A rainbow appears in front of Andy Huestis and his girlfriend, Alisha Garvin, as they and other families gather to remember the victims on the third anniversary of the Oso mudslide on March 22 in Oso, Wa. Huestis’ sister, Christina Jefferds, and her infant granddaughter, Sanoah Violet Huestis, were among the 43 people killed in the mudslide. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

A rainbow appears in front of Andy Huestis and his girlfriend, Alisha Garvin, as they and other families gather to remember the victims on the third anniversary of the Oso mudslide on March 22 in Oso, Wa. Huestis’ sister, Christina Jefferds, and her infant granddaughter, Sanoah Violet Huestis, were among the 43 people killed in the mudslide. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Herald photographer’s Oso rainbow wins Northwest AP award

Andy Bronson took the picture at the mudslide memorial three years after the disaster.

At a moment of grief and hope, a rainbow painted the crumpled cliff along the North Fork Stillaguamish River, silhouetting a man and a woman.

This was the scene Andy Bronson, of The Daily Herald, captured seven months ago in what has been recognized as an award-winning example of photojournalism.

The photo was taken March 22, marking three years since the deadly Oso mudslide. Bronson, The Herald’s chief photographer, was among staff members who traveled to Oso to report on a gathering of friends, neighbors and family members of the 43 victims.

The Associated Press awarded Bronson and The Daily Herald the 2017 Cowles Cup in its photo competition for Washington and Oregon news organizations.

The winner of the trophy is chosen from among all first-place finishers in all the contest’s categories.

The award was announced at this month’s meeting of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association in Seattle.

Bronson’s Oso photo won the news category among non-metro newspapers. Another of Bronson’s photos, which accompanied a Super Kid profile of a Crossroads High School music student, won the non-metro portrait category.

The Cowles Cup, awarded since 1952, is named for William H. Cowles, former publisher of the Spokesman-Review in Spokane.

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