US photographer Spencer Platt made the winning photograph
for the World Press Photo of the Year 2006. The photo could not have been
staged better — it is so absolutely real and surreal at the same
time. These are our times, like it or not.
The picture shows a group of young Lebanese driving through a South Beirut neighborhood devastated by Israeli bombings. The picture was taken on 15 August 2006, the first day of the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah when thousands of Lebanese started returning to their homes.
There are lots of other stunners that hold you while you hold your breath.
World Press Photo jury chair Michele McNally describes the winning image: “It’s a picture you can keep looking at. It has the complexity and contradiction of real life, amidst chaos. This photograph makes you look beyond the obvious.”
This year 4,460 professional photographers from 124 countries entered 78,083 images in the most prestigious annual international competition in press photography. The judging sessions took place in Amsterdam from 27 January to 8 February. The jury gave prizes in 10 theme categories to 58 photographers of 23 nationalities from: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Palestinian Territories, People’s Republic of China, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the USA.
The annual exhibition of these photos will visit over 85 locations around the world.
These 11 portrait series were the most viewed by LensCulture readers in 2014 — they cover a wide range of photographic portraiture styles and approaches, and offer lots of inspiration. Enjoy!
From the enigmatic patterns made by empty photo sleeves on a lightbox to the poignant juxtapositions glimpsed through the open pages of photobooks, these widely varied images explore and celebrate the materiality of objects, the irreplaceable tactility of our physical surroundings.
T-shirt culture brings a wearable artform to the streets that advertises hopes, ideals, likes, dislikes, political views, and personal mantras.
While documenting the harsh living conditions of the thousands of African immigrants that work in Italy picking tomatoes, the photographer was confronted by the workers, who demanded dignity — "I am not what I look like" — transforming these pictures into a universal, conceptual exploration of identity.