Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language. Walt Disney
Pictures also speak the most powerful language. They can make or break wars, etch themselves in human psyche, become reminders of all things past, capture present reality, and drive change for future.
Photographers thus wield a lot of power and its important that their work be recognized and shared to give voice to the voiceless subjects captured in their lens.
To appreciate the works of photographers worldwide and advance standards in photojournalism, World Press Photo holds a contest each year. World Press Photo Contest 2015 honoring the most telling photos of 2014 saw entries from across the world in 8 themed categories: General News, Spot News, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Portraits, Nature, Sports, and Long Term Projects.
The 58th annual World Press Photo Contest drew a massive participation: 97,912 images were submitted by 5,692 press photographers, photojournalists, and documentary photographers from 131 countries. The jury awarded the top spot “The World Press Photo of the Year 2014” to Danish photographer Mads Nissen for the picture below. Nissen is a staff photographer for the Danish daily newspaper Politiken.
The picture shows a gay couple Jon and Alex during an intimate moment in St Petersburg, Russia. Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people in Russia have been clamoring for rights in the backdrop of aggressive prohibitive laws and rising homophobia in the country. Speaking about the photo, Jury chair Michele McNally, director of photography and assistant managing editor of The New York Times, said: “It is an historic time for the image… the winning image needs to be aesthetic, to have impact, and to have the potential to become iconic. This photo is aesthetically powerful, and it has humanity.”
Watch the winning photographs in all categories in this slideshow by Magdalena, an active authorSTREAM user:
Clashes in Istanbul, airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, Israel-Palestine Conflict, the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, outbreak of Ebola, and photos of many other events tell the real story happening on the ground. Which photograph moved you the most? Tell us in the comments below.