Intimate gay scene wins 2015 World Press Photo

bjuz3ayuj4o9ugpll5uf_0 Danish photojournalist Mads Nissen has been named champion of the latest World Press Photo competition for his intimate image depicting a gay couple in Russia, a country that has gained particular note for its brutal discrimination of its lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) citizens.

Nissen, a photographer with the international Panos Pictures agency, shot the image of couple Jon and Alex in St Petersburg for the Danish daily newspaper, Berlingske.

Competition judge Pamela Chen says the panel was searching for an image that would have resonance beyond today, describing Nissen's image as setting the professional standard for storytelling in daily life situations.

"This is a contemporary issue, it is daily life, it is news, it has spot news resonance, it has general news resonance, but it also brings up the issue in a very deep and challenging way. It is quite universal."

The world's largest and most prestigious international competition of its kind, the World Press Photo competition was established as a platform to inspire understanding of the world through uqality photojournalism, and this year saw 97,9121 images submitted from 5,692 participants worldwide.

D-Photo will bring you online galleries of the competition's category winners in the days to come; in the meantime you can hear more from the World Press Photo Jury on why they chose Nissen's image as this year's winner in the video below, followed by a list of 2015 winners.


World Press Photo of the Year 2014


Mads Nissen, Denmark, Scanpix/Panos Pictures




1st prize singles

Bao Tailiang, China, Chengdu Economic Daily


2nd prize singles

Al Bello, USA, Getty Images


3rd prize singles

Mark Metcalfe, UK


1st prize stories

Kieran Doherty, Ireland


2nd prize stories

Sergei Ilnitsky, Russia, European Pressphoto Agency


Long-Term Projects


1st prize stories

Darcy Padilla, USA, Agence Vu


2nd prize stories

Kacper Kowalski, Poland, Panos Pictures


3rd prize stories

Lu Guang, China


Spot News


1st prize singles

Bulent Kilic, Turkey, Agence France-Presse


2nd prize singles

Tyler Hicks, USA, The New York Times


3rd prize singles

Bulent Kilic, Turkey, Agence France-Presse


1st prize stories

Jérôme Sessini, France, Magnum Photos for Time


2nd prize stories

Jérôme Sessini, France, Magnum Photos for De Standaard


3rd prize stories

Arash Khamooshi, Iran, ISNA


General News


1st prize singles

Sergei Ilnitsky, Russia, European Pressphoto Agency


2nd prize singles

Massimo Sestini, Italy


3rd prize singles

Gianfranco Tripodo, Italy, Contrasto


1st prize stories

Pete Muller, USA, for National Geographic / The Washington Post


2nd prize stories

Glenna Gordon, USA


3rd prize stories

Sergey Ponomarev, Russia, for The New York Times


Daily Life


1st prize singles

Cai Sheng Xiang, China, Fuzhou Ping Yi Environmental Art Design


2nd prize singles

Åsa Sjöström, Sweden, Sweden, Moment Agency / INSTITUTE for Socionomen / UNICEF


3rd prize singles

Malin Fezehai, Sweden, Eritrea/Sweden, for Time


1st prize stories

Michele Palazzi, Italy, Luz Photo


2nd prize stories

Sarker Protick, Bangladesh


3rd prize stories

Turi Calafato, Italy


Contemporary Issues


1st prize singles

Mads Nissen, Denmark, Panos Pictures


2nd prize singles

Ronghui Chen, China


3rd prize singles

Fulvio Bugani, Italy


1st prize stories

Giovanni Troilo, Italy


2nd prize stories

Giulio Di Sturco, Italy


3rd prize stories

Tomas van Houtryve, Belgium


Honorable Mention stories

Fatemeh Behboudi, Iran




1st prize singles

Yongzhi Chu, China


2nd prize singles

Ami Vitale, USA, National Geographic


3rd prize singles

Sandra Hoyn, Germany, for Geo

1st prize stories

Anand Varma, USA, for National Geographic Magazine


2nd prize stories

Christian Ziegler, Germany, National Geographic Magazine / Geo


3rd prize stories

Paolo Marchetti, Italy




1st prize singles

Raphaela Rosella, Australia, Oculi


2nd prize singles

Liu Song, China


3rd prize singles

Lisa Krantz, USA, San Antonio Express-News


1st prize stories

Sofia Valiente, USA, Fabrica / The Clewiston News


2nd prize stories

Andy Rocchelli, Italy, Cesura


3rd prize stories

Paolo Verzone, Italy, Agence Vu

On this weekend

If you're keen to get out and see some fantastic photography this weekend there is plenty happening around the country: Russ Flatt: Paper Planes – Auckland


