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December 28, 2011


Year-end photos: What made it in, and what didn’t

In the Express newsroom, our year-end photo package always leads to a bit of debate — what should get in, and what shouldn’t? What tells the story of the year at large, and what gets pushed aside due to tough choices and limited room? Whittling it down to six pages and a cover is tough work. Here are a few shots that we put in the package — you might recognize them from covers and stories throughout the year — and a few that just missed the cut. (Hop over to today’s paper to see each of the ones that made the cut.)

  1. Aiming for Change A rebel fighter cheers as a rocket races toward Moammar Gadhafi loyalists amid fighting west of Ajdabiya, Libya, on April 14. NATO provided air support for the revolutionaries during the nearly nine-month conflict to oust Gadhafi. Perhaps the strongest photo we ran this year, it was one of the last photos taken by Chris Hondros, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who died in Libya on April 20. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
  2. Norway Grapples With Devastating Loss: Despite this being perhaps the most iconic image of the Norway shootings, several editors didn’t immediately recognize what news event it was from. It seemed like a generic mourning shot lacking the resonance we were looking for. We ended up using an image from Hurricane Irene in N.C., something with much more impact for local readers. (Photo by Emilio Morenatti/AP)
  3. Protests Hit a Nerve: University of California, Davis, police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray Nov. 18 on seated Occupy UC Davis protesters. Spurred by the Canadian activist group Adbusters to protest economic inequality, the Occupy Wall Street movement began Sept. 17 in New York City and quickly spread to cities around the world. (Photo by Wayne Tilcock/The Enterprise/AP)
  4. The Situation Room: We love this shot, of course. But, while it is THE historic situation room shot from Osama bin Laden’s death, it didn’t work well on the page in the mix of photos we had. Too hard to read at a small size and too busy and overwhelming in a larger spot. In the end, the package worked best by playing better images bigger (Sept. 11 mourning, for example!) and nixing the sit room shot. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House/AP)
  5. Collateral Damage: A limestone angel dislodged by an Aug. 23 earthquake lies shattered on the roof of the National Cathedral in Northeast D.C. The magnitude-5.8 earthquake jolted much of the Mid-Atlantic region. Officials say the cathedral sustained about $25 million worth of damage, which could take up to 10 years to repair. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP) 
  6. Meme on ice: We discovered that we had overlooked this local photo about five   minutes after deadline. This was probably the picture we gushed about most when it happened (The gelato from the place across the street! In the snow! Whilst wearing a   pink shirt!). Drat! Three lovely photo spreads ruined without the Ice Cream Cone Man. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/TWP) 

Think we made the right picks?

The Washington Post Express makes a big deal out of its year-end photo packages. And this year was no exception — the paper ran six pages and the cover. Here are a few of the shots we ran, and a few others we passed on. — Ernie @ SFB

10:31 // 2 years ago