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The Most Astonishing Photos That Won Awards In 2015

It's been another year of awe-inspiring and goosebump-inducing photography. Take a look at the best of the best.

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National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2015

The travel arm of the National Geographic Society received more than 17,000 entries, with one image making it to the top spot: a spectacular photo of divers suspended in the water as they swim near a humpback whale. It was shot by Anuar Patjane Floriuk, from Mexico, near Roca Partida, an island off the west coast of Mexico.

Titled "Whale Whisperer", Floriuk told National Geographic: “The photo wasn’t planned … I was taking photos near the head of the whale, and all of a sudden she began to swim toward the rest of the diving team. The divers gave the whale and her calf space, and I just clicked at the moment when the flow and composition seemed right.”


Second Place – "Gravel Workmen" by Ahmed Al Toqi

Ahmed Al Toqi / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

"Three gravel workmen are looking through the window glass at their work place." – Ahmed Al Toqi



Third Place – "Camel Ardah" by Ahmed Al Toqi

Ahmed Al Toqi / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

"Camel Ardah, as it is called in Oman, is one of the traditional styles of camel racing between two camels controlled by expert men. The faster camel is the loser, so they must be running at the same speed level in the same track." – Ahmed Al Toqi

Merit – "Kushti, Indian Wrestling" by Alain Schroeder

Alain Schroeder / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

"Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling. Wearing only a well-adjusted loincloth (langot), wrestlers (Pelwhans) enter a pit made of clay, often mixed with salt, lemon, and ghee (clarified butter). At the end of a workout, wrestlers rest against the walls of the arena covering their heads and bodies with earth to soak up any perspiration and avoid catching cold. This relaxation ceremony is completed with massages to soothe tired muscles and demonstrate mutual respect." – Alain Schroeder

Merit – "Romania, Land of Fairy Tales" by Eduard Gutescu

Eduard Gutescu / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

White frost over Pestera village in Romania.

Merit – "White Rhinos" by Stefane Berube

Stefane Berube / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

"The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good picture of the endangered white rhino ... In the morning I woke up to all three rhinos grazing in front of me." – Stefane Berube

Merit – "Highlanders" by Bartłomiej Jurecki

Bartłomiej Jurecki / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

"Traditional haymaking in Poland. Many people continue to use the scythe and pitchfork to sort the hay." – Bartłomiej Jurecki

Merit – "Catching a Duck" by Sarah Wouters

Sarah Wouters / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

"Two boys are trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall." – Sarah Wouters

Merit – "Sauna in the Sky" by Stefano Zardini

Stefano Zardini / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

"A sauna at 2,800 metres high, in the heart of Dolomites, Monte Lagazuoi, Cortina, eastern Italian Alps." – Stefano Zardini

Merit – "A Night at Deadvlei" by Beth McCarley

Beth McCarley / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest / Via natgeo.com

"The night before returning to Windhoek, we spent several hours at Deadveli [in Namibia]. The moon was bright enough to illuminate the sand dunes in the distance, but the skies were still dark enough to clearly see the milky way and magellanic clouds. Deadveli means 'dead marsh'. The camelthorn trees are believed to be about 900 years old, but have not decomposed because the environment is so dry." – Beth McCarley

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Now in its seventh year, the Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomy photo contest received a record number of entries: over 2,700 from 60 countries, across a range of categories.

The overall winner was French photographer Luc Jamet with his picture of the drama of the total solar eclipse of 20 March 2015, 100 metres above the wintry valley of Sassendalen in the Norwegian territory of Svalbard.

Overall Winner – "Eclipse Totality over Sassendalen", by Luc Jamet, France

Luc Jamet / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"The total solar eclipse of 20 March 2015 seen from Svalbard – one of only two habitable locations that were able to witness totality – just 16 seconds after it began. The image shows totality about 100 metres above the large valley of Sassendalen situated on the only permanently inhabited island of the Norwegian archipelago. Venus can also be seen in the photograph, as a bright spot in the upper left of the image." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015


