Month: February 2013

Injured French photographer Olivier Voisin dies

Olivier Voisin sustained serious head and arm injuries on 21 February after a shell exploded when the 38-year-old freelance photographer was covering the Syrian conflict near the city of Idlib, says Reporters Without Borders. Voisin was taken to a hospital in Antakya, Turkey. While the French foreign ministry tried to fly him out, his condition was too critical and he died on 24 February. “We offer our most sincere condolences to Olivier Voisin’s family,” says Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire. “His tragic death, just two days after the first anniversary of the deaths of French photographer Rémi Ochlik and US reporter Marie Colvin in Homs, has again highlighted the heavy price being paid by those covering Syria’s armed conflict. I pay tribute to the 23 journalists and 54 citizen-journalists who have lost their lives in Syria since the start of the uprising in March 2011.” Last week, a group of photographers, editors and journalists launched the A Day Without News? campaign to highlight the risks their peers face when covering war zones, and to persuade governments to …


World Press Photo: Micah Albert on hope and human dignity

American freelance documentary photographer Micah Albert has been entering the World Press Photo contest since 2007. This year he won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category for his image At The Dandora Dump that shows a woman trash picker in Kenya pausing to read a book she has found amongst the rubbish. [bjp_ad_slot] “I’m shocked to have won,” Albert told BJP in a Skype interview at the weekend. “The World Press Photo is the creme de la creme [of photography awards.] Winning this award is recognition you’re on the right path.” Albert, who is based in northern California and represented by Redux Pictures photo agency, took the image as part of a larger project about the Dandora Dumpsite in Nairobi, Kenya, the only location for dumping waste in Nairobi, East Africa’s most populous city. He worked on the project with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, an award-winning non-profit journalism organisation that supports independent journalism. Gaining access to the dump site was one of the most difficult and dangerous aspects of the project requiring that Albert …


World Press Photo: Nadav Kander awarded First Prize in Staged Portraits Singles


Working with Kathy Ryan of The New York Times Magazine, Nadav Kander was assigned in January last year to photograph the titans of the British stage, to draw attention to the UK’s strong thespian heritage before the Olympics. He photographed such greats as Judi Dench, Mark Rylance, Patrick Stewart and Simon Russell Beale as well as Daniel Kaluuya, a young British actor whose portrait has won Kander a prize in this year’s World Press Photo awards. [bjp_ad_slot] For Kander, working with the subjects in their own setting, on the stage, was something he rarely does. “I generally take people out of their surroundings and try to make truthful pictures in that context, while these images were photographed on the stage or in some sort of set up scenario.” Despite forcing himself to work in a different manner, Kander is quite pleased with the results. “It went fantastically well. It took me out of my comfort range with a set of images I’m really proud of.” The photograph of Kaluuya is one that somehow stands out from the …


World Press Photo: “Stories are about people,” says Bernat Armangué


Spanish photographer Bernat Armangué has been shooting on the streets of Gaza, working for the AP team in Israel and the occupied territories, for the past four-and-a-half years. He was in Gaza last November to cover the 11-day conflict that broke out. His set of images from the conflict represent a harrowing account of the airstrikes, injuries and deaths but also life continuing in spite of this. “As wire photographers, we usually provide daily content but, in locations such as this, we try to go deeper into what the war is.” [bjp_ad_slot] One of Armangué’s most recognisable photographs is that of a man grieving for the loss of a relative in a morgue. Armangué explains that this image has resonated with audiences as well as with himself. “There is always a strange position you have with your pictures; different translations to what other people see. Nothing is planned in war but you know more or less what you have to do. In this case I was on my way back to transfer images and I stopped …


World Press Photo judges discuss emotion and content in winning images

“The image that moved me especially was of a woman reading a book, sitting among garbage,” says World Press Photo 2013 jury member Anne Wilkes Tucker, curator of photography at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. “It is a gorgeous image – so full of hope. News is not often filled with images of hope.” The image entitled At the Dandora Dump taken by American freelance photographer Micah Albert, won first prize in the Singles Contemporary Issues category in this year’s contest. It shows a woman working as a trash picker in Nairobi, Kenya, reading a book she has come across in the rubbish. The image depicts a quiet personal moment of reflection that stands out in a collection of often gruesome and harrowing images. [bjp_ad_slot] Several judges in this year’s contest commented on the emotional impact and the human condition in the face of conflict and disaster apparent in the entries, not least in the overall winning image Gaza Burial by Swedish photographer Paul Hansen. World Press Photo of the Year 2012 winning image by Paul …


World Press Photo: Should Olympic Games photos dominate the sports categories?

