Q4 Clip Contest Results


Judges: Lauren Frohne, Amanda Snyder and Colin Diltz of the Seattle Times



First: Douglas Graham, Loudoun Now

Second: Matt McClain, The Washington Post

Third: Aileen Devlin, The Daily Progress



1st: Interesting and unusual image. A great moment that stands on its own.

2nd: Nice layering and interesting composition of a hectic scene. And we love dogs.

3rd: Unexpected scene, candid moment composed nicely from a low angle.



First: Aileen Devlin, The Daily Press

Second: Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Third: Matt McClain, The Washington Post



1st: This is not an image any of us feel like we’ve seen before. Demonstrates a great eye and masterful use of available light in the moment. You can see what’s going on, despite the distance from the scene. In fact, something that could have been an obstacle to make a great image (distance) made this image even more interesting.

2nd: We loved the expressions capture here. Getting down to their level helps capture the passion and personalities of the children. Also not something you see every day.

3rd: The composition really highlights the scale and vastness of the flood. The intentional framing and the posture of the subject make it interesting as well.



First: Jonathon Gruenke, The Daily Press

Second: Aileen Devlin: The Daily Press

Third: Matt McClain: The Washington Post



1st: We like the layering and composition of this image, the gestures among the subjects, and an intentional use of reflection that helps tell the story.

2nd: Striking light in this image that is also imperative to the story it’s capturing.

3rd: A strange and interesting image from what could be a bland political event.



First: Aileen Devlin, The Daily Press

Second: Jonathon Gruenke, The Daily Press

Third: Douglas Graham, Loudoun Now

HM: Aileen Devlin, The Daily Press



1st: We all reacted to this picture, quintessential peak action, you really feel it.

2nd: This images captures a whole story – the score, posture, the isolation (especially striking for a large-team sport).

3rd: We all loved the composition and framing of this one. There’s so much to see and discover as you take the image in.

HM: Nice image that captures emotion.



First: Jonathon Gruenke, The Daily Press

HM: Douglas Graham, Loudoun Now



Weak category (only 1st and HM)

1st: Would love to see more of the character off the football field, but we liked the images that captured moments of camaraderie and relationships between the players. Some really unique moments — especially the one where she is being lifted in the air by a teammate.

HM: This is interesting and timely subject matter, but we wished for more visual variety (in composition, details, focal length) and a tighter edit.



First: Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Second: Kaitlin McKeown, The Virginian-Pilot



Weak category (only 1st and 2nd)

1st: This story was solid throughout. There were nice moments and sequences, a spunky interview, good visual variety, and also a really interesting topic that we’d never seen before. The story was concise and well-told, just as long as it needed to be. We especially all loved the closing shot.

2nd: Short and sweet. We loved the shot of him during the skydive.

Overall, for this category, we felt that there was a heavy reliance on music, rather than natural sound, and we would urge everyone to really pare down their edits. A really solid 60- to 90-second story, or even 2-minutes, will have more impact than one that tries to pack too much information, too much talking, into it. Let the characters shine through, use moments and sound to help tell the story.



Judges:  Maureen Stewart, Art Director, Airman Magazine; Clayton Filipowicz, Director of Social Media, Airman Magazine; Jeff Allen, Operations Chief, Air Force Media



1st: Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch
2nd: Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch
3rd: Matt McClain, The Washington Post

Comments: Chosen for immediate visual impact and emotion for each story. Each photo placed the viewer there, in the thick of it, which allows you to draw the reader further into the story.

The decision between first and second was difficult. The image of the officer kneeling struck me because it was such a raw moment. It shows the brotherhood of the police officers, the toll the job has put on the man kneeling, and it communicated to me that something heart-wrenching just happened.


1st : Earl Neikirk, Bristol Herald-Courier
2nd: Rob Ostermeier, The Daily Press
3rd: Jay Westcott, The News & Advance


Not your typical sports photos-these each offered a unique perspective , in my opinion. All of them offer some beautiful contrast.

