Mads Nissen Wins World Press Photo Of The Year 2014 Award

The jury of the 58th annual World Press Photo Contest selected an image by Danish photographer Mads Nissen as the World Press Photo of the Year 2014. Nissen is a staff photographer for the Danish daily newspaper Politiken and is represented by Scanpix and Panos Pictures.

Nissen's photo shows Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment in St Petersburg, Russia. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks. The photo also won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category.

The contest drew entries from around the world and 97,912 images were submitted by 5,692 press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers from 131 countries. The jury gave prizes in eight themed categories to 42 photographers of 17 nationalities from: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Denmark, Eritrea, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, UK and the USA.

A group of 17 internationally recognized professionals in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography, chaired this year by Michele McNally, director of photography and assistant managing editor of The New York Times, convened in the World Press Photo office in Amsterdam to judge all entries. All of the entries were presented anonymously to the jury, who discussed their merits while operating independently of World Press Photo.

In this year’s contest, all of the participants were required to provide files as recorded by the camera for all images proceeding to the final stages of the contest.

The premier award, the World Press Photo of the Year, carries a cash prize of 10,000 euros. In addition, Canon will donate a pro DSLR camera and lens kit to the winning photographer. The jury gives first, second and third prizes in all categories. First-prize winners in each category receive a cash prize of 1,500 euros. Winners of second and third prizes, and those receiving honorable mention, receive a Golden Eye Award and a diploma. The annual Awards Days, a two-day celebration of the prizewinners, takes place in Amsterdam on 24 and 25 April 2015.

The prize-winning pictures are presented in an exhibition visiting around 100 cities in about 45 countries. The first 2015 World Press Photo exhibition opens in Amsterdam in De Nieuwe Kerk on 18 April 2015.

This year's images will be printed for exhibit on Canon large format and Arizona flatbed printers—by Océ, part of the Canon Group.

You can see more prize-winning World Press Photos and read the stories behind them below.

More info on the 2015 World Press Photo Contest here.

Mads Nissen, JON AND ALEX, 18 May 2014, 1st prize Contemporary Issues

St. Petersburg, Russia

Jon, 21, and Alex, 25, a gay couple, during an intimate moment. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks from conservative religious and nationalistic groups.

Bulent Kilic, ISTANBUL PROTEST, 12 March 2014, Istanbul, Turkey, 1st prize Spot News

A young girl was wounded during clashes between riot police and protestors after the funeral of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during anti-government protests. Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at protestors in the capital Ankara, while in Istanbul, crowds shouting anti-government slogans lit a huge fire as they made their way to a cemetery for the boy’s burial.

Jerome Sessini, CRIME WITHOUT PUNISHMENT, 17 July 2014, 1st prize Stories

The remains of a passenger from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Under the baking July sun of eastern Ukraine, human remains lay spread over a large area as pro-Russian militiamen brandished their weapons to keep European observers away. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 headed bearing 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down on 17 July 2014, apparently by a Russian-made missile.

Sergei Ilnitsky, KITCHEN TABLE, 26 August 2014, Donetsk, Ukraine, 1st prize General News

Damaged goods lie in a kitchen in downtown Donetsk. Ordinary workers, miners, teachers, pensioners, children, and elderly women and men are in the midst of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Artillery fire killed three people and wounded 10 on 26 August 2014.

Anand Varma, MINDSUCKERS, 19 April 2012, 1st prize Nature

An infected male sheep crab is feminized by a parasitic barnacle. It stops developing fighting claws, and its abdomen widens, providing a womb for the barnacle to fill with its brood pouch. Nurtured by the crab, the eggs hatch. Thousands of baby barnacles disperse to infect anew.

Parasites are often dismissed as vile, lowly bloodsuckers, but some of these creatures have evolved the incredible ability to manipulate the bodies and minds of their hosts. The enslaved hosts turn into bodyguards, feeding machines, and transport vessels for their parasite overlords.