The World Press Photo Exhibition returns to the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall with 200 award-winning photographs from across the globe that capture the most powerful, moving and at times disturbing images of the year.
Widely recognised as the definitive competition for photographic reporting, the World Press Photo contest brings together 13 members of an international jury to judge entries submitted in 10 different categories: nature, sports news, general news, people in the news, contemporary issues, daily life, portraits, arts and entertainment, sports action and sports features.
This year's competition attracted 78,083 images from 4,448 professional photographers representing 122 countries across the globe, 98% of which were submitted in digitised format. The subjects explored range from the shocking to the sublime, the beautiful to the barely believable, and include war-torn Iraq, street dancers in Paris, fans and footballers at the German World Cup, the American Ms Senior Sweetheart Pageant, and the hunting grounds of the Leopard seal.
The overall winner of World Press Photo of the Year 2006, Spencer Platt, captures a group of wealthy young Lebanese as they drive through a bombed neighbourhood in southern Beirut. Chairman Michele McNally says of the image, "At first glance you wonder if the situation could possibly be true. Yet the people at the centre of the photograph, in spite of their affluent appearance, are also refugees. Is reality simple? Like other winning photos in the contest, this is a complicated picture, truthfully reflecting the complex reality of the world we live in. And that complexity is what makes us linger even longer".
Exhibited without censorship in 40 countries all over the world, the World Press Photo Exhibition offers an international showcase for all of the competition's prize-winning entries, and is considered by many to set a standard in the field of photojournalism.