Breaking from his distinguished fashion photography career, Russ Flatt exhibits two distinct personal fine art series of work, each exploring ideas of identity, memory and engagement with the past. The first is a series of detailed colour tableaux, the second black-and-white mug shot-like portraits. The free show is at the Pah Homestead until September 28.


Bev Short: All Woman – Auckland

Portrait photographer Bev Short travelled the country to create compelling, inspiring environmental portraits of empowered New Zealand women from all walks of life in this engaging series. The exhibition is showing free on Waiheke's Community Art Gallery until the end of the month.


Ann Shelton: Two Words for Black – Auckland


Prolific Wellington-based art photographer, Ann Shelton, has a show combining a sample of her diverse older works alongside new series City of Gold and Lead, which she created while in residence at Tylee Cottage in Whanganui. The exhibition is free at the Trish Clark gallery until October 2.


Jane Ussher: Still Life – Auckland


In 2008 Jane Usher, one of New Zealands most respected editorial photographers, made a trip to Antarctica and created a series of images exploring the details of the huts used in Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton's historic exhibitions. These images, with accompanying audiovisuals and objects from the Antractic display, make up the Auckland Museum's free Still Life experience, on until October 5.


Laurence Aberhart: Heavy Metal II – Whanganui

One of the country's most important art photographers, Laurence Aberhart, exhibits fifteen of his richly detailed black-and-white images as platinum prints in a follow-up exhibition to the McNamara gallery's first heavy Metal show. The free show runs until October 4.


Wairarapa Camera Club: Hidden Faces, Hidden Gems – Masterton

The Wairarapa Camera Club's biennial exhibition of club work continues in this new show, displaying the organisation's recent emphasis on visual story-telling techniques. The free exhibition is hosted at the Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History until September 21.


Peter Peryer: A Careful Eye – Hutt City


One of the country's most acclaimed artists returns to the gallery that helped start it all; over 50 photographers taken from Peter Peryer's notable 40-year career are on show at the Dowse, the very same gallery in which his first solo show hung in 1977. A Careful Eye is free and runs until November 23.


World Press Photo 2014 – Wellington

The spellbinding, often shocking, collection of the year's best photojournalism from around the globe is currently on display at Wellington's New Zealand Portrait Gallery. Entry is $10 (kids under 16 are $5), and runs untill Sunday, September 21 – don't miss this one.


Ans Westra: Rātana – Wellington


A series of black-and-white and colour images exploring the North Island town of Rātana pā from the 60s onward, Rātana is an exhibition by one of New Zealand's most renowned social documentary photographers, Ans Westra. The free show is at Cuba Street's Suite gallery until the end of the month.


Gretchen So: NY 10048 – The World Trade Centre in the early 1990s – Wellington


Commemorating the anniversary of New York's Twin Towers attack, acclaimed Hong Kong photographer, Gretchen So, shows a series of black-and-white prints from the iconic US site taken in the early 90s. The free exhibition is on at Courtenay Place's Photospace gallery until October 6.


Mark Adams: Tatau 1978-2005 – Christchurch

Mark Adams, one of New Zealand's most notable photographers, created a body of work examining the challenging subject of colonial history in the context of Samoan Tatau tattoing, with a focus on the work of master Samoan tattooist Paulo Sulu’ape. The works are on show for free at the University of Canterbury until October 2.

Top Kiwi photojournalist to give free talk in Wellington

HammondZimbabwe01-smlNew Zealand photojournalist Robin Hammond will deliver a free lecture in Wellington later this month, speaking about his award-winning photography projects and the place of photojournalism in today's world. Hammond, whose recent work documenting the tragic mental health situation in Africa has earned him a raft of prestigious accolades, will be speaking at Wellington's Massey University on August 27, beginning at 6pm.

