Ross Taylor, David Weatherwax and Brad Vest Are Top Winners at BOP

by David Walker

©The Herald/David Weatherwax

Ross Taylor of The Virginian-Pilot and David Weatherwax of The Herald, in Jasper, Indiana, have won Photojournalist of the Year honors for large markets and small markets, respectively, in the Best of Photojournalism 2012 competition. Brad Vest, a photography graduate student at Ohio University, won the Cliff Edom New America Award.

Other top winners included Donald Miralle, who was named Sports Photojournalist of the Year; 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Massoud Hossaini, who took first place in BOP's International News category; and Charles Dharapak of the Associated Press, who won first place in the General News category. The Best of Photojournalism contest is sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association.

Ross submitted a portfolio that included an essay called "The Thin Line," about people in economic distress. Taylor told NPPA: "I know what it's like for those people to walk that road." The photographer was laid off from a newspaper job in 2005, and was unemployed for 15 months. Other work in his portfolio included an essay on a U.S. Navy hospital in Afghanistan, an essay on Haitians rebuilding after the 2010 earthquake, and some single images.

Weatherwax won for a portfolio of stories he completed for a weekly photo feature that has made The Herald something of a legend in photojournalism circles.  The paper has published the weekly documentaries about local subjects for several decades. Weatherwax told NPPA, "The bread and butter of The Herald is the Saturday Feature, those long-term projects that we do while balancing the daily assignments, sports, and juggling schedules."

Vest won the Cliff Edom award for a documentary project about a man who has been in and out of jail, and living with his girlfriend and their two children in a camper, with no fixed address..

Awards were also given for Portrait Series, Natural Disaster, Contemporary Issues Story, Political Crisis and several other categories. NPPA has posted a complete list of BOP still photography winners and a full report about the competition on its web site.


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