Runner Up – "Sunderland Noctilucent Cloud Display" by Matt Robinson, UK

Matt Robinson / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"Taken on 7 July 2014 from Seaburn Beach, Sunderland, in the north of England. The photographer had seen nightly displays of noctilucent clouds for up to seven days prior to taking this shot ... Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere and form above 200,000 feet. Thought to be formed of ice crystals, the clouds occasionally become visible at twilight when the sun is below the horizon and illuminates them. They are usually bluish or silver in colour, but sometimes appear orangey-red or red when they are on the horizon, as seen in this photograph." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Highly Commended – "River of Light" by Martin Campbell, UK

Martin Campbell / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"Positioned 3,000 metres above sea level for a night of stargazing, the photographer captured the Milky Way, boasting star clouds and nebulae, expanding over towering peaks in the Hautes-Pyrénées." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Aurorae category

Winner – "Silk Skies" by Jamen Percy, Australia

Jamen Percy / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"Taken in Abisko National Park in Lapland. The photographer had all but given up on seeing the aurora after spending many hours atop a mountain waiting to catch a glimpse of them. As he stumbled down the hill he saw the green reflection of the aurora in the snow and captured this breathtaking shot of the piercing blue light show coursing through the night sky." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Runner-Up – "April Aurora" by Kolbein Svensson, Norway

Kolbein Svensson / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"A little after midnight, when the nights in central Norway begin to get really bright, the photographer captured a phenomenal vision of greens and purples dancing across the sky above him, contrasting with the tangerine glow of the sunset towards the bottom of the image." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015


Highly Commended – "Sumo Waggle Adventure" by Arild Heitmann, Norway

Arild Heitmann / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"The vivid green aurora swirls across the night sky, countering the stillness of the Lomaas River and the snowy trees aligned on its banks. The photographer went the extra mile to achieve the beautiful shot, immersing himself in the river for over two hours in waters of a temperature of -15 degrees [celsius]. Upon exiting the river his wet waders froze almost immediately causing him to ‘waggle’ over to his car like a sumo wrestler and inspiring the name for this photograph." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Galaxies category

Winner – "M33 Core" by Michael Van Doorn, Netherlands

Michael Van Doorn / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"Lying approximately 3 million light years away, M33 – often named the Triangulum Galaxy after the constellation it can be found in – is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies behind the Andromeda Galaxy and our very own galaxy, the Milky Way. It is one of the most distant permanent objects in the night sky that can be seen with the naked eye in optimum conditions." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Our Sun category

Winner – "Huge Prominence Lift-Off" by Paolo Porcellana, Italy

Paolo Porcellana / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"A massive, searing hot loop of plasma radiates from the edge of our local star – the sun – in a phenomenon known as a solar prominence. Emanating from the outer of the sun shell from which light is emitted, also known as its photosphere; the photographer has captured this prominence extending to the corona, which is the aura of the plasma surrounding it, as it detaches from the gaseous body. During the process of detachment the prominence reached a length of over 700,000 kilometres – a length roughly equal to the radius of the sun itself." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Runner-Up – "Totality Ends" by David Wrangborg, Sweden

David Wrangborg / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"An arresting image of the total solar eclipse of 20 March 2015, taken just after totality occurs and depicting the moments after the sun begun to emerge from behind the moon following approximately two minutes of coverage. Photographed from the Norwegian territory of Svalbard, which was one of only two habitable locations to experience totality." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

People and Space category

Winner – "Sunset Peak Star Trail", by Chap Him Wong, Hong Kong

Chap Him Wong / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"Campers shelter from the wind next to old stone cottages looking up to Sunset Peak, the third-highest mountain in Hong Kong, standing at 869 metres tall. Above the mountain and at an even further distance from the campers, the stars appear to flash across the night sky leaving trails in their wake but are in fact portraying the movement of the Earth on its axis." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Highly Commended – "Interaction" by Tommy Eliassen, Norway

Tommy Eliassen / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"An engrossed stargazer stands in the spotlight of a brilliant display of the Aurora Borealis in Norway, seemingly about to be beamed up into space." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Planets, Comets and Asteroids category

Winner – "The Arrow Missed the Heart" by Lefteris Velissaratos, Greece

Lefteris Velissaratos / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"A coincidental alignment shows the Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques travelling just below the famed Heart Nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Stars and Nebulae category

