Czech Press Photo in Prague

From December 16th to January 31st, photography fans could visit an exhibition called „Czech Press Photo“. This year it was the 21st season of the contest of the best media photographs shot by Czech and Slovak photographers. The event was held at the Old Town Hall in Old Town Square in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

Our photojournalism class went to the exhibition the day it first opened to the public. Miss Martina Topinková, a postgraduate student of the Faculty of Social Sciences, led our group. She is interested in photojournalism and was well informed about Czech Press Photo. Therefore, she was able to provide us with an interesting commentary.

Photographers taking part in the contest had sent their entries into eight main categories. The international jury of ten experts (led by Petr Josk) judged photographs and gave out several special awards. After three rounds of voting, they agreed on the winners, whose photograps were exhibited at Czech Press Photo.

Jan Zátorský, a MF DNES Daily photographer, won the Photograph of the Year 2015 award. The winning picture is from the series „Refugees on the Border between Hungary and Serbia“ (Röszke-Horgoš border crossing, September 2015). The international jury stated: „The winning picture of the migrants falling chaotically over each other trying to get across the Hungarian border encompasses not only journalistic information and symbolism of the current refugee crisis in Europe, but it is also a visually powerful image, reminiscent of apocalyptic masterpieces painted by great masters.“

Photographs were clearly divided into categories according to topics (Spot News, People in the News, Everyday Life, Sports etc.). Most authors focused on the refugee crisis. Although the situation of migrants is extremely serious, my own view is that this category has overshadowed the rest of the topics. I rated highly the shocking shots capturing the desperate refugees‘ situation, yet on the other hand, I also appreciated other themes. Personally, I would praise the photograph taken by Michal Křížek capturing Richard Gere at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Similarly, I admired the colourful picture of Paul Stanley during a KISS concert. The exhibition also included a video section – people could watch all the Czech Press Photo multimedia journalism entries on a large screen and tablets.

The final touch of our class´ visit at the exhibition was the opportunity to talk to Czech Press Photo director, Mrs. Veronika Souralová. She informed us about new plans to change several aspects of the contest in the years to come. The venue may also change – CPP might move from Old Town Square to an art gallery in Nové Butovice. Czech Press Photo will be slightly different, and perhaps even livelier next year.

After enjoying the exhibition, visitors were asked to fill out a questionnaire and state the name of the photograph that appealed to them most. This season´s Visitors Prize went to Jiří Částka and his almost magical French hot air balloon festival picture.

Text vznikl v rámci předmětu Angličtina pro žurnalisty pod vedením Mgr. Aleny Proškové.

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