Photojournalism professionals gathered at the Rochester Institute of Technology to review student work submitted for the annual NPPA sponsored “What We Do Show.” The most exceptional work from RIT’s aspiring photojournalists was selected and ranked by Syracuse University Assistant Professor Seth Gitner and Associate Professor Bruce Strong. Traveling from Indiana, RIT Professor Emeritus Gunther Cartwright rounded out a panel of three judges. The “What We Do Show,” created by the RIT student chapter of the NPPA, provided an opportunity for the judges to focus and expound on ideas brought up by RIT professors William Snyder (Photojournalism Chairman) and Loret Steinberg (Associate Professor), who were also in attendance. Many of the students who entered the show were present for the judging process, and listened to the critique offered to themselves and their classmates.
Specifically, the professors had much advice to offer regarding storytelling, both in multiple picture entries and single images. Gitner said that stories should offer a clear beginning, a middle, and an ending. Those stories that show a change in the character, or some kind of visual transformation are the strongest. Bruce Strong suggested that stories be built around answering a specific question, with an extensive planning process that complements the concurrent shooting process. Cartwright seconded this sentiment, encouraging students to take advantage of their “keywords” and “thumbnails” in digital software to log information about which images represent specific emotional moments that could “say something” in a story. Caption writing, printing craftsmanship, as well as critically plotting a good story were among the areas suggested that students could improve upon.
The judges selected photographs for Features, General News, Editorial, Sports and Photo Story categories, and were treated to “garbage plates,” a Rochester delicacy. The “What We Do Show” will consist of the contest winners, and will be displayed within the Frank E. Gannet Building (7B) on RIT’s main campus through March 2010.
This year’s winners included: