Second Place
55th annual POY Competition

In many ways, photography is not the same as it used to be. From digital cameras to computers and software tools, there is always some new method of taking, publishing, and viewing photographs. "It's important to remember," Carol Guzy says, "that they are only tools. It's the people in the pictures and those who view them that are important."

Guzy, 42, initially chose to study nursing. But after receiving an associate's degree in that field, she turned to photography instead, building her career at the Miami Herald before coming to The Washington Post in 1988, where she covers both domestic and foreign news.

One lengthy assignment in Africa was interrupted for a week in September 1997 when Mother Teresa died. Guzy flew to India to record the funeral. "It was literally watching the passing of an icon," she says. "She was such a symbol for the world. She became much larger than just one small woman."

Another icon who has been the subject of Guzy's work is Muhammad Ali. Once the greatest boxer in the world, Ali has retired to his farm in Berrien Springs, Mich., where he lives quietly with his family and bravely battles Parkinson's disease. "I'm not a boxing fan, so I didn't really see him as a legend," Guzy says, "but I'm very impressed with him as a man."

Of Alex Mont, a 9-year-old autistic boy she photographed, Guzy says, "He was very aware of the camera. He was a real clever little kid. But when he went into his world, I wasn't – well, no one is, really – allowed in." The pictures Guzy took show different sides of the boy teachers call a "math genius." Guzy, a native of Pennsylvania, has won the top prize in the Newspaper Photographer of the Year contest three times, including last year.

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