First place was the clear winner to me. When I think of swimming, I don’t typically think of it as a team-based sport. But this image shows that the team’s support is just as important as the athlete competing. Wonderful job capturing the moment. Second place captured the intensity and focus of the football players. I like it because it is very true to the game of football. It’s not about looking pretty, it’s about doing everything you can to make the catch (silly faces and all). Third place is a very beautiful photo. Great eye and dedication to get up early and get the photo. Worthy of the top 3.


1st : Kristen Zeis, The Virginian-Pilot
2nd: Earl Neikirk, Bristol Herald-Courier
3rd: Matt McClain, The Washington Post


I really loved that each of these made me want to either learn more or be there.

First place very strong. It’s an interesting perspective, uncontrolled action, beautiful colors, and a technically sound photo. Beautifully done. First and second were very difficult to decide. I love the simplicity of this photo. The light coming through the door in contrast with the Spiderman outfit made me do a double take for sure. Very nice image. Third place was a very interesting photo. The composition made me want to lok closer to explore what it is that the workers do for a living. Very deserving of top 3.


1st : Jonathan Gruenke, The Daily Press
2nd:  Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch
3rd: Jay Westcott, The News & Advance


All of these were visually stunning and shot so well. Great light, composition and use of negative space. The tunnel man placed first because it showed his personality the best. His sense of style paired with the crossed arms convey attitude. But the colorful tunnel really brings it home. LOVE IT. Third and Second place were very, very close. The violinists were beautifully composed in the photo, well done. Really draws your attention in. Third place was a very sound photograph that shows he is a talented athlete. Both photos are very literal in that it shows objects to convey what they enjoy. However, I’d like to see personality as well, which is what the first place photo did really well.


1st : Matt McClain, The Washington Post
2nd: Aileen Devlin, The Daily Press
3rd: Matt McClain, The Washington Post


Great series’ with intimate looks inside to the subjects lives.

The rodeo has a solid diversity of images. Could tell you were thinking outside the box on some of the shots. You have a lot of strong images but more importantly, you had a coherent story that was easy to piece together through photos. Oher submissions also had good images sprinkled throughout, but were lacking story. Second place had some phenomenal photos throughout, but it was all over the place without any context.


1st : 03 2017 Kristen Zeis, The Virginian-Pilot
2nd: Lathan Goumas, The News & Advance
3rd: Aileen Devlin, The Daily Press


Each of these were emotional and really gave me a look at the people behind the story. Lots of fundamental issues here though (technically) especially with audio and pacing. This was across all entries.



Mykal McEldowney, Jenna Watson and Bob Scheer of the Indianapolis Star

FIRST:  Matt McClain, The Washington Post
SECOND: Aileen Devlin, Daily Press
THIRD:  Rob Ostermaier, The Daily Press
HM:  Kristen Zeis, The Virginian-Pilot

Three winners exemplified strongest moments of all news entries. This was a very strong category, photographers worked scenes well trying to find interesting way to shoot the mundane. Honorable mention might have placed higher if it had been entered as a portrait, it didn’t hold up content-wise against other news topics.

FIRST:  Jonathan Gruenke, The Daily Press
SECOND:  Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch
THIRD:  Kaitlin McKeown, The Virginian-Pilot
HM: Kristen Zeis, The Virginian-Pilot

Many the posed portraits where subject was looking into camera felt forced or uncomfortable. First place portrait displayed the strongest aesthetic and composition, a beautifully executed sports portrait. The second and honorable mention portraits do a great job conveying mood with clean lighting and space to breath in compositions. Third place was fun, unexpected perspective that stood out.

FIRST:  Rob Ostermaier, The Daily Press
SECOND:  Erica Yoon, The Roanoke Times
THIRD:  Kristen Zeis, The Virginian-Pilot
HM: Aileen Devlin, Daily Press
HM: Aileen Devlin, Daily Press

There were many strong but repetitive sports features in this category—lots of mobs of players yelling. First place offered a truly unique and difficult to find moment from what can be a slower-paced, predictable sport. Second and third place captured clean peak action from perfect points of view. Honorable mentions were almost-there execution wise— Ball catch could be cleaner composition and we wish the huddle in the background was a quicker read.

