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Scene in the Tri-State area

December 31, 2006

Herald-Mail staff photographers might cover an event in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., detour for breaking news in Hancock and find feature art in Waynesboro, Pa., in a single day.

Choosing their favorite published photos from 2006 is no small task.

Of course, favorite is a subjective word. It does not mean that they just love to look at the photos. It might mean that they captured moments of beauty or framed images that tell powerful stories. Or it might be that a photographer knows what went into getting a shot that makes it a favorite.

The six on this page were chosen for a number of reasons.

By Ric Dugan

The steeple to the Waynesboro (Korean) Church is surrounded by fall foliage Oct. 24 along Pa. 16 east of Waynesboro, Pa. I had to climb a mountain to get this photo near Blue Ridge Summit. The contrast of the steeple against the fall foliage made the picture.

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It's not my best of 2006, but it's one of my favorites.

By Kevin G. Gilbert

Roxanne Ruppenthal, mother of Staff Sgt. Stephen Seale, holds Seale's daughter Isabel Seale in her lap during a graveside service for her son in August in West Virginia.

This moment, which shows the faces of emotion of three women close to the life of Stephen Seale, was fleeting and descriptive. Funeral coverage is always a difficult and sensitive assignment. We aim to document the event without physical intrusion.

By Joe Crocetta

Hagerstown Police Captain Charlie Summers, center with gun drawn, arrests one of two burglary suspects outside 125 W. Church St. in Hagerstown on the afternoon of Dec. 12. Backing Summers up are Hagerstown Police Officer Tim Rossiter and Sgt. Dave Long, right.

I made this photo after a police chase led to two suspects who ran into a house. They later surrendered.

By Richard T. Meagher

Lt. Rodney McCoy, front, of Maryland Correctional Training Center, and others raise candles to honor Correctional Officer Jeffery Alan Wroten during a vigil Jan. 27. Wroten was shot in the face while guarding an inmate at Washington County Hospital. Wroten died Jan. 27.

This was my photo from one of the year's biggest news stories. Our staff had several others as the story unfolded.

By Yvette May

Here, 5-year-old Nick Baker has some fun on top of the calf hutches after feeding the calves.

The collection of photos I shot for an earlier Gallery page about the Bakers, a farming family, probably was the most enjoyable project for me this year. What a hardworking, happy and family-oriented bunch the Baker family is. It wasn't difficult to get great moment photos with this family constantly on the move. Photos such as these keep us in touch with why we like Washington County.

By Erick Gibson

Residents of a West Franklin Street apartment in Hagerstown are led to a decontamination tent Oct. 11 by rescue workers in protective suits.

This was my best news photo of the year. It was getting dark fast, and I knew there was time only for a few shots before the subjects disappeared into quarantine tents. With this frame, I had many people at the height of the drama. It seems to have worked best to convey the details of this story.

Fearing a dangerous illness when the African refugees were thought to be sick, officials quarantined the building and set up decontamination tents and blocked a major street in downtown Hagerstown for several hours. The refugees didn't speak English.

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