Congratulations to tipster Russell Hancock, who won for Swamplot and himself the Photo of the Year award in the Houston Press‘s second annual Houston Web Awards, announced today. Hancock’s mini photo essay about wandering off-course at this year’s Rodeo into a forlorn and mussed-up Astrodome focused attention on the empty sports venue’s state of neglect. Writes the Press‘s Craig Hlavaty: “The resulting photos revealed moldy and torn Astroturf and a litter-strewn building that looked more like a storage facility than the Eighth Wonder of the World. The covert pics also set off a media frenzy, leading first to KHOU’s sanctioned peek at the stadium and, ultimately, a 20-strong public tour for local reporters and talking heads.” Back in March, when Swamplot ran the story, Hancock didn’t want us to use his name, but he tells Swamplot he’s got no problem identifying himself as the photographer now. For taking those photos, sending them to Swamplot, and sparking an important public conversation about Houston’s best-known piece of real estate, he certainly deserves an award.
- The 2012 Houston Web Awards [Houston Press; award on page 6]
- What I Saw When I Snuck Inside the Astrodome [Swamplot]
- We Only Know What We Read in Our Email [Swamplot]
Photo: Russell Hancock