The international jury of the 53rd annual World Press Photo Contest has selected a photo by the Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo as the World Press Photo of the Year 2009. The picture depicts women shouting in protest from a rooftop in Tehran, on June 24, 2009. The winning photograph is part of a story depicting the nights following the contested presidential elections in Iran, when people shouted their dissent from roofs and balconies, after daytime protests in the streets. The story as a whole was awarded first prize in the category People in the News.

The conclusion of the jury

Jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer said:
“The photo shows the beginning of something, the beginning of a huge story. It adds perspectives to news. It touches you both visually and emotionally, and my heart went out to it immediately.”

Fellow juror Guy Tillim commented:
“The difficulty in photographing conflict situations is one of portraying the parallel lives involved, of people going on with their lives. This picture has made a very good attempt at marrying these two elements, in giving the conflict a context – and that is a holy grail of photography. The photographer does it with a very beautiful image of an Iranian landscape, which would be worth looking at in itself.  But it also arouses our curiosity about the woman shouting – incorporating this moment, the importance of this historical event. It represents a very honest and successful attempt at taking forward our vocabulary of showing things.”

Juror Kate Edwards said:
“The photo has a powerful sense of atmosphere, tension, fear – but also of quietness and calm, and in this sense was a challenge as a choice. We were looking for an image that drew you in, took you deeper, made you think more – not just about showing what we already know, but something that asks more of us.”

Lens Culture is pleased to present the winning photographs.

2010 contest statistics

The jury gave prizes in ten themed categories to 63 photographers of 23 nationalities from: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mali, Mexico, the Netherlands, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Somalia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

During the two-week judging, the jury viewed a record number of photographs with 101,960 images submitted by 5,847 photographers. The photographers represent 128 different nationalities.

The 2010 jury

The two-week judging period brought together 19 picture editors, photographers and representatives of press agencies from around the world. The members of the 2010 jury were:

Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, Sweden/Turkey, vice president pictures, Reuters

Harry Borden, UK, photographer
Saurabh Das, India, photographer, The Associated Press
Kate Edwards, UK, picture editor Guardian Weekend Magazine
Bill Frakes, USA, photographer Sports Illustrated
David Griffin, USA, director of photography National Geographic magazine
Hideko Kataoka, Japan, director of photography Newsweek, Japan
Guy Tillim, South Africa, photographer
Stephan Vanfleteren, Belgium, photographer

Daphné Anglès, France/USA, European picture coordinator The New York Times
Stephen Mayes, UK, managing director VII Photo Agency

For the 2010 contest, specialized juries took part in the initial rounds of judging for the categories Sports, Nature and Portraits. The specialized juries were created with the intention of bringing more focus to the categories, and raising the overall standard even further. The members of the specialized juries brought extensive experience, knowledge and their diverse perspectives to enhance the judging process. After the specialized juries judged their categories in the first part of the contest, one representative per category joined the general jury for the final round, to ensure continuity. The members of the specialized juries were:

Bill Frakes, USA, photographer Sports Illustrated
Giovanna Calvenzi, Italy, picture editor Sportweek / La Gazetta dello Sport
Adam Pretty, Australia, photographer Getty Images

David Griffin, USA, director of photography National Geographic magazine
Magdalena Herrera, France/Cuba, director of photography Geo, France
Mattias Klum, Sweden, photographer and filmmaker

Harry Borden, UK, photographer
Laurie Kratochvil, USA, photography consultant
Charlotte Cotton, UK, creative director National Media Museum, London

News & documentary:
Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, Sweden/Turkey, vice president pictures Reuters
Volker Lensch, Germany, head of photo department Stern
Laura Serani, Italy, freelance curator
Marizilda Cruppe, Brazil, photographer, O Globo / Eve Photographers
Yuri Kozyrev, Russia, photographer, Noor

Jury appoints a Special Mention

Following the judging of the contest, the jury decided to name a Special Mention, recognizing a frame grab from a video posted on YouTube in June 2009 during the post-election uprising in Iran. It depicts a woman identified as Neda Agha-Soltan lying on the ground after being shot in the chest.

Jury member David Griffin of National Geographic commented: “I am pleased that World Press Photo has provided an avenue for non-professional images that have a significant impact on the historical visual record.”

The jury considers an image for a Special Mention when it has played an essential role in the news reporting of the year worldwide and could not have been made by a professional photographer.