My Favorite POTY 2008 Photos

After looking through hundreds of photos from 2008 for my Reflecting on 2008 Through Photos post over on the FocalPower blog, I wanted to share my personal favorite photos from the various collections I perused and explain why I find each one a favorite.  (I strongly urge you to click through on each photo to view the original post and larger sized images — you may have to work through a slide show to find the exact image on some sites)



From the New York Times – The Election. What struck me most about this photo was the framing.  Not to often would you purposeful cut a person’s face in half at the edge of the frame (or not even show the person’s face). In retrospect to the outcome of the election you can read a lot into this photo and I think the framing makes for a more powerful image.


From the New York Times – The Election. When I first saw this image, what made me stop and look at it was my photographer’s eye…”wow, what bad resolution on the photo of President Bush”.  Then I noticed that it was a photo of the President on a jumbo-tron and noticed the figure at the bottom.  Once I read the caption, I appreciated the impact that this photo has even more.  It just goes to show that at times text adds to a photo.


From the New York Times – The Election. I find this another brilliant use of framing and placing most of a key subject out of frame.  To me, this image portrays a sense of power: by just raising a finger, the off frame individual (Mr. Obama) is able to garner the attention of others.

From the BBC News: This image has become a favorite mostly because of the multi-faceted back story that it represents for the US Presidential Election.  First, you hardly ever saw any images of Mr. Obama acting or looking anything but Presidential.  I feel this played an important role in his winning of the election.  Second, that of all the “Photo of the Year” sites I looked at, none of the US based ones contained any election photos of this nature.


From the Sacramento Bee.  The expressions and body language that was captured in this split second are priceless!

From the Sacramento Bee: Timing is everything!  (thought I bet that’s not the sports photo from 2008 that you expected with that comment…)  This photo makes me want to find the details of the story evolving before me to find out what happened after this photo was taken.

From MSNBC – Sports: Ahh, the joy of catching that perfectly timed sports photo.  Makes you wonder if the rider of that bike landed on his feet or skipped, tucked and rolled…


From MSNBC – Sports: This photo spoke to my landscape fine art inner muse.  Such a lovely composition with the cyclists as a foreground interest element.  If only I could play around with the tone curve and add a graduated ND filter…

What the…

From the Boston Globe: How can you look at this photo and not stop to just gaze as your mind is riddled with a thousand questions?  Questions from “Are you kidding me?” to “What effect does the recoil have?”
From Time: Just makes you scream internally “Look Out!”.  Even better is that it appears that this photo was not directly setup, but just capturing a moment on the street.
returning-from-worship-ss From The Wall Street Journal – The Years Best (#38): Again, an image that just stops you in your visual tracks and gives you a blink-think moment: You blink your eyes as you mind tries to comprehend what you are seeing.  But again, without a caption explaining the photo, you lose a lot of value.

Most Impact-full Image of 2008

uncontacted-villagers-ss From The Wall Street Journal – The Year’s Best (#42): It wasn’t until I saw the caption on this photo that I realized how impact-full this image is.  This is an aerial photo taken of what is considered an tribe of people from the Amazon Basin that have never had contact with the outside world.  What makes this so impact-full is consider the people in the photo.  You are seeing their reaction to something that they may never have seen before–an airplane.  The taking of this photo could have ruined their entire view of the world. They could be thinking “What is this strange object in the sky over our village, Is it be some sort of evil magic?”

I really wish we could see a full size version of this to try and see the expression on the faces of the villagers!

I’m looking forward to seeing and taking more great photos in the year ahead. Have a wonderful and safe New Years!

Note: the images above were used under the Copyright Act Fair Use clause for the purposes of criticism and comment. The images were purposefully displayed at a size that would give the viewer the general impression of the photo but require the viewing of the original (provided via multiple links) for full appreciation of the image.

One Reply to “My Favorite POTY 2008 Photos”

  1. Thanks for posting these. I haven’t had a chance to look at all the sites yet, so it is nice to see your highlights. The McCain tongue shot is going to be a true classic.


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