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Chip Litherland November 13, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Fruitville Elementary School, Sarasota, Florida 2005

Chip Litherland (b. 1977, USA) is an award-winning photographer based in Sarasota, Florida.  A graduate of the fine arts school at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Chip went on to develop the skills of community photojournalism through internships at the Greeley Tribune, Longmont Daily Times-Call, The Gazette in Colorado Springs, and The Dallas Morning News.  He took his current position as a staff photographer at the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune seven years ago, where he has developed his vision.  That vision, which is fueled by an addiction to color and strong, graphic compositions, has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, Best of Photojournalism, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, and the National Press Photographer’s Association.  He is currently a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and ESPN the Magazine.

About the Photograph:

“My main goal is always to find a photo that transcends any assignment.  This photo was simply from a local elementary school during a field day of sorts – celebrating the reached goal of the students in a reading program.  In the grand scheme of things, not a huge deal to the world, but in the world of these kids it was.  As a community photojournalist, I’m often thrown into situations and events over and over (and over) again, year after year, and trying to making something new and telling is always the challenge.   I take it as such and try to make the most compelling image I can.  As for this image, I was scanning the crowd, when I saw this kid jammed up against the fence.  I framed it up tightly to reinforce the claustrophobic feeling the scene already had, leaving the focus on the little things like the body language of the young girl, the row of little legs, the Spider-man shirt, and obviously his face.  For me, it sums up elementary school – and the mindset of being trapped at school itself.”

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