The photographer was this year awarded second place in the World Press Photo competition's Contemporary Issues – Stories category for his harrowing series of images examining the way those with mental health issues are treated in the desolated regions of Africa.

The images also appear in his book Condemned: Mental Health in African Countries in Crisis, a project that was awarded the prestigious W Eugene Smith Memorial Fund grant, given annually to a photography working in the area of humanistic photography.

Having worked throughout the world documenting some of the most dire and dangerous situations around the globe – including being arrested on spying allegations while shooting in Zimbabwe – Hammond's talk will no doubt be a unique opportunity to hear from one of the leading photojournalists working today.

The lecture will be held in Theatrette 10A02 in the Museum Building at Massey University on Wednesday, August 27, running from 6-7.30pm, and is free to attend – register your interest here.

Image: Robin Hammond/Panos: 56-year-old Rosepina is HIV positive. She recently had a stroke likely related to her HIV infection. Her 59-year-old husband is also HIV positive. They are both on Anti-Retroviral Treatment. Rosepina is cared for by her 26-year-old daughter, Priscella.

Win tickets to World Press Photo

01_John Stanmeyer The annual exhibition of the world's most impressive photojournalism comes to Auckland this weekend, and D-Photo has 10 double passes to give away to lucky readers.

The 2014 World Press Photo exhibition opens at Smith and Caughey's Queen Street gallery this Saturday, July 5, and runs until July 27.

The travelling exhibition is the most prestigious collection of international current affairs photography, with more than 5700 photographers involved in this year’s contest, submitting almost 100,000 photographs.

This year the competition was won by John Stanmeyer with the image featured here, of African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their cellphone in the air to try to gain reception from neighbouring Somalia.

Admission to the event costs $10 for adults and $5 for students (plus group bookings are available) – but 10 lucky D-Photo readers can come along free of charge as we have 10 double passes to the exciting exhibition to give away.

For your chance to win simply head to our Facebook page and tell us what your favourite World Press Photo image is, from this or any other year, and why. Extra points for posting the image to our page, but a humble comment will still get you in the draw.

Jump to our Facebook page here, and learn more about the Auckland exhibition here.

Image: John Stanmeyer, VII for National Geographic

World Press Photo 2014 gallery

D-Photo is proud to present a selection of winners from the latest edition of the world's biggest and most prestigious photojournalism competition, the World Press Photo contest. Marking 57 years of the event, 2014 saw 53 photographers of 25 nationalities across the globe awarded prizes in nine themed categories.

World Press Photo of the Year 2013

01_John Stanmeyer

John Stanmeyer, USA, VII for National Geographic

February 26, 2013, Djibouti City, Djibouti: African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia—a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East.

Speaking of the winning image, jury member Jillian Edelstein praised Stanmeyer for the subtle poetics underlying a message of grave relevance.

“It’s a photo that is connected to so many other stories—it opens up discussions about technology, globalization, migration, poverty, desperation, alienation, humanity. It’s a very sophisticated, powerfully nuanced image."


First Prize, General News Single

 Refugees in Bulgaria

Alessandro Penso, Italy, OnOff Picture

November 21, 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria: Military Ramp, an emergency refugee centre, was opened in September 2013 in an abandoned school in Sofia, Bulgaria. The center provides housing for about 800 Syrian refugees, including 390 children. Bulgaria, already hard hit by the economic crisis and heightened political instability, is confronting a refugee crisis that appears to coincide with increased efforts by Greece to close off its border with Turkey. Bulgaria, however, is totally unprepared to face a refugee crisis.


Second Prize, General News Stories

 03_William Daniels

William Daniels, France, Panos Pictures for Time

November 17 2013, Central African Republic: Demonstrators gather on a street in Bangui to call for the resignation of interim President Michel Djotodia following the murder of Judge Modeste Martineau Bria by members of Seleka.

The Central African Republic has seen more than its fair share of coups and unrest over the five and a half decades since its independence from France. The current crisis, however, triggered by yet another coup, is starting to set in position a well armed, mainly Muslim militia that is refusing to disarm against Anti-balaka, Christian vigilante groups defending the country's majority Christian population. The UN has warned of a potential slide into genocide and France has sent 1600 troops to protect civilians and disarm the different militia. Bordering on other highly volatile regions in central Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Chad, the conflict is ringing alarm bells across the continent and beyond.


