The winners of this year’s World Press Photo Contest have been announced and the victorious shots are simply stunning. A picture can so often say a million words and that is certainly true with these incredible but equally heartbreaking shots.
We are quite taken aback with these pictures, not only because of the story that they tell but also because of the skill of the photographer capturing each moments in such an emotive way.
Our favourite shot, which was also the World Press Photo of the Year, was Ronaldo Schemidt’s image of a man on fire (featured image). The beautiful yet evocative photo shows 28 year old José Victor Salazar Balza caught on fire whilst participating in riots opposing the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas. The protests against Maduro turned violent and fires broke out, and unfortunately for Balza, he was caught in the violence. Almost Pink Floyd esque, the amazing picture captures the moment of isolated panic and frenzy in the midst of all the violence.
Photographed by Jesco Denzel, this picture shows the stark constrast between local and tourist as the white boat filled with paying tourists sails through the canals of Nigeria’s Makoko community, an ancient fishing village that has grown into an enormous informal settlement on the shores of Lagos lagoon.
Here the iconic American eagle is seen rummaging through the bins, feeding off some leftovers it has found in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, US. It won the first prize in the nature, singles category and Corey Arnold’s shot shows how nature has had to adapt to the modern world.
Money can be found amongst the rubbish, as plastic bottles particularly can be sold and recycled for profit which is what this picture depicts here; another photo in Nigeria, pictured at the Olusosun landfill site in Lagos captured by Kadir Van Lohuizen.
At first glance, this photo is one of sadness but in fact this is one rhino that has caught some luck. Rhinos face a constant fight against extinction with poachers to blame for their shockingly low numbers, but the work of preservation organisations around the world is helping to increase the numbers. This young southern white rhinoceros has been drugged and blindfolded before being released into the wild in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. The animal had been relocated from South Africa for protection from poachers. Photo by Neil Aldridge.
Every year in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England there is an annual football match. However this one is slightly different to the normal, 11-a-side game we know well…the annual Royal Shrovetide match is quite simple. The town is split in two, half the town against the other half. At each end of town, there is a post and whoever is first to get the football touching the post on their side, are the winners. And the whole town plays. It can get seriously rough and you have to be willing to play through all terrains as this picture shows! Photo by Oliver Scarff.
This photo by Patrick Brown shows a tragic picture of the covered bodies of Rohingya refugees who were attempting to flee Myanmar by boat. Unfortunately the boat capsized off the coast of Bangladesh; of the 100 people on board, there were only 17 survivors.
This picture was taken in Cameroon and shows us a mother massaging her daughters breasts in order to suppress or reverse development. They do this because they feel if they delay maturity, this will be an effective way of preventing rapes or sexual assaults. Photo by Heba Khamis.
The ongoing conflict in Syria is something we hear about frequently, as news reporters tell us the latest of the war that is decimating a country. However it’s pictures like these that show the true horror as Nadhira Aziz sits on a chair surrounded by rubble, watching as Iraqi civil defence workers recover the bodies of her sister and niece from her house in the city of Mosul. The devastating airstrikes during the battle of Mosul were predicted to have killed more than 9,000 civilians.
The winner of the People, Stories category went to Adam Ferguson for a photograph that tells us Aisha’s story. At juts 14 years old, Aisha was kidnapped by Boko Haram and assigned to a suicide bombing mission. With explosives strapped to her chest, she bravely managed to get help and avoid her own death. The picture of Aisha was taken in Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria.
Now for the nature category and amazingly only taking home third is this beautiful picture of a flying fish below the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean. Michael Patrick O’Neill captured this shot late at night off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida, USA.