The 2014 World Press Photo exhibition is currently showing at the Royal Festival Hall in London until Wednesday 26 November 2014, open every day from 10.00 to 23.00 and free. Perhaps surprisingly it doesn’t get a mention on the front page of their web site, but it isn’t too hard to discover on an inside page. Of course you can also see the entire collection of winning images online at World Press Photo, along with the previous versions.

It’s easy to knock WPP and other similar contests, but in various ways I think this is probably the best of the bunch, and there are some surprising images in the 143 on show, as well as a few others that made me think “oh no, not again.”

Another ‘World’ organisation in a similar area is the WPO, or World Photography Organisation which appears to be largely a Sony marketing exercise, though it does have something to offer to non-Sony users too. I’ve not thought too  highly of their

They have videos on YouTube, some of which are more than disappointing. I watched one, and then saw the second comment on it, “There’s 18 sec of my life I’ll never get back” and could only agree. Except I think it was 21 seconds as there was an advert you had to watch for 3 seconds before you could click to close.

But I did find one that I thought was worth watching (and there may be others), IMPACT: Photographers share the most impactful moments of their photographic careers, though I shudder at the word impactful (see Common Errors in English Usage.) You can find the video here, and it isn’t surprising it is worth watching as the 8 photographers who talk and show pictures are from Panos Pictures,  a “photo agency specialising in global social issues, driven by the vision and commitment of its photographers and staff. Panos is known internationally for its fresh and intelligent approach and respected for its integrity and willingness to pursue stories beyond the contemporary media agenda. ”

It’s all true too, except it should perhaps that second sentence should start “Panos is nothing like as well known internationally as it should be” and that it does a considerably finer job than some of the better-known names in photography. I’m not entirely convinced either that it is a good thing for them to be “proudly partnered with Sony through their new Global Imaging Ambassadors programme” though their participation will undoubtedly raise Sony’s game.  It is actually a very interesting venture and the web site is worth exploring.

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