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.

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