serious content and strong human interest elements of a scheduled or organized news event (e.g. mourners at a funeral, protesters, press conferences or staged coverage opportunities). The association defines spot news as: A single photograph of an unscheduled news event for which no advance planning was possible.

(01/05/2017) GUADALAJARA, Mex. - A worker dangles off the edge of a 30-storey building under construction in Guadalajara's Central Park. The office spaces in the new building will serve the city's fast growing ultra-wealthy business sector. The construction of the park was widely contested by locals who were displease with the fast growth and destruction of forest in their neighbourhood. Photo by Chris Donovan

HM. NewJanVGT1
TORONTO, Ont. (24/01/17) - Thousands of women sported bright lipstick of all colours at the Women’s March on Washington in Toronto, Ont. on January 24, making a statement that celebrated femininity. 60,000 people of different age, race and culture showed their disappointment towards recent anti-abortion initiatives taken by the Trump administration, as well as their support for feminism and equality amongst humanity. Photo by Vanessa Tignanelli.


BELLEVILLE, Ont. (28/01/17) – Joe Bresee and Dylan Hayes of the Loyalist Lancers attempt to block the spike by a La Cite Coyotes player during their game in Belleville on Saturday, January 28, 2017. The Lancers blew a 2-0 set lead and went on to lose 3-2. Photo by Bea Serdon, Loyalist College

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (01/15/17) — Loyalist Lancer player, Chris Asomani pushes past Georgian Grizzlies player Aaron Sutton in an attempt to score a basket for his team. The Lancers go on to win the game 76:63. Photo by Jonathan Ludlow, Loyalist College

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (15/01/17) - Loyalist Lancer Jamal Okunbor (10) takes on the Georgian College Grizzlies in men's basketball on January 15, 2016 in Belleville, Ont. It was a rough match with lots of fouls from both teams, but the Lancers took the win 76-65. Photo by Vanessa Tignanelli, Loyalist College
BELLEVILLE, Ont. (28/01/17) – Loyalist Lancers Women's Volleyball Team gathers in for a huddle during their game against the La Cite Coyotes. The Lancers ended up winning the game 3-0. Photo by Bea Serdon, Loyalist College
1 - MBS2
2 - JRL1
3 - VGT1

This category was marked by a failure to capture the peak action of the athletes, save for a couple of moments. I know it sounds harsh, and capturing sports isn’t easy, but there is room for improvement here. Several photos would have benefited from better crops, but I can see where they’re going.

First place had the action right there, the reaction on 13 is great, captured at the right moment, and almost at the right framing. While tight crops are preferred for most sports, there’s not enough of the ball in the upper third, would have liked to see it more clearly.

Second place is a photo you’d likely see from a Raps game, the moment when the driving player hits the defence. It’s a solid, serviceable basketball image, but would have benefitted from better toning and cropping.

Third place image has some great emotion in it, but it’s lost in the far end of the frame. Cropping this would have yielded a better visual solution, but the timing was pretty good. Crops are everything in sports images.


(01/9/2017) GUADALAJARA, Mex. - Laura Avila, 64, lives on a pile of salvaged goods next to the train that runs through Guadalajara known as "the beast." Many migrants ride the beast from central America, especially Honduras and Guatemala in an effort to reach America. Guadalajara is a common pit-stop along the way. "Many poor people sell things here, and I just want to help them," she explained as she brought a shoe box which she salvaged from the trash to a man who sells shoes by the tracks. Photo by Chris Donovan


BELLEVILLE, Ont. (01/10/17) — Butch Lucas is a 75 year-old owner of a local business, Hillcrest Auto Wreckers Ltd., which was started in 1948 by his father and kept alive ever since. “I don’t know. You just keep on working I guess,” Lucas answers when asked about the secret to the longevity of his business. Photo by Noah Park

3. PRTJanNP2
BELLEVILLE, Ont. (01/17/17) — Ben Maracle, a 16 year-old high school quarterback, is chosen to represent U-18 Team Canada in a game against its U.S. counterpart in the North American Championship in Orlando, Florida. "I'm excited to share my story when I get back home and wearing the Canadian flag on my jersey is a huge part of it. It just shows me how far I've come." Photo by Noah Park.
(01/8/2017) MANZANILLO, Mex. - A  fisherman pulls up his net to see his catch before pulling the fish off the net in Manzanillo, a port city on Mexico’s west coast. Dozens of fisherman line the beach every morning and bring their hauls of fish to local restaurants and markets. Photo by Chris Donovan

Liverpool, UK (11/01/2017) - John Silverfox Hayes served in Iraq in 2003. "When someone comes back from war, the transition into civilian life is difficult. Because everything changes. Art gave me direction. I could sit for hours and paint. Especially after I was diagnosed with PTSD, art gave me a focus," says Hayes. Photo by Aman Parhar.

