Best of Photojournalism: 2011

As I go through the archive of images I have, number one I’m grateful for the digital age. Besides making getting images to the publications I shoot for easier (not to mention no longer having to drive to office after an assignment to develop & upload), I have a copy of every single frame I made, even the outtakes. Back in the film days you might get a few medium resolution copies of what was used, but the rest of your negatives stayed at the paper.

To start off teh best of 2011, I had to go with the “Snowpocalypse” of February. Scroll to the bottom to see video from that night on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

Carmen R. Smith, (front), and his father Carmen J. Smith, (center), helped their grandfather & father, Harrison Smith, clear almost 2 feet of snow from his driveway in Western Springs. The two younger Smiths had just finished the driveway at their home a few blocks away before coming over to help. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media.
The Owners of Construction Partners, Inc. on 47th Street, Todd Tobias, (right) & Wally Dzendzeluk, (background), work on clearing snow from the entrance and parking lot of their business. Tobias, said they had been doing it by themselves as none of their employees was able to make it to work on Wednesday. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media.

Once again, looking back on 2011 the most amazing thing from my collection of images are the number of feature stories I did and in this case a lack of sports. This image from cross country below was one of a few high school sporting events I covered that year. Even when I was covering sports sometimes it was for yearbook companies, or it was a feature story. Like below on a female football player for St. Ignatius.

Western Springs, 10/15/11–Oak Park-River Forest senior Malachy Schrobilgen, strides to the finish line visibly in the lead at the West Suburban Silver Conference cross country meet. Schrobilgen, finished the boys varsity race with a time of 14:36. | Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media.
IHSA 2011 Track & Field State Finals. Jermey or Jermaine Kline, Lake Park HS
Chicago, 09/23/11–St. Ignatius kicker Julie Kurek, (99) on the sidelines. |Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media.

Once again to look back at 2011 and the number of small community events I covered is almost mind blowing how much less coverage communities get these days. While it’s not “Watergate” a lot can be said about getting coverage for local spelling Bee champs, homecoming parades and Easter egg hunts. If you want that please look up you local paper and get a subscription.

Park Ridge, 09/17/11– Freshman Matt Kelly, blows up a ballon for one of the Maine South Homecoming parade vehicles. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Park Ridge, 09/17/11– The Maine South football team made its way through town as part of the homecoming day parade. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Rachel Koopersmith, 6, of Glenview, reaches in the bushes to find a hidden egg during the Easter egg hunt at the River Forest United Methodist Church Saturday, April, 23, 2011.The church’s Easter Eggstravaganza, featured an egg hunt, face painting & balloon shapes. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media.
Prisha Sherdiwala, 5, of Oak Park, tries to keep an inflated balloon off the ground and in a circle, in a game called the “Balloon Valley Challenge”. Prisha, was one of dozens of kids taking part in the YMCA Healthy Kids Day at the West Cook YMCA in Oak Park. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media.
Oak Brook, 05/21/11–A white tailed deer made an appearance during the night hike through the Mayslake Forest Preserve. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Winnetka, 05/30/11–Memorial Day Parade Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Elmwood Park, 07/04/11–Angelica and Julio Gerena of Elmwood Park stare up at the fireworks at Elmwood Park High School with their children Jocelyn, 7 and Josiah, 2. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Oak Brook, 09/11/11–Kate Lawson, sings the National Anthem at the Christ Church of Oak Brook, to start a concert commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Elmwood Park, 09/11/11–Black bands adorned the badges of local firefighters at the 9/11 10th Annual Commemorative Anniversary event sponsored by Elmwood Park Arts and Special Events Committee, at Central Park. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Elmwood Park, 09/11/11–Greg Sosnowski, of the Division 20 Honor Guard, goes over some last minute details before the start of the 9/11 10th Annual Commemorative Anniversary event sponsored by Elmwood Park Arts and Special Events Committee, at Central Park. Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media
Burr Ridge, 09/24/11–Children watch in awe as a hot air balloon slowly fills up at the annual fall fest in Harvester Park. | Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media.
Park Ridge, 10/06/11– Children play on the jungle gym at the Franklin School’s back-to-school picinic.| Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun-Times Media.

I will add, a lot of these images say “for the Sun-Times” and I’m talking about local papers. The Sun-Times was not sending me out to cover these small events per se, but for the collection of weekly newspapers they owned under the Pioneer Press title. Those papers are still around, now owned by the Chicago Tribune, although it seems we lose one of the 20 or so papers every couple of years.

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