Life as Lived: World Press Photo at the United Nations

By Peggy Roalf   Tuesday May 1, 2007

GETTING THE NEWS ONLINE is the choice of many harried people, especially those who need to view the same events through different media. While this can speed things up, readers pay a huge price because the information we usually receive through news photos is largely missing. platt.jpgSo if you think you're pretty well-informed, the month of May offers a chance to become extremely well informed.

World Press Photo, the Oscars of photojournalism, opens its 50th annual exhibition Friday at the United Nations. More than 4,000 photographers from 124 countries entered the competition. The jury, chaired by Michelle McNally of The New York Times, awarded prizes to 63 photographers of 25 nationalities.

The World Press Picture of the Year award went to New York-based photographer Spencer Platt, who shoots for Getty Images. His photograph (left) shows a group of young Lebanese driving through a South Beirut neighborhood that had been leveled by Israeli rockets. The photograph was taken on August 15, 2006, the first day of a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, when people were allowed to return to their homes after 34 days of shelling.

akintunde.jpgOther photographers honored in news categories are Akintunde Akinleye of Nigeria, shooting in Lagos for Reuters (photo, right); Paolo Pellegrin of Italy, shooting in Lebanon for Magnum Photos/The New York Times; Q. Sakamaki of Japan, shooting in Sri Lanka for Redux Pictures; and David Butow of the United States, shooting in New York for US News & World Report, to name a few.

Beyond what you might expect to find - images of war, natural disaster, the political arena - World Press Photo also has categories for contemporary issues, daily life, arts and entertainment, sports, and nature. From the Democratic Republic of Congo to Guatemala, the Sandwich Islands to Nepal, Milwaukee to Paris, the world as it was in 2006 unfolds through the 200 large-scale images on view through May 24.

For information about the exhibition and World Press Photo, please visit the website.