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    Friday, August 19, 2022

    The best Day photos of 2018

    Looking back at the pictures I've taken over the past year, it was a bit surprising to see how many photos were related to severe weather. When it comes to trying to capture extreme cold, it's not as easy to find images as it is for a snow storm or heat wave. We had already taken photos of ice fishermen and ice skaters recently so I was at a loss as to what to do to show how cold it was on yet another frigid day. I had just been notified that I was unable to get permission to take photos of a clean up from broken water pipes in a building when I spotted in the distance seagulls flying around the commercial fishing dock in New London. Luckily, I found the dock workers all bundled up for the bitter cold unloading fish from the ice covered boat and the added bonus of the late afternoon light.Crew and dock workers stack boxes of fish on pallets while they unload fish from the ice covered Mystic Way at New London Seafood Distributors on the Thames River in New London Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

    Over the course of a year The Day's staff of photojournalists take tens of thousands of photos.

    It is likely that, over the 16-years since digital photography replaced film, the number is larger than it once was. Limited by the number of frames that could be recorded to one roll of film, and how many rolls of film could practically be carried at one time, photojournalists were more selective of how many times the tripped the shutter on their cameras.

    The advent of digital photography has not exponentially increased the number of photos The Day's readers see in print, but the advent of web publishing has led to an increase of the number of photos the reader is able to see from any given event. One might argue we have diluted the product by this process, but I will contend, given that perception of quality in photography (as in any art form as well) is subjective, each reader may have an entirely different opinion from any other reader (or any editor at The Day for that matter) as to which are the best photos.

    In that light, The Day offers you in this year-end season, a selection of our photos. In print, and online, you may view the "favorite" photos from the staff. This selection is made by each of The Day's staff photojournalists and is offered with their commentary on each photo. Additional galleries are posted here online, featuring a lightly curated selection of the "best" work from the staff broken down by news, sports, and arts photos.

    The images included represent only a fraction of a percent of the photos taken and published by the staff throughout the year. We hope you enjoy seeing these photos, whether again or for the first time.

    The Day's staff of photojournalists take it as our mission to document the lives and times of the people and events in our region, and state, with an attention to fairness and accuracy in the strongest tradition of photojournalism.

    We extend our wishes to all our readers for a happy and healthy 2019 and we look forward to spending it with you.

    The Day's photo staff

    December 31, 2018

    I have covered this race several times over the years, and to get photos of the runners during the competition I've always been in the back of a police vehicle that stays out in front of the lead runners. It's never been a comfortable ride because I would be in the cramped rear space of a small SUV with another photographer shooting out the open rear window. This year was a race I'll never forget because the only vehicle available was a privately owned pickup truck with no cover and severe weather in the forecast. I was prepared for rain so I wore waterproof gear head to toe and protected my camera equipment the best I could. At around the half way mark of the race, the rain came down harder than I've ever experienced while trying to take pictures. The bed of the pickup truck was a pond and my equipment and I were soaked. I was very concerned about the equipment and as soon as possible dried things off the best I could and let things air out for a couple of days and by some miracle the camera equipment survived. It wasn't the best conditions to work in, but it definitely made for a more interesting race photo.Ari Klau (108) and Donn Cabral (261) and cyclists riding the course travel in a heavy rain during the Ocean Beach/John & Jessie Kelley Half Marathon Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
    Covering the rally outside of the Garde Arts Center before the first gubernatorial debate in September I knew going in that there was a potential for things to get heated. I had covered a similar event four years earlier where supporters of Governor Malloy and Republican candidate Tom Foley got into a shoving match and lamented in the 2014 Year in Review that I was afraid that due to growing political discourse in the country that scenes like that one would be repeated in the future. At a moment like this one you have to read the crowd and watch for the tension points. This serves two purposes. First to record any unfortunate shenanigans that may occur, and secondly and far more important, is to make sure that you do not get caught up in it.Supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski and Democratic candidate Ned Lamont scuffle outside of the first Connecticut gubernatorial debate at the Garde Arts Center Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. (Tim Cook/The Day)
    One of the things that makes working for, and reading, The Day special is the investment in stories. When reporter Julia Bergman and I pitched the idea of spending time with a local submarine family during their father's deployment we were met with none of the hesitation I expected in undertaking a half a year project. I had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with the Smith's, go shopping for their Christmas tree, go to gymnastics classes and basketball games, be there for "getting ready for school" time and bedtimes. It was in some of the quiet moments, like this one, that really demonstrated for me though what it was like for the families left behind. The strong mothers who became temporary single parents, the kids who struggled with missing their father and not knowing how to express that emotion. This quiet moment of Kelsey and her kids on an afternoon after school quickly became one of my favorites from the time they shared with me.Kelsey Smith carries her daughter Hadley, 2, down the stairs as her son Colton, 6, aims a bow and arrow as they play at their home on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at their home in Groton. Kelsey's husband Josh is a sonar technician on the fast-attack submarine USS Minnesota, and on deployment for six months. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
    Honestly, I photograph just enough soccer to suffer frequent frustration at being in the wrong spot to capture one of those elusive goals. It's not like the high-scoring sports where it's almost easy to be in the right spot most of the time. Score tied, with the program's fourth-consecutive state title on the line, and in between the clicks of my shutter I watched Mya Johnson split the defenders and poke the ball just past the onrushing goalie.Then, with the ball in the net and the goalie crumpled in despair Johnson turned and began to celebrate. I might have smiled a little myself.Lyme/Old Lyme's Mya Johnson turns to celebrate with Dani McCarthy (2) after putting the ball past Immaculate goalie Aimee Cirella (1) for the go-ahead goal in the second half of CIAC class S girls' soccer championship Sunday, November 18, 2018 at Middletown High School. The 14th seeded Wildcats won their fourth state title in a row with two goals from Johnson for the 2-1 win over the 4th seeded Mustangs. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

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