Photographer and Submitter: Jacob Nickman, project engineer, Walsh Construction
Ironworkers Harold Yoho (top), Brian Mincks (middle) and Josh Becker await arrival of steel girders on the West Virginia side of the Blennerhasset Bridge across the Ohio River from Ohio. Chicago-based Walsh Construction has a $120-million contract to build the tied-arch structure. Nickman snapped the photo while standing on roadway approaches below.
Selecting winning photos for ENR's annual The Year in Construction photo contest calls for a very subjective process of elimination. This year, the panel of judges started with almost 1,000 submissions, which following a trend of the last few years, included a higher percentage of technically excellent photos than ever before. That's another subjective judgment, of course, but the editors of ENR are more impressed than ever by the terrific field of high-quality images submitted this year.
Every photo in the pages that follows is a winner. They all stood out from the pack in the way they connected with our judges intellectually, and in the way they conveyed, more strongly than the rest, a sense of place, purpose and community, as well as richness of information, light, color and composition.
The judges viewed all of the images on a large screen. They discussed them and voted in rounds to narrow the field to the committee's favorites. And, as in years past, safety considerations were frequent topics of discussion.
One of the voting judges was a construction safety expert from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration who made sure the other judges understood the issues behind worrisome details or conditions of uncertain security that he observed. Quite a few otherwise very attractive images were swept aside when a reckless disregard for safety was clear. Other images, which had details that raised unresolvable safety questions, often were discussed at length and collected enough votes to make the final cut and are in these pages. In this, we see one of the great services that real, honest, construction photography can deliver. It freezes images of processes so they can be analyzed, discussed and learned from within companies and the industry at large.
As one of our submitters explained, he examines pictures of other companies jobs at every opportunity, because there is so much he can learn from them.