News Staffer Named Photographer of Year

Article from The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, February 26, 2006
by Jon Nielsen

Barbara Davidson, a veteran staff photographer for The Dallas Morning News, was named Photographer of the Year on Friday at the Pictures of the Year International Competition sponsored by the Missouri School of Journalism.

She received the designation for her portfolio capturing images of Hurricane Katrina's devastation in New Orleans' Ninth Ward, the death and mourning of Pope John Paul II, Catholic faith healers in Nigeria, and the destruction of the Asian tsunamis.

"She brings a combination of journalistic integrity, artistic vision and hard work," said William Snyder, director of photography at The News. She puts those three things together as well as anybody in the business."

George Rodrigue, managing editor of The News, also lauded Ms. Davidson's work. "The thing that astounds me about Barbara's work is how beautifully she uses natural light," he said. "That and the fact that she'll go anywhere and do anything to take a picture."

Ms. Davidson, who previously worked for The Washington Times and The Record in Ontario, Canada - her native country - said the stories she submitted for the portfolio embody her work as a photojournalist.

"The type of work I do is I try to give a voice to the underdogs of the world," said Ms. Davidson, 41. "I still carry that mission of wanting to tell the story of people who are less fortunate in the world. It's taken me 10 years for everything to crystallize and finally be given the top spot."

Boyzelle Hosey, a contest judge who is also director of photography at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida, was particularly impressed with Ms. Davidson's work on the Nigerian story.

"It is one of the freshest stories I observed in the entire contest," Mr. Hosey said. "This photographer has done a wonderful job capturing moments that are very intimate. There's a wonderful sense of light and composition."

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