Winner – "The Magnificent Omega Centauri" by Ignacio Diaz Bobillo, Argentina

Ignacio Diaz Bobillo / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"The globular cluster Omega Centauri is a dense orb of approximately 10 million stars, many of which are redder, cooler, and even older than our sun. The cluster can be found 15,800 light years away from Earth and has a diameter of 150 light years." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Joint Runner-Up – "Orion Mega Mosaic" by Tom O’Donoghue and Olly Penrice, Ireland

Tom O'donoghue And Olly Penrice / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"A phenomenal view of the huge expanse of the Orion complex, made up of 34 panes comprising over 400 hours of exposure. The red emission nebula Barnard’s Loop stretches – approximately 300 lightyears in length – across the vastness captured here, arcing around the famed Orion and Horsehead nebulae." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year category

Winner – "A Celestial Visitor", by George Martin, UK, aged 15

George Martin / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy made the news in late 2014 and early 2015 as it soared through the night sky and was visible to many with the naked eye, a sight that won’t be seen for another 8,000 years but was captured by 15-year-old George Martin on 18 December 2014. Comet Lovejoy has become known for its distinctive, bright green colouring, caused by excited molecules of cyanogen and diatomic carbon in its nucleus." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Runner-Up – "Mega Moon" by Ethan Chappel, USA, aged 15

Ethan Chappel / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"A close-up view of our moon detailing the many craters on its surface. The mosaic of 16 frames captures the craters of Copernicus, Kepler, Aristarchus, and Grimaldi, which were created between 3.8 to 4.1 billion years ago from continuous impacts from high-speed asteroids, in a period that is known as the Late Heavy Bombardment. Also seen in the image is the gloomy Ocean of Storms, a huge lunar mare or sea, made up of solidified basalt from volcanic activity that took place after the Late Heavy Bombardment." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

Special Prize: The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer

Winner – "Orion DT" by David Tolliday, UK

David Tolliday / Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

"Lying 1,300 light years away from Earth, the Orion Nebula is found in Orion’s Sword in the famous constellation named after the blade’s owner. The Orion Nebula is one of the most photographed and studied objects in the night sky, due to the intense activity within the stellar nursery that sees thousands of new stars being created. The nebula is thought to measure about 24 light years across and have a mass 2,000 times that of our sun." – Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

The CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year competition encourages amateur and professional photographers to capture the essence of the urban environment through the brief of "Cities at Work". This year saw over 21,000 entries from 113 countries.

Oscar Rialubin from the Philippines was named the 2015 winner for his image "Xyclops", which shows a watch repairman at work in Doha, Qatar.

Overall winner – "Xyclops" by Oscar Rialubin, taken in Doha, Qatar

Oscar Rialubin / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"Although this looks like an image of an empty stare of a watch repairman, his wrinkled face tells a thousand stories." –  Oscar Rialubin

Americas Regional Winner – "Winter Work" by Christopher Martin, taken in Alberta, Canada

Christopher J Martin / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"On a cold morning in January, airplanes required de-icing before being able to takeoff. As I waited for my flight to warmer climes, I watched a crane truck approach this plane.  It stopped a few metres away, the bucket then extended upwards with this gentleman waiting to go to work.  When he turned on the spray from the hose, the steam lit by the rising sun made for a compelling image." – Christopher J Martin

Asia-Pacific Regional Winner – "Poultry Prepared for Market" by Peter Graney, taken in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Peter Graney / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"Poultry is prepared ready for sale at a nearby market in Phnom Penh. The operation is well hidden from sight by a high wall but I was able to get an image from above with some careful balancing. The lack of refrigeration in the local houses means most meat is sold fresh. Lack of cleanliness and hygiene standards make for a stark contrast to food preparation in the West." – Peter Graney

Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Winner – "Couple Policemen" by Armen Dolukhanyan, taken in Kharkov, Ukraine

Armen Dolukhanyan / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"This young couple, both police officers, were having a deep discussion. The girl seemed sad and there was lots of tears. I left them hoping they were happy and sorted out their problems." – Armen Dolukhanyan

Mobile Category

Winner – "Blizzard Days" by Cocu Liu, taken in Chicago, USA

Cocu Liu / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"I took this photo near the Chicago Board of Trade building during the snowstorm in the past winter." – Cocu Liu

A selection of "Hourly Winners"

