Sunday, February 22, 2009

World Press Photo 2009

Photo: Anthony Sau, USA, Time

The World Press Photo has selected it's 2009 photo of the year, and as always its a telling portrait of a traumatic situation that's known well across the world. This year its not surprising that the World Press Photo chose a photograph from an American photographer telling the bleakest story of the American economy. The foreclosure of one's home is a circumstance I hope I never find myself in. In my opinion its the ultimate rock bottom scenario in this economic turmoil. I may be one of the 3.5 million unemployed Americans in this country, but I still have a roof over my head something I'm thankful for every day.

I've loved the World Press Photo exhibit since 2006 during which time I was spliting my time between Minneapolis and Amsterdam. The exhibit kicks off in Amsterdam every year, at the Oude Kerk (old church) in the middle of the red light district. It celebrates the best in photojournalism and for a photography junkie like myself it is captivating and a wonderful treat. Unfortunately the exhibit does not come to the U.S., but if you happen to be in Europe, Japan, Australia, or Montreal in the coming year check out if its in town.

This year's photo is interesting from a photography perspective, because its telling of the resurgence of black and white photography. The style has generally always been popular, but it seems in the last year or so its had a real comeback amongst many professional photographers. Its also the first time since 2000 that the World Press Photo has been set in the states. The most ironic part of this story is that the photographer, Anthony Sau, is now looking for work and can't find employment. Who knew the lens could shift so suddenly and create such a stark reflection?

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