2003 Better Newspaper Contest — Photography


Division 2, Dailies
Division 3, Dailies
Division 4, Semiweeklies
Division 5, Semiweeklies
Division 6, Weeklies
Division 7, Weeklies
Division 8, Weeklies
Division 9, Weeklies
Division 10, Weeklies


Division 2 Dailies 7,000 to 99,999

1st. Midland Reporter Telegram — “4-5A Girls soccer” Kris J. Murante. Nice clean action picture. Nice faces on players. “Heartbreaker” Tim Fischer. Very nice, emotional moment. Reads very quickly and is well played. Very clean. “Rockhounds fan” Tim Fischer. A real moment. The little girl’s reaction is good. It is clean and draws the reader in.

2nd. The Facts (Clute) — Todd Yates. “Fire” Nice moment. It takes the reader right into the fire scene. You can almost feel the heat and smell the smoke. “On the lamb” A touching moment, but maybe needed to be shot or cropped a bit tighter. “American flag” Nice, clean picture. A different way of handling this from what is typically seen.

3rd. The Galveston County Daily News — Kevin Bartram. “A day of remembrance” Clean, easy to read, but just a bit static. “Shots fired on seawall” Picture makes reader feel as if they are right in the middle of the arrest. Good job. “5 rescued from van” Clean, simple, easy to read.

4th. Odessa American — “Petite patriots” Gary Payne. Would like to have seen more faces and less of the large flag. “Shooting” Valerie Ontiveros. Good job capturing the scene, but because of clutter in picture, it is a little hard to read.  “First-day jitters” Paul Zoeller. Damned nice picture. The photographer did a great job going down to the boy’s eye level to capture the moment. We can feel his pain.

Division 3 Dailies Less Than 7,000

1st. Athens Daily Review — “A day of honor” Jennifer Stone. Very nice treatment. Very clean. Reads quickly. We don’t need to see a face to see that he’s an old veteran. “Having a blast” Danni Barger. Nice, clean. Great moment. You can feel the cold water. “The keys to success” Danni Barger. Even though you can’t see the keyboard, you know she’s playing thanks to the reflection on piano top.

2nd. Texas City Sun — Dwight Andrews. “Mainland remembers” Very nice moment. Could have cropped up from bottom of frame to clean up, create eye-catching horizontal. “Football” I like the motion in the picture. Peak action. “Aerial acrobat” Nice effort to get different viewpoint but was played way too small.

3rd. Plano Star Courier — Matt Nachtrieb. “9/11 memorial” Very nice moment played way too small. Great color. Very moody and clean. “Summer splashdown” Interesting approach. Nice color, clean. “Cross country” Pan shot works well. Photographer was able to really clean-up background and give reader the feeling of motion as runner sprinted to finish line.

4th. Seguin Gazette-Enterprise — “Li’l ’Pokes” James Williams. Nice little picture. Played way too small. “Saving Christmas” Loretta Panichi. Good moment. Distracting background. “Taking care of business” Bill O’Connell. Nice, clean, simple. Reads quickly.

Division 4 Semiweeklies 4,001 or More

1st. Wise County Messenger — “Fatal wreck” Joe Duty. Excellent photo group shows the emotion of the event. Great work and layout too. “Unseen Wings” Brian Knox. Nicely composed and great use of the shadow effect. I was confused about the secondary photo without a caption. Was it the same guy in his gear? “Flipped out” Joe Duty. Just a great shot. Your timing must be phenomenal.

2nd. Hood County News — Mary Vinson. “Driver education” These photos overall are oversaturated with color (ink) but great composition and enterprise wins you second place. “Shy voter” This is a one-in-a-million. Great timing and way to be on your toes. “Baseball” You’ve got everything here, just too much saturation in the color.

3rd. Round Rock Leader — “Frontier Days” Marina Claxton. A real keeper of a photo, but you lost on complexity of composition. Good reproduction. “A flash in the air” Matt Archer. Excellent photo, the best of your entries overall by far. No better action shot in this category. “Horse West Nile case” Matt Archer. Not a good choice as an entry. I’m sure you had stronger photos in the year that would have pushed you higher.

4th. Williamson County Sun — Mark Ashley. “Firefighters” This could have been a good entry, but it’s out of register and a little too distant. Night/dark shots gotta be in register at press. “Honor Guard” Excellent photograph. The reflection gets secondary attention, just like it should. Your strongest entry. “A license to get wet” Nice shot and good enterprise, but you got beat on stronger competition and more action.

Division 5 Semiweeklies 4,000 or Less

1st. Mansfield News Mirror — “Busy bodies” Brigitte Cummings. Very nice composition. Very clean. “Field Good story” Mario Zavala Jr. Good action, needs tighter crop. “Taking it easy” Mario Zavala Jr. Nice job taking readers underwater. Reads quickly.

2nd. Moore County News-Press — Shawn Yorks. “Laughter on parade” Nice moment. Reads quickly. Background a bit busy. “Hurdle jumper” Decent enough action. Clean. Reads quickly. “Divine equine” Needs a tight vertical crop. Decent moment.

3rd. Breckenridge American — Don Treul. “Fire” Very nice, clean, having a firefighter in foreground creates depth, interest. “Plane crash” Clean, simple. Would’ve been nice if pilot had been in picture. “Flood” Would’ve liked a lot better if boys weren’t looking into the camera. Looks too much like a snapshot.

4th. The Wimberley View — “Traffic fatality” Charles Wood. Doesn’t communicate much. Very dirty background. “Long jumper” Bill Adkisson. Decent action. Try to keep feet in. “Parade” Mary Elizabeth Davis. Very nice moment.

