First gold medals awarded

As the snow begins to fall on Day Two of the 31st Best of News Design™ Competition, we’ve learned there were at least 16 silver medals awarded late Saturday night. The first two gold medals of the weekend were both awarded in the photo categories. Congratulations to The New York Times Magazine and The Denver Post for their wins.

15A Photo project page or spread(s)

GOLD
The New York Times Magazine. Oscar profiles.

Photographer Paolo Pellegrin’s portraits of Oscar-nominated actors is from a New York Times Magazine preview for the Academy Awards ceremony. The sheer volume of high-quality work is impressive, but it’s not redundant despite the large number of images. There’s not a weak picture in the entire group. They took a different approach for each actor, creating distinct intimate images that are united in color and tone throughout the series.

15B Photo series, project or story

GOLD
The Denver Post. Ian Fisher: American soldier.

Photographer Craig F. Walker followed U.S. Army soldier Ian Fisher for more than two years, from just before high school graduation through joining the army, basic training and deployment in Iraq. These photos show the incredibly intimate access the photographer was able to achieve in telling this story. He was there through several girlfriends to counseling sessions with his sergeant about his drug use. There are very few weak photos for something this in-depth. This incredible piece of journalism shows that it’s worth spending time and money, assigning a great photographer and overcoming all the obstacles it takes to create it.

For more about the project check out the DenverPost.com multimedia project here

And a running blog about the Ian Fisher project here