Burhan Ozbilici, the photographer who documented the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey, won the World Press Photo of the Year. On December 19, 2016, he was at an exhibition opening in Ankara, when the incident occurred. As he said back then, he was only doing his job. As the crowd started panicking, Ozbilici remained calm and documented what he witnessed. The photo went viral almost instantly and the reactions were different and pretty intense.
Eyebrows were raised in the photojournalism community yesterday when World Press Photo – an industry stalwart – announced the creation of a new contest that would “not have rules limiting how images are produced.” The contest would allow staged and manipulated images – dubbed “creative documentary photography” – in support of contemporary storytelling.
One the one hand, this is outrageous. It’s more than a matter of semantics to reappropriate the meaning of “journalism” and “documentary.” Lives have literally been lost in the pursuit of the ideals espoused by these words.
But let’s take a step back and acknowledge that the contest is still unnamed and that “creative documentary photography” is, perhaps, a working title for an unfinished product.
Daniel Ochoa de Olza‘s emotional series of 8 images that received third place in the People, Stories category of the World Press Photo contest (see the winners here) has been withdrawn by Associated Press, stating that the submission of the set was made in error.
The photographs in question were never distributed by the AP – our criteria for entering work in contests – because of our policy on reproducing photographs taken by others.
We sincerely regret the inconvenience our withdrawal of these eight photos has caused World Press Photo and we will take immediate steps to prevent this from happening again in any photojournalism contest. – Santiago Lyon, Associated Press vice president for photography
You might remember that World Press Photo announced new guidelines last year after controversy that saw around 20% of entries disqualified, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed down the entries.
From a pool of 82.951 photos made by 5,775 photographers from 128 different countries, the contenders for the 59th annual World Press Photo Awards have been whittled down and the winners have been announced.
Of 8 themed categories, prizes went to 41 photographers in 21 countries including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey and the USA.
Australian photographer Warren Richardson has won the grand prize for World Press Photo of the Year, as well as first prize in the Spot News category.
Earlier this year it was revealed that 22% of entries into the 58th annual World Press Photo competition had been immediately disqualified due to ‘careless’ post-processing.
Two weeks after that announcement, an entirely new controversy arose when the mayor of Charleroi, Belgium claimed a series of winning photographs were staged and sensationalized. It was later revealed that the photos would not be disqualified, as the World Press Photo Association (WPPA) said there were ’no grounds for doubting the photographer’s integrity in carrying out his work.’
In hopes of preventing a repeat of the controversies of the past few years, WPPA has announced a new set of ethic guidelines for the 2016 competition. [Read more…]
As of 4:22 PM EST, the World Press Photo competition has decided to disqualify Giovanni Troilo’s first-prize Contemporary Issues story. After we reported yesterday that a claim against one of Troilo’s winning images was taken outside of Charleroi, WPP opened an official investigation on the matter. After speaking with Troilo, they have confirmed that the photo which depicts a painter working with live models had been actually been taken in Molenbeek, Brussels. In a press release, WPP explained: [Read more…]
The saga of the World Press Photo competition just won’t quit. At about 3:30 PM EST time on March 3rd, photojournalist Bruno Stevens made an announcement on his private Facebook page claiming he has proof at least one of Giovanni Troilo’s winning photos was not taken in Charleroi, Belgium where the poignant documentary photo series was said to depict. Stevens took it upon himself to do some investigating into the matter. He claims to have spoke with one of the protagonists from the photo who told Stevens the photo was taken in Brussels, which is about 50km (30 miles) away from Charleroi. [Read more…]
The 58th running of World Press Photo competition has been shrouded by controversy to say the least. Along with the announcement of the winning photos, which we reported on in early February, organizers of the event also made it clear that a whopping 20% of the total entries were disqualified due to excessive post processing.
As Lars Boering, WPP Managing Director said in an official statement: “Our contest rules clearly state that the content of the image should not be altered. This year’s jury was very disappointed to discover how careless some photographers had been in post-processing their files for the contest. ” He continued by adding that the WPP plans to the work with the international photojournalistic community in efforts to better understand the reasoning behind the heavy handed editing trend so they can help to establish a new set of standards and guidelines for the photojournalism industry as a whole. [Read more…]
Just two weeks after World Press Photo’s announcement that 22% of entries that had reached the penultimate round were disqualified due to excessive post processing, a Belgian politician claims a winning photoset should be disqualified due to its “serious distortion of reality”.
The mayor of Charleroi, where the winning photos of the “Contemporary Issues Stories” category were taken, justified his request to have the award withdrawn saying that the photos hurt not only the people of Charleroi but also the profession of photojournalism.
World Press Photo is currently verifying the facts behind the photos of Italian winner, Giovanni Troilo.