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World Press Photo winner disqualified for manipulating image  
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 | by Rob Galbraith
Stepan Rudik, winner of the 3rd prize story in the Sports Features category of the World Press Photo 2009 contest, has been disqualified from the contest for removing a foot from the background of one of the photographs in his winning story.

Out: The disqualified entry's page on the World Press Photo website

The following is a statement sent to us by photographer Stepan Rudik:

"Your website gave information about disqualification of my material at the World Press Photo contest. I do NOT argue the decision of the jury."

"At the same time, I would like to present the original photograph, from which it is clear that I havenít made any significant alternation nor removed any important informative detail. The photograph I submitted to the contest is a crop, and the retouched detail is the foot of a man which appears on the original photograph, but who is not a subject of the image submitted to the contest. I believe this explanation is important for my reputation and good name as a reportage photographer."

Rudik granted permission to publish the photo which he says is the one that forced the disqualification. The unaltered version is shown, left, and cropped to show the background foot detail in it, right. Beneath that is the version Rudik indicates he submitted to the World Press contest.

Top Left: The original photo
Top Right:
A crop of the original photo showing part of a foot in the background
Above: The photo as submitted to the World Press Photo contest, with foot removed and various other image adjustments applied

The British Journal of Photography has more on the disqualification. A screenshot of the World Press Photo web page before the entry was removed is here.

Thanks to Robert Goddyn for bringing this to our attention.

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