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The World Press Photo Awards disappoint me this time

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by nianys, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I've always been a big fan of the World Press Photo Awards. Sure, the winners are usually dramatic shots of some tortured part of the world, but other categories usually bring to the table beautiful portraits, amazing sports and wildlife photos, and much more.
    This year's winners though, ALL seem to be more horrible one than the other. Dead toddlers being brought to their burial and Palestine as the winner, and a Syrian torture session making Second. What gives ? You'd have to go down to about 20th or 30th place to see something not violence, death or war related. I understand today's world is a rough place, but it's, unfortunately, nothing new, and I think a more balanced focus on good vs bad things would be a little better. Yes, our world is ridden by violence and war atrocities, but there are also incredibly inspiring things to show, scientists and doctors making incredible breakthroughs, fabulous wildlife not yet extinct, and some stories of compassion and hope. Why ONLY the unbearable ? Tgis year's selection seems a little masochistic, almost borderline perverse...

    What do you think ?

    World Press Photo
     
  2. Utik

    Utik TalkEmount Regular

    170
    Feb 7, 2013
    Rimini, Italy
    I made another thought, there is so much post production that it seems to me some videogames screenshot.
     
  3. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I don't know, it seems like a sick "I'll make a darker, more sinister, more gore picture than you" game. Like it's hip and fashion to shoot dead children and tortured adults. I KNOW the world is bad, but we don't HAVE to focus on the worst part. And even if you want to look evil in the face and not pretend it's not there, a little power of suggestion goes a long way. There are more subtle ways to make a statement than to bask in the horror...
     
  4. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    382
    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    agree with most of it, but news is news and as far as photojournalists are concerned, the worse it is, the better it will sell, photos like this will always make the news for their impact,as for the "world being bad" you are "oh so wrong,in so many ways",small sections of it maybe,but in general mankind is good, take a look around and recognise it.

    Whilst saying that,although not a great fan of this type of photography,or should I say,"a lot of this type of photography at once" credit must be given for the photographs ,technique and the "just being there at the right (for want of a better word) moment".
    my favourites outwith these photos are "Dandora dump", a beautiful photo showing a human beings ability to find some comfort in any situation. and "schools for the less fortunate" showing the importance of education and how it is valued in any situation.
     
  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I can understand that many think a "press photo" has to contain something dramatic. But on the other hand - we're all eaten up with dramas, we NEED some good news on the front page of our newspapers! And there's not a single one ...

    The underwater shots are quite nice. At least much better than the screenshot from Call of Duty. Or the portraits that look like paintings. It's photography! We are not artists that try to be painters - we have other ways to express the feeling we want to transport. Well, maybe the Sony world photography awards shows us something better.
     
  6. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    382
    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    unfortunately Poki, that's what sells papers and it is the press awards, so they would say, that is what their customers want.
     
  7. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    What struck me was the difference vs a couple of years ago, when the winner was a warshot, but there were a lot of OTHER types of shots in the 20 or 30 first selectees. This year's seem particularly grim, and to my knowledge it's the first time I see an *actual* photograph of a torture session in progress. Not that I care to ever see another one...
     
  8. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Violence sells.

    I don't follow these, first time I have looked at them, so I don't have a perspective.

    I personally don't shy away from the darker side of life, but also don't go looking for it.
     
  9. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Geez, those first sets made my stomach hurt...

    :(
     
  10. Yohan

    Yohan TalkEmount Veteran

    325
    May 21, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Yohan
    I agree with that statement. Some of these photos remind me of high school days in Nigeria.

    Violence and injustice do speak a powerful message. Especially for those of us who have the luxury of viewing these from the comfort of our homes. I found these images compelling. I had this conversation with a friend.. how there seems to be an increase in violence and revolution as of late compared to our recent memory. We tried to find perspective. What people around the world live through compared to what we live through. The different ideas of hardship that we must overcome. Then I felt respect for those who fight for what they believe. It's a stark contrast to a where I live and probably many places in Western societies where things feel transient.