Division 6 Large Weeklies

1st. Austin Business Journal — “Round Rock Express co-owner” Sarah Keruer. Nice, clean, simple, communicates quickly. “Corn processor” Taylor Jones. Well done, nice location, well lit. “Visions and values” Sarah Keruer. Background a bit hot, but otherwise reads quickly.

2nd. Park Cities People — Jeremy Chestnutt. “Key West” Nice travel picture. Well played. “Fashion: Back to School” A group picture executed well. You’re drawn in by all the faces. “A knockout blow” Very nice moment. You don’t need to read the cutline to know they lost.

3rd. The Cameron Herald — Mike Peck. “Practice makes perfect” Nice, clean, easy to read, good action and no distractions from background. “Fatal crash” A lot of information. Fairly well executed. “Celebrating the Fourth” Very nice portrait. I like the composition. Very easy to read.

4th. Azle News — “Car fire” Bob Buckel. Very nice spot news, run pretty effectively. “Baseball” Paula Campbell. Nice drama in the rundown picture. “Halloween snapshots” Edwin Newton. Needed to be cropped much tighter. Your eye is not quite sure where to go.

Division 7 Medium Large Weeklies

1st. Westlake Picayune (Austin) — Doug Richardson. “Football, hurdles & volleyball” Very nice set of sports pictures. Solid composition, excellent reproduction. Great action.

2nd. Elgin Courier — “Bell tower” Beverly Daughtry. Nice picture, but it needed to be a lot bigger. You should consider putting rules around your photos. “Elgin High drummers” Patty Finney. Nice shot. “Watermelons” Patty Finney. Needed to be higher on the page, but a good shot. Nice angle.

3rd. Fort Stockton Pioneer — “Ready to rumble” James Fox. A little out of focus. “Little League” Kathy Sarabia. Really nice picture. “Water carnival” Kathy Sarabia. Nice action.

4th. Madisonville Meteor — Hank Hargrave. “Football” Should have been cropped tighter on the right side; would have drawn more attention to the runner. “Chicken truck, train wreck” Nice shot. “Veterans Day” No comment.

Division 8 Medium Weeklies

1st. Hill Country News Weekender (Cedar Park) — Stephanie Thompson. “Argiope spider” Excellent contrast, nice use of space, sharp and clear. “Stomping at Steiner” Clean, sharp, good contrast. “Canine suspended” Great photo.

2nd. DeSoto Today — “Lady Eagles soccer” Chris Hudson. Great action, clean. “Water basketball” Chris Hudson. Super shot. Great angle. Good use of color. “Wreck” Steve Snyder. Takes some time studying photo to decide what you’re looking at.

3rd. Olney Enterprise — Jeremy A. Corley. “Gunslinger” Super stop action shot. Contrast is great in all three shots. “Now listen carefully” Nice use of space. “Paying attention” Good detail in shot.

4th. The Shiner Gazette — “Jaws of Life” Myra Lampley. “Softball stunner” Agnes Sedlmeyer. Great emotion, contrast off a bit. “Storm damage” Myra Lampley. Contrast off, nothing to really draw your eye to.

Division 9 Small Medium Weeklies

1st. The Portland News — Scott Reese Willey. “Swimming” Good action and great facial expressions. “Andrews Winterfest” Great angle, composition and expression. “Casting about” Great composition. The best of a category with 5 strong entries. Great use of images mixed with strong photos made this the winner.

2nd. Lancaster Today — “9/11” David Goodspeed. Good job of capturing the emotion. “All fired up” David Goodspeed. Nice composition and good job of capturing the action. “Bluebonnet bikers” Chris Hudson. Good composition. Very close category between top five.

3rd. Leonard Graphic — “Say cheese” Beth Anderson. Nice image and good caption, very descriptive. “A Milestone” Bethany Russell. Great composition, good job of making an average image interesting. “Pint-size soccer” Betsy Barlow. Good job of capturing the action. This was a close call between the top five. Of the group you have the best use of photos on the front page.

4th. Midlothian Today — “Balloon festival” Chris Hudson. Good use of color in the image. “FFA speaker” Chris Hudson. Nice job on what could have been a very average shot. “Football” Randy Cozby. Good job of capturing the action. The top five papers were very close.

Division 10 Small Weeklies

1st. The Eldorado Success — Kathy Mankin. “Ham sandwich” You have an eye for the humorous. “How wet was it?” Creative way to gauge the rain. “You have the right to remain silent” Strong news coverage. Difficult for a weekly. Good caption.

2nd. The Princeton Herald — “A blur of speed” Cathy Strong. This creative shot of the player who scored. A second closer would have improved the quality. “Finders Keepers” Kathleen Noble. Your color reproduction, which is quite good, helped this photo. An angle from the egg basket would have improved it. “Firefighters” Jeff West. Good action photo. Hard to get news photos in a weekly.

3rd. Deport Times — “The light of day” Nanalee Nichols. At first I rejected this photo of inanimate objects, but it kept pulling me back. Creative composition, excellent reproduction. “Puppy love” Thomas Nichols. Always a winner. Should have lightened girl’s face. Weak on real significance. “Pulling it down” Nanalee Nichols. This was your winner. Great angle. Good timing. Tight cropping.

4th. Abernathy Weekly Review — “No yield wreck” Scott Luce. Though your photo was taken too far from subjects, a news photo of this quality always improves a weekly paper. This photo helped move your entry past some very strong contenders. “Basketball” Judy Luce. Nice “action” shot taken with flash. Got lots of people in photo even though it was backs of heads. “On to state” Judy Luce. At least you had some action here as she holds up trophy. Your have trouble getting FACES.