An independent jury consisting of Vincent Mentzel, Michiel Munneke (Director of World Press Photo) and others, chose the winning photograph by Gabriel Rojas from Bogotá, Colombia, out of more than 3,000 submissions. The jury praised the photo by Rojas for its powerful contrast between the police vehicle on the foreground and the vulnerable demonstrator in the back. A current and symbolic image that illustrates how some regimes across the world still deal with opposition.
The other prize-winners submitted photos of a variety of events such as a soccer game in Onkerzele (Belgium), an airplane crash in Sao Paolo (Brazil), and street kids in Ulan Bator (Mongolia). All in all, the jury awarded 17 prizes in three different categories. The first prize-winner receives amongst others an Olympus E-410 SLR camera. The main sponsors of the contest are Olympus and Lulu.com.
1st prize Raging Reporter, B M Gilbert
North Platte, United States
1st prize World News, Debashis Mukherjee
1st prize Background, lonesome runner
To select one winner out of more than 3,000 submissions is always difficult. However we did our best to give each photo an honest chance and the attention they deserved. The jury process was divided into several steps. First the Woophy staff could choose from all the 3,000 photos as many as they wanted to go to the second round. In this round we looked at photographic quality and thematic relevance and the aim of this round was to eliminate the photos which had no chance of winning.
This resulted in a shortlist of 150 photos either having a high photographic quality, news value or both. These last 150 photo’s where judged by the independent jury and we asked the jury not only to look at ‘big’ news events but also have an eye for small local events.
In each category the jury slowly eliminated another 133 photos until they had 17 winners. Each jury member was always able to keep one of his/her favourites on the shortlist.
In the final stage of the judging the jurors put the photos in their final order. This went in an open debate. The number one photo was chosen because it had everything right, photographic strong, interesting contrast and a current and symbolic message.
Although we were definitely not aiming for photos of big news events it turned out that in the category ‘Raging reporter’ two photo of big news won. Both photos are extremely intense and even heartbreaking. According to the jury these photos represent the strongest the amateur reporter being on the ‘right’ spot.
In World News two atmospheric photos from India won. Although both from the same city one expresses hope while the other sketches a gloomy picture of Calcutta. That both photos were form India is not such a big coincidence because we received a lot of entries from India in the last months.
In the category ‘Background’ the jury had more difficulties. Background is a very broad subject which we choose intentionally so that everybody could give his of her own take on the news. The winner is a strong image of ‘urban loneliness’ a subject universally present in our world. And the runner up is an (older) photo of Kenya street life. A typical busy third world tableau with a dynamic centre of purple movement.
2nd prize Raging Reporter, Vlad da Cunha
Sao Paulo, Brazil
2nd prize World News, Joydeepm
2nd prize Background, pete84
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