February Photo of the Month winners announced


First Place: Charlene Nguyen, Liberty High School

Sophomore Marianna Tomc reaches for the ball and hopes to pass it off to her teammate, sophomore Kaitlin Davis on Feb. 19 against Liberty North. This was a big game for the lady jays because they were playing their all time rival. “Playing Liberty North is always very stressful, but it is fun to try our best to bring home a win,” Davis said. (Charlene Nguyen)

Judge’s Comments: The repetition in this image with the reflection of players on either side of the court adds interest to the overall picture. The clarity and exposure are well done, and the one subject’s facial expression adds emotion to the action. The caption does a nice job of giving voice to the subject, too. My one suggestion would be to crop a bit tighter; you get even try cropping this image to feature just the two girls jumping for the ball.

Second Place: Hailey Steinbach, Staley High School

During her Visual Art Photography class, senior Lauralei Loftin-Howard asks teacher Manabu Takashi for help adjusting camera settings for her paper sculpture project Feb. 18. The class made sculptures using different lines to create a piece of art that looks like an illusion. “Mr. Takahashi is helping me with the camera because it wouldn’t focus,” said Loftin-Howard. (Hailey Steinbach)

Judge’s Comments: Academic pictures have been extremely challenging this year since many teachers have cut back on direct interaction among students/staff and because masks tend to block out much of the subject’s face. This student did a great job of positioning her camera to get an interesting angle while also getting a clear shot of the action. The framing follows rule of thirds as well, and the caption provides good detail to explain what is happening in the image, though a more in-depth quote from the subject would offer more voice.

Third Place: Sophia Allen, Notre Dame de Sion

To start off the Lenten peer ministry meeting Feb. 18 seniors Katherine Lillis, Hannah McGraw, and Dillan Elmquist lean back and participate in the trust activity set up by director of campus ministry Stephine Pino-Dressman. The senior peer ministers with a group of the freshmen class played a balanced version of tug of war to symbolize leaning on your friends in a time of need. “I like getting to do fun stuff with my classmates and the freshmen,” Lillis said. “It reminds me of why I wanted to be a peer minister in the first place.” (Sophia Allen)

Judge’s Comments: The photographer did a great job of getting repetition in this image. The low angle also allows her to feature more action without having to oddly crop out her subjects. Since there is some empty space at the top of the image, consider taking this as a horizontal image, too, to see if you can fill more of the frame with people/action.

Honorable Mention: Emma Verdine, Willard High School

Erika Torreon (10) engages her peers in a spirited chant during the 2021 Courtwarming Assembly Feb. 23. She said being a tiger means working hard to be better than you were yesterday. “No one is perfect, but we can try,” Torreon said. “School spirit is important because it makes people want to go to school when sometimes waking up early isn’t the easiest thing to do.” (Emma Verdine)

Judge’s Comments: The focus on the megaphone rather than the subject adds a different dimension to this image. Even though it is a photograph, when looking at it you can almost hear the sounds of a school assembly. The photographer did a great job of positioning her camera so the framing follows rule of thirds and so that the megaphone is the clear focal point, which adds depth to the image as well.