Does the manipulation of news and documentary photographs matter, and how should we talk about this issue? The discussion about the number of images disqualified for manipulation in the 2015 World Press Photo contest has been intense, and the debate will be ongoing. But I’ve now left the Secretary’s seat for this year and have returned … Continued
World Press Photo
Introducing the World Press Photo research project on practices and standards relating to the manipulation of images in photojournalism, focusing on the post-processing of these images.
On the manipulation of images, the 2014 World Press Photo contest, and the future debate (updated 13 May)
After two weeks judging the 2014 World Press Photo Contest, I reflect, as Secretary to the general jury, on the process and procedures that led to this year’s awards.
I’m pleased to announce that I am directing a research project for World Press Photo – under the auspices of the World Press Photo Academy and supported by the FotografenFederatie (Dutch Photographers Association) – that will map the global emergence and development of multimedia in visual storytelling, especially photojournalism. ‘Multimedia’ is an imprecise and problematic term, and … Continued
What can Samuel Aranda’s 2011 World Press Photo of the Year tell us about how we view photojournalism? What does the debate prompted by Aranda’s winning photograph tell us about the conventional way of understanding such images?
What is the power of photography? In the abstract, that is an impossible question to answer. There are many general claims about photography being able to ‘change the world’, but when it comes to evidence for such arguments, we know surprisingly little about how photographs actually work. There are clearly moments in which images can induce … Continued
Sleeping Soldiers_single screen (2009) from Tim Hetherington on Vimeo. I’m publishing here a short article written earlier this year by Stephen Mayes and Tim Hetherington that explores the themes of aggression, masculinity, sex and war, and the way they informed Tim’s work. Entitled “The Theatre of War, or ‘La Petite Mort’,” the article was a … Continued
Jodi Bieber has won the overall 2011 World Press Photo award for her portrait of Bibi Aisha, the young Afghan women disfigured in an act of punishment (above left). Bieber outlines her thoughts on making the photograph in a brief interview here. Any image selected from over 100,000 entries produced by 5,847 photographers is going to draw … Continued
For a long time I have argued that ‘photojournalism’ – that broad swathe of photographic practice that tells visual stories about the world, and which can include documentary, editorial, news or social photography – has a particular responsibility and a particular opportunity to both represent the world better and make better worlds imaginable. It is … Continued
Back in December last year I posted a commentary on World Press Photo’s new rule on ‘manipulation’ of submitted imagery. The main point concerned the ambiguity of what “currently accepted standards in the industry” meant as the governing criterion. I concluded that “for the WPP clause to be effective, the organization is going to have … Continued
World Press Photo has included a new clause about the manipulation of imagery in their entry rules for 2010. This clause says: The content of the image must not be altered. Only retouching which conforms to currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed. The jury is the ultimate arbiter of these standards and may … Continued