Skip To Content

    2012 World Press Photo Winners

    Stunning, moving, haunting...whichever superlative you'd like to use, these images are amazing. Here are the 1st place winners in each category, and selections from each series that won, but the complete series and all of the runners up are definitely worth a look over at World Press Photo.


    MUBARAK STEPS DOWN: General News, 1st prize singles, Alex Majoli. Protesters cry, chant and scream in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, after listening to the speech in which Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would not give up power. February 10th, 2011.


    BATTLE FOR LIBYA: General News, 1st prize stories, Rémi Ochlik. An opposition fighter rest under a rebellion flag in the middle of the battlefield oil town Ras Lanouf in Libya. March 11th, 2011.


    ON REVOLUTION ROAD: Rebels in Ras Lanuf, Libya. For weeks, rebels held out against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with the hope that the world would come to their aid. Defiance faded as the dictator's planes and tanks began to retake what had been dubbed Free Libya. Yuri Kozyrev, March 11, 2011.


    THE FURY OF THE TSUNAMI: Spot News, 1st prize stories, Koichiro Tezuka. A powerful tsunami surges toward the Japanese coastline, swallowing business and residential areas in Natori City, Miyagi prefecture. The deadly wave arrived one hour and ten minutes after a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Tohoku region of eastern Japan. March 11th, 2011.


    TSUNAMI: People in the News, 1st prize stories, Yasuyoshi Chiba. Nozomi Sabanai (L), together with her sister, looks at a catamaran sightseeing boat that was thrown by the tsunami onto a two-story building, at Otsuchi town, Iwate prefecture, Japan. April 16th, 2011.


    IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Sports, 1st prize singles, Donald Miralle, Jr. Triathletes swim over a school of fish at the start of the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship at Kailua Bay in Kona, Hawaii, considered one of the most grueling races in the world. October 9th, 2011.


    STRELKA: Sports, 1st prize stories, Alexander Taran. Student Artem Eronin, 19, during a fight. In the amateur street fighting tournament known as Strelka in Russia, fighters compete on sand with no time limit, breaks or rounds, and the fight only stops with a knockout or a fighter’s surrender. The matches are held in the back lot of the abandoned Soviet factory Krasnoye Znamya. July 23rd, 2011.


    NORTH KOREA: Daily Life, 1st prize singles, Damir Sagolj. A picture of North Korea's founder, Kim Il-sung, decorates a building in the capital Pyongyang. October 5th, 2011.


    NEVER LET YOU GO: Daily Life, 1st prize stories, Alejandro Kirchuk. Marcos brings flowers to his wife’s grave on her birthday. Monica died in their apartment, in Marcos's hands, as he was going to change her diaper. He visits her grave at least once a month in the cemetery. Marcos, 89, and Monica, 87, had been married and living in their apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for 65 years. In 2007, Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Since that moment, her husband devoted all his time to take care of her. October 9th, 2011


    DANISH AND IRANIAN CULTURE: Portraits, 1st prize singles, Laerke Posselt. The 27-year-old Iranian-born actress Mellica Mehraban grew up in Denmark, but debuted as an actor in Iran in 2011. Taking the leading role as a villain in the spy drama 'Fox Hunting', she learned firsthand about the culture of her native country: following a regime-approved script, she was required to wear a head scarf in all scenes, forbidden from swearing, and learned to show that she was in love with a man without telling him or touching him. May 4th, 2011.


    INTERROGATION ROOM: Portraits, 1st prize stories, Donald Weber. Inside an interrogation room, Ukraine. April 1st, 2010.


    AFGHANISTAN: Arts and Entertainment, 1st prize singles, David Goldman. Canadian Forces soldier Cpl. Ben Vandandaigue plays the drums on Forward Operating Base Sperwan Ghar, overlooking the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. June 24th, 2011.


    THE SOCHI PROJECT: Arts and Entertainment, 1st prize stories, Rob Hornstra. Dimitry Bum sings 'Digi Digi' in the restaurant Lilya. The southern Russian city of Sochi lies on the Black Sea and attracts predominantly Russian holidaymakers who come for a mix of sun, sea, sand and nightlife. Restaurants are plentiful and competition is fierce, with every restaurant employing a regular live musician blasting popular Russian songs.


    CLIFF-CLIMBING POLAR BEAR ATTEMPTING TO EAT SEABIRD EGGS: Nature, 1st prize singles, Jenny E. Ross. A male polar bear climbs precariously on the face of a cliff above the ocean at Ostrova Oranskie in northern Novaya Zemlya, attempting to feed on seabird eggs. This bear was marooned on land and unable to feed on seals--its normal prey--because sea ice had melted throughout the region and receded far to the north as a result of climate change. July 30th, 2011.


    RHINO WARS: Nature, 1st prize stories, Brent Stirton. A four man anti-poaching team permanently guards a Northern White Rhino on Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. July 13th, 2011.


    MARIA: Contemporary Issues, 1st prize singles, Brent Stirton. A drug addict and sex worker, in between clients in a room she rents in Kryvyi Rig, Ukraine. Maria injects drugs on a daily basis and sees many men every week but claims she remains HIV negative. She says she need the money to support herself, her drug habit and her nine-year-old daughter. August 31st, 2011.


    CHILD BRIDES: Contemporary Issues, 1st prize stories, Stephanie Sinclair. Fifteen-year-old Sarita's face, covered in tears and sweat, is covered before she is sent to her new home with her groom. The previous day, she and here young sister, Maya, 8, were married to another set of siblings on the Hindu holy day of Akshaya Tritiya in North India. Child marriage is outlawed in many countries and international agreements forbid the practice yet this tradition still spans continents, language and religion.


    PHOTO OF THE YEAR: Samuel Aranda. A woman holds a wounded relative in her arms, inside a mosque used as a field hospital by demonstrators against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen. October 15th, 2011.

    And don't miss Every World Press Photo Of The Year Since 1955.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form