Spectacular Winning Images of The 2021 World Press Photo Contest

The World Press Photo Foundation is proud to present the category winners of the 2021 World Press Photo Contests, selected by an independent jury. The annual World Press Photo Contest rewards the best visual journalism of the past year in eight categories: Contemporary Issues, Environment, General News, Long-Term Projects, Nature, Portraits, Sports and Spot News.


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by John Minchillo, Associated Press, part of a series titled Minneapolis Unrest: The George Floyd Aftermath, which won third prize in the Spot News Stories category, shows Protesters raise their fists in defiance outside a burning fast-food restaurant near the precinct station of the officers who arrested Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on May 29, 2020. (Photo by John Minchillo, Associated Press, World Press Photo via AP Photo)

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In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Laurence Geai, part of a series titled Pandemic in France, which won the third prize in the General News Stories category, shows A morgue employee transports a coffin from the fifth floor of an apartment block, in the Parisian suburb of Pantin, on April 23, 2020. (Photo by Laurence Geai, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Ezra Acayan for Getty Images, part of a series titled Taal Volcano Eruption, which won second prize in the Nature Stories category, shows A resident of Talisay in Batangas washes down a car, which is covered in volcanic ash mixed with rain, as Taal Volcano erupts, Batangas, Philippines, on Jan. 12, 2020. (Photo by Ezra Acayan for Getty Images, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by John Minchillo, Associated Press, part of a series titled Minneapolis Unrest: The George Floyd Aftermath, which won third prize in the Spot News Stories category, shows Police fire tear gas on demonstrators at the intersection of East Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue in St Paul, Minnesota, USA, on May 29, 2020, near the precinct station of the officers who arrested George Floyd. (Photo by John Minchillo, Associated Press, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Adam Pretty, Getty Images, titled Log Pile Bouldering, which won first prize in the Sports Singles category, shows Georg climbs a log pile while training for bouldering, in Kochel am See, Bavaria, Germany, on Sept. 15, 2020. (Photo by Adam Pretty, Getty Images, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Jasper Doest, part of a series titled Pandemic Pigeons – A Love Story, which won first prize in the Nature Stories category, shows Ollie flies through the living room, after knocking over toys, in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands, on 30 April 2020. (Photo by Jasper Doest, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Fereshteh Eslahi, Podium Photos, titled Thoughts of Flight, part of a series which won third prize in the Sports Stories category, shows Saeed Ramin, a professional traceur (practitioner of parkour) enjoys time with friends at Kosar Dam Lake, near Gachsaran, Iran, on Sept. 9, 2020. (Photo by Fereshteh Eslahi, Podium Photos, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Tomasz Markowski, titled Tour of Poland Cycling Crash, which won third prize in the Sports Singles category, shows Dutch cyclist, Dylan Groenewegen (left), crashes meters before the finish line, after colliding with fellow countryman Fabio Jakobsen during the first stage of the Tour of Poland, in Katowice, Poland, on August 5, 2020. (Photo by Tomasz Markowski, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Gabriele Galimberti for National Geographic, part of a series titled The “Ameriguns” which won first prize in the Portraits Stories category, shows Torrell Jasper (35) poses with his firearms in the backyard of his house in Schriever, Louisiana, USA, on April 14, 2019. A former US Marine, he learned to shoot from his father as a child. (Photo by Gabriele Galimberti for National Geographic, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by John Minchillo, Associated Press, part of a series titled Minneapolis Unrest: The George Floyd Aftermath, which won third prize in the Spot News Stories category, shows Protesters and residents watch as police in riot gear walk down a residential street, in St Paul, Minnesota, USA, on May 28, 2020. (Photo by John Minchillo, Associated Press, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Jaime Culebras titled New Life, which won third prize in the Nature Singles category, shows The eggs of a Wiley’s glass frog, Nymphargus wileyi, hang on the tip of a leaf in Tropical Andean cloud forest, near the Yanayacu Biological Station, Napo, Ecuador, on July 25, 2020. (Photo by Jaime Culebras, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Ami Vitale for CNN, titled Rescue of Giraffes from Flooding Island, which won the first prize in the Nature Singles category, shows A Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) is transported to safety in a custom-built barge from a flooded Longicharo Island, Lake Baringo, in western Kenya, on Dec. 3, 2020. (Photo by Ami Vitale for CNN, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by John Minchillo, Associated Press, part of a series titled Minneapolis Unrest: The George Floyd Aftermath, which won third prize in the Spot News Stories category, shows Protesters join arms in defiance during a demonstration outside the burning Minneapolis Police Department 3rd Precinct building, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on 28 May 2020. (Photo by John Minchillo, Associated Press, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Joshua Irwandi, titled The Human Cost of COVID-19, which won the second prize in the General News Singles category, shows The body of a suspected coronavirus victim, wrapped in yellow infectious-waste plastic, lies awaiting a body bag, in a hospital in Indonesia, on April, 18, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Irwandi, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Mads Nissen, Politiken, Panos Pictures, which won the World Press Photo of the Year award, and the first prize in the General News Singles category, titled The First Embrace, shows Rosa Luzia Lunardi (85) embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza, at Viva Bem care home, Sao Paulo, Brazil, on August 5, 2020. (Photo by Mads Nissen, Politiken, Panos Pictures, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Jeremy Lempin, Divergence-Images, titled Doctor Peyo and Mister Hassen, which won second prize in the Contemporary Issues category, shows Marion (24), who has metastatic cancer, embraces her son Ethan (7) in the presence of Peyo, a horse used in animal-assisted therapy, in the Selene Palliative Care Unit at the Centre Hospitalier de Calais, in Calais, France, on 30 November 2020. (Photo by Jeremy Lempin, Divergence-Images, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Nuno Andre Ferreira, Agencia Lusa, titled Forest Fire, which won third prize in the Spot News Singles category, shows A child sits inside a car close by a forest fire in Oliveira de Frades, Portugal, on Sept. 7, 2020. (Photo by Nuno Andre Ferreira, Agencia Lusa, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post, part of a series titled Port Explosion in Beirut, which won first prize in the Spot News Stories category, shows An injured man stands near the site of a massive explosion in the port of Beirut, Lebanon, while firefighters work to put out the fires that engulfed the warehouses after the explosion, on August 4, 2020. (Photo by Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Chris Donovan, part of a series titled Those Who Stay Will Be Champions which won first prize in the Sports Stories category, shows Jaguars player D’Angelo Mays plays with a basketball in his bedroom at home, on Feb. 27, 2020. (Photo by Chris Donovan, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Ciril Jazbec for National Geographic, titled One Way to Fight Climate Change: Make Your Own Glaciers, which won the second prize in the Environment Stories category, shows the youth group that built this ice stupa in the village of Gya installed a café in its base in India, March 19, 2019. They used the proceeds to take the village elders on a pilgrimage. (Photo by Ciril Jazbec for National Geographic, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post, part of a series titled Port Explosion in Beirut, which won first prize in the Spot News Stories category, shows Abdullah Dalloul walks in the ruins of his former home on August 14, 2020, which was destroyed by the blast in the port of Beirut, Lebanon. Following the explosion, he and his family squatted in the damaged building with no water or electricity. (Photo by Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Luis Tato for The Washington Post, part of a series titled Locust Invasion in East Africa which won third prize in the Nature Stories category, shows Henry Lenayasa, chief of the settlement of Archers Post, in Samburu County, Kenya, tries to scare away a massive swarm of locusts ravaging grazing area, on 24 April 2020. Locust swarms devastated large areas of land, just as the coronavirus outbreak had begun to disrupt livelihoods. (Photo by Luis Tato for The Washington Post, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post, part of a series titled Port Explosion in Beirut, which won first prize in the Spot News Stories category, shows Firefighters work to put out the fires that engulfed warehouses in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4, 2020, after a massive explosion in the port. Up to ten firefighters died in the blast. (Photo by Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


