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World Press Photo exhibition opens soon

World Press Photo exhibition opens soon - Staged in the Royal Albert Hall, this exhibition celebrates some of the finest photojournalism from the past year.

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The winning photo by Finbar O'Reilly
World Press Photo exhibition opens soon
Press Release:
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 world.

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.
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