Last week, the winners of the prestigious World Press Photo awards for 2012 were announced. As with previous years, the international competition revealed the world, both often seen and unseen, in a series of exciting, devastating and thought-provoking images. The following is just a preview of the full gallery of winners of the World Press Photo 2012.
The World Press Photo is a non-profit organization well-known in the photography world for its annual competition in the field of photojournalism. Every year since 1955 the foundation has selected the best images in the fields of Arts and Entertainment, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, General News, Nature, People in the News, Portraits, Sports and Spot News. The most outstanding photograph from all of these fields is awarded the distinction of World Press Photo of the Year.
The Reel Foto blog has already featured a few of the competition winners, from the striking portrait of Vladimir Putin by Platon (the 1st prize winner in the Portraits category in 2007) to a more somber but equally powerful one of Bibi Aisha by Jodi Bieber (the World Press Photo of the Year in 2011).
This year, 5,247 photographers submitted 101,254 pictures to the organization, with stories that ranged from different perspectives of the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 to a rugby match in Ireland to a portrait of a survivor of the 2011 Japan Earthquake.
The honor of the World Press Photo of the Year 2012 went to photojournalist Samual Aranda and his heart-wrenching photograph of a mother embracing her wounded son inside a field hospital in Yemen. The photograph (the cover photo of this post), taken on October 15, 2011, has already drawn comparisons to Michaelangelos' masterpiece sculpture, La Pietà. Even without the comparison, the image of a the quiet mother comforting her bloodied son is still worthy of recognition.
The World Press Photo is "committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary photography worldwide...[striving] to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and for the free exchange of information.
Judging from the few images here, it's easy to see why the organization has succeeded for over 50 years, and no doubt the next 50 years will see the same quality of excellence in photojournalism.
The full gallery of World Press Photo Winners for 2012 can be viewed over here. You can also see the past years' winners from 2011 all the way back to 1955 in the archive section. The past years' images have also been collected in annual publications: World Press Photo 2011, World Press Photo 2010, World Press Photo 2009 and so on.