I thought the discussion of documentary photo story/essay was very interesting. The story about the homeless kids I found to be beautiful and intriguing, but slightly repetitive in some of the images. However, the judges were very drawn to it and said one reason they liked it is that it portrayed a story that had been told many times but showed it in a new way. I think that is one way judges see things differently than students might. Due to the amount of experience judges have in the working world, they get to see projects that become repetitive whereas students haven’t had as many years in the field and therefore may not realize when a project has become overdone. I thought the Adrift was the perfect choice for gold in this category because every image has such impact and as a photo story I find it amazing that you really don’t need the captions to tell the story, yet having the captions advances and depends the story. Conversely, I thought it was strange that the story Not Here Or There made it as far as it did in the judging. I thought it was a very interesting social commentary, however, I did not think the images were as strong as ones in other stories and I felt that it heavily relied on the captions to tell the story.
The large group multimedia category judging was also interesting to watch. I thought it was interesting the way the projects were judged on every aspect down to how easy a site was to navigate. When you get so focused on the content I think it’s easy to forget that simple things like the intuitiveness of a website can bring down the quality of the whole project. Also I liked that the judges pointed out the length of multimedia projects has to be just right for it to work. They can be long, if the project keeps the viewer engaged the entire time. One of the biggest faults of multimedia projects is letting it lull in places, which gives viewers the chance to click away and leave the site. I also liked that they talked about having to be very thorough in the editing process because even though you do so many interviews and cover the topic you have to be willing and able to cut even things you really love if they don’t advance the story. I liked that one judge talked about making sure you are using the correct medium to tell the story. So many times projects can go awry if you try to force them into being multimedia if they would really work better as stills, and so on.