Get ready to pick your jaw back up off the floor, because the World Press Photo Contest have just released their winning images for 2016. Back for its 59th edition, the yearly photographic collection regularly leaves us gaping at the mouth — and this year is no exception. Right at the top with 2015 Photo of the Year is Australia's own Warren Richardson, with his poignant picture of a man passing his baby through a fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border. He beat 82,951 submissions by 5775 photographers from 128 countries for the top prize, while also taking out first prize in the Spot News category.
After almost six decades of beautiful and devastating photojournalism, the WPP contest continues to be one of the world’s most important platforms for art, journalism and humanising the headlines. The exhibition travels the world each year, although sadly it won't be making a stop in Australia in 2016. Take a look through some of the landmark images that caught the eye of the WPP judges; from a Tibetan Bhuddist ceremony in rural China to a 16-year-old Islamic State fighter being treated for burns in Syria, to one of those epics #sydneystorms rolling over Bondi. With many of the photographs documenting the more saddening news headlines, they’re often not easy images to look at, but it’s the work of these photojournalists that wakes up an otherwise ignorant world.
Hope for a New Life, Warren Richardson (Röszke, Hungary)
2015 Photo of the Year + First Prize Spot News, singles
"I camped with the refugees for five days on the border. A group of about 200 people arrived, and they moved under the trees along the fence line. They sent women and children, then fathers and elderly men first. I must have been with this crew for about five hours and we played cat and mouse with the police the whole night. I was exhausted by the time I took the picture. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone."
The Forgotten Mountains of Sudan, Adriane Ohanesian (Sudan)
Second Prize Contemporary Issues, singles
"Adam Abdel, 7, was severely burned after a bomb was dropped by a Sudanese government Antonov plane next to his family home in Burgu, Central Darfur, Sudan."
Bliss Dharma Assembly, Kevin Frayer (Sichuan, China)
Second Prize Daily Life, stories
"A Tibetan Buddhist nomad boy in Sertar county. Tibetan Buddhists take part in the annual Bliss Dharma Assembly. The last of four annual assemblies, the week-long annual gathering takes place in the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar and marks Buddha's descent from the heavens."
IS Fighter Treated at Kurdish Hospital, Mauricio Lima (Hasaka, Syria)
First Prize General News, singles
"A doctor rubs ointment on the burns of Jacob, a 16-year-old Islamic State fighter, in front of a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, at a Y.P.G. hospital compound on the outskirts of Hasaka, Syria."
Storm Front on Bondi Beach, Rohan Kelly (Sydney, Australia)
First Prize Nature, singles
"A massive 'cloud tsunami' looms over Sydney as a sunbather reads, oblivious to the approaching cloud on Bondi Beach."
La Maya Tradition, Daniel Ochoa de Olza (Colmenar Viejo, Spain)
Second Prize People, stories
"Young girls between the age of 7 and 11 are chosen every year as 'Maya' for the 'Las Mayas', a festival derived from pagan rites celebrating the arrival of spring, in the town of Colmenar Viejo, Spain. The girls are required to sit still for a couple of hours in a decorated altar."
Neptun Synchro, Jonas Lindkvist (Stockholm, Sweden)
Third Prize Sports, singles
"Members of the Neptun Synchro synchronized swimming team perform during a Christmas show in Stockholm, Sweden."
See all the 2016 World Press Photo Contest winners and finalists here.