World Press Photo newsletter December 2009

Dear friend of World Press Photo,

Our most important news is that the time has come to upload your images for the 2010 contest. This newsletter also explains how you can enjoy and learn from the 2009 Joop Swart Masterclass, which was held in Amsterdam in November.

Submit your photos on our web entry site now
If you want to compete in next year’s competition, please go to our special web entry site for the 2010 World Press Photo contest to request a password. When we have checked your application, we will send you the password so that you can upload your images. All material is automatically coded and can be saved and edited before submission. The deadline for submissions is 14 January, and passwords must be requested no later than 8 January. The entry site is the only way to send us your photos. It offers a choice of four languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

The modified clause about image manipulation in our entry rules reads as follows: “The content of the image must not be altered. Only retouching which conforms to currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed. The jury is the ultimate arbiter of these standards and may at its discretion request the original, unretouched file as recorded by the camera or an untoned scan of the negative or slide.” In essence, this means that the content of an image must not be tampered with. The new clause is flexible enough to allow the jury some room for interpretation, because enhancement may be defined differently, for example, for a portrait than for a hard news picture.

Before you enter your photos, take a moment to study the advice of jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer. On our website she gives some insight into the jury procedure and says: “Don’t address a picture story as a series of individual shots. The jury will be looking for the best edit. Spend time to create a real narrative involving information, emotion and personal style.” Single images, she says, should be edited for impact. “You need to be ruthless as regards quality. Use this opportunity to surprise; adopt forms and subjects which take your work further.”

The 2009 masterclass on our website
Touch was the theme of the 2009 Joop Swart Masterclass, held in Amsterdam in the first week of November. Various aspects of the event have been posted on our website. In video interviews all participants tell you a little about themselves, and about how they select and approach their subjects, what equipment they use, what their ambitions are, and more. There are separate interviews with masters Tom Kennedy and Celina Lunsford, who share the tips they gave to the masterclass participants with visitors to our website.

All masterclass participants took the opportunity to create their own galleries on the subject of Touch. Equipped with new knowledge and ideas after a day’s intensive communication with their peers and masters, each of the participants produced and refined his or her own edit. You’ll find these wide-ranging individual interpretations of Touch on our website.

For all the emphasis on electronic publishing, we have not forgotten that the printed book remains an important medium to enjoy photography. This is why we have once again produced an edition in our series of hard-cover masterclass books, which may now be ordered from our online bookstore. The book of Touch stories, in words and images, costs 15 euro. An even better idea is buying a set of the three latest masterclass books – Touch plus the publications on Balance (2008) and Fragile (2007) – for a mere 30 euro, normally the price for two.

This year master Giorgia Fiorio gave the traditional open masterclass lecture. For World Press Photo, throwing part of the exclusive Joop Swart Masterclass open to the public is a way of underscoring its support for professional press photography on a broad international scale. Fiorio showed and discussed material from two intensely personal, highly acclaimed projects. A multimedia version of one of them, The Gift – a personal investigation of religious rituals around the world – has been put on our website. A separate link will lead you Fiorio’s 77-minute lecture.

2009 exhibition opens in Brussels and elsewhere
While the 2009 exhibition continues at London’s Royal Festival Hall and around the world, we have another high-profile opening scheduled in December. Mrs Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition, will open the exhibition in Brussels in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, Patron of the World Press Photo foundation.

Other cities where the 2009 show will open or continue in December are Istanbul, Kapfenberg (Austria), Tel Aviv, Jakarta, Ljubljana (Slovenia), Opole (Poland), Turin, Santo Domingo, Maia (Portugal), Lucca (Italy) and Barcelona. Further additions to this list are posted on our online calendar as soon as they are confirmed.