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.


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


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."


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."


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."


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


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."


Nature, 2nd prize singles
"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."


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]

Ruined a Photo By Blinking? Facebook Can Fix It With AI

Next time you blink in an otherwise flawless photo, don't be so quick to hit the "delete" button on your phone. As The Verge reports, Facebook is testing a new feature that uses artificial intelligence to make closed eyes look naturally open.

Facebook engineers Brian Dolhansky and Cristian Canton Ferrer described the technology behind the AI in a paper published June 18. They used a type of machine learning called generative adversarial network or GAN. It works by looking at a database of pictures and using that information to generate new imagery where there wasn't any before.

This type of AI has been used to design clothing and video game levels in the past. To get it to work with faces, Facebook engineers showed the system photos taken of people when their eyes were open. After "learning" the subject's eye shape, size, and color, the AI used that data to superimpose a new set of eyes over the blinking lids. The feature still has some trouble working with glasses, long bangs, and pictures taken at an angle, but when it does what it's supposed to, it's hard to tell the photo was ever retouched.

Faces with blinking and open eyes.

Facebook isn't the first company to use AI to salvage photographs with closed eyes. In 2017, Adobe added an "Open Closed Eyes" feature to Photoshop Elements that also uses AI to generate a pair of eyes that match those of the blinking subject. For it to work, users first have to show the system several photos of the subject with their eyes open.

Facebook, which already holds a database of pictures of many of its users, seems like a perfect fit for this type of technology. The social media site is still testing it out, but based on the success of early experiments, they may consider making it available to users in the not-too-distant future. And because Facebook owns Instagram, it's possible that the eye-opening feature will eventually be applied to Instagram posts and Stories as well.

[h/t The Verge]

Remember Every Moment of Your Next Vacation With this Tiny, 360-Degree Camera

Kiss those blurry, shaky, amateurish vacation videos goodbye: As spotted by Travel+Leisure, a new 360-degree camera called Rylo captures every angle of the action around you with little effort, and the high-definition footage can be edited directly on your phone.

The camera is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and has two wide-angle lenses that can be used to consolidate your footage into a 360-degree spherical video for when a single shot just won't cut it. Just press the record button, and the device does the rest of the work.

Alternatively, you can select just one angle or section of the footage and create a more traditional video—simply change the camera’s perspective by tapping on specific points of interest in the video. The choice is all yours with the accompanying mobile editing app, built for both Apple and Android phones.

Shaky hand? Fret not—the camera comes equipped with a stabilization feature, so even if you’re mountain biking down a treacherous path, your video won’t look like the sequel to Cloverfield. The aluminum camera is built to withstand the elements, but for an extra level of protection, Rylo makes a water-resistant Adventure Case.

Other nifty features include time-lapse and something called FrontBack, which lets you add a bubble on top of another video in order to show your reaction as the action unfolds in the background. If you’re skydiving and shooting the scenery around you, for instance, you can also show your face in the corner, should you want to capture those embarrassing reactions for posterity.

The camera is available on Amazon for $499. Check out the company's video below to see it in action.

[h/t Travel+Leisure]


More from mental floss studios