World Press Photo: Some entries were manipulated

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It is considered one of the most illustrious photo awards in the world.

The World Press Photo entries are the best pictures taken the world over, by the best in the business.

The winners of this year's competition were harrowing portraits of disease and devastation along with jubilant sporting moments.

More than 97,000 images from 131 countries were submitted last year, with a touching image of a gay Russian couple in a tender embrace winning first prize.

This year's award was also controversial because a large number of entries were found to have been manipulated or post-processed carelessly, Time reported. Up to 20 per cent of the entries which made it to the penultimate round of the contest were disqualified, the Dutch organisation said.

In the past two years, participating photographers were required to send in raw files if their images were selected for the final stages of the contest.


World Press Photo managing director Lars Boering said in a statement: "It seems some photographers can't resist the temptation to aesthetically enhance their images during post-processing either by removing small details to 'clean up' an image, or sometimes by excessive toning that constitutes a material change to the image.

"Both types of retouching clearly compromise the integrity of the image. Our contest rules clearly state that the content of the image should not be altered."

This was particularly apparent in the sports stories category, in which only two prizes were given instead of the usual three.

Said Mr Mark Baker, chair of the sports section and the South-east Asia photo editor for the Associated Press: "We decided that we would just award the two worthy winners rather than give a prize for the sake of a prize.

"It's a sad reflection on how photographers still haven't fully comprehended how strict the rules are on photo manipulation at the World Press Photo."