First Prize, Spot News Single


Phillipe Lopez, France, Agence France-Presse

November 18, 2013, Tolosa, the Philippines: Survivors of typhoon Haiyan march during a religious procession in Tolosa, on the eastern island of Leyte. One of the strongest cyclones ever recorded, Haiyan left 8000 people dead and missing and more than four million homeless after it hit the central Philippines.


First Prize, Spot News Stories

 Free Syrian Army fighters take cover as a tank shell explodes on a wall after their comrade was shot by sniper fire during heavy fighting in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus

Goran Tomasevic, Serbia, Reuters

January 30, 2013, Damascus, Syria: Syrian rebel fighters take cover amid flying debris and shrapnel after being hit by a tank shell fired towards them by the Syrian Army in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus.

A Syrian rebel group planning an attack on government forces is hit by sniper fire in Damascus, Syria. After evacuating their comrade, who was shot in the chest and would later die from injuries, the rebels return to attack the checkpoint with rocket fire. Subsequently, government forces fired tank shells at the rebels. The rebels eventually retreated for the day to mourn the death of their comrade.


Second Prize, Spot News Stories

 Massacre at a Kenyan Mall

Tyler Hicks, USA, The New York Times

September 21, 2013, Nairobi, Kenya: A woman and children hiding in the Westgate mall. They escaped unharmed after gunmen had opened fire at the upscale Nairobi mall on 21 September 2013. At least 39 people were killed in one of the worst terrorist attacks in Kenya’s history.


Third Prize, Contemporary Issues Single

 colgados en valle dorado

Christopher Vanegas, Mexico, La Vanguardia / El Guardían

 March 8, 2013, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico: Police arrive at a crime scene where two bodies hang from a bridge; another three are on the floor. They had been killed by organized crime in Saltillo, Coahuila, in retaliation against other criminal groups.


First Prize, Contemporary Issues Stories

 08_Sara Naomi Lewkowicz

Sara Naomi Lewkowicz, USA, for Time

November 17, 2012, USA: As the fight continued to rage, Shane told Maggie that she could choose between getting beaten in the kitchen, or going with him to the basement so they could talk privately.


First Prize, Daily Life Single

 09_Julius Schrank

Julius Schrank, Germany, De Volkskrant

March 15, 2013, Burma: Kachin Independence Army fighters are drinking and celebrating at a funeral of one of their commanders who died the day before. The city is under siege by the Burmese army.


First Prize, Daily Life Stories


10_Fred Ramos

Fred Ramos, El Salvador, El Faro

August 10, 2013, San Salvador, El Salvador: Date found: February 1, 2013, time 3:45 PM, location: a sugar plantation in Apopa, San Salvador. Sex: Female, age: between 17 and 18 years old, time of disappearance: not available.

The North Central American Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) is one of the most violent regions in the world. In many cases, clothes that are found become the only means to identify victims.


Second Prize, Sports Action Single

 Mistrzostwa Polski w narciarstwie alpejskim

Andrzej Grygiel, Poland, for PAP-Polska Agencja Prasowa

March 24, 2013, Szczyrk, Poland: Competitor at a slalom contest in Szczyrk.


Third Prize, Sports Action Stories


Australian Swimming Championships - Day 2

Quinn Rooney, Australia, Getty Images

April 27, 2013, Adelaide, Australia: Daniel Arnamnart of Australia competes in the men's 100-metre backstroke during day two of the Australian Swimming Championships at SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide.


First Prize, Sports Feature Stories

 13_Peter Holgersson

Peter Holgersson, Sweden

December 19, 2013, Lidingö, Sweden: Nadja feeling better just before her last treatment.