In this image released by World Press Photo, Thursday April 15, 2021, by Vaghinak Ghazaryan, tittle Resting Soldier, which won the third prize in the Contemporary Issues Singles category shows a soldier who lies in a trench, resting on a plastic cover, in the northeastern part of Syunik, Nerkin Khndzoresk, Armenia, on 31 October 2020. (Photo by Vaghinak Ghazaryan, World Press Photo via AP Photo)


Spot news – first prize, singles. Emancipation Memorial Debate. Anais, 26, who wants to remove the Emancipation statue in Lincoln Park in Washington DC, argues with a man who wants to keep it, on 25 June 2020. Critics say the Emancipation Memorial – which shows Lincoln holding a copy of the emancipation proclamation as an African American man in a loincloth kneels at his feet – is demeaning in its depiction of African Americans. The drive to remove the statue comes amid a wave of calls to take down monuments of Confederate generals. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post/World Press Photo 2021)


Contemporary issues – first prize, singles. Yemen: Hunger, Another War Wound. Fatima and her son prepare a fishing net in Khor Omeira Bay, Yemen, on 12 February 2020. Fatima has nine children. To provide for them, she makes a living from fishing. Although her village was devastated by armed conflict in Yemen, Fatima returned to resume her livelihood, buying a boat with money she earned selling fish. The conflict – between Houthi Shia Muslim rebels and a Sunni Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia – dates from 2014, and has led to what Unicef has termed the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. (Photo by Pablo Tosco/World Press Photo 2021)


