The winning photo by Finbar O'Reilly
World Press Photo is the most prestigious annual press photography
contest in the world. It encourages high professional standards in
photojournalism and seeks to promote a free and unrestricted exchange
of information on an international scale. This years contest
broke two records the number of photographers and the
number of photographs entered. 4,448 professional photographers from
122 countries entered 83,044 images, surpassing last years
record number of entries.
The Royal Albert Hall will host the exhibition of nearly 200 of the
award-winning photographs for the first time this year. Sponsored in
London by Canon, TIME Magazine and the Royal Albert Hall, the
exhibition opens at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday 5 May 2006. The
exhibition will also be shown in over 85 different venues around the
The independent international jury, comprising thirteen members, judged
entries in ten different categories: Spot News, General News, People in
the News, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Portraits, Sports Action,
Sports Features, Arts and Entertainments and Nature. They gave prizes
to 63 photographers of 26 nationalities. The judging sessions took
place in Amsterdam in late January and the judging of all the images
entered was completely digital.
This years exhibition provides, as ever, a powerful snapshot
of world events during the last twelve months, from the London bomb
attacks to the Pakistan Earthquake and from the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina to the famine in Niger. The overall winning entry is by
Canadian photographer Finbarr O'Reilly for Reuters. Taken in Tahoua,
north-western Niger, on 1 August 2005, the colour photograph shows the
emaciated fingers of a one-year-old child pressed against the lips of
his mother at an emergency feeding clinic in Niger. A devastating swarm
of locusts and the worst drought in decades left millions of people
short of food in the African state.
World Press Photo jury chairman James Colton said of the winning image:
"This picture has haunted me ever since I first saw it. It has
stayed in my head, even after seeing all the thousands of others during
the competition. This image has everything - beauty, horror and
despair. It is simple, elegant and moving.
Other winners included Uriel Sinai, from Israel, whose image showed the
evacuation of Jewish settlements and Todd Heisler, USA, whose image
honoured fallen US Marines. Within the Contemporary Issues section the
winners included Yannis Kontos, Greece, with a photo of a boy helping
his father to dress in Sierra Leone, and Olivier Jobard, France, with
his Journey of an immigrant. Sporting topics ranged from bullfighting
in Colombia to boxing in South Africa.
Ground Floor Corridor, Royal Albert Hall
Admission free during the opening times detailed below
Awards and Opening Reception: Friday 5 May, 1 5pm.
Opening times: Sun 7 May (11am-3pm), Weds 10 May (10am2pm),
Fri 12 May (10am-2pm),
Thurs 18 May (5pm-9pm), Fri 19 May (12noon-4pm), Weds 24 May (5pm-9pm),
Fri 26 May
(12noon-4pm), Sat 27 May (11am-3pm). Enter via Door 3. The exhibition
can also be viewed by
all those attending performances.