, Salem, MA

December 30, 2013

Pictures of the Year

The Salem News

---- — The most memorable photographs of the year are not always associated with the biggest or most important stories. Sometimes it’s an unusual view of something ordinary, an expression or emotion, an engaging personality or the story behind the photo that makes it special. We asked our staff photographers to select some of their favorite photos from the past year to share again, and tell us how they got the picture.

Ken Yuszkus was born and raised in the Merrimack Valley. He attended the Art Institute of Boston and Montserrat College of Art, where he studied fine art and photography. Later he studied graphic design at UMass Lowell. He has worked as a news photographer for The Eagle Tribune Publishing Co. since 1973 and is currently a Salem News staff photographer. Through the years, he has seen many changes in the business, from shooting color slide and black-and-white film for more than 20 years to now shooting digital images.

Photographer’s take: From the corner of my eye, I saw a family in the crowd getting ready to take a photo at the beginning of the Danvers Fourth of July festivities. I turned to find the subjects of the photo making faces. I had just enough time to get a few shots off before the expressions disappeared.

Photographer’s take: I noticed a child who was really getting involved with blowing paint bubbles at an event held at the Salem Public Library. Her eyes got larger as she made more and more bubbles. I took several shots to get her eyes wide open.

Photographer’s take: The West Memorial School won an award for patriotism. The formal presentation would be in the future, but I was there to get a photo beforehand. Desperately thinking of a way to illustrate the upcoming award, I asked the principal if he had a flag. He found a couple and was willing to be photographed. I stood on a chair to get a different angle and used a wide-angle lens to accentuate the flag in the foreground. I liked the curve of the stripes on the flags going from one corner to the other. Principal Thomas Cornacchio’s expression, with his slightly turned head and his eyes aimed upward at the camera, help bring the photo together.

David Le grew up in Marblehead and graduated from Marblehead High School in 2006. He went on to study visual communications at Endicott College, graduating in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. He has been a staff photographer with The Salem News for the past two years. “From capturing the peak action in a sports game, the joys of winning and sorrows of losing, to the simplicity of a feature photo and the complex and unyielding nature of spot news stories, my one objective is for the viewer to have a first-hand look at how I view the world through my camera,” he said.

Photographer’s take: Beverly native Angie Miller, a 2012 graduate of Beverly High School, was one of the top finalists on “American Idol” and was being filmed on a visit to her hometown. As thousands of screaming fans filled the fields next to Beverly High, Mayor Bill Scanlon presented her with the key to the city. As the mayor held the key high above his head for all to see, Angie screamed with excitement.

Photographer’s take: As one of the longest, most challenging days in my time as a photographer drew to a close, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy assignment or one I would forget for a long time. At Danvers High School, students organized a candlelight vigil and memorial for teacher Colleen Ritzer, who had been killed the day before, allegedly by one of her students. Students, teachers and families gathered in the parking lot at the high school and also in front of a vigil. I saw these four girls comforting each other, their faces illuminated by the candles from the vigil, supporting each other through a hard time.

Photographer’s take: In a tournament game against Marblehead, Danvers was down 1-0 late in the second half, but still controlling most of the play in the Magicians’ end. Danvers captain Kylie Plaza had been dominating the game for the Falcons, and on a long free kick she managed to knock home the game-tying goal. As she turned and ran toward her teammates, she screamed in excitement and pumped both her fists.

The Danvers baseball team was involved in a thriller in the Division 2 North tournament with Reading. As the game went into extra innings and each pitch became increasingly important, Danvers pitcher Rafael Tylus began taking more time between pitches to focus. As Tylus began composing himself on the mound, preparing for another pitch, I saw his head backlit by the lights of the scoreboard and started framing a photo where I got Tylus composing himself with the tied score and inning lit up behind him.