These Photo of the Year Nominees Tell the Stories That Shape Our World

Authors:
Olivia Kestin and David Brand

© Adam Ferguson, for The New York Times

After reviewing 73,044 images from more than 4,500 international photographers, the World Press Photo Foundation released its nominees for the year’s best photo Wednesday. The award is considered one of the most prestigious achievements in photojournalism.

The six photos nominated for the ultimate prize use the camera lens to tell powerful stories about the phenomena that shape our world, including refugee crises, violent unrest, and the strength of humanity in the face of unthinkable challenges.

In addition to the top prize, the World Press Photo Foundation also recognizes the best photos in various categories, such as sports, environment, and spot news. Nominees feature a man engulfed in flames during violent protests in Venezuela and amazing aerial shots of deforestation along the Amazon.

The winners will be announced at an awards show in Amsterdam on April 12, but, the foundation said, each project brought necessary stories to life for people around the globe.

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“The best visual journalism is not of something; it is about something.” said Lars Boering, the managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation. “It should matter to the people to whom it speaks.”

These World Press Photo Foundation nominees matter for anyone striving to understand our turbulent world.


Nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year:
002_World Press Photo of the Year Nominee_Adam Ferguson_for The New York Times.jpgAisha (14) stands for a portrait in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. After being kidnapped by Boko Haram, Aisha was assigned a suicide bombing mission, but managed to escape and find help instead of detonating the bombs.
Image: © Adam Ferguson, for The New York Times
004_World Press Photo of the Year Nominee_Ivor Prickett_for The New York Times.jpgCivilians who had remained in west Mosul after the battle to take the city line up for aid in the Mamun neighborhood.
Image: © Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times

Photo of the Year

Photo of the Year

Rohingya Crisis

Rohingya Crisis
The bodies of Rohingya refugees are laid out after the boat in which they were attempting to flee Myanmar capsized about eight kilometers off Inani Beach, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Around 100 people were on the boat before it capsized. There were 17 survivors.
© Patrick Brown, Panos Pictures, for Unicef

Witnessing the Immediate Aftermath of an Attack in the Heart of London

Witnessing the Immediate Aftermath of an Attack in the Heart of London
A passerby comforts an injured woman after Khalid Masood drove his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, UK, killing five and injuring multiple others.
© Toby Melville, Reuters

The Battle for Mosul - Young Boy Is Cared for by Iraqi Special Forces Soldiers

The Battle for Mosul - Young Boy Is Cared for by Iraqi Special Forces Soldiers
An unidentified young boy, who was carried out of the last ISIS-controlled area in the Old City by a man suspected of being a militant, is cared for by Iraqi Special Forces soldiers.
© Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times

Venezuela Crisis

Venezuela Crisis
José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela on May 3, 2017.
© Ronaldo Schemidt, Agence France-Presse

Below is a selection of images nominated in the categories of general news, environment, contemporary issues, nature, people, sports, spot news, and long-term projects.

047_Francesco Pistilli.jpgLives in Limbo: The tightening of the Balkan route into the EU stranded thousands of refugees attempting seek a new life in Europe. Many spent the freezing Serbian winter in warehouses behind Belgrade's train station. Nominated in the General News Stories
Image: © Francesco Pistilli
089_Ami Vitale_for National Geographic .jpgWarriors Who Once Feared Elephants Now Protect Them: Orphaned and abandoned elephant calves are rehabilitated and returned to the wild, at the community-owned Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in northern Kenya. Nominated in the Nature Stories category.
Image: © Ami Vitale, for National Geographic
World Press Photo_025_Daniel Beltra.jpgAmazon: Paradise Threatened: Deforestation in the Amazon, Brazil. After declining from major peaks in 1995 and 2004, the rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased sharply in 2016. Nominated in the Environmental Stories category.
Image: © Daniel Beltrá
World Press Photo_019_George Steinmetz_for National Geographic.jpgFeeding China: Rapidly rising incomes in China have led to a changing diet and increasing demand for meat, dairy and processed foods. The food and agricultural industry is under pressure. Nominated in the Contemporary Issues Stories category.
Image: © George Steinmetz, for National Geographic
032_Luca Locatelli_for National Geographic.jpgHunger Solutions: Agricultural tech start-ups and experimental farms in 'Food Valley' in the Netherlands hint at possible solutions to the globe’s hunger crisis. Nominated in the Environmental Stories category.
Image: © Luca Locatelli, for National Geographic
097_Anna Boyiazis.jpgFinding Freedom in the Water: Girls in the Zanzibar archipelago, Tanzania, learn how to swim in full-length swimsuits so that they can be in the water without compromising their cultural or religious beliefs. Nominated in the People Stories category.
Image: © Anna Boyiazis
World Press Photo_022_Neil Aldridge.jpgWaiting For Freedom: A young white rhino, drugged and blindfolded, about to be released in Okavango Delta, Botswana, after its relocation from South Africa for protection from poachers. Nominated in the Environmental Singles category.
Image: © Neil Aldridge
039_Richard Tsong-Taatarii_Star Tribune.jpgNot My Verdict: John Thompson is embraced after speaking at a memorial rally in Minnesota for his friend Philando Castile, 2 days after the police officer was acquitted of all charges in Castile's shooting. Nominated in the General News Singles category.
Image: © Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune
013_Heba Khamis.jpgBanned Beauty: The practice of breast ironing for girls between the ages of 8 and 12 in Cameroon is carried out in the belief that this will delay maturity and help prevent rapes or sexual advances. Nominated in the Contemporary Issues Stories category.
Image: © Heba Khamis
040_Kevin Frayer_Getty Images.jpgRohingya Refugees Flee Into Bangladesh to Escape Ethnic Cleansing: ‘Clearance operations’ against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by the Burmese army led to hundreds of thousands fleeing into Bangladesh. Nominated in the General News Stories category.
Image: © Kevin Frayer, Getty Images
074_Fausto Podavini.jpgOmo Change: The Omo Valley in Ethiopia is undergoing rapid change due to the construction of the Gibe III Dam, which is causing severe environmental and socioeconomic impacts on the region. Nominated in the Long-term Projects category.
Image: © Fausto Podavini
024_Thomas P. Peschak.jpgBack in Time: A photograph of a penguin colony from the late 1890s, in contrast to the declining numbers in 2017 at the same location, Halifax Island, Namibia. The colony once numbered over 100K penguins. Nominated in the Environmental Singles category.
Image: © Thomas P. Peschak
086_Thomas P. Peschak_for National Geographic.jpgGalapagos: Rocking the Cradle: Four major ocean currents converge along the Galapagos archipelago, creating the conditions for an extraordinary diversity of animal life. Nominated in the Nature Stories category.
Image: © Thomas P. Peschak, for National Geographic
078_Thomas P. Peschak.jpgJump: Rockhopper penguins live up to their name as they navigate the rugged coastline of Marion Island, a South African Antarctic Territory in the Indian Ocean. Nominated in the Nature Singles category.
Image: © Thomas P. Peschak