FIRST:  Matt McClain, The Washington Post
SECOND:  Aileen Devlin, Daily Press
THIRD:  Jonathan Gruenke, The Daily Press

First and third place winners immediately stood out to judges aesthetically on first time looking through feature entries. Second place was a quick, think-outside-the-box moment that we crave in a feature image. Other similar entries were not quite as strong technically or offered less surprising moments.

FIRST:  Aileen Devlin, Daily Press
SECOND:  Matt McClain, The Washington Post
THIRD:  Jonathan Gruenke, The Daily Press

Something that judges always seem to bring up for multiple categories— When in doubt, edit tighter. First place offered the best balance of narrative, shot variety and sequencing. Sequencing was also beautiful in second place winner, an all-around attractive set of pictures. Third place offered thorough coverage of a daily news event, the photographer put in extra effort to work scene. Non-winning stories didn’t quite dig deep enough with subject. Non-winning daily assignment entries didn’t offer quite enough shot variety. We would have loved tighter edit of church renovation essay to show faster transition of before and after.

FIRST:  Kaitlin McKeown, The Virginian-Pilot
SECOND:  Kaitlin McKeown, The Virginian-Pilot
THIRD:  Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch

First and second place were well-produced and had clean, interesting shots that kept our attention while carrying a narrative— Two opposite types of videos that displayed similar strong suits. Third place needed a tighter edit, we feel the story could have been told in 1 and a half to 2 minutes just as well. A close contender for third was the opening night of baseball season video, but we thought the music was distracting after about a minute, and the slow motion lingered too long on several shots losing our attention. Felt more like marketing content than journalism. As for surveyors trespassing video, we liked the effort and access, but thought there needed to be more strategy put into providing the viewer with the narrative to keep it moving along and make the topic clear sooner in the video. Most importantly, with a “controversial” issue like this, we need to hear from opposing party or at least include in a slide somewhere that they did not respond for comment, if that was the case.


Kyle Robertson, Adam Cairns and Josh Bickel of the The Columbus Dispatch

FIRST: Lathan Goumas, The News & Advance
SECOND:  Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch
THIRD:  Kristen Zeis, The Virginian-Pilot
HM:  Jonathan Gruenke, The Daily Press

This was hard because we felt there was really good spot news along with general news photos.  1st and 2nd were the best of the group.  They both show great emotion and good job on the photographers to get names.  2nd place would have had a fighting chance at 1st place but it looks like someone is on the right.  We understand that things like that happen.  1st place is a little cleaner and we love how the little girl is popping up to look on.

FIRST:  Matt McClain, The Washington Post
SECOND:  Jill Nance, The News & Advance
THIRD:  Matt McClain, The Washington Post

The group really loved 1st place, we liked the alignment of the military and also the light on the left and right.  The group liked 2nd place because it looked like the photographer worked to get a good picture.  The group noted that the photographer should of cropped out the yellow sign on the left and the wall on the right out of the photo.  3rd place was a really good layered image.

FIRST:  Jonathan Gruenke, The Daily Press
SECOND:  Rob Ostermaier, The Daily Press
THIRD:  Aileen Devlin, Daily Press

Sports was very weak compared to the others.  We liked the top 2 photos the best and went back and forth on what one we liked the best.  2nd place was a great sports action image and 3rd place was the best of the rest.

FIRST:  Aileen Devlin, Daily Press
SECOND:  Daniel Sangjib Min, Richmond Times-Dispatch
THIRD:  Lathan Goumas, The News & Advance

Wow there was some really good work in this category.  1st place had a great range of photos.  We really liked #9.  2nd place looks like they took their time and had some good access.  3rd place was good but could of cut down the number of images to 6.

***Daniel’s second place story was on a Syrian Refugee family.  The family requested their photos not be published online so it will be absent from the winner’s gallery.


FIRST: Aileen Devlin, Daily Press
SECOND:  Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch
THIRD:  Jay Westcott, The News & Advance
HM: Jill Nance, The News & Advance

We really the 1st place winner because it was so different.  2nd was really nice evening portrait with good use of a flash.  3rd just something we haven’t seen before.  HM was the best of the rest.

FIRST:  Kaitlin McKeow, The Virginian-Pilot
SECOND:  Shelby Lum, Richmond Times-Dispatch
THIRD:  Lathan Goumas, The News & Advance