The Dominion Post’s top five pictures of the year
A lot has happened in the last twelve months, and The Dominion Post’s photographers have been out in the community capturing as much of is at the can. Based on social media data, specifically Instagram likes, we were able to determine some of our most liked, most impactful pictures from 2020.
George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died May 25 when a white Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Captured on the cameras of bystanders, the killing almost immediately sparked mass protests and demonstrations across the nation and the globe.
Just a few days later on May 29, Morgantown began to see small demonstrations, but it was on June 2 that hundreds of protestors took to the streets to express their frustration and call for change. Chief Photographer Ron Rittenhouse captured this arresting image as an estimated 500-1000 demonstrators marched up High Street. Read the full story and view more images from that day here, and from all of the summer’s demonstrations here.
The popularity of this next image came as a bit of a surprise to us. Just last month, on the night of November 3, staff photographer Grayson Hall spent a late night with West Virginia University’s senior crime scene investigation class. Starting at 10 p.m., the students pulled a nine hour all-nighter processing a mock crime scene before an 8:30 a.m. class.
The interplay of light and dark, floodlights casting long shadows, backlit students shrouded in white coveralls contrasting against the night sky and inky black asphalt, makes this image undeniably arresting.
Read the full story and see more images from that night here.
In a year full of uncertainty and fear, there is a certain comfort in the image of children just being children, drawing on a sidewalk with chalk. Add to that messages of gratitude for healthcare workers, and you have a perfect combination for the number three spot on our list.
On April 2, The Friends of WVU Hospitals Board set up a ‘Chalk the Walk’ appreciation event outside of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. Staff photographer William Wotring snapped the above image of children drawing balloons, rainbows, and hearts with “Thank you,” and “You are saving lives,” written in chalk. In order to ensure participants practiced social distancing, each was given a number associated with a map, which had sections of the sidewalk mapped off.
Read – and see – more about the ‘Chalk the Walk event here.
A few days before Governor Jim Justice’s stay at home order went into effect, a Dominion Post staff member spotted the statue of Col. Zackquill Morgan wearing a mask outside the Morgantown Public Safety Building on Spruce Street. Just a week later the statue of Morgantown’s favorite son, Don Knotts, was also wearing a mask in front of the Metropolitan Theater on High Street.
Still in the early days of the pandemic, the simple modification of the city’s namesake worked as an important reminder of everyone’s civic duty to protect the community by wearing a mask.
Listen to the story of Zack Morgan and the founding of Morgantown here, as told by the Aull Center’s Nathan Wuertenberg in the first two episodes of the ‘Aull About History’ podcast.
Rounding out our top five images, we find ourselves close to where we began, with the summer’s racial justice movement. WVU’s student athletes were involved in local demonstrations since their inception in late May and early June.
On Sunday, August 30 hundreds of WVU athletes, coaches, administrators and community members turned out at the Coliseum hoping to bring awareness to racial and social issues plaguing the United States.
See more images from the student athlete march – including some amazing drone shots from staff photographer Grayson Hall – and read about their positions here.
Did a Dominion Post photograph jump out at you this year? Don’t see it here? Message us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about your favorite Dominion Post picture from 2020.
As an honorable mention, our sixth most popular image on Instagram was this majestic female bald eagle captured by Grayson Hall in her nest near Point Marion, Pa., along the Cheat River.
Anyone who sees a bald eagle in West Virginia, especially pairs of birds during the breeding season, which is February through June, is asked to report the sighting to the DNR at WVDNR.gov.