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Favorites of 2011

At the end of the year, many “best of” contests roll around. This year has been no different. It requires you to go back through all of your work to find those few images that stand out from the crowd.

The problem with this is that some images are personally significant because of challenges and problems that were overcome to make the photograph. Those don’t win contests. The judges don’t see the back story.

Here are a handful of images that popped out at me for one reason or another. Many have been featured on here before. We’ll see how they hold up this contest season.

SPOT NEWS:

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Tyler White of Sharon, Wis., shuttles firefighters from Auburn Street down a dirt road to a home on fire Friday, July 29, 2011, in Winnebago. White, whose family's home neighbors the one on fire, was in town helping his family clean up storm damage. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Tyler White of Sharon, Wis., shuttles firefighters from Auburn Street down a dirt road to a home on fire Friday, July 29, 2011, in Winnebago. White, whose family’s home neighbors the one on fire, was in town helping his family clean up storm damage. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR A helicopter takes off from the scene of a two-vehicle accident Thursday, June 30, 2011, on Genoa Road near Fern Hill Road in Boone County. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR A helicopter takes off from the scene of a two-vehicle accident Thursday, June 30, 2011, on Genoa Road near Fern Hill Road in Boone County. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Loves Park police officers escort Robert J. Alar, 51, into the back of a waiting Winnebago County Sheriff's Department squad car Friday, June 24, 2011. He is a suspect in an armed robbery of Associated Bank in the in the 6200 block of North Second Street in Loves Park. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Loves Park police officers escort Robert J. Alar, 51, into the back of a waiting Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department squad car Friday, June 24, 2011. He is a suspect in an armed robbery of Associated Bank in the in the 6200 block of North Second Street in Loves Park. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Winnebago County dispatcher Tracy Wilson runs from her vehicle into a waiting police car after her 17-year-old son, Mitchel Krause, was pulled from the water Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at a boat dock in Rock Cut State Park in Loves Park, Ill. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Winnebago County dispatcher Tracy Wilson runs from her vehicle into a waiting police car after her 17-year-old son, Mitchel Krause, was pulled from the water Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at a boat dock in Rock Cut State Park in Loves Park, Ill. ©2011

GENERAL NEWS:

MAX GERSH | ROCKOFRD REGISTER STAR Former Speakers of the House Newt Gingrich (left) and Dennis Hastert and State Rep. Jerry Mitchell blow out the candles on a cake Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, for President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday celebration at Deer Valley Golf Club in Deer Grove. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKOFRD REGISTER STAR Former Speakers of the House Newt Gingrich (left) and Dennis Hastert and State Rep. Jerry Mitchell blow out the candles on a cake Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, for President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday celebration at Deer Valley Golf Club in Deer Grove. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR People fill the State Capitol Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, in Madison, Wis., to protest Gov. Scott Walker's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for state workers. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR People fill the State Capitol Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, in Madison, Wis., to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for state workers. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR National Guardsmen pile dummies outside of a door Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, at the Barber Colman complex in Rockford. The National Guard and Rockford Fire Department were training in the building to simulate a rescue scenario in a tornado damaged structure.

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR National Guardsmen pile dummies outside of a door Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, at the Barber Colman complex in Rockford. The National Guard and Rockford Fire Department were training in the building to simulate a rescue scenario in a tornado damaged structure. ©2011

FEATURE:

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Ice clings to Jaxon Oshita's facial hair Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, while he uses a snow blower to clear his Camp Avenue sidewalk in Rockford. Oshita said this blizzard is one of the worst snow storms he has ever seen.

