For well over 100 years, press photography has been documenting, informing and changing the way we see the world. It’s vital and powerful, and the World Press Photo Contest is here to celebrate it.
The recently announced 2022 competition saw 4,066 photographers from 130 countries take part, with over 64,000 photographs and open format entries in all. Global winners receive €5,000 as well as being featured in the worldwide exhibition and yearbook. Let’s check out the winners.
The World Press Photo of the Year was ‘Kamloops Residential School’, from Amber Bracken of Canada, originally shot for The New York Times. The image sees red dresses hung on crosses along a roadside to commemorate children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School – an institution created to assimilate Indigenous children, following the detection of as many as 215 unmarked graves, Kamloops, British Columbia, 19 June 2021. It was shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EF35mm f/1.4L USM.
The World Press Photo Story of the Year category, which celebrates a series of photojournalistic images, was won by ‘Saving Forests with Fire’ from Matthew Abbott of Australia, originally shot for National Geographic/Panos Pictures. The series depicts Indigenous Australians strategically burning land in a practice known as cool burning, which removes the build-up of fuel that feeds bigger blazes. The collection was shot using a Nikon D6 and 24-70mm f/2.8E VR.
The Winner of the World Press Photo Long-Term Project Award, came from Lalo de Almeida of Brazil, originally shot for Folha de São Paulo/Panos Pictures, with a series entitled Amazonian Dystopia. It shows the deforestation, mining, infrastructural development and exploitation of other natural resources in the Amazon as they gain momentum under the Brazilian government’s regressive policies. Lalo created this project with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EF35mm f/1.4L II USM, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM and EF17-40mm f/4L USM lenses.
The World Press Photo Open Format Award celebrates documentary storytelling across a varied range of media and techniques that expand on single frames. This includes multiple exposures, stitched panoramas, collages and video, so long as the core content is still photographic. This year it was won by Isadora Romero of Ecuador, with ‘Blood is a Seed’, a video made of digital and film photographs, some of which were taken on expired 35mm film and later drawn on by Romero’s father. It examines the disappearance of traditional ‘seed guardians’, forced migration, colonization, and the loss of that ancestral knowledge.
Head to worldpressphoto.org to see more of the brilliant 2022 winners and inspiring shortlisted entries.