We enjoyed last year's Seattle Times Pictures of the Year presentation so much, we made sure to go again this year. Not only are we glad we did, but we remembered to get there early enough to grab good seats. In fact, we sat very close to where we did last year. The highlighted photographers this year were Steve Ringman and Erika Schultz.
Steve spent most of last year working on "Sea Change: Ocean acidification", for which he shot both stills and videos. He brought his underwater gear, which got a lot of oohs and ahs.
Having spent almost two months on the road, Steve had several stories. For example, he's very certain that he would never go on a fishing boat again. It got so cold that sledgehammers were used to bust the ice off the railings. Even so, he got a lot of great shots not only from his regular camera but also from his GoPro camera, which is very small and can be put in places such as on top of cranes or into shafts through which crabs are thrown.
During the Q&A Steve fielded a question about stills vs. videos, and he said that you have to shoot differently. With stills, you're trying to capture a moment, but that's not the case with video. He was only able to do one or the other, but for one shot he ended up doing a frame grab from a video, and it turned out well enough.
Erika showed photos from several features she worked on. One was about women's head coverings, which she worked on for quite a while. It got to the point where she kept a head covering in her car so she would be ready in case an opportunity arose. More than just taking pictures of the women, she talked with them and explained that she was trying to tell their stories, feeling she earned their trust.
Another feature was about the Seattle Chinese Community Girl's Drill Team. Erika said she enjoyed being on the girls' bus, since she got to see them interacting with each other.
Erika went to India last year, and one of the stories she worked on was their coffee industry.