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Warren Richardson, Australia, 2015, "Hope for a New Life"
Warren Richardson, Australia, 2015, "Hope for a New Life"

Check Out the Winners of the 2016 World Press Photo Contest

Warren Richardson, Australia, 2015, "Hope for a New Life"
Warren Richardson, Australia, 2015, "Hope for a New Life"

For the past 59 years, the World Press Photo Foundation has chosen the year's best photographs taken by journalists around the world. This year, the foundation's jury sifted through 82,951 images from 5775 photographers to pick the recently-announced winners, according to Colossal.

In most of the categories—Contemporary Life, Daily Life, General News, Nature, People, Sports, Spot News—the judges chose six images. (Three were selected from the Long Term Projects category.) The group also awarded the World Press Photo of the Year to Australian-born, Eastern European-based photographer Warren Richardson for his photo (above) of men passing a baby under a razor-wire fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border this past summer. The photo, titled Hope For a New Life, also won first prize in the Spot News category.

Richardson told World Press Photo in a statement that he had already been camping with the refugees for five days when the photograph was taken. "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," he said. "So I had to use the moonlight alone."

Check out a few of the honorees below, and to see all of the photographs, head over to the World Press Photo contest page.

ZHANG LEE // HAZE IN CHINA

Contemporary Issues, first prize singles
China, Commissioned by Tianjin Daily
"A city in northern China shrouded in haze, Tianjin, China, 10 December 2015."

KEVIN FRAYER // CHINA'S COAL ADDICTION

Daily Life, 1st prize singles
Canada, Commissioned by Getty Images
"Chinese men pull a tricycle in a neighborhood next to a coal-fired power plant in Shanxi, China, on 26 November 2015."

CHRISTIAN WALGRAM // FIS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Sports, 1st prize singles
Austria, Commissioned by GEPA pictures
"Czech Republic's Ondrej Bank crashes during the downhill race of the Alpine Combined at the FIS World Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA, on 15 February 2015."

ROHAN KELLY // STORM FRONT ON BONDI BEACH

Nature, 1st prize singles
Australia, Commissioned by Daily Telegraph
"A massive 'cloud tsunami' looms over Sydney as a sunbather reads, oblivious to the approaching cloud on Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia on 06 November 2015."

TIM LAMAN // TOUGH TIMES FOR ORANGUTANS

Nature, 1st prize stories
USA
"A Sumatran orangutan threatens another nearby male in the Batang Toru Forest, North Sumatra Province, Indonesia,17 March 2014."

SERGEY PONOMAREV // REPORTING EUROPE'S REFUGEE CRISIS

General News, 1st prize stories
Russia, Commissioned by The New York Times
"Refugees arrive by boat near the village of Skala on Lesbos, Greece, 16 November 2015."

ANUAR PATJANE FLORIUK // WHALE WHISPERERS

Nature, 2nd prize singles
Mexico
"Divers observe and surround a humpback whale and her newborn calf whilst they swim around Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico, 28 January 2015."

DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA // LA MAYA TRADITION

People, 2nd prize stories
Spain, Commissioned by The Associated Press
"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."

[h/t Colossal]

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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David Nadlinger
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science
This Photo of a Single Atom Won a Science Photography Top Prize
David Nadlinger
David Nadlinger

While you've been busy finding just the right Instagram filter for your cat, a University of Oxford graduate student has been occupied with visualizing a single atom and capturing it in a still frame. And the remarkable feat recently earned an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council photography award. Why? It was taken with a conventional camera, and the atom can be seen with the naked eye.

Take a look:

A close-up of a single atom in an ion trap
David Nadlinger

That tiny dot in between the two parallel metal electrodes is a strontium atom suspended by electric fields in an ion trap. It’s visible because the photographer, Ph.D. candidate David Nadlinger, projected blue violet light into a vacuum chamber. The atom absorbed and reflected the light, allowing Nadlinger to snap a photo in the split instant the atom was viewable. The space between the two points is just 0.08 of an inch.

Nadlinger dubbed the image "Single Atom in an Ion Trap" and took the Council’s top award. In a statement, he expressed enthusiasm that other people are now able to see what his work in quantum computing looks like.

[h/t Newsweek]

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