“People are asking us, ‘Where are the Olympics photos?’ Well there are 11 of them in the competition. It wasn’t ignored,” says Sports Illustrated photographer Bill Frakes. The question was one of the first asked at this morning’s press conference in Amsterdam when the full list of winning images was unveiled in front of a group of Dutch and international journalists. [bjp_ad_slot] “There were probably about a thousand photographers at the Olympics, including myself. In fact, all three of the specialist jury members for the Sports categories were at the Olympics. There were [a lot of] good Olympics images and they were represented [in the final selection],” Frakes tells BJP. “The first prize picture [pictured above] in the Sports Action Singles category is a non-traditional sport in the Western world, but at the same time, it’s a high-impact picture. As a 25-year veteran sports photographer, I’d be delighted to make that picture. It was sensational.” For Frakes, the jury had to put the focus on the essence of sport, and not necessarily on the Olympics. “I …


World Press Photo: Santiago Lyon speaks of winning image’s power

Swedish photographer Paul Hansen won the 56th World Press Photo for a picture of a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City. BJP‘s Olivier Laurent speaks with the jury’s chair, Santiago Lyon. Olivier Laurent: How did you prepare for this competition? Santiago Lyon: Being asked to be the chair was a big surprise. I was deeply honoured and humbled to be considered for this role, having never judged this before. To be elevated from a first-round jury member to be the chair was really exciting. [bjp_ad_slot] Of course, I began to prepare for that. I talked to Gary Knight, Stephen Mayes – who had been the secretary for many years – and to some people who had been on the jury in previous years, to get a sense of how it would work. With that information, I applied my own criteria. Those were, I guess, two main things. Number one: paying attention to the name of this contest: World. Press. Photo. I wanted some pillars to sustain this …


World Press Photo: General News winner on the importance – and difficulties – of reporting from Syria


Argentinian photographer Rodrigo Abd was on assignment in Syria for The Associated Press in March 2012 when he came across Aida, the woman in his World Press Photo (WPP) winning image. He was in the north of Syria in the town of Idlib, which was under attack by the Syrian Army. The day the image was captured, Abd was attempting to escape the town along with the rebels and ended up in a small Red Cross hospital. [bjp_ad_slot] “We were trying to shoot images of patients there and the people arriving. The scene was really hard to photograph because it was so terrible and so sad. A woman was in a bed with one of her children, and in the next bed were two of her other children, all with blood on their faces. We couldn’t talk too much to her because she didn’t know that her husband was killed with her other two children. We knew at that time because some of the relatives and doctors told us. It was incredibly sad.” When Abd …


Swedish photographer Paul Hansen wins 56th World Press Photo

“The strength of the pictures lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget,” says Mayu Mohanna, a jury member at this year’s World Press Photo photojournalism contest. In the image, two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad are being taken to a mosque for the burial ceremony, after they were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. “Their father’s body is carried behind on a stretcher [and] their mother was put in intensive care,” says the Amsterdam-based organisation. “The picture was made on 20 November 2012 in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories.” [bjp_ad_slot] The winning image was selected from 103,481 images submitted by 5,666 photographers from 124 countries. Hansen recently won First Place in the Pictures of the Year International competition in the Photographer of the Year – Newspaper category. “I’ve always said that a picture should engage with the head, the heart and the stomach,” says Santiago Lyon, vice president and director of …


Swiss photographer in legal battle to publish photobook

In Jesus’ Name, produced in 2012, is Christian Lutz’s third book in a series documenting power around the world. In 2007, the Agence Vu photographer published Protokoll on political power, and Tropical Gift in 2010 on economic power. In Jesus’ Name documents religious power and is the result of an investigation within the International Christian Fellowship, “one of the most important free churches in Switzerland”, says the photographer. [bjp_ad_slot] However, legal proceedings filed by a group of 21 people Lutz had photographed have put a stop to the book’s production. The group argues that it never granted Lutz the right to use their image, a fact the photographer denies. “A judge [at Zurich civil court] confirmed the decision to block the release of the book on 24 January,” Lutz tells BJP. “We have now asked for the writ, which we should get in the next few weeks. Once we get it, we’ll decide whether or not we appeal, but I can already say that the publisher [Lars Müller Publishers] and I are getting ready for a potential lawsuit.” Lutz first met Leo …


BJP Staff