On Monday, June 4th, the three photo judges convened in the Hearst Foundation office to review the semi-final portfolios. Out of 166 entries in the three photo competitions throughout the year, twelve semi-finalists qualified for this round of judging. After a few hours of deliberation and discussion, the judges selected six finalists to attend the Championship. These finalists were then immediately notified and flown to San Francisco the next day, where they competed in "the shoot-off."
Canon and Nikon participated in the competition once again by offering state of the art equipment for the shooters. Tuesday night, shortly after arriving in San Francisco, the finalists met the judges in the Hearst hospitality suite to become acquainted, review their winning portfolios, and receive their assignments. This year's assignments were: a photo story about San Francisco and its relationship to the water and single images of bike messengers, the "Summer of Love" and a photo of their choosing. The finalists had two days to shoot and edit their images before their Friday morning deadline. The winners were announced at the Saturday night awards ceremony.
The first through third place winners were awarded scholarships of $5,000, $4,000, and $3,000 respectively and are featured below. The three finalists who earned $1,500 scholarship awards are: Edward Linsmier from Western Kentucky University, Morgan Petroski from University of Florida, and Brandon L. Thibodeaux from University of North Texas. Two additional awards of $1,000 were given to Ben Fredman for Best Single Photo and Morgan Petroski for Best Picture Story, selected from their semi-final portfolios.