Sunday, January 19, 2014

World Press Photo of the Year: 1967

Continuing the list of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Photography, from inception in 1942; and the World Press Photograph of the Year, from inception in 1955.

World Press Photo of the Year
Co Rentmeester
Vietnam War Tank Commander

The Photograph:

The winning photograph for 1967 shows the commander of an M48 Patton Tank looking through his lens: 

The Story:

The photograph was the first colour photograph to win the award.

It was taken in the Iron Triangle, a 300km2 North Vietnamese stronghold that defied attempts by the US and allied forces to destabilise it.

The photo shows a weary, begrimed tank gunner aboard an M48 tank.

The Photographer:

Jacobus Willem “Co” Rentmeester competed for The Netherland at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. In the 1960s he moved to the US and studied photography at the Art Center College in Los Angeles. After his Bachelor in Arts he started his career as a freelance photographer in 1965 for Life. He first covered the Watts Riots in Los Angeles, where he documented many of the dramatic events, which earned him first accolades as a photographer. Between 1966 and 1969 he was in Asia, where he particularly covered the Vietnam War. After winning the 1972 World Press award he was wounded by a Viet Cong sniper near Saigon and returned to the States. In 1972 his pictures from a travel through Indonesia were displayed in the Van Gogfh Museum in Amsterdam.

In the following years Rentmeester worked for several magazines, as a photojournalist and as an advertising photographer.

Rentmeester with his winning photograph

Rentmeester wounded and receiving attention.

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