Everyone’s a bit of a photographer these days. Your telephone is your best friend with this, since you can capture any image you encounter. Making beautiful photo’s tough, takes a bit more than the click of a button. This became clear to us last November at the 54th edition of the yearly World Press Photo Contest in Groningen, where the best news photos of the last year were exposed.
The exposition started off well, since it was located in the Aa-Kerk, which is a church right in the middle of the city centre. The exposition is organised by the Clear Foto Festival Groningen foundation and has been held here for eight years in a row now. The WPPC is a worldwide event and the finest photographers compete in it. GroningenLife! didn’t want to miss the chance of seeing the winning photos here in Groningen, so we took a look. Seeing beautiful pictures was our main goal, but soon after entering it became clear that there’s another feat to the exposition. All entries also represent a part of last year’s events.
All photos are subdivided in different categories, such as sports, nature and daily life and many more. The category Portraits contains some photos by Wolfram Han in which he recorded recognizable situations. He took pictures of the exact moment of people taking their own Facebook and MySpace profile pictures. Do you also find it hard to pick out the best picture for this? How’s your hair looking, do you have a nice smile and what clothes are you wearing? Han shows how people make an effort to look as nice as possible. He visited his subjects at home and had them reconstruct the exact moment and situation of them taking their profile picture. His photos show people with a cool poster on the wall or with their teddy bear. Strangely enough, most people take their profile picture lying on their bed, probably to look as relaxed as possible.
Disasters like the flood in Pakistan and the earthquake in Haïti are an important part of the exposition with some impressive images. Luckily this is alternated with photographers like Han, who makes more light-hearted and funny pictures. Just like Michael Wolf, who made a photo shoot of Google Street View. Some of his images are serious and some comical, like a picture of a guy falling from his bike. Another photo showed a guy who thought he could secretly do number two between two cars. Needless to say he failed! We were charmed by the photo of a couple kissing intimately in the middle of a busy street. The caption states that the picture was taken in, take a guess..Paris. The city of love, where else! By the way, have you found yourself on Street View yet?
Out of 108.000 submitted photographs one winner was chosen. The jury must have been busy for a while! Jodi Biebers photo of Bibi Aisha, a maimed Afghan woman, is the overall winner. An exceptional image that’ll impress and shock you, but of which you’re glad that you’ve seen it. The true power of the contest is not contained in one photo though. The total variety of serious with funny and inspiring with shocking pictures of events from the past year make this exposition worthwhile to visit. Students get a discount, so don’t miss the 55th edition!
By: Ido Venhuizen