Image of U.S. soldier wins World Press Photo prize

Fri Feb 8, 2008 8:17am EST
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - An image of an emotionally and physically spent U.S. soldier in a bunker in Afghanistan by Britain's Tim Hetherington for Vanity Fair magazine won the top World Press Photo prize for news photography on Friday.

Judges described the photo as an image that shows "the exhaustion of a man -- and the exhaustion of a nation," adding people everywhere were tiring of the world's numerous conflicts.

"We're all connected to this. It's a picture of a man at the end of a line," said jury chairman Gary Knight, describing it as an "intelligent photograph."

"It represents the exhaustion I have and you may also have with the numerous conflicts in the world."

Prizes for photos in 2007 were awarded to 59 photographers of 23 nationalities.

Getty Images Inc won five awards, including top prize in the spot news singles and spot news stories categories for photos of the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, as well as a picture of dead mountain gorillas in the contemporary issues singles category.

John Moore's picture for Getty Images of Bhutto's assassination shows a hazy impression of the moment of the impact of the bomb, with people trying to flee the scene.

Reuters photographers did not win any prizes. Agency rival Associated Press placed in two categories.

The awards reflected a wide range of media from around the world, with pictures from magazines, smaller agencies and non-Western media becoming increasingly prominent.   Continued...

<p>Tim Hetherington, a Vanity Fair photographer based in Britain, won the World Press Photo of the Year 2007 award with this picture of an American soldier resting at a bunker in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan taken September 16, 2007. Jury chairman of the World Press Photo 2007 contest, Gary Knight, said "This image shows the exhaustion of a man and the exhaustion of a nation, we're all connected to this. It's a picture of a man at the end of a line". The prize-winning entries of the World Press Photo Contest 2008, the world's largest annual press photography contest, were announced February 8, 2008. REUTERS/Tim Hetherington/Vanity Fair</p>