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World Press Photo Winners

Friday 19th February 2016

Another February is upon us, and aside from a dreary lack of sunlight and terrible weather, that also means that another edition of the annual World Press Photo Contest is upon us. In case you haven't heard of it before, the WPPC is an annual juried competition for photographers that has been running since the mid 1950s, highlighting the best photography that the world has to offer. As the name implies, it's largely focused on photojournalism, but when you consider the fact that every photography has its own story, the line between art and journalism begins to blur in a most enjoyable way.

This year's winner of the World Press Photo of the Year is Warren Richardson, for his eerily haunting photograph of refugees crossing under razorwire fence at the Hungary-Serbia border near Roszke, Hungary. The refugees were struggling to cross the border before the more complete and secure border fence construction was completed, making it a frantic struggle for hope and freedom. Regardless of how you feel about the refugee crisis facing Europe, the image is incredibly powerful.

Richardson, who is based in Budapest, Hungary, explains how he managed to capture the winning image, and why it isn't as crisply in focus as one might normally expect from a winner of such a prestigious competition.

"I camped with the refugees for five days on the border. A group of about 200 people arrived, and they moved under the trees along the fence line. They sent women and children, then fathers and elderly men first. I must have been with this crew for about five hours and we played cat and mouse with the police the whole night. I was exhausted by the time I took the picture. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone."

The unnamed photo also won first prize in the Spot News category it was originally entered in, earning Richardson a 10,000 euro prize as well as a new top of the line Canon DSLR camera.

The jury who selected the winners was comprised of a number of notable figures from the world of press photography, including Francis Kohn of Agence France-Presse, who chaired the jury, as well as Huang Wen, director of new media development at Xinhua News Agency, Vaughn Wallace, deputy photo editor at Al Jazeera America, as well as several others.

Posted on February 19th 2016 on 02:42pm

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