Worldpress photo 2011: Congratulations Jodi

I am finally uploading my blog after a long time. I was in a dilemma. Should I write about worldpress photo 2011 winners or not? Is it too big for me to write about? But then i thought this is my personal blog.

I have heard many opinions about Jodi’s picture of Aisha. Many said it won because it is related to politics; some because it is related to the USA and the war in Afghanistan. Many related it to the condition of women worldwide and some said it is propaganda. For me it is an example of the power of photography. A photograph can really bring about change.

Bibi Aisha is now in the US, much happier than she was in Afghanistan, with nose and ears transplant. Her father-in-law is now imprisoned. In her photo, Jodi portays Aisha’s beauty with dignity. To me that reason was enough for it to be declared the world press photo of the year.

I had the privilege of being a student of Jodi during a masterclass held in November last year. I have seen other images of the series too. All of them are incredible. But this one stood out.

For the General News and Spot News category, the photos are too violent for me. Killings, deaths, unrest and too many bloody pictures. Alexendre Vieira’s ‘shootout on the street, Rio De Janeiro’ truly deserves the Honorable Mention. One needs a lot of courage to take pictures in the middle of a shootout.

Altaf Quadri’s picture, first prize for ‘people in the news’ can make anyone feel the pain of war. It shows the reality of the victims. The pain of those who suffer during the war. Daniel Berehulak’s reportage on Pakistan flood was one of the few pictures that caught my attention when it was published in Getty images.

Adam Pretty’s sports portfolio is full of marvelous pictures. Don’t know how many portfolios have won first prize. Another set of pictures that is remarkable is Ed Ou’s reportage on ‘escape from Somalia’. The consistency in the pictures is incredible. When I first saw the pictures of Sarah Elliot, ‘Illegal abortion‘ on Joop Swart Masterclass, published on worldpressphoto website, it had astonished me then. It was not a big surprise for me to see those pictures in the winner’s gallery.

When I first saw Michael Wolf’s story ‘A series of unfortunate events, Google street view’, I thought: what is this? I think it is interesting, but it leaves a discussion whether it is photojournalism or not and does it really deserve an Honorable Mention. The bottom line is that it got the award and opened the discussion. One thing I admire is Michael’s approach to experiment, which totally challenges the stereotypical.

The next story that interested me was second prize for portraits stories; ‘Self portraits for social networks’. However, I found last year’s portrait stories more interesting.

Amit Sha’al’s story which won third prize for art and entertainment was the most interesting. The idea was very simple: an old photo, aligned perfectly and taken in the same place. It was innovative time lapse photography.

One of the major news in the past year was BP oil spill. I knew it was coming in the world press photo but never expected the coverage of the oil spill in such a wonderful and artistic way by Benjamin Lowy. At first glance, it is art photography, but on the flipside, it is coverage of a big disaster.

These were some of the photos that caught my attention this year. No doubt all the photos were great. But works in the past two years, i guess, have been more conceptual. This has truly made a statement about the changing form of photojournalism. These great pictures and proved that there are no boundaries for story telling through images. Congratulations to the winners and hats off to the jury.

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Worldpress photo 2011: Congratulations Jodi

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