PORTRAITS Or, how I got a guy to pose nude with a banana.

Srsly guise, I need to hear the story about this one…

1 - CGD02
2 - NP03
3 - NP02
HMs - AP1 & CGD03

Overall, this category was fairly strong, with some great subjects and interesting graphic elements.

First place is a great frame. Beautiful colours, mysterious subject, very simple, direct, natural. This photo draws me in and makes me ask questions, but also gives me enough of the subject to understand a bit about her. I would have liked to see more of what looks like her sleeping area, to the left of the frame, but it provides me with a lot of data to read a story into and it’s aesthetically pleasing from a compositional point of view.

Second place is such a curmudgeonly image. Dude’s got so much character, but this didn’t place higher because of a lack visual dialogue with the photographer. Lighting and composition are spot on. I’d have loved to see what the shooter could’ve pulled out of this with a bit more time and conversation. Get him to take his jacket off, sit on the tires. Have him roll his shoulders before you take a photo so that his muscles can relax and he can grow comfortable with a camera in his face. Working folks are tough to photograph, but you pulled a solid image out of this.

Third place is almost-but-not-quite-there. The lighting scheme is solid for an athlete, but be aware of the lack of light you put on faces, as the shadows sink so deep in his eyes that I can’t see them. A well-placed reflector would have given the subject some catchlights in their eyes which would’ve given me more of a connection with him.

Honourable mention AP1 is a strong subject and technically solid, good lighting, but lacks space to allow his face to tell me its story. it’s also on a bit of a funny angle, which has a frame running through his head and cuts off at strange parts of his face. This could have benefitted from a better crop, but more so needs more context if the desired outcome is an EVP, or more dramatic lighting and a different angle if it’s to be a straight portrait of a serious subject rather than in the middle of conversation.

Honourable mention CGD03 is a great subject with lots of great natural elements in background and foreground, but rather than capturing him in the middle of pulling up the net, get him to hold it up and keep it up! Don’t be afraid to pose your subject. This could have been a very compelling portrait by using the net, with fish, as a scrim to shoot through to get his face closer, straight on, while maintaining the context of his vocation as a visual element.

Pose your subjects, and spend some time with them. You’ll be surprised what you can pull out by just asking questions, listening to answers, and finding the essence of your subject to make a solid frame with.


1) MPXJanCGD03

2) MPXJanCGD01

3. MPXJanCGD02


1 - CGD03
2 - CGD01
3 - CGD02

Only one photographer entered three sets into this category, I would strongly advise folks to reconsider what they believe a picture story/essay is, as you don’t always need foreign or controversial content to tell stories. There are stories all around, some big, some small. It’s our responsibility to tell them.

First place is a great “day in the life” feature of this woman Laura Avila. Living on a pile of refuse is not a life that many of us can recognize as being akin to our own, however the photographer assembled a solid edit of images which give the subject prominence in their daily activities, and gives them dignity in a situation many of us might want help out from. The subject is humanized through a series of images which take us from wide, giving context to the subject, through to tight-tight-tight to see hands that could easily be our grandmothers’ hands.

Second place is yet again a good “day in the life” feature of a group of fishermen. Technically perfect, lots of breathing room to take in the locale and context. Solidly composed and edited images, however it falls flat in that it doesn’t delve deeper. I would love to see where these men call home, if they go to the bodega and straight home, or if one of them heads to the bar. I want to know something about these people’s lives, and I don’t get that in this beyond their vocation.

Third place is a gritty street story that shows me a lot of drug use and not much else beyond. It tips its toe into a deeper underlying family issue, and the wider political context, but ultimately lacks direction and is focused on the direct subject matter of the petty drug trade rather than the human dimension of what happens to these young men after the sun falls.

Updated Points 1,845 - Chris Donovan 1,140 - Vanessa Tignanelli 545 - Andrew Ryan 520 - Noah Park 300 - Yader Guzman 220 - Bea Serdon 175 - Lori Christmas 100 - Colin Emerson 60 - Raven McCoy 50 - Jonny Ludlow 50 - Liam Smyth 25 - Curtis O’Connor 20 - Aman Parhar Past Points 1,385 - Chris Donovan (+460) 1,055 - Vanessa Tignanelli (+85) 545 - Andrew Ryan 435 - Noah Park (+85) 275 - Yader Guzman (+25) 175 - Lori Christmas 100 - Taylor Bertelink 100 - Bea Serdon (+110) 60 - Raven McCoy 50 - Liam Smyth 25 - Curtis O’Connor 10 - Aman Parhar (+10) 0 - Colin Emerson (+100) 0 - Jonny Ludlow (+50)

Points are awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Honourable Mentions.
1st place - 100
2nd place - 50
3d place - 25
HM - 10