2020 Eyes of History: Still Contest: Picture Story: Feature

A series of pictures that depicts a feature story line or single feature theme. 12 photos maximum per story. A picture story depicting the President of the United States, other U.S. politicians, or U.S. politics is NOT eligible in this category.

First Place

Gabriella Demczuk, The New York Times
As The Seas Rise: These salt prints depict a phenomena seen up and down the east coast of the United States where sea levels are rising rapidly, creating swaths of bleached and blackened stands of trees known as ghost forests. Powerful storms, dry spells, and forest fires have increased as a result of climate change, pushing more saltwater in and less freshwater out with some areas experiencing greater subsidence, rising the rate of sea level rise above the world average of 3mm. As the seawater moves inland, the salt settles into the soil, killing all plant life from the roots up. Seawater was collected at each location to create salt prints, a 19th century technique for creating light sensitive paper with salt and silver nitrate. The varying concentrations of salt from the collected water affect the aesthetic quality of the image when the negative film is exposed to the paper, mimicking its bleaching and stripping effect on trees.

Second Place

Matt McClain, The Washington Post
Searching for Washington: Two hundred and twenty years since his death, George Washington's legacy and remnants of his life are still visible in his home state of Virginia and in the city named after him. From his home at Mount Vernon to the farms where he was born and later raised, some of which seem nearly unchanged from his time. There are also the countless celebrations and dedications that honor his memory as a founding father and first president of the nation.

Third Place

Cheryl Diaz Meyer, Freelance
Last Living Comfort Women of the Philippines: All over the Philippines, in grandiose mansions, schools, hospitals -- churches even -- women and girls were systematically raped and tortured in military brothels, some as young as eight years old, as part of Japan’s effort to keep the Japanese Imperial Army soldiers from rebelling during World War II. Assaulted by up to 30 men daily, three quarters of the women did not survive their abuse. Of the estimated 1,000 comfort women in the Philippines, some 40 are still living. Most are physically frail, and some have succumbed to dementia. These portraits and quiet moments capture a story of survivors.

Award of Excellence

Gabriella Demczuk, The New York Times
It Is Not a Closet, It Is a Cage: The crisis over sexuality in the Catholic Church goes beyond abuse. It goes to the heart of the priesthood, into a closet that is trapping thousands of men. The stories of gay priests are unspoken, veiled from the outside world, known only to one another, if they are known at all. Fewer than about 10 priests in the United States have dared to come out publicly.

Award of Excellence

Mary F. Calvert, Freelance
Living With Military Sexual Trauma: A few weeks after he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1973, Bill Minnix went AWOL after being raped four times. Military records show he was gone 27 days in all. Military sexual assault victims are required to report criminal behavior up the chain of command so Minnix was forced to report his repeated sexual assaults to one of his rapists. “One of the hardest things for me to attempt to sort out, or even a comprehended is when I had the courage to tell the Air Force at the brig that I had been sexually assaulted, I had to answer to my own rapists”, he said. Six months later he was given an other-than-honorable discharge status from his military service. Minnix was too ashamed to tell his family why he was kicked out of the U.S. Air Force and they were too ashamed to ask. He didn’t speak a word to anyone about having been raped, he said — not for the next 40 years. His parents never spoke to him again. They died not knowing the truth.

Award of Excellence

Ricky Carioti, The Washington Post
Krocak Farm Crisis: The Krocaks struggle to save their farm amid falling milk prices and the Trump-era tariffs. Alfred Krocak came to Minnesota from what is now the Czech Republic and started farming this land in the late 1800s. He followed the rhythms of the seasons and passed on what he knew to his children. The land and hard work sustained generations of Krocaks and all the people who drank millions of gallons of Krocak milk. Then came last year, and the family had no alternative but to sell off the dairy herd. The debt had become crushing. Bob and Liz, in their 60s, and their eldest son, Marty, and his wife, Sarah, and their children were one more family in crisis, among the country’s 2 million farms. The historic floods that disrupted the natural cycle of planting; the collapse of milk prices; the tumult of President Trump’s trade wars — it had all come crashing down.