African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia—a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East.
For winning the Contemporary Issues category, Stanmeyer took home 1,500 Euros, which was added to his grand prize pot of 10,000 Euros, as well as a Canon DSLR and lens.
"On the one hand, I was really distressed, especially because so much of the post-processing that had made these images ineligible was absolutely unnecessary. It was materially minute but ethically significant. Or it was just laziness – it was photographers trying to turn a pig’s ears into a silk purse. One image in one story disqualified the whole story. And the image could have been photographed differently if the photographer had bent his knees a bit more. It was stupidity.”
Hopefully, increased awareness and pressure will mean tighter regulations over photo manipulation in all manner of photography contests, not just the WPP.