"Managing Influence" by Pedro Guimarães Lins Machado, taken in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Pedro Guimarães Lins Machado / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"This picture was taken during a series of protests and is part a small documentary called 'To The Streets!'" – Pedro Guimarães Lins Machado

"General Compartment" by Sujan Sarkar, taken in Kolkata, India

Sujan Sarkar / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"The passengers were sleeping in the Indian railways compartment late at night." – Sujan Sarkar

"Waiting for Tourists" by Grzegorz Piaskowski, taken in Varanasi, India

Grzegorz Piaskowski / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"In the evening, tourists want to see the burning piles from the river. Early morning boat owners offer to admire the sunrise. Their employees must keep their family. Daily rowing is hard work,  therefore after departure, paddlers negotiate with the tourists to shorten the agreed route. The spell of romantic trip is broken, but people have the opportunity to touch the Indian reality. In India every inch of opportunities to earn money is divided and inherited." – Grzegorz Piaskowski

"Crossroads" by Joshua Charow, taken in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, USA

Joshua Charow / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"There had always been a skyscraper looming over Manhattan which interested me more than the others. The architecture  intrigued me and it was a dream to take pictures from the top. After dozens of calls and emails later, I stood 40 floors above the ground on one of the patios looking over the vast city. This was the vantage point where 'Crossroads' was taken." – Joshua Charow

"Morning Shift" by Jan Košťál, taken in Sitakunda, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Jan Košťál / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"The photo was taken in the shipbreaking yards on the Bay of Bengal, near the city of Chittagong. Labourers were taking barrels with gasoline from old vessels, using the high tide for easy transportation. This controversial industry is probably the biggest of its kind in the world." – Jan Košťál

"Sumo" by Lukasz Kazimierz Palka, taken in Tokyo, Japan

Lukasz Kazimierz Palka / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"Sumo wrestlers spar in the early morning at Nakano, Tokyo, while instructed by their coach, a former sumo champion." – Lukasz Kazimierz Palka

"Construction on Call" by Geoff Williams, taken in Birmingham New Street Station, UK

Geoff Williams / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"On 27 October 2014 I went to Birmingham New Street railway station to photograph the ongoing refurbishment and construction work. The new outer skin of the building on Stephenson Street was made of highly reflective curved metal panels and these created distorted reflections of the construction workers and the much older Midland Hotel on the opposite side of the street. I noticed that while one of the builders was working hard another stood nearby leaning on his shovel and using his mobile phone and I thought this made for an interesting composition." – Geoff Williams

"Old School" by Goran Jovic, taken in New York, USA

Goran Jovic / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"One of the last 'analog men' surrounded by modern technology in a digital world." – Goran Jovic

"Cleaning the Western Wall" by Louis Capeloto, taken in Jerusalem, Israel

Louis Capeloto / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"A very rare sight of workers gathering the messages put by worshipers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This was the first time in many years I had seen these workers." – Louis Capeloto

"Workers" by SHM Mushfiqul Alam, taken in Dhaka, Bangladesh

SHM Mushfiqul Alam / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"Two workers are carrying jeans to the market. Local factories produce jeans for the Eid festival." – SHM Mushfiqul Alam

"Dog Walker" by Johanna Siegmann, taken in Malibu, California, USA

Johanna Siegmann / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"Leslie is a professional dog walker, who also offers boarding services. She can walk up to 20 dogs at a time, although on this day she 'only' had 12. Here she is driving them to a dog park, where they will be allowed to run around, unleashed. The hardest part of her job, from what I witnessed, was unraveling the giant macramé knot of leashes created when the dogs weave in and out around each other." – Johanna Siegmann

"In Between Work" by Ankit Narang, taken in New Delhi, India

Ankit Narang / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"Some labourers were working right below my house. I climbed up on my terrace and captured this moment instantly where the mother was taking a nap with her daughter. After observing them for some time I got a strong message yet again that life is not easy. Forced to work as a labourer due to lack of education they don't have houses to live in, nor do they have access to the basic needs. They make construction sites their temporary home, moving from one place to another. Things should not be taken for granted." – Ankit Narang

