1967 Photo Contest in context

In 1967, a color picture was named World Press Photo of the Year for the first time. Dutch photographer Co Rentmeester portrayed an American gunner in his scorching tank during a military confrontation in Vietnam for Life magazine.

As well as the Vietnam War, the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors featured prominently in the exhibition and yearbook. Other critical events represented in the 1967 contest were the famine in India and the installation of the Greek military junta following the coup of April 1967.

Compared to the number of black-and-white entries, the color section was small. The printing of color pictures was still very expensive. The exhibition organizers considered the color category as an experiment, where the tenability of the prints and the exact lighting could be tested.

A photographer should not only be a good craftsman, he should also bring in his vision, his ability to look at things in a different way, according to jury member Harold Blumenfeld. In the 1967 exhibition newspaper, he expressed his views on press photography: A good press photo was not just a picture, but a story and sometimes even an idea. Blumenfeld was one of the first picture editors to equip his staff photographers with flexible hand-held cameras. Whereas in the past speed and accuracy counted most, the introduction of the modern 35 mm camera had enabled the photographer to develop a more human approach to the subject at hand.

Entry statistics
  • 822 photographers
  • 48 countries
  • 3295 pictures
  • 3150 black and white
  • 145 color
1967 Photo Contest jury
  • Harold Blumenfeld, USA, executive news pictures editor United Press International
  • Karl Breyer, West Germany, photojournalist Sebaldus Verlag
  • L. Fritz Gruber, West Germany, artistic manager Photokina
  • Walter Heilig, East Germany, photo editor Zentralbild
  • Prof. Dr. Hans L.C. Jaffé, the Netherlands, Institute of Art History, University of Amsterdam
  • Charles Lane, UK, Chief European Photo Service, The Associated Press
  • Thomas Lepeltak, the Netherlands, Picture Editor De Telegraaf
  • Vasiliy Malyshev, USSR, Chairman Photo section USSR Journalists' Union
  • A. Orre de Jong, the Netherlands, Editor in Chief Cri
  • Joop Swart, the Netherlands, Editor in Chief Avenue and Revu magazines
  • Nils Wikner, Sweden, Secretary-General European Press Photo Agencies' Union
  • Masaharu Yoshimura, Japan, Editor Mainichi Shimbun
Chair of the jury
  • Derrick Knight, UK, manager photographic division, Press Association

    Interview with jury member Harold Blumenfeld (UPI) in the 1967 exhibition newspaper

    Peter Skingley pointing to one of his winning images, Nederlands Congresgebouw, The Hague, 16 December 1967 (© Cor Out/ANP)

    Cover 1967 yearbook (photo by Gérard Klijn, detail)

    Entry form 1967 contest (back)