World Press Photo of the Year nominee. The Transition: Ignat. Ignat, a transgender man, sits with his girlfriend, Maria, in St Petersburg, Russia, on 23 April 2020. (Photo by Oleg Ponomarev/World Press Photo 2021)


Environment – first prize, stories. Pantanal Ablaze. Firefighters combat a fire at the São Francisco de Perigara farm, which is home to one of the largest populations of hyacinth macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) in the world. About 95% of the farm area, mostly dedicated to preservation, was destroyed by the fires. In 2020 the Pantanal faced the largest destruction by burning in its history. From January to October, fires burned 4.2m hectares of the Pantanal, which corresponds to 28% of the entire biome, killing a vast amount of the region’s wildlife. (Photo by Lalo de Almeida/World Press Photo 2021)


Contemporary issues – first prize, stories. Sakhawood. Twins Semyon and Stepan perform in the roles of dulgancha, mythical swamp creatures, in The Old Beyberikeen with Five Cows, in Sakha, Russia, on 9 August 2019. It is the first experience of participation in cinema for them. They travelled from their small village a few hundred kilometres away. (Photo by Alexey Vasilyev/World Press Photo 2021)


World Press Photo of the Year nominee. Leaving Home in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azat Gevorkyan and his wife, Anaik, are pictured before leaving their home on 28 November 2020 in Lachin, Nagorno-Karabakh, the final district to be returned to Azerbaijani control following the second Nagorno-Karabakh war. (Photo by Valeriy Melnikov/World Press Photo 2021)


Environment – first prize, singles. California Sea Lion Plays with Mask. A curious California sea lion swims towards a face mask at the Breakwater dive site in Monterey, California, on 19 November 2020. California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are playful animals, native to western North America. With Covid-19 lockdowns in place across California, outdoor and natural beauty spots with plenty of wildlife became a popular focus for local travel. (Photo by Ralph Pace/World Press Photo 2021)


World Press Photo Story of the Year. Habibi. The dress and shoes of the prisoner Nael al-Barghouthi in his bedroom in Kobar, Palestine, in August 2015. His wife, Iman, keeps all her husband’s clothes, shoes and items in their home. Nael was arrested on 4 April 1978 after carrying out a commando operation in which one Israeli was killed. Released during Shalit’s agreement between Hamas and Israel in 2011, he has been arrested again and sentenced to life imprisonment. He has spent 41 years in prison and is the longest-serving Palestinian inmate in Israeli jails. Items left behind by inmates allow us to perceive the absence of men and to understand the emptiness they left in the life of their family members. (Photo by Antonio Faccilongo/World Press Photo 2021)


Spot news – second prize, singles. Waiting for Release at a Temporary Detention Center in Belarus. Olga Sieviaryniec waits for her husband, Paval, outside a detention centre in Minsk, Belarus, on 22 July 2020. Paval Sieviaryniec had been held on remand since 7 June, and his family had learned he was about to be released. Olga waited outside the prison for two hours, but Paval was not freed. Paval Sieviaryniec is a Christian Democrat politician and a well-known political activist. He is one of the founders of Youth Front, a youth movement supporting civil society, and was arrested while collecting signatures in support of candidates to stand against President Alexander Lukashenko in his bid for a sixth consecutive term in office. (Photo by Nadia Buzhan/World Press Photo 2021)


Portraits, first prize – Stories. The “Ameriguns”. Robert Baldwin Jr stands in his secret gunroom, behind a one-way mirror in his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 16 April 2019. His girlfriend, Tori, sits at the table. “I like to give myself a gun as a gift to mark important moments, like Christmas or my birthday”. It’s a family tradition. When he turned six, his father gave him his first .22-calibre rifle and taught him how to use it. “He used to shoot for fun. He was a hunter, and he wanted to bring me along, to forge a special bond. He succeeded”. (Photo by Gabriele Galimberti/World Press Photo 2021)


Nature – first prize, stories. Pandemic Pigeons – A Love Story. The photographer’s daughter, Merel, cowers after Dollie flies past and perches on the balcony before entering the house in Vlaardingen in the Netherlands on 6 April 2020. “She’s still frightened when Dollie suddenly lands on the balcony railing. I hide my smile behind the camera, as I try to comfort her by saying they won’t hurt you. “I thought he was going to attack me”, she replies. As the nesting pigeons keep coming back to our place, slowly my girls have started to appreciate them – perhaps not as much as I do, but it’s a start”. (Photo by Jasper Doest/World Press Photo 2021)

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