"Underground" by Mario Pereda Berga, taken in Shinjuku Station, Tokyo

Mario Pereda Berga / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"This image was part of a series taken in November of the past year in various cities of Japan. I took this picture at Shinjuku station, Tokyo. This station was used by an average of 3.64 million people per day in 2007, making it, by far, the world's busiest transport hub. I expected to find employees with white gloves stuffing people on the train. However, Japanese people are very respectful of each other, and when the wagon is full, people often wait for the next train." – Mario Pereda Berga

"Wine" by David Martin Huamani Bedoya, taken in Lima, Perú

David Martin Huamani Bedoya / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"I could see that inside the wine cellar a worker was reviewing and pointing to a list of wines. I took this picture without preparing the scene; the light was nice and the employee was very focused." – David Martin Huamani Bedoya

"Mannequins" by Katia Morichetti, taken in Brescia, Italy

Katia Morichetti / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"I walked down the street and there were no people, except them." – Katia Morichetti

"Oriental Fast Food" by Marcos Sobral, taken in Beijing, China

Marcos Sobral / CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year 2015

"This gentleman was selling several kinds of insects and other animals such as scorpions, larvae, and some pig and cow organs, cooked on a small wooden stick." – Marcos Sobral

Sony World Photography Awards 2015

The Sony World Photography Awards announced American photographer John Moore as the overall winner and professional photographer of the year with his photo project “Ebola Crisis Overwhelms Liberian Capital”.

Moore’s hard-hitting series centred on the human tragedy of the Ebola epidemic in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, the epicentre of the deadly disease. Other winners were awarded in 13 professional categories and also in open, youth, and student awards.

Current Affairs Photographer of the Year – "Sister's Grief" by John Moore

John Moore / Getty Images, US, Winner, Current Affairs, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"A woman crawls towards the body of her sister as Ebola burial team members take her away. In the summer of 2014 Monrovia, Liberia became the epicenter of the West African Ebola epidemic, the worst in history. Although previous rural outbreaks were more easily contained, once the virus began spreading in Monrovia's dense urban environment, the results were described by Medecins Sans Frontieres as 'catastrophic'." – John Moore

Current Affairs Photographer of the Year – "Blue Room" by John Moore

John Moore / Getty Images, US, Winner, Current Affairs, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"Omu Fahnbulleh stands over her husband Ibrahim after he fell and died in a classroom used for Ebola patients." – John Moore

Travel Photographer of the Year – "Aerial Views Adria" by Bernhard Lang

Bernhard Lang / Germany, Winner, Travel, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

The colourful umbrellas create amazing geometric patterns which contrast dramatically with the golden sand and azure-coloured sea. From the air it is possible to see how almost every inch of sand is used on a busy summer's day on the Adriatic coastline.


Campaign Photographer of the Year – "Shooting ball" by Sebastian Gil Miranda

Sebastian Gil Miranda / France, Winner, Campaign, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

This picture was taken as part of the social project Uniendo Caminos, in the Chapel Our Lady of Lujan, in Villa La Carcova, Jose Leon Suarez, Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the country.

Campaign Photographer of the Year – "Ball religion" by Sebastian Gil Miranda

Sebastian Gil Miranda / France, Winner, Campaign, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

This picture was taken as part of the social project Uniendo Caminos, in the Chapel Our Lady of Lujan, in Villa La Carcova, Jose Leon Suarez, Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the country.

People Photographer of the Year – "La Ville Noire – The Dark Heart of Europe" by Giovanni Troilo

Giovanni Troilo / Italy, Winner, People, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Philippe passes most of his time in his beautiful house in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Charleroi.

Student Focus Photographer of the Year – "On the way to the edge" by Svetlana Blagodareva

Svetlana Blagodareva / Russia, Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University, winner, Student Focus, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

People who live in the city edges spend much time on the way. In the morning mist they struggle with the remainder of sleep, in the dawn they drowse, only by force of habit trying to read something or chat. They observe through the veil floating quarters of the city behind the window... Only the subtle envelope of unconsciousness makes each of them feel comfortable in between the skyscrapers, bridges and overpasses, so inhospitable in the darkness.

