22 August 2012

World Press Photo 2012

On Sunday I checked out the World Press Photo 2012 exhibition through the Wellington Photo Meetup, and as always there was an interesting range of images. There was a strong showing for the traditional favourites of the WPP oeuvre, with ample helpings of war, chaos and general man's inhumanity to man.  But there were also plenty of other less harrowing photos that caught my eye. Here's five in particular, with links to the images on the WPP website.

Damir Sagolj - Pyongyang
This is a simple photo, but a powerful one, and it shows a great deal about the priorities of the grim Communist regime. In this urban scene from the capital Pyongyang, a residential suburb is asleep. Amidst the tower blocks, a giant portrait of the Great Leader sports the only electric light - the rest of the scene, every room in every tower, and every street, is plunged into darkness by power rationing or cuts. Which begs the question - are the Great Leader's portraits lit by bulbs on a separate grid from the remainder of the populace, or are the portraits supplied by their own dedicated generators?

Paolo Woods - Radio Haiti
This lovely portrait of radio advice counsellor Sister Melianise Gabreus mimics Renaissance portraiture and the view into the broadcast booth is a traditional frame within a frame. Sure, the imagery of the beatific nun is highly traditional, but it works so well here because Sister Melianise is so engaging.

Pietro Paolini - Bolivianas (4/12)
Who could fail to admire this rotund gent lady (oops!) nestling on a soft roomful of coca leaves?  Hallucinogens are apparently both intoxicating and so, so comfy.

Carsten Peter - Infinite Cave (11/12)
An archetypal National Geographic masterclass of the enormous Hang Son Doong cave network in Vietnam, which was discovered by a British spelunking team in 2009. Where's my old copy of the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide when I need it? (Check out Peter's galleries on his website too - splendid stuff)

Adam Pretty - World Aquatics Championships (1/11)
This is just a beautifully composed image, consisting of two pairs of divers plus two more solo divers, practicing at the World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, in July 2011. Man Ray would be proud.

The World Press Photo 2012 exhibition runs at the Academy Galleries on Queens Wharf until Wednesday 29 August.  

See also:
World Press Photo 2011
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