Migrants searching for a cell phone signal is the World Press Photo's Photo of the Year 2013 taken by John Stanmeyer for National Geographic. That shot joins many other great works of documentary photography at the World Press Photo gallery.
The gallery is on display in 72 cities on every continent and is widely known to host the world’s finest photojournalism. In its 57th year, the World Press Photo Contest returned to downtown Toronto’s Brookfield Place on its 45 country tour.
The Toronto exhibit showcases shocking and painful pictures in a serene setting, it’s a striking reminder of western privilege. It’s not all gore on display, there are plenty of animals and smiling scenes too, but looking at people from around the world while walking through Canada’s “Crystal cathedral of commerce” makes viewers look at themselves as well.
Taken by Serbian photographer for Reuters, Gordon Tommasevic, these shots of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) won the World Press Photo's 1st Spot News Stories prize. The series depicts FSA fighters attacking a government checkpoint in Syria's capital, Damascus. The attack lasted two hours and was part of a key battle for the high-civilian casualty civil war. The anti-government forces faced snipers, rocket volleys and tanks.
These aren't chimpanzees, they're Bonobos: our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom. National Geographic's German photographer Christian Ziegler captured some of the least-studied primates in their natural habitat in various locations across the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bonobos aren't violent like chimps, in fact they're peaceful creatures who use sex, with multiple gender combinations, as a form of communication. Ziegler took 3rd Prize Nature Stories.
Kacper Kowalski looked down on Poland's polluted lands and took the 2nd Prize Nature Stories' photos. The Polish photographer for Panos Pictures captured what happens when runoff from a coal-powered thermal plant, mining and chemical factories seep into the earth. The effects are harder to comprehend from the ground.
When Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Visayas islands in the Philippines, it was the deadliest one to hit the country on record killing 6,200 people. It also destroyed the homes of over 4 million people. Australian Chris McGrath for Getty Images documented the aftermath. His work won him 1st Prize General News Stories. McGrath focused on the city of Tacloban, which was decimated.
One of the ten most polluted cities on Earth, Norilsk, sits in Russia's arctic circle. At different times Norilsk was a factory tow, a Soviet gulag and mining city. The place has a long history of starvation, forced labour and of course harsh cold. Elena Chernyshova braved these conditions to win 3rd Prize Daily Life Stories. Norilsk is covered in snow for 250-270 days per year.