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Photo of Gay Russian Lovers Wins World Press Photo of the Year
A touching portrait of a gay Russian couple has won the 58th annual award for World Press Photo of the year. It is the work of Danish photographer Mads Nissen, for a photo essay regarding Russia’s heavily criticized anti-gay laws. The dramatically lit image passed one test that many entries failed: 20 percent of finalists were disqualified for being too heavily retouched.
Though many of the entries capture dramatic scenes and historic moments—Nissen is a photojournalist for Denmark’s Politiken newspaper—juror Patrick Baz, an experienced war photographer, defended the winning image’s subtlety, telling the New York Times that “photographers can always find a story right across the street” and that “you don’t have to go to war [and] be elbow to elbow with a dozen photographers doing the same thing.”
Other winners included Ronghui Chen’s photo of a worker at a Christmas decoration factory in Yiwi, China, which came in second for contemporary issues, and Glenna Gordon‘s images of the personal effects of the Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, which took second place in general news behind Pete Muller’s photographs of West Africa’s Ebola crisis.
The World Press Photo foundation was founded in Amsterdam in 1955, and offers a grand prize of €10,000 ($11,380) and a professional Canon DSLR camera and lens, with €1,500 ($1,700) going to the first place winners in each category.