Swedish athlete Nadja Casadei has participated in the World and European Championships in heptathlon. In autumn 2013, she was diagnosed with cancer and by January 2014 she completed her chemotherapy. She has continued to train throughout her illness, hoping to be healthy and ready by the summer for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


First Prize, People – Observed Portraits Single

 Farewell Mandela

Markus Schreiber, Germany, The Associated Press

December 13, 2013, Pretoria, South Africa: A woman reacts in disappointment after access to see former South Africa President Nelson Mandela was closed on the third and final day of his casket lying in state, outside Union Buildings in Pretoria.


First Prize, People – Observed Portraits Stories

 15_Carla Kogelman

Carla Kogelman, the Netherlands

July 19, 2012, Merkenbrechts, Austria: Hannah and Alena, two sisters living in the rural village of Merkenbrechts.


First Prize, People – Staged Portraits Single

 16_Brent Stirton

Brent Stirton, South Africa, Reportage by Getty Images

September 25, 2013, West Bengal, India: A group of blind albino boys photographed in their boarding room at the Vivekananda mission school for the blind in West Bengal. This is one of the very few schools for the blind in India today.


Second Prize, People – Staged Portraits Stories

Mother and son 

Denis Dailleux, France, Agence Vu

February 3, 2011, Cairo, Egypt: Ali, a young Egyptian bodybuilder, poses with his mother.


Third Prize, Nature Stories


Christian Ziegler, Germany, for National Geographic Magazine

January 25 2011, Congo: A five-year-old bonobo turns out to be the most curious individual of a wild group of bonobos near the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite being humans’ closest living relatives, little is known about bonobos and their behavior in the wild in remote parts of the Congo basin. Bonobos are threatened by habitat loss and bush meat trade.


First Prize, Nature Stories

 19_Steve Winter

Steve Winter, USA, for National Geographic

 March 2, 2013, Los Angeles, USA: A cougar walking a trail in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park is captured by a camera trap. To reach the park, which has been the cougar’s home for the last two years it had to cross two of the busiest highways in the US.

Cougars are among the most adaptable and widespread terrestrial mammals in the Western Hemisphere, with a range that extends from the tip of Chile to the Canadian Yukon. They are increasingly being seen in and around towns and cities, including Los Angeles and in the Hollywood Hills. Fear of these secretive cats, combined with a lack of adequate public knowledge, tends to justify the thousands of cougars killed every year. Scientists in Wyoming’s Teton National Forest are outfitting them with GPS collars and camera trapping to learn more about basic behaviors and to lift the veil of mystery surrounding them.


For more on this year's World Press Photo winners, including New Zealand's successful entrant, be sure to pick up D-Photo 59, on sale March 17.

World Press winner courts controversy

01_John Stanmeyer  

John Stanmeyer, VII Photo

Update: See the end of this article for a video in which jury chair Gary Knight explains why Stanmeyer's image was chosen this year's World Press Photo winner.

This year's winner of the world's largest press photography competition has been revealed and, once again, the decision has been met with a storm of debate, this time around the area of favouritism.

American photographer John Stanmeyer has picked up the top spot at the 2014 Wold Press Photo competition with a stunning image of silhouetted African migrants on the shores of Djibouti, raising their mobile phones to the night sky in an attempt to pick up the less expensive signal across the water in Somalia.

The image itself is not the cause of the controversy, it has been met with much approval – instead it is the photographer's shared history with this year's jury chair, Gary Knight, that has given rise to worries over bias in the selection process.

Both Stanmeyer and Knight are founding members and shareholders in the prestigious photo agency VII Photo; a conflict of interest that Knight himself seems to have been keenly aware of, as he told the New York Times.

"Mr Knight said that although he had asked to be removed from the final judging because of his friendship and professional relationship with Mr Stanmeyer, the World Press rules did not allow for it," the paper reads.

The organisation has not yet responded to situation since making the winners announcement early on Saturday morning, our time.

The previous year's contest was dogged by a different breed of controversy when it was alleged the winning photo had been too heavily manipulated to be considered a true example of photojournalism.

Following that fracas the competition tightened its rules around post-processing, which has led to a whopping eight per-cent of this year's finalists being disqualified under the more stringent regime.

Below is an interview with Knight, chair of this year's World Press Photo competition, explaining why the jury chose Stanmeyer's image for the top spot.

D-Photo will bring you image galleries of this the category winners and finalists of the 2014 World Press Photo competition in the coming days.