NEW YORK-The annual World Press Photo Exhibition is the best known of World Press Photo's activities and a leading event in the organization's calendar.
Every year following the World Press Photo Contest, the winning images go on show. The exhibition is officially opened in Amsterdam as part of the prize-giving ceremony in April, and until March the next year can be seen at venues around the globe. The tour program takes in over 80 cities worldwide and is still expanding.
The exhibition is a showcase for creativity in photojournalism and a platform for developments in the profession, part of World Press Photo's aim of encouraging and stimulating the work of press photographers around the world. The show also attracts a broader public, and because of the wide-ranging focus of the contest forms an eyewitness record of world events of the previous year.
The international jury of the 51st annual World Press Photo Contest selected a color image of the UK photographer Tim Hetherington as World Press Photo of the Year 2007. The picture was taken 16 September 2007 and shows a US soldier resting at "Restrepo" bunker, named after a soldier from his platoon who was recently killed by insurgents.
The 2nd Battalion Airborne of the 503rd US infantry is undergoing a deployment in the Korengal Valley in the Eastern province of Afghanistan. The valley is infamous as the site of downing of a US helicopter and has seen some of the most intense fighting in the country. Hetherington's photograph is part of a picture story that was also awarded 2nd Prize in General News Stories. He had traveled to Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair.
"This image represents the exhaustion of a man - and the exhaustion of a nation," says jury chairman Gary Knight, and adds "We're all connected to this. It's a picture of a man at the end of a line." Fellow juror MaryAnne Golon commented: "I use all my energy to have people notice bad things. There's a human quality to this picture. It says that conflict is the basis of this man's life."
This year, a record number of participants from 125 countries sent in their work, a total of 5,019 photographers, which is an increase of 12.5% compared to 2007. The total number of images submitted is 80,536. Of all participants 80% chose to enter the contest by uploading their work online.