A man passes a baby through the fence at the Serbia/Hungary border in Röszke, Hungary, on Aug. 28, 2015. This photograph won both the World Press Photo of the Year award as well as first place in the Spot News singles category. (Warren Richardson)
On Feb. 1, 18 internationally recognized photography experts gathered in Amsterdam to choose the best photojournalism and documentary photographs produced in 2015. It was a monumental task; the judges ended up sifting through 82,951 images submitted by photographers spread out among 128 countries. In the end, the jury awarded prizes for eight different categories, including the coveted World Press Photo of the year. That ultimate prize went to a photograph that hadn’t even been published.
The photo that took the top prize, titled “Hope for a new Life,” is a haunting image taken by Australian freelance photographer Warren Richardson, depicting migrants passing a baby through a barbed-wire fence on the Serbian-Hungarian border in August 2015. Explaining part of the reason the photo was singled out for the top prize, Vaughn Wallace, deputy photo editor at Al Jazeera America said: “This is an incredible image from the refugee crisis of 2015. It’s incredibly powerful visually, but it’s also very nuanced. We’ve seen thousands of images of migrants in every form of their journey, but this image really caught my eye. It causes you to stop and consider the man’s face, consider the child. You see the sharpness of the barbed wire and the hands reaching out from the darkness. This isn’t the end of a journey, but the completion of one stage of a very long future. And so, for me, this had to be the photo of the year.”
Awards for photos in this year’s competition were given in a variety of categories that included daily life, sports, portrait and nature photography. Here are some of the other category winners. And to see all of this year’s winning images, head over to the World Press website here.
General News, first prize, singles:. A doctor in Hasaka, Syria, rubs ointment on the burns of a 16-year-old Islamic State fighter named Jacob in front of a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey. Aug. 1, 2015. (Mauricio Lima)
General News, first prize stories: Refugees arrive by boat near the village of Skala on Lesbos, Greece. Nov. 16, 2015. (Sergey Ponomarev) Spot News, first prize stories: Smoke rises from a building following reported shelling by Syrian government forces in Douma, Syria. Oct. 30, 2015. (Sameer Al-Doumy) Sports, first prize singles:. Czech Republic’s Ondrej Bank crashes during the downhill race of the Alpine Combined at the FIS World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colo. Feb. 15, 2015. (Christian Walgram) Sports, first prize stories: Hockey match between junior teams from Vetluga and village Sharanga in Vetluga, Russia, Feb. 19, 2015. (Vladimir Pesnya) Contemporary Issues, first prize singles: A city in northern China shrouded in haze, Tianjin, China, Dec. 10, 2015. (Zhang Lei) Contemporary Issues, first prize stories: Abdoulaye, 15, is a talibe imprisoned in a room with security bars to keep him from running away. Thies, Senegal, May 18, 2015. (Mario Cruz) Daily Life, first prize singles:. Chinese men pull a tricycle in a neighborhood next to a coal-fired power plant in Shanxi, China, Nov. 26, 2015. (Kevin Frayer) Daily Life, first prize stories: A Chilean scientist, supported by logisticians from the Chilean Antarctic Institute, are battered by waves on their way back to base after having taken sea-water samples; Fildes Bay, Antartica, Dec. 2, 2015. (Daniel Berehulak) People, first prize singles: A child is covered with a raincoat while she waits in line to register at a refugee camp in Preševo, Serbia, Oct. 7, 2015. (Matic Zorman) People, first prize stories: “My mother said that it was a typically quiet day, warm and windy. She and my father opened the window and they felt completely safe on the day of the explosion, the 26th of April 1986.” Kiev, Ukraine, July 12, 2015. (Kazuma Obara) Nature, first prize singles. A massive ‘cloud tsunami’ looms over Sydney as a sunbather reads, oblivious to the approaching cloud on Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia, Nov. 6, 2015. (Rohan Kelly) Nature, first prize stories: A Sumatran orangutan threatens another nearby male in the Batang Toru Forest, North Sumatra Province, Indonesia, March 17, 2014. (Tim Laman) Long Term Projects, 1st prize. Army Spc. Natasha Schuette, 21, was pressured not to report being assaulted by her drill sergeant during basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. But she refused to back down and Staff Sgt. Louis Corral is now serving four years in prison for assaulting her and four other female trainees. The Army’s Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response & Prevention office distributed a training video featuring her story. She is now stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Mary Calvert)
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