Student Focus Photographer of the Year – "On the way to the edge" by Svetlana Blagodareva

Svetlana Blagodareva / Russia, Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University, winner, Student Focus, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Sport Photographer of the Year – "Las Valkyrias de Bolivia" by Riccardo Bononi

Riccardo Bonomi / IRFOSS, Italy, Winner, Sport, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"When I was working in the San Pedro prison in La Paz I met a woman living inside the jail and left only during the weekend for a fight. That made me curious to follow this woman in her world of the Bolivian female lucha libre." – Riccardo Bonomi

Sport Photographer of the Year – "Las Valkyrias de Bolivia" by Riccardo Bononi

Riccardo Bonomi / IRFOSS, Italy, Winner, Sport, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"Bolivia is proud of being the Latin American country with the highest the number of actively working women. Bolivian women no longer are the subject for the "weaker sex" prejudice, they are rather associated with the outstanding physical stamina, the inclination to struggle, and great brute strength. Then it must not be surprising that, in the poorest neighbourhood of La Paz (4,000m), a bunch of female farmers from the countryside get together every Sunday in the ring for a public fight. Wearing the traditional cholitas (the term originally refers to the "indigenous mixed-race" people) clothes and bowlers, Bolivian Valkyries deal with even more demanding fights once they get out of the ring, raising their children all by themselves and working between the fields and the urban street markets."


Architecture Photographer of the Year – "Intimate Room, Targsor Penitentiary, Romania, 2011" by Cosmin Bumbut

Cosmin Bumbutz / Romania, Winner, Architecture, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"Once Romania joined the European Union in 2007, the whole prison system went through major revamp and the biggest reform was to introduce the right to private visits. This means that a prisoner who is married or in a relationship has the right to receive, every three months, a two-hour private visit which takes place in a separate room inside the prison compound. Plus, if a prisoner gets married in detention he or she can spend 48 hours with the spouse in the special room and is allowed visits once a month in the first year of marriage. I started photographing the private rooms in 2008 and I have now photographed the private rooms inside all Romanian penitentiaries (35 penitentiaries)." – Cosmin Bumbut

Architecture Photographer of the Year – "Intimate Room, Tulcea Penitentiary, Romania, 2013" by Cosmin Bumbut

Cosmin Bumbut / Romania, Winner, Architecture, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"I was taking pictures at the Aiud prison when Romania joined the EU and reformed the prison system – the biggest change was the right to private visits. I had the idea of photographing 'private rooms' since then, but I did not find the time to visit all Romanian prisons until 2014." – Cosmin Bumbut

Arts & Culture Photographer of the Year - "Tweeting Prom" by Aristide Economopoulos

Aristide Economopoulos / US, Winner, Arts & Culture, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

A girl tweets during her prom. For many teenagers, social media has become an important outlet of who they are.

Arts & Culture Photographer of the Year – "Dance Floor" by Aristide Economopoulos

Aristide Economopoulos / US, Winner, Arts & Culture, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Students at Newark's Arts High School keep the dance floor busy at the Richfield Regency in Verona.

Contemporary Issues Photographer of the Year – "Butterflies chapter 3 photo 4" by Scott Typaldos

Scott Typaldos / Prospekt, Switzerland,Winner, Contemporary Issues, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"A documentary project on mental illness. In Ancient Greece, drifting souls were often represented by butterfly symbols. This was a direct link to Psyche, the soul goddess, who was similarly depicted with delicate lepidoptera wings. When looking for a title for my work on the mental condition, I wanted a word that elevated the individuals I had met above the stale socially created traumas and stigmatizations, which had ruined their lives. The word 'Butterflies' soon imposed itself as an image of a delicate but radiant state of being." – Scott Typaldos

Contemporary Issues Photographer of the Year – "Butterflies chapter 3 photo 6" by Scott Typaldos

Scott Typaldos / Prospekt, Switzerland, Winner, Contemporary Issues, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Documentary project on mental illness.

Landscape Photographer of the Year – "Mt Kenya 1934" by Simon Norfolk

Simon Norfolk/INSTITUTE, United Kingdom, Winner, Landscape, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"Mapping with a pyrograph, the melting away of the Lewis Glacier on Mt. Kenya. The flame line shows the Lewis Glacier's location in 1963." – Simon Norfolk

Landscape Photographer of the Year – "Mt Kenya 1934" by Simon Norfolk

Simon Norfolk / United Kingdom, Winner, Landscape, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Lifestyle Photographer of the Year – "Ethnic Yi People Living in the Great Liangshan Mountains of China" by Li Fan

Li Fan/ Lon Gallery, China, Winner, Lifestyle, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

"Living in the Great Liangshan Mountains in southwest Sichuan province of China, the ethnic Yi people experienced a great societal change from the slave society to the socialist society after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949." – Li Fan

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

The top spot for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition was taken by a photo of two foxes showing the struggle for life in the subarctic climes of Cape Churchill, Canada, beating more than 42,000 entries submitted from across 96 countries.

