The World Press Photo (WPP) Contest has had sort of a rough year after the winner of the contest’s 2013 edition was accused of being a composite. According to the British Journal of Photography; In response to public opinion over the amount of post-processing that the winning photographs have had the organization is looking to implement much stricter rules regarding post processing for the upcoming 2014 edition of the contest.


Contest winning photographer Paul Hansen was accused of forging the image, which many thought to be a composite. The WPP had to spend a considerable amount of time (and one has to assume money) investigating whether or not the image was in fact a composite. In the end they were able to determine that the image was genuine, and not a composite, although it was conceded that a “fair amount” of dodging and burning had been done to give the image its finished look.

The accusations, and ensuing public outcry over the 2013 edition of the WPP has lead the organization to rethink its view and the rules governing post-processing of images submitted to the contest. Michiel Munneke, World Press Photo’s managing director states “We have evaluated the contest rules and protocols and examined how to create more transparency, and we have changed the procedures for examining the files during the judging.”

The specific changes that are being made to the rules have not yet been released, but Munneke went on to state that further details will be released when the start of the 2014 contest starts. “We will announce further details when the 2014 Photo Contest opens for entries later this year…”

I think that it is good that they are taking the time to clarify the rules on post-processing and taking a look at how images are going to be judged. I have nothing against post-production, but when it gets to a level that the image no longer looks quite real I think a line needs to be drawn. At the very least contest participants need to be fully aware of what is and what is not permissible so that everyone is able to participate fairly in the contest.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with changing the rules on post-processing and judging in light of the 2013 fiasco? or do you fall into the post-processing should be fair game, no matter how manipulated the image is from what was actually captured with the camera? Let us know in a comment below. 

[via The British Journal of Photography]