    I didn't really look at the photos critically in a technical perspective at first. But I agree with overprocessing that some of you mentioned. Either way, some deserving winners out there who captured photographs that tell a story.
     
  11. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I do agree that it's necessary to be aware of and not shy away from the violence in the world. That was not my point. My point was this year there seems to be an almost sick focus on the most gruesome truths of life. There is a lot of evil in the world but the world is not ALL evil, by far. Even if documenting those conflicts and devastated countries, there is a choice to show also different angles and more hopeful perspective. To add to my gripe I find many of those pictures technically very plain from a composition point of view.
    We all know torture is common practice in Syria. As a photographer I think I would rather document that with portraits. Portraits of the victims (faces tell enough, not need for mutilated limbs) and portraits of the war criminals. I once saw a very simple and low key portrait of one of Khadafi's executioners. The photo didn't need any explanation or caption, the facial features of the guys were pure evil and terrifying.
    The one story that grabbed me was the one of the 3yr old and mother entirely burned by a bucket of acid thrown on them in their sleep by their father/husband (in Iran I think). They are both grossly disfigured, cruel jokes of monster humans, but they are fusional in their mother-child bond, and heavily supported by their community.
     
  12. Grisu_HDH

    Grisu_HDH TalkEmount Veteran

    397
    Dec 16, 2012
    Southern Germany
    Markus
    Wow, really tough thread here today...
    I don't know... well, a prize for those pictures... well but if it helps to spread these pictures out in the world...
    People are killing each other in some part of the world and if you ask them many even can't remember why the killing started...
    And the wealthy nations make profit with keeping some of the conflicts running...

    Nianys, you're definitely right with your point of view!
    What reallly make me sick is that THERE ARE SO MANY CRUEL MOTIFS OUT THERE that you could set place 1 to 1.000 with those pictures without any problems... :( :( :(
     
  13. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    471
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    I only looked at a few then lost the desire to look any further. I deal with the worst of society everyday at work and have nightmares about it every single night when I manage to fall asleep. I don't need to look at pictures about it too.
     
  14. BJW

    BJW TalkEmount Regular

    105
    Sep 30, 2011
    USA
    Bruce
    The world is what it is and people who live in it make it what it is. News is almost always “Doom & Gloom” reporting. Is this what people want? Does it make their day a better one if they aren’t in the news and a part of that? And yet they watch. Is it reality or is it something that we have become almost oblivious to? Maybe to some it is a video game, something constantly violent which can be turned of with the remote control. You can hear the cry wolf only so often before part of you begins to ignore the sounds and images. Ever since Viet Nam the media has bombarded us with the awful truth that there are horrible things happening in the world, most of which we have little if any control over. And, apparently, it still sells. I ignore most of these images. I’ve lived too long, I’ve seen too many.
    Bruce
     
  15. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I agree that the first couple of sets discourages from going further. I was disappointed because a few years ago there were truly unique pictures in various genres at World Press Photo :(
     
  16. jarvan

    jarvan TalkEmount Regular

    108
    Jan 27, 2013
    Czech
    Jaroslav
    Yes...too gloomy, somewhere is missing any sign of hope!
    Question: everything good is already a thing of the past ??? : (
     
  17. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    382
    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    people who think that, have a very sad life
     
  18. jarvan

    jarvan TalkEmount Regular

    108
    Jan 27, 2013
    Czech
    Jaroslav
    OK, but the choice of such shots this question directly. I will not let affect!!!
     
  19. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    471
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    I make it a point to do things that are still good. I get together with friends whenever possible, hike, spend time with family, focus my photography on the things that are more cheerful...ect. I avoid the news as much as possible too since it's all negative stuff being reported. I believe that good is still a much stronger force however it's the bad stuff that gets shoved in our faces all the time so it gives a false since of doom for mankind.
     
  20. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    382
    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    that seems a bit extreme