Winner – "A tale of two foxes", by Don Gutoski from Canada

Don Gutoski / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"It’s a frozen moment revealing a surprising behaviour, witnessed in Wapusk National Park, on Hudson Bay, Canada, in early winter. Red foxes don’t actively hunt Arctic foxes, but where the ranges of two predators overlap, there can be conflict. In this case, it led to a deadly attack. Though the light was poor, the snow-covered tundra provided the backdrop for the moment that the red fox paused with the smaller fox in its mouth in a grim pose." – Don Gutoski

Winner, Young Wildlife Photographer – "Ruffs on display" by Ondrej Pelánek from the Czech Republic

Ondrej Pelánek / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"On their traditional lek ground – an area of tundra on Norway’s Varanger Peninsula – territorial male ruffs in full breeding plumage show off their ruffs to each other, proclaiming ownership of their courtship areas." – Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Winner, 15-17 years old – "Flight of the scarlet ibis" by Jonathan Jagot from France

Jonathan Jagot / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"Jonathan has been sailing round the world with his family for five years, and for the past three years he has been taking wildlife photographs. It was when they anchored off the island of Lençóis on the coast of northeast Brazil that he saw his first scarlet ibis – the most beautiful birds he had ever seen." – Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Winner, Birds – "The company of three" by Amir Ben-Dov from Israel

Amir Ben-Dov / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"Red-footed falcons are social birds, migrating in large flocks from central and eastern Europe to southern and southwestern Africa." – Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Winner, Amphibians and Reptiles – "Still life" by Edwin Giesbers from The Netherlands

Edwin Giesbers / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"A great crested newt hangs motionless near the surface of the stream. Also motionless in the water, in Gelderland in the Netherlands, was Edwin in a wetsuit. He had very slowly moved his compact camera right under the newt, and though he knew the shot he wanted, he had to guess at the framing and literally point and shoot." – Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Winner, Underwater – "A whale of a mouthful" by Michael AW from Australia

Michael AW / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"A Bryde’s whale rips through a swirling ball of sardines, gulping a huge mouthful in a single pass. As it expels hundreds of litres of seawater from its mouth, the fish are retained by plates of baleen hanging down from its palate; they are then pushed into its stomach to be digested alive. This sardine baitball was itself a huge section of a much larger shoal below that common dolphins had corralled by blowing a bubble-net around the fish and forcing them up against the surface." – Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Winner, From The Sky – "The art of algae" by Pere Soler from Spain

Pere Soler / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"The Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park on the coast of Andalucia, Spain, is a mosaic of marshes, reedbeds, sand dunes and beaches, which attracts great numbers of birds, and in spring it is an important migration stopping-off point. Pere was there for the birds but also for a spring phenomenon, only fully visible from the air." – Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Winner, Urban – "Shadow Walker" by Richard Peters from the UK

Richard Peters / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"A snatched glimpse or a movement in the shadows is how most people see an urban fox, and few know when and where it goes on its nightly rounds. It was that sense of living in the shadows that Richard wanted to convey. He had been photographing nocturnal wildlife in his back garden in Surrey, England, for several months before he had the idea for the image, given to him by the fox when it walked through the beam of a torch he had set up, casting its profile on the side of his shed." – Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Winner, Impressions – "Life comes to art" by Juan Tapia from Spain

Juan Tapia / Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

"Every year, a pair of barn swallows nests in the rafters of an old storehouse on Juan’s farm in Almeria, southern Spain, entering the building through a broken windowpane." – Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

World Press Photo 2015

The 58th annual World Press Photo Contest was won by Danish photographer Mads Nissen, a staff photographer for the Danish daily newspaper Politiken, represented by Panos Pictures.

Nissen’s picture shows Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment in St Petersburg, Russia. The photo is part of a larger project by Nissen called “Homophobia in Russia”, highlighting the increasing difficulties that lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people face in Russia, including legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks.

