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In Pictures: Capturing the world’s most compelling news stories

Images from the 57th World Press Photo Contest.

By: /
8 October, 2014
By: OpenCanada Staff

Every year, the World Press Photo contest highlights the best photojournalism published in news media around the world. In turn, the award-winning photographs collectively depict the past year’s most important and compelling international news stories.

The 2014 winners were announced earlier this year and are now part of a year-long exhibition that travels to more than 100 cities. The exhibit is currently on display at Toronto’s Brookfield Place until Oct. 21 and will set up in Chicoutimi, Quebec for several weeks in November.

Below are several winners from hard news categories. Visit for more photographs and to see where the exhibit goes to next.

(Warning: This article contains what some may consider graphic images.)


Winner: World Press Photo of the Year
Photographer: John Stanmeyer, USA, VII for National Geographic
Taken: Feb. 26, 2013, in Djibouti City, Djibouti

African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia — a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East.


Winner: 1st Prize General News Single
Photographer: Alessandro Penso, Italy, OnOff Picture
Taken: Nov. 21, 2013, in Sofia, Bulgaria

Military Ramp, an emergency refugee center, was opened in September 2013 in an abandoned school in Sofia, Bulgaria. The center provides housing for about 800 Syrian refugees, including 390 children. Bulgaria, already hard hit by the economic crisis and heightened political instability, is confronting a refugee crisis that appears to coincide with increased efforts by Greece to close off its border with Turkey. Bulgaria, however, is totally unprepared to face a refugee crisis.


Winner: 3rd Prize Spot News Singles
Photographer: Taslima Akhter, Bangladesh
Taken: April 25, 2013 in Dhaka

Two victims amid the rubble of the garment factory collapse at Rana Plaza, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Winner: 1st Prize Spot News Single
Photographer: Philippe Lopez, France, Agence France-Presse
Taken: Nov. 18, 2013, in Tolosa, the Philippines

Survivors of typhoon Haiyan march during a religious procession in Tolosa, on the eastern island of Leyte. One of the strongest cyclones ever recorded, Haiyan left 8,000 people dead and missing and more than four million homeless after it hit the central Philippines.


Winner: 1st Prize Spot News Stories
Photographer: Goran Tomasevic, Serbia, Reuters
Taken: Jan. 30, 2013, in Damascus, Syria

Syrian rebel fighters take cover amid flying debris and shrapnel after being hit by a tank shell fired towards them by the Syrian Army in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus.


Winner: 2nd Prize Spot News Stories
Photographer: Tyler Hicks, USA, The New York Times
Taken: Sept. 21, 2013, in Nairobi, Kenya

A woman and children hiding in the Westgate mall. They escaped unharmed after gunmen had opened fire at the upscale Nairobi mall on Sept. 21, 2013. At least 39 people were killed in one of the worst terrorist attacks in Kenya’s history.



Winner: 1st Prize Daily Life Single
Photographer: Julius Schrank, Germany, for De Volkskrant
Taken: March 15, 2013, in Burma

Kachin Independence Army fighters are drinking and celebrating at a funeral of one of their commanders who died the day before. The city is under siege by the Burmese army.


Winner: 1st Prize Daily Life Stories
Photographer: Fred Ramos, El Salvador, El Faro
Taken: Aug. 10, 2013, San Salvador, El Salvador

Date found: 1 February 2013. Time 3:45 P.M. Location: A sugar plantation in Apopa, San Salvador, El Salvador. Sex: Female. Age: Between 17 and 18 years old. Time of disappearance: not available.

The North Central American Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) is one of the most violent regions in the world. In many cases, clothes that are found become the only means to identify victims.


Winner: 1st Prize People – Observed Portraits Single
Photographer: Markus Schreiber, Germany, The Associated Press
Taken: Dec. 13, 2013, Pretoria, South Africa

A woman reacts in disappointment after access to see former South Africa President Nelson Mandela was closed on the third and final day of his casket lying in state, outside Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa.


Winner: 3rd Prize Contemporary Issues Single
Photographer: Christopher Vanegas, Mexico, La Vanguardia / El Guardían
Taken: March 8, 2013, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico

Police arrive at a crime scene where two bodies hang from a bridge; another three are on the floor. They had been killed by organized crime in Saltillo, Coahuila, in retaliation against other criminal groups. Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.

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