Assassination photo takes out global award

Assassination photo takes out global awardAmber Bracken, ‘Standing Rock’ - Contemporary Issues, 1st prize stories

The striking image of 22-year-old Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş raising his hand and shouting after assassinating a Russian ambassador in Turkey has taken out the top prize at the World Press Photo Contest 2017.

The competition, which enters its 60th year, awards prizes to the top photojournalists across the world in numerous categories. Images can be submitted either individually or as part of a storytelling series.

This year, the competition received submissions from 5,034 photographers from around 125 countries. Altogether, 80 408 photos were viewed by the juries.

Member of the jury, Mary F. Calvert, said that awarding the first prize was a difficult process.

“It was a very, very difficult decision, but in the end we felt that the picture of the year was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times.

“Every time it came on the screen you almost had to move back because it’s such an explosive image and we really felt that it epitomises the definition of what the World Press Photo of the Year is and means,” she said.

Australian photographer Daniel Berehulak won first prize for his photo story ‘They are Slaughtering Us like Animals’ in the category of General News. The piece, commissioned by The New York Times, explored the anguish of the Filipino people who had lost loved ones due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, which has seen more than 2000 slain for drug-related crime.

Fellow Australian, Cameron Spencer, received second prize in the sports singles category for his photograph title ‘The Dive’. It captured French tennis player Gaël Monfils diving for the ball in his fourth round match during the 2016 Australian Open.

The winners of each category were:

Contemporary Issues:

The image of 28 year old Ieshia Evans protesting the death of Alton Sterling and police brutality captured by Jonathan Bachman won in the singles category, while Amber Bracken won the stories for her documentation of life in Standing Rock in light of the Dakota Access Pipeline


  1. Jonathan Bachman ‘Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge’
  2. Vadmin Ghirda ‘Migrant Crossing’
  3. Daniel Etter ‘The Libyan Migrant Trap’


  1. Amber Bracken ‘Standing Rock’
  2. Lalo de Almeida ‘Victims of the Zika Virus’
  3. Peter Bauza ‘Copacabana Palace’

Daily Life

Paula Bronstein first prize photograph highlighted the side of the Afghanistan war often not seen, as a woman holds her nephew in her arms after he was injured in a bomb blast. The stories top prize was won by Tomas Munita, who captured the lives of Cuban’s in the wake of Fidel Castro’s death.


  1. Paula Bronstein ‘The Silent Victims of a Forgotten War’
  2. Tiejun Wang ‘Sweat Makes Champions’
  3. Matthieu Paley ‘China’s Wild West’


  1. Tomas Munita ‘Cuba on the Edge of Change’
  2. Elena Anosova ‘Out of the Way’
  3. Francesco Comello Untitled

General News

Two children standing outside as the Iraqi Special Operations Forces raided their home won the singles first prize for Laurent Van der Stockt, while Daniel Berehulak won the stories category for his series on the war on drugs in the Philippines.


  1. Laurent Van der Stockt ‘Offensive on Mosul’
  2. Santi Palacios ‘Left Alone’
  3. Noel Celis “Inside the Philippines’ Most Overcrow…’


  1. Daniel Berehulak ‘They are Slaughtering Us Like Animals’
  2. Sergey Ponomarev ‘Iraq’s Battle to Reclaim Its Cities’
  3. Alessio Romenzi ‘We Are Not Taking Any Prisoners’

Long-term Projects

Russian photographer Valery Melnikov won first prize for his series showing the effects of the conflict between self-proclaimed republics and the official Ukrainian authorities on the general public, and how it has destroyed homes and lives.

  1. Valery Melnikov ‘Black Days of Ukraine’
  2. Hossein Fatemi ‘An Iranian Journey’
  3. Markus Jokela ‘Table Rock, Nebraska’


Telling stories of conservatism, singles winner Francis Perez highlighted how pollution is affecting sea life, while Brent Stirton’s series showed the devastating effects of the ivory trade.


  1. Francis Perez ‘Caretta Caretta Trapped’
  2. Nayan Khanolkar ‘Big Cat in My Backyard’
  3. Jaime Rojo ‘Monarchs in the Snow’


  1. Brent Stirton ‘Rhino Wars’
  2. Ami Vitale ‘Pandas Gone Wild’
  3. Bence Mate Untitled


A five-year-old girl laying on a mattress in a crowded room after fleeing ISIS was captured by Magnus Wennman, earning him first place for singles. Michael Vince Kim showed the relationships of young Korean-Mayan descendants in his photo series.


  1. Magnus Wennman ‘What ISIS Left Behind’
  2. Robin Hammond ‘Praying for a Miracle’
  3. Kristina Kormilitsyna ‘Fidelity’


  1. Michael Vince Kim ‘Aenikkaeng’
  2. Antonio Gibotta ‘Enafarinat’
  3. Jay Clendenin ‘Olympians’


Tom Jenkins captured jockey Nina Carberry during the Grand National Stampede to earn first prize. The complexity of masculinity was shown by Giovanni Capriotti in his winning series ‘Boys Will Be Boys’


  1. Tom Jenkins ‘Grand National Steeplechase’
  2. Cameron Spencer ‘The Dive’
  3. Kai Oliver Pfaffenbach ‘Rio’s Golden Smile’


  1. Giovanni Capriotti ‘Boys Will Be Boys’
  2. Michael Hanke ‘Youth Chess Tournaments’
  3. Darren Calalbrase ‘Adaptive Athlete’

Spot News

This award shows the importance of being in the right place at the right time. The moment a bomb exploded in the Pakistani town of Quetta amongst a crowd of lawyers and journalists, Jamal Taraqai grabbed his camera. Burhan Ozbilci not only won the first prize for stories in the category for his images post the assassination of a Russian Ambassador in Turkey, but was also awarded the biggest prize, picture of the year.


  1. Jamal Taraqai ‘Pakistani Bomb Blast’
  2. Abd Doumany ‘Medics Assist a Wounded Girl’
  3. Felipe Dana ‘Battle for Mosul’


  1. Burhan Ozbilci ‘An Assassination in Turkey’
  2. Ameer Alhalbi ‘Rescued From the Rubble’
  3. Mathieu Willcocks ‘Mediterrane

All the award winning images can be seen here.

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