First Prize, Contemporary Issues – Mads Nissen, taken in St. Petersburg, Russia

Mads Nissen, Denmark, Scanpix/Panos Pictures / Via worldpressphoto.org

"Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks from conservative religious and nationalistic groups." – Mads Nissen

First Prize, Portraits – Raphaela Rosella, taken in New South Wales, Australia

Raphaela Rosella, Australia, Oculi / Via worldpressphoto.org

"Laurinda waits in her purple dress for the bus that will take her to Sunday School. She is among the many socially isolated young women in disadvantaged communities in Australia facing entrenched poverty, racism, trans-generational trauma, violence, addiction, and a range of other barriers to health and well-being." – Raphaela Rosella

Second Prize, Daily Life – Åsa Sjöström, taken in Baroncea, Moldova

Åsa Sjöström, Sweden, Moment Agency / INSTITUTE for Socionomen / UNICEF / Via worldpressphoto.org

"Igor hands out chocolates to a classmate to celebrate his ninth birthday. When he and his twin brother Arthur were 2 years old, their mother travelled to Moscow to work in the construction field and later died. They have no father. They are among thousands of children growing up without their parents in the Moldovan countryside. Young people have fled the country, leaving a dwindling elderly population and young children." – Åsa Sjöström

Second Prize Daily Life, Stories – Sarker Protick, taken in Bangladesh

Sarker Protick, Bangladesh / Via worldpressphoto.org

John wears his grandson’s bowler hat. "It was in the afternoon. I was sitting on my grandpa’s couch. The door was slightly open, and I saw light coming through, washed out between the white door and white walls. All of a sudden it all started making sense. I could relate what I was seeing with what I felt. John and Prova, my grandparents. Growing up, I found much love and care from them. They were young and strong.

"As time went by, it shaped everything in its own way. Bodies took different forms and relations went distant. Grandma’s hair turned gray, the walls started peeling off and the objects were all that remained. Everything was contained into one single room. They always love the fact that I take pictures of them because then I spend more time with them, and they don’t feel lonely anymore. After Prova passed away, I try to visit more so John can talk. He tells me stories of their early life, and how they met. There are so many stories. Here, life is silent, suspended. Everything is on a wait; A wait for something that I don’t completely understand." – Sarker Protick

First Prize, General News – Sergei Ilnitsky, taken in Ukraine

Sergei Ilnitsky, Russia, European Pressphoto Agency

"Damaged goods lie in a kitchen in downtown Donetsk. Ordinary workers, miners, teachers, pensioners, children, and elderly women and men are in the midst of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Artillery fire killed three people and wounded 10 on 26 August 2014." – Sergei Ilnitsky

Second Prize, Contemporary Issues – Ronghui Chen, taken in Yiwu, China

Ronghui Chen, China, City Express / Via worldpressphoto.org

"Wei, a 19-year-old Chinese worker, wearing a face mask and a Santa hat, stands next to Christmas decorations being dried in a factory as red powder used for coloring hovers in the air. He wears six masks a day and the hat protects his hair from the red dust, which covers workers from head to toe like soot after several hours of work." – Ronghui Chen

Second Prize, Long-Term Projects – Kacper Kowalski

Kacper Kowalski, Poland, Panos Pictures / Via worldpressphoto.org

"Kacper Kowalski is a pilot and a photographer. Side Effects is a documentary project about the complex relationship between humans and nature. The photos were shot either from a paraglider or a gyroplane, some 150 meters above the ground, mainly in the area around Gdynia, in Poland. In this work, Kowalski explores answers to questions that deeply interest him: What is the natural environment for humans? Is it an untouched, virgin landscape? Or is it a landscape that has changed, adapted to human needs?" – World Press Photo Contest 2015

First Prize, Nature, Stories – Anand Varma

Anand Varma, USA, for National Geographic Magazine

"When spores of the fungus land on an ant, they penetrate its exoskeleton and enter its brain, compelling the host to leave its normal habitat on the forest floor and scale a nearby tree. Filled to bursting with fungus, the dying ant fastens itself to a leaf or another surface. Fungal stalks burst from the ant'€™s husk and rain spores onto ants below to begin the process again." – Anand Varma