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The images that photojournalists make have an impact on their viewers. We laugh, we cry, we marvel; some make us shake our fists at injustice and others we applaud.
Think for a moment about how a particular photo made you feel.
And then think about how it made the photographer feel before, during and after he or she snapped the photo.
Every year, we ask our nine visual journalists to select the one photograph that had the most lasting impression on each of them. Here are their 2017 selections:
In covering the funeral of Corey Ingram, 28, a Poughkeepsie native and Information Systems Technician 1st Class in the U.S. Navy who was one of 10 sailors killed when the USS John McCain collided with another vessel near Singapore on Aug. 21, I found a community of family, friends and fellow sailors who came together to honor the extraordinary young man.
Before the funeral at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, mourners paused to pay their respects over Corey’s casket. When several of his fellow sailors approached, I took a few photos of them in their shared moment of grief.
For me, this photo left a lasting impression because of how these sailors not only didn’t try to hide their grief, and how it was so clearly a shared moment among them. For me, this was the photo that best told the story of how much this young man was loved, and and how he would be remembered by those who loved him.
I’ve covered many assignments at West Point but never a graduation ceremony. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the day, except that is long, sometimes hot and sunny, and ends with the celebrated hat toss.
Public affairs staff move photographers covering graduation from location to location for different aspects of the ceremony. You are not allowed to deviate from their agenda. I made images of our local graduates, the overall atmosphere and the dignitaries giving speeches.
As the end of the ceremony neared, we were directed into position for the swearing in/oath of office.
I grabbed my gear, headed up front, laid down on the ground, and got one of my cameras ready to shoot stills of the hat toss and another to shoot video. The cadets repeat the oath of office, and when you hear “Class Dismiss!,” you know the hat toss is next.
The shot I wanted — and got — was a low-angle image of the cadets as they toss their covers into the air and jump with sheer emotion upon completing the rigors of a military academy education.
When I‘ve photographed funerals or other somber events, it can be difficult to be in the right place at the right time for the right moment — all while being respectful. On the day I took this photo, at the funeral of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Brendan Johnson of Fishkill — one of 16 service members killed in a military plane crash on July 10 in Mississippi — I was worried whether I would be able to move around if the angle I picked didn‘t work.
That was not the case. Within a single frame, I captured the entire story of a heartbreaking military death. By illuminating such an intimate moment, the image made it possible for our audience to relate, too.
Anytime someone loses their home to a fire, it’s devastating. When there’s a fire in an apartment building, it’s terrifying. A general-alarm fire on Hawley Terrace in Yonkers in March started in the predawn hours, completely destroyed the building and left hundreds homeless. The fire happened the day after a snowstorm, and firefighters, police and ambulance personnel had quite a time evacuating residents. Snow covered the streets. What made a lasting impression on me was that emergency personnel had to wheel patients and carry some of the elderly residents over mounds of snow, which was the image I captured.
I was covering the opening of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge when I made this photo. After the ceremony, the photographers and videographers crammed into the back of a truck for a special surprise shot. Gov. Andrew Cuomo got into a Corvette with World War II veteran Armando “Chick” Galella in the passenger seat. It was the same model Galella drove across the Tappan Zee Bridge at its 1955 opening. They began to drive along on the new bridge as the crowd cheered. It was such an exciting moment. The sky was blue, their smiles were beaming and they were cruising along the newly paved road zipping through lanes with the structures of both bridges behind them. For a couple of seconds I forgot I was crushed among a dozen photographers because I had so much fun capturing the scene.
This photo was taken from aboard a Riverkeeper patrol boat near the Rockland shore. The small boat was near the bridge for several minutes to observe a crew that was removing old wooden pilings from around the supports of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Riverkeeper environmental advocates suspected that a large oil slick on the river had been caused by the removal of the creosote-soaked pilings. As we waited in place near the bridge, clouds were rolling in and made a nice backdrop for the photo. A spotlight of sun just hit the center span, lighting up the towers as well as eastbound cars on one of the last days of traffic on the old bridge.
Sometimes working as a photojournalist can lead you to unexpected places and stories. These are the markers in the career of a photographer and this one was as personal as it can get. I was assigned to cover the impact of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Throughout our community, people has lost touch with their families and friends because of the massive power outages on the island, which was creating deep anxiety for many. As a Puerto Rican traveling back to the homeland of my parents it was a shock to see how much damage the island had sustained.
The most striking example, and why this photo made such a lasting impression, was seeing people parked on the side of the highway using pipes to tap into springs to get water. They used any container they could find. One woman, a tour guide, said that getting water was a whole day affair, and that each day was consumed getting just one thing to survive. One day was food, the next was gas — waiting on lines that would stretch for miles and formed on the speculation that a gas truck would supply the station.
This was a typical assignment, covering the summer concert series at The Shops of Nanuet where Grace VanderWaal was performing. Grace was so relatable to her fans and the concert seem like a magical place for them; they sang every song and held up posters. So when the concert ended and her bodyguard whisked her away past those same fans calling out her name, she stopped and told him said she wanted to take pictures and sign autographs. And that is when I got this great shot of Grace embracing and taking selfies with her fans. It was a just a moment her fans will always remember and I was glad I was able to capture that moment.
The photo of the Pleasantville High School football team holding the state championship plaque at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse after defeating Chenango Forks is the most memorable moment for me this year. Pleasantville is a small town that loves their football and that was evident when the team returned home from Syracuse to hundreds waiting out in the cold to greet them. It was the first state football championship in Pleasantville’s history. The players on the team are a great bunch of guys that have been playing together since early grade school. It was a great win for the team and the town. Oh, and by the way, my younger brother Tony is the head coach.
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