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News

June 2007

US photojournalist Spencer Platt won the World Press Photo of the Year 2006 for his image, taken on a Canon EOS-1DS Mark II, of a group of young Lebanese driving through a Beirut neighbourhood devastated by Israeli bombing.

The Getty Images photographer's picture beat 78,083 entries, submitted by 4,460 professionals from 124 countries, to win the world's most prestigious photojournalists award announced in Amsterdam last month. This is the sixth consecutive year that a photographer relying on Canon EOS equipment has won the award. Canon has been a global corporate sponsor of World Press Photo (WPP) since 1992.

“Canon congratulates Spencer Platt and all the winners of the 50th World Press Photo contest,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “World Press Photo plays a vital role in promoting the work of international photojournalists. As a dedicated supporter of professional photographers, Canon is proud to be associated with the organisation.”

Platt will receive a cash prize of €10,000 from WPP at an awards ceremony in Amsterdam on 22 April. In addition, Canon Europe will donate Platt a Pro-SLR camera.

“I attempted to capture a split second of life that can reveal to us the beauty and the multi-faceted nature of world events,” said Platt. WPP jury chair Michele McNally described 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.”

Jean-Francois Leroy, one of this year's WPP judges, told CPN that the jury shortlisted three images for the top prize: Platt's, Akintunde Akinleye's of a man washing his face after a gas pipeline explosion in Nigeria, and Oded Balilty's of a woman struggling with Israeli security.

© Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Man rinses soot from his face after gas pipeline explosion in Lagos, Nigeria, 26 December 2006.

© Oded Balilty/The Associated Press

Settler woman struggles with Israeli security officers, Amona outpost, West Bank, 1 February 2006.

“Perhaps in the past the juries have picked images that are 'beautiful',” said Leroy. “Last year, the winning picture [Finbarr O'Reilly's mother and child in Niger] was beautiful, but you could not say where it was from - Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Rwanda? This year's, you can say, it's Beirut - no caption needed.”

This year's WPP contest was the first for which entries could be submitted via the internet, leading to even greater access to the competition for digital photographers worldwide. A total of 1,893 photographers, representing 42.5% of entries, submitted 35,839 high-res images via the internet.

An exhibition of the prize-winning World Press Photo images takes place from 24 April to 17 June in the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, and then travels to more than 85 cities around the world.

For full list of winners, go to www.worldpressphoto.nl