Russian gay rights story wins World Press Photo contest for Danish photographer
2015 World Press Photo contest winners
World Press Photo of the Year 2014, First Prize Contemporary Issues. Photo by Mads Nissen, Denmark, Scanpix/Panos Pictures
A photograph that highlights the difficulties facing sexual minorities in Russia has won the World Press Photo contest's top prize. 'Jon and Alex', from a project called 'Homophobia in Russia', shows a 'intimate moment' between a gay couple from St. Petersburg and won Danish photographer Mads Nissen the Contemporary Issues category of the competition, as well as the first prize for a single image, netting him 11,500 Euro and Canon DSLR equipment.
The 2015 contest attracted entries from 5692 photographers representing 131 nationalities, and drew in a total of 97,912 pictures. Once again what constitutes an acceptable degree of digital manipulation has been questioned, with a spokesperson reportedly telling UK photo magazine Amateur Photographer that 22% of the short listed entries were rejected by the jury once original files were called in for checking. The World Press Photo foundation published Integrity of the Image (PDF), a paper dealing with the characteristics of image manipulation and the acceptable boundaries last year, which describes what it considers 'minor/normal/subtle/moderate' and which acknowledges that defining 'excessive' is open to interpretation.
For more information on the winners, the competition and to see a gallery of all the winning entries, visit the World Press Photo website. You can also hear the phone call in which Nissen was told he had won the overall prize.