54th Annual World Press Photo Award Winners

Posted by David Ozanich — 15 Feb 2011


Photographer Jodie Bieber won the coveted World Press Photo award 2010 for her image of an Afghan woman who had been mutilated by her husband in a case of Taliban justice. It appeared on the cover of the August 1st issue of Time magazine. From the AP:

Jury members said the photo, though shocking, was chosen because it addresses violence against women with a dignified image. The woman, 18-year-old Bibi Aisha, was rescued by the U.S. military and now lives in America.

"This could become one of those pictures -- and we have maybe just 10 in our lifetime -- where if somebody says 'you know, that picture of a girl' -- you know exactly which one they're talking about," said jury chairman David Burnett of Contact Press.

The picture also evokes the iconic 1984 National Geographic photograph of a beautiful young Afghan woman with a piercing gaze.

Bieber is a freelance photojournalist who hails from South Africa. The World Press Photo jury head David Burnett notes that they are trending towards freelancers and other unaffiliated photographers:

"Any photographer anywhere with a laptop and a camera is competing with every other photographer in the world," Burnett said. "A lot of the best work is done by photographers who went out and did it on their own. They didn't wait to be sent."

In addition, in a world mobile phones have cameras, he said it's inevitable that amateur photographers will be the only ones to record some events.

In acknowledgment of that, the jury gave special mention to a 12-picture series made by the miners trapped for 69 days some 700 meters (766 yards) underground in Chile's San Jose mine before they were rescued on Oct. 13.

"The whole point of a photo is that somebody had to see it and be there," Burnett said.

Fifty-six photographers won prizes of the 5,847 who submitted photos. In total there were 108,059 images up for consideration from photographers in 125 countries.

See more of the winners here and at the Big Picture blog.

swans.jpgWhooper Swans at dawn, Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 2010. Second Prize Nature Stories, Stefano Unterthiner, Italy, for National Geographic Magazine.

taxitrain.jpgAn urban scene in Calcutta, India. First Prize Daily Life Stories, Martin Roemers, The Netherlands, Panos Pictures.

socialnetwork.jpgSelf-portraits for social networks. Second Prize Portraits Stories, Wolfram Hahn, Germany.

Thanks to JPG Member Jan Hoffman for the tip.

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