Australian wins World Press Photo award for migrants image

AMSTERDAM -- A haunting image of migrants passing a baby underneath a razor-wire fence on the Serbian-Hungarian border won the prestigious World Press Photo award for 2015 on Thursday -- even though it had never been published.

See Full Article

Australian freelance photographer Warren Richardson made the moonlit image on Aug. 28 and said he offered it to two news organizations, neither of which responded.

Jury members, however, saw something special in the black-and-white image. Vaughn Wallace, deputy photo editor for Al Jazeera America, said the image is "incredibly powerful visually, but it's also very nuanced."

The photo, he said, "causes you to stop and consider the man's face, consider the child. You see the sharpness of the barbed wire and the hands reaching out from the darkness."

Richardson said he did not carry any equipment to transmit his images while he spent days camping near the Hungarian border crossing at Roszke to document the passage of the migrants fleeing conflict, poverty and persecution in the Middle East and Africa. He said the delay in sending out his images from his home in Budapest may have been to blame for the lack of interest.

"Sometimes, it's first in, first served, and I understand that theory," he said. "I can't blame anyone else but myself. But at the end of the day the picture talks for itself."

"I would have thought straight away, 'Yeah, this will definitely be published,"' he said. "But I didn't think like this."

It was so dark when he took the picture that Richardson did not even realize the migrants were passing a baby under the fence until he looked at the image on his computer. He checked the photos only once he got home to preserve his camera's battery.

"Had I used a flash, I would have given their position away to the Hungarian police," Richardson said.

The image won top prize in the contest, which drew 82,951 images from 5,775 photographers. It also won the Spot News Singles category.

Last year's competition was overshadowed by the disqualification of a winner who admitted that one in a series of pictures about the Belgian city of Charleroi was actually taken in Brussels, and by controversy surrounding the pictures of the gritty, post-industrial Charleroi.

Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation, said the contest set up a new code of ethics for this year's contest to ensure the integrity of images. He praised photographers for largely sticking to it, saying there were more checks and "fewer problems" than last year.

"We see that the photographers are as committed as we are to providing accurate and fair images on the world's most important events and issues," he said.

Several winners in the news categories focused on the migrant crisis and one of its root causes, the devastating civil war in Syria.

But the contest's wide range of categories also provided an eclectic mix of other subjects ranging from wrestlers in Senegal to ice hockey players in Russia, and from people diving with whales to orangutans climbing trees.

Japanese photographer Kazuma Obara won the People Stories category for a series of pictures shot on old Ukrainian film depicting the life of a woman affected by radiation from the Chornobyl nuclear disaster. Associated Press photographer Daniel Ochoa de Olza won second place for portraits of young Spanish girls sitting in decorated altars as part of a festival. Ochoa also took third place for photos showing raindrops covering portraits of victims of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that were left at a street memorial.

Americans swept the top three places in the long-term projects category. Mary F. Calvert won for a series of photos dealing with sexual assault in the American military. Nancy Borowick took second place for a series of photos documenting her parents' battle with cancer. And David Guttenfelder was awarded third place for a series of pictures from North Korea, the bulk of which were made when he was a regular visitor to that country as a staff photographer for The Associated Press.

The New York Times won three categories -- General News Singles, General News Stories and Daily Life Stories -- and Times photographers placed third in General News Stories and second in Daily Life Singles. French agency Agence France-Presse won the three top placings in Spot News Stories and a second place in General News.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Donald Trump will win the U.S. election, AI system says

    World News Toronto Sun
    Donald Trump will be the next leader of the free world, according to an artificial intelligence system that has accurately predicted the last three U.S. presidential elections. The number-crunching AI, called MogIA, analyzes information from sites, such as YouTube, Google, Twitter and Facebook to calculate which way Americans are likely to vote. Source
  • Livestream: The Jim Prentice state memorial [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A state memorial service will be held in Calgary today for former Alberta premier Jim Prentice, who was killed in a plane crash earlier this month in British Columbia. We will be livestreaming the event here. It is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Source
  • Montreal-bound Air Canada flight diverted to London

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- A Montreal-bound Air Canada flight was briefly diverted to London this morning due to an onboard medical emergency with a passenger. A spokeswoman for the airline says the plane left Rome but was forced to make an uncheduled landing at Heathrow Airport. Source
  • U.S. Senate candidate Kirk mocks rival’s family military past

    World News Toronto Sun
    SPRINGFIELD, ILL. - Illinois Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has raised his Democratic rival’s immigrant background and mocked her family’s history of military service, saying he had forgotten the congresswoman’s “parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington. Source
  • Rescue dog saves N.B. woman having seizure

    Canada News CTV News
    A New Bruswick woman says the dog she rescued from her local SPCA ended up saving her life. Eva Hachey said she wouldn’t be alive today, if her dog Bruno hadn’t gone for help when she was having seizure. Source
  • Mark Lindsay, son of former Edmonton police chief, handed 16 years for murder

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    RED DEER, Alta. — The son of a former Edmonton police chief who was convicted of killing a 31-year-old woman has been ordered to spend at least 16 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole. Mark Lindsay, who is 29, was sentenced Thursday in a Red Deer courtroom following his conviction in May on charges of second-degree murder and obstructing justice in the death of Dana Turner. Source
  • 'Daddies' shower their 'babies' with cash and gifts in Toronto's sugar dating scene

    Canada News CBC News
    A new documentary called Sugar Sisters: Confessions of a Sugar Baby takes a first-person dive into the world of sugar dating, where young women spend time with wealthy, older men in exchange for cash and gifts. Source
  • Dakota Access pipeline protesters use burned vehicles to block highway

    World News CBC News
    Protesters ousted from private land where they tried to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline burned vehicles and built roadblocks along a North Dakota state highway where they faced off Friday with authorities. Meanwhile, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault condemned authorities' removal of the protesters Thursday afternoon — an operation that was the most chaotic turn in the months-long protest. Source
  • Elephants making a new life in retirement

    World News Toronto Sun
    The rail-car door was open just a crack. Just enough for a pink-speckled gray trunk to feel its way out, a creature all its own. Its single fingertip felt along the rail car's lower edge, explored the crisp outside air. Source
  • UN: Thousands of people being used as ’human shields’ in Mosul

    World News Toronto Sun
    QAYARA AIR BASE, IRAQ - The Islamic State group appears to be using tens of thousands of people as “human shields” in and around Mosul, where Iraqi forces are waging a large-scale offensive aimed at retaking the country’s second largest city, the U.N. Source