Ashley Gilbertson Wins The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award For Coverage Of Fallujah

Apr 15, 2005

Photojournalist Ashley Gilbertson has won the 2004 Robert Capa Gold Medal Award from the Overseas Press Club for his photographic reportage on “The Battle For Fallujah.” The Capa Award is for “the best photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise.”

Gilbertson, of the Aurora photographic agency in Portland, ME, has cover the war in Iraq for more than three years and for the last year has done so on assignment for The New York Times.

The Australian-born photographer who grew up in Melbourne is based in New York City now, and he’s been with Aurora since 2001 photographing stories in Asia, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and the Middle East. He was recently named one of Photo District News’ “30 Under 30” top photographers. When he was younger he studied photojournalism in Melbourne under Emmanuel Santos, and later in the Japanese highlands under Masao Endo.

In presenting the Capa Award, the judges' said, "Gilbertson was the most consistent visual recorder of the iraq conflict this year. Spending more continuous time there than almost any othr photographer, his images rise above the rest. Each picture stands alone aesthetically and, collectively, they portray the relentless tension and pressure the American troops were under in Fallujah. He sought out the best embeds and used those opportunities to make a memorable record of American troops in action."

Past winners of the Capa Award include Carolyn Cole, Luc Delahaye, Chris Anderson, John Stanmeyer, James Nachtwey, Horst Faas, Tim Page, Corrine Dufka, Anthony Suau, Eddie Adams, Dirck Halstead, David Burnett, and W. Eugene Smith. Nachtwey has won the Capa Award an unprecedented five times.

Gilbertson’s winning photographs can be seen in a slideshow here.

Magnum photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin won OPC's Olivier Rebbot Award for photographs shot for The New York Times Magazine, "How Did Darfur Happen?" The Rebbot Award recognizes "the best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines and books." OPC judges' said, "These pictures speak a totally different visual language than the usual reportage. They are very sophisticated and impressionistic. They unify the human plight of this story with the landscape in a dramatic way, creating a vision unlike anyone else has shown in a much-covered story. The pictures are unique and unforgettable."

Photojournalist Andrea Bruce Woodall won OPC's John Faber Award, given in honor of the "best photographic reporting from abroad in newspapers and wire services," for her essay "The Cost Of Liberty: Prostitution In Iraq." And James Hill won the Feature Photography award for his "haunting" pictures for The New York Times of the massacre of Russian schoolchildren in Beslan and the aftermath.