"A New Zealand teenager dives for money left in a hat some thirty feet below a high point of the Te Papa Tongarewa museum on the Wellington waterfront, 2011."
"On a recent tour of the harbor in Hamburg I saw these guys on their way to touch up the paint on a crane. It was a day with a great combination of warm weather and majestic clouds."
"My two-year-old son was fascinated by these good gentlemen—and their colleague and especially their digger—and watched them for hours, daily, until they stopped for the evening (as late as 9:30 p.m.). The guys replaced a water main. They don't use safety equipment; I don't know why, but it seems so be a European phenomenon. I think they were from Usti nad Labem, a town from the north of the Czech Republic and one with high unemployment and a high Roma (gypsy) population. I took this photo in Prague from a 5th floor balcony. It took six days for a crew of 15 to dig a trench, replace the pipe and re-seal the road."
"This was taken Memorial Day weekend, 2011, at Arlington National Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknowns. The honor guard here has been watching over the tomb 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 1937. They pace the mat like clockwork, including a choreographed turn that involves heel clicking, part of which is shown here. This is a soldier, dedicated to his job and country, on a normal day's work for him, and a unique experience for everyone else."
"Taken in 1968 during summer break from college and during two weeks off from work, I headed to the east coast with visions of becoming a photographer. From my initial destination in Maine I worked my way south eventually passing through Troy, New York. Walking the streets of that city I came upon his gentleman, a janitor at the Christian Science Building. I asked him to pose and present me with a serious look. I was pleased with the result. This is one of my favorite photos. As to becoming a 'pro,' I just retired as a commercial shooter and still enjoy doing personal work."
"While waiting for a welder to tack together a piece that was on the client shot list I saw this old mill and immediately saw the image. One light, two captures, done—a lucky day."
"So much of our commerce is vastly distributed. Though we are more materially connected more so than in any other age, this comes at the cost of a disconnect between ourselves and the origin of our goods. This economy is facilitated through the vast and solitary transportation networks. On the Internet we are like this truck driver, "alone together," and this is what I try to covey. Cheerful light colors contrast with the abject isolation this work must be."
"Here we see a terminally ill minister (left) and a church elder discussing with church members the future of the church: what will happen when the minister is deceased? The minister was shorn by chemotherapy; and the elder shaved his head in solidarity. This photo was made in 2010."
"This was taken last year in the center of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is a street cleaner. They go about literally sweeping the streets in Sao Paulo. Two things caught my attention: although she is a street cleaner she took the time to put a bracelet and some earrings on. And second, she just seems so oblivious to the very busy life going on around her in one of the biggest cities in South America."
"Men and women work at different tasks on the beach in front of a fishing village in Orissa, India. In the background fishermen bring the catch in from their boat. (Next, to learn what their labors have earned, they will huddle around a net full of fish that they have dropped onto the wet sand. Then they will watch an impromptu auction between two or three buyers.) In the foreground a fisherman's wife moves the fish from an earlier sale to a metal bowl that she will balance on the roll of cloth on her head and carry about a half mile to the village ice house. From there the fish will be shipped towards dinner plates as far off as Mumbai and Delhi."
• • •
This concludes the semifinalists. Next, the judge and I, together, after considering all your comments, will pick six finalists and talk about why we like the pictures.
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