Hot air balloons, street rods, the York Fair — the photographers of The York Dispatch picked their favorites images and videos from 2017 to share.

John Pavoncello: 2017 was the year of the drone for me. I took my Federal Aviation Administration test in November 2016 and started flying commercially after the holidays. Using the drone has been a refreshing change after 30 years of being a working visual journalist. This photo was taken on Independence Day at the York Revolution's PeoplesBank Stadium. There were lots of people walking around, so I waited for a break in the foot traffic, launched our DJI Mavic and got just over the center-field wall to snap a few images before landing again. Take-off to landing was probably less then three minutes, but I love this shot of the hot air balloon, the stadium and the city behind it.

As photographers, we are always looking for great light. I arrived quickly to the scene of this fire on South Penn Street on June 11, but the firefighters had already done a great job of knocking down the flames. The late afternoon sun was glowing through the smoke, and I saw the firefighter resting along the curb. Right place at the right time. I just waited for something to happen, which was this wonderful neighborhood lady handing out cold water to firefighters.


For my favorite video pick of the year, it came down to three, all which featured aerial footage I shot with a drone. This video of 9-year-old Daniel Brookshire preparing for the spring motocross season is the standout for me for 2017 because it was the first story I shot after getting my Small Unnamed Aircraft System certification from the FAA. My lack of flying skills at the time kept me to stagnant, down looking shots and side-to-side pans, all shots that I tend to overlook now that my skills piloting the drone have improved. Add to that the cool GoPro angle from the handlebars of the motorbike, and it ends up an exciting video.

Bill Kalina: I'm a sucker for those "in a sea of environment" photos. The Book Nook Bonanza last June at the York City Ice Arena provided just that scenario. It featured over 200,000 books and was touted as the largest used book sale on the East Coast. I was lucky to get there early before it got too crowded to get this clean shot of a couple of shoppers in the sea of books.

Reflection-based images are pretty cliche, especially at the Street Rods Nationals East event, held in June every year at the York Expo Center. But this gleaming 1953 Ford caught my eye with what it captured in its shiny driver-side panels. After a few unsuccessful episodes of waiting for someone to walk in just the right place, I decided on one last-ditch effort before I had to leave for another assignment. It finally happened. 


I'm always on the lookout for a fun feature. It adds a little variety to what can sometimes be a news-heavy online presence. Valley View Elementary School Principal Todd Monos was quite accommodating, taking time to sit with me for an interview before he became the "sundae" on Nov. 22. The kids and teachers loved it. Me too! It was a fun video to shoot and produce.

Dawn J. Sagert: It's not always easy to make visually satisfying images, especially when it's an event that is covered frequently and heavily. I wanted to illustrate the rides being built at the York Fair before the Sept. 8 opening. I found the scene that I wanted to illustrate and waited. My patience paid off this time.

A police detective who is also a magician? This was a welcome contrast to the often grim reality of a homicide detective's line of work. It was fun to be able to show the B-side of York City Police Detective George Ripley as he performed a few card tricks for some unsuspecting coffee drinkers June 9 at The Green Bean Roasting Co. in York City. 


We often become defined by our circumstances. The two strong young women in this video taken during a cancer recovery glam photo shoot at Lauxmont Farms were friends well before they each got cancer. Their story reminds me of the importance of not losing oneself in those times. Sometimes we have to make an effort to get out of our heads, step back and just be. 

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