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John Stanmeyer Wins 2013 World Press Photo of the Year

By Conor Risch


John Stanmeyer's World Press Photo winning image of African migrants on the shore in Djibouti city searching for cell service.
© John Stanmeyer

American photographer John Stanmeyer won the 2013 World Press Photo of the Year for an image depicting African migrants standing on the beach in Djibouti, holding mobile phones aloft in an effort to get an inexpensive wireless signal from neighboring Somalia so they could reach family abroad. The World Press Organization announced the winners of the 57th annual contest at a press conference February 14 in Amsterdam.

Stanmeyer, a member of the photo agency VII, shot the winning photograph for National Geographic. This year’s chair of the jury was photojournalist Gary Knight, who co-founded the photo agency VII. In an announcement released by World Press Photo, jury member Jillian Edelstein, a photographer from South Africa, said, “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. It is so subtly done, so poetic, yet instilled with meaning, conveying issues of great gravity and concern in the world today.”

Stanmeyer will receive a 10,000 Euro award and other prizes at a ceremony to be held in Amsterdam in April.

The World Press Photo Contest honors outstanding photojournalism, both single pictures and photo stories, in several categories, including Spot News, General News, People in the News, Sports, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Arts and Entertainment, Portraits, and Nature.

Stanmeyer's winning image also won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category. Category winners each receive a 1,500 Euro prize. Photos by all of the World Press Photo winners will be featured in an exhibition that opens in Amsterdam on April 18, and which will then travel to 100 cities in 45 countries.

Several American photographers were among the category winners and runners up. Photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz won first prize in Contemporary Issues Stories for her series on domestic violence which was published by TIME; Steve Winter won first prize in the Nature Stories category for a series on cougars for National Geographic. Andrea Bruce took second place in Daily Life Singles for an image of a soldier's funeral in Syria. Peter van Agtmael received second prize in the People - Observed Portraits Stories category for his story about a wounded Iraq veteran. Tyler Hicks received second prize in Spot News Stories for his coverage of the Westgate Mall shooting for The New York Times. John Tlumacki received second prize in Spot News Singles for his photograph of the Boston Marathon bombing, which was published in the Boston Globe. Al Bello took third prize in Sports Action Singles for an image of tennis star Novak Djokovic. Donald Miralle, Jr. took third prize in Sports Feature Singles for an image of free divers in Hawaii. Alyssa Schukar took third prize in Sports Feature Stories for her images of women competing in a lingerie football league. And Ezra Shaw received second prize in Sports Action Stories for his coverage of the America's Cup sailing race.

The judges gave a special mention to a series of six images shot by amateur photographer Tim Holmes in Dunalley, Tasmania, Australia. The images, which went viral and were distributed by AP, depict Holmes' family seeking refuge near a jetty from wildfires that destroyed 90 homes.

A full list of winners is available on the World Press Photo site, here. A gallery of all the winning images is available here.

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