Our book review of World Press Photo in Paperback by Elspeth Schouten, Kari Lundelin and published by Thames & Hudson Ltd

Title: World Press Photo

Author: Elspeth Schouten, Kari

ISBN: 0500976775

Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd

Edition: Paperback

RRP: £14.95

Dimensions: 140 Pages,29.5×22.9×1.3 cm

The acclaimed World Press Photo Contest was founded in 1955, and ever since has drawn a plethora of submissions from every corner of the globe. This year, for example, saw over 80,000 images submitted by over 5,000 photographers. The sheer length and breadth of the search ensures that the standard of the finalists is always high, with subject matter ranging from the saddening to breathtaking.

The World Press Photo 08 book is a compilation of the very best of these images, displaying the finalists in each of the 10 categories and two subcategories.

The tone for the collection is set from the start – the foreword, from Chairman of the Jury, Gary Knight, remarks upon how many of the entries in this year’s competition had entered images with the sole intent of winning, rather than focus on the essence of press photography – telling a story without words. And as a result several important events are unrepresented in the book. In contrast, the chosen finalists managed to either show a different view on an international event, or instead shed light on a story untold. An outcome of this judging policy is that not all the pictures are what one would call technically good, as the photographers often found themselves in volatile situations resulting in the forced blurring of images; but World Press Photo 08 reminds us that such subjects are prevalent in our world today, and as such is as highly commended as previous tomes in the series.

What Digital Camera Rating: 93%