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Ice clings to Jaxon Oshita’s facial hair Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, while he uses a snow blower to clear his Camp Avenue sidewalk in Rockford. Oshita said this blizzard is one of the worst snow storms he has ever seen. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Kacy Peters' feet get wet while giving Buddy, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever, a final rinse Saturday, June 4, during a charity dog wash at Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall in Cherry Valley. Proceeds from the event benefit Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary, PAWS Humane Society and Rockford Career College Vet Tech Program. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Kacy Peters’ feet get wet while giving Buddy, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever, a final rinse Saturday, June 4, during a charity dog wash at Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall in Cherry Valley. Proceeds from the event benefit Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, PAWS Humane Society and Rockford Career College Vet Tech Program. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Elijah Chandler, right, watches his brother, Emmanuel Chandler, lift weights in Edvon Macklin's (not pictured) driveway Tuesday, April 12, 2011, on Oakley Avenue near Andrews Street in Rockford. Macklin said he tries to be a role model for younger men in the neighborhood. "From just coming outside with a curl bar, people wanted to come and join," he said. "You have to get out here and physically do something to make a change." ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Elijah Chandler, right, watches his brother, Emmanuel Chandler, lift weights in Edvon Macklin’s (not pictured) driveway Tuesday, April 12, 2011, on Oakley Avenue near Andrews Street in Rockford. Macklin said he tries to be a role model for younger men in the neighborhood. “From just coming outside with a curl bar, people wanted to come and join,” he said. “You have to get out here and physically do something to make a change.”  ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Ski Broncs performer Tyler Smith leaps off a tower on the State Street Bridge while being pulled by a boat Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, during On the Waterfront in downtown Rockford. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Ski Broncs performer Tyler Smith leaps off a tower on the State Street Bridge while being pulled by a boat Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, during On the Waterfront in downtown Rockford. ©2011

SPORTS:

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Stillman Valley's Pifa Estrada (22) celebrates after scoring the team's only goal Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, during the 1A supersectional soccer tournament against Parker at DePaul University's Wish Field in Chicago. © 2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Stillman Valley’s Pifa Estrada (22) celebrates after scoring the team’s only goal Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, during the 1A supersectional soccer tournament against Parker at DePaul University’s Wish Field in Chicago. © 2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Rockford School Board President Harmon Mitchell tosses a Ronald Reagan commemorative coin Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, before a game against Belvidere at Guilford High School in Rockford. © 2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Rockford School Board President Harmon Mitchell tosses a Ronald Reagan commemorative coin Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, before a game against Belvidere at Guilford High School in Rockford. © 2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR IceHog Garnet Exelby skates out of the tunnel Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, before a game against the Milwaukee Admirals at the MetroCentre. © 2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR IceHog Garnet Exelby skates out of the tunnel Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, before a game against the Milwaukee Admirals at the MetroCentre. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Boylan's Eleyia Manns (right) hands the baton to Bryn Bauling during the 4x100 meter relay Thursday, May 5, 2011, during the NIC-10 girls championship meet at Belvidere North High School. © 2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Boylan’s Eleyia Manns (right) hands the baton to Bryn Bauling during the 4×100 meter relay Thursday, May 5, 2011, during the NIC-10 girls championship meet at Belvidere North High School. ©2011

PORTRAIT:

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Booker Washington Community Center board president Robert King stands near a mural on the south side of the facility Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, in Rockford. King says he wants to put a new mural up in its place within the coming year. "I love the past but I want to bring the simplicity back to the center and bring it back to Booker Washington himself," King said. © 2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Booker Washington Community Center board president Robert King stands near a mural on the south side of the facility Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, in Rockford. King says he wants to put a new mural up in its place within the coming year. “I love the past but I want to bring the simplicity back to the center and bring it back to Booker Washington himself,” King said. © 2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Harlem High School Assistant Track Coach Kelsey Lueshen watches a race Wednesday, April 13, 2011, from the infield at Hononegah High School in Rockton. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Harlem High School Assistant Track Coach Kelsey Lueshen watches a race Wednesday, April 13, 2011, from the infield at Hononegah High School in Rockton. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Head chef Jason Williams bites a plate of Thai peanut noodles and grilled steak Thursday, April 28, 2011, at Octane InterLounge in downtown Rockford. ©2011

MAX GERSH | ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR Head chef Jason Williams bites a plate of Thai peanut noodles and grilled steak Thursday, April 28, 2011, at Octane InterLounge in downtown Rockford. ©2011

Be sure to check out the gallery on my newspaper’s site to see the favorites of my coworkers as well.

A few fun frames
Rockford Rage roller derby
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