State photographers take top honors at SC New Photographers competition

Staff ReportsFebruary 22, 2014 


The State newspaper’s photography staff took top honors at the annual South Carolina News Photographers Association Pictures of the Year competition in Charlotte.

The event was held in conjunction with the Southern Short Course in News Photography and North Carolina Press Photographers Association’s Pictures of the Year.

Kim Kim Foster-Tobin took Best in Show with her image titled “Given Up” from the USMC Mud Run.

Gerry Melendez was named Photographer of the Year. It is the fifth time he has captured the top portfolio award.

The staff captured more awards than any newspaper in South Carolina during a full day of judging Friday.

“What took 12 images for one photographer to get a package, this photographer did it in one image,” said judge James Robinson while discussing Foster-Tobin’s winning image. “It seems so Romanesque, like early Da Vinci art.”

The State swept the Sports Feature category and had 22 entries place in 15 categories.

Jeff Blake took first place in General News with his image titled “Strength at a Funeral.” “It’s perfect in many ways,” said judge James Robinson. He also took top honors in the Picture Package category.

Is Sports Action, Melendez received first and third for two South Carolina football images from the team’s game against the University of South Florida.

Foster-Tobin took first in Sports Feature with her best in show image. Melendez placed second, and Blake took third with a photo from Irmo High’s State Final basketball game against Goose Creek.

Melendez took first in Pictorial with an image from Lancaster Speedway titled “Racing Blur.” C. Aluka Berry took second with a black-and-white image of fog in Linville, N.C.

Melendez also placed first in Sports Picture Story and Multimedia with his package from Lancaster Speedway titled “A Saturday Night Tradition.”

Judges for the event were Lexey Swall of GRAIN Images; Nanine Hartzenbusch, professor at the Knight School of Communication; James Robinson of the Fayetteville Observer; and Jerry Wolford of the Greensboro News & Record.

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