British photographer Tim Hetherington wins premier award

World Press Photo of the Year 2007© Tim Hetherington, UK, for Vanity Fair

The international jury of the 51st annual World Press Photo Contest selected a color image by the UK photographer Tim Hetherington as World Press Photo of the Year 2007. The picture was taken 16 September 2007 and shows a US soldier resting at "Restrepo" bunker, named after a soldier from his platoon who was recently killed by insurgents.

The 2nd Battalion Airborne of the 503rd US infantry is undergoing a deployment in the Korengal Valley in the Eastern province of Afghanistan. The valley is infamous as the site of a downing of a US helicopter and has seen some of the most intense fighting in the country. Hetherington's photograph is part of a picture story that was also awarded 2nd Prize in General News Stories. He had traveled to Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair.

"This image represents the exhaustion of a man - and the exhaustion of a nation," said jury chairman Gary Knight, and added "We're all connected to this. It's a picture of a man at the end of a line." Fellow juror MaryAnne Golon commented: "I use all my energy to have people notice bad things. There's a human quality to this picture. It says that conflict is the basis of this man's life."

This year, a record number of participants from 125 countries sent in their work, a total of 5,019 photographers, which is an increase of 12.5% compared to 2007. The total number of images submitted was 80,536. Of all participants, 80% chose to enter the contest by uploading their work online.

The jury gave prizes in ten theme categories to 59 photographers of 23 nationalities from: Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, People's Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, USA, and Zimbabwe.

The 2008 jury:

•  Gary Knight, UK, photographer and chairman VII Photo Agency

•  Jodi Bieber, South Africa, photographer Noor
•  Oliver Chanarin, South Africa/UK, photographer Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
•  Erin Elder, Canada, photo editor The Globe and Mail
•  Craig Golding, Australia, photographer Sydney Morning Herald
•  MaryAnne Golon, USA, director of photography Time magazine
•  Maria Mann, USA, managing editor European Pressphoto Agency
•  Enric Martí, Spain, regional photo editor Latin America & Caribbean, The Associated Press
•  Michael Nichols, USA, photographer National Geographic magazine
•  Simon Njami, Cameroon, independent curator
•  Swapan Parekh, India, photographer
•  Stephan Vanfleteren, Belgium, photographer
•  Sujong Song, South Korea, freelance photo editor

Stephen Mayes (UK) chief operating officer, the Americas, Image Source

Tim Hetherington, the author of the World Press Photo of the Year 2007, will receive his award during an awards ceremony in Amsterdam on Sunday, 27 April 2008. The award also carries a cash prize of €10,000. In addition, Canon will present Hetherington with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III camera.

The Awards Ceremony is preceded by a three-day program of lectures, discussions and screenings of photography. The exhibition of prizewinners will be shown at the Oude Kerk from 29 April to 22 June and will subsequently visit over 100 locations around the world.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon and TNT.

About World Press Photo

World Press Photo organizes the leading international contest in visual journalism. The foundation is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. Its aim is to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and other visual journalists, and for the free exchange of information. The activities include organizing annual photojournalism and multimedia contests and global exhibition tours. The Academy programs strive to stimulate high-quality visual journalism through educational programs, grants and by creating greater visibility through a variety of publications. World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization with its office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where it was founded in 1955.

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