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World Press Photo Awards Top Images of 2015

The contest drew 82,951 images from 5,775 photographers, with a mix of subjects from wrestlers in Senegal to orangutans climbing trees.


Nature 1st prize singles: A sunbather is oblivious to the ominous shelf cloud approaching on Bondi beach on Nov. 6, 2015. A massive cloud looms over Sydney in a spectacular weather event seen only a few times a year. The enormous shelf cloud rolled in from the sea, turning the sky almost black and bringing violent thunderstorms in its wake.

Rohan Kelly / WPP via Reuters
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Nature, 3rd prize stories: A Furcifer ambrensis female forages for insects with extendable tongue in Montagne d'Ambre, Madagascar on Nov. 29, 2014.

Christian Ziegler/National Geographic / WPP via EPA
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Sports, 2nd prize stories: BB Bisma Ndoye defeats the wrestler Maraka Dji in Demba Diop stadium in Dakar, Sierra Leone on April 5, 2015.

Christian Bobst / WPP via EPA
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World Press Photo of the Year and Spot News, 1st prize singles: A man passes a baby through the fence at the Hungary-Serbia border in Roszke, Hungary on Aug. 28, 2015.

Read more: Haunting Migrant Photo Wins Top Prize at World Press

Warren Richardson / WPP via Reuters
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Daily Life, 1st prize singles: Chinese men pull a tricycle in a neighborhood next to a coal-fired power plant in Shanxi, China on Nov. 26, 2015. A history of heavy dependence on burning coal for energy has made China the source of nearly a third of the world's total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the toxic pollutants widely cited by scientists and environmentalists as the primary cause of global warming.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images / WPP via Reuters
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Spot News, 2nd prize stories: A wall of rock, snow and debris roar towards Everest Base Camp in Nepal before slamming into to the southern part of the camp at midday on April 25, 2015, killing at least 22 people. The avalanche was triggered by a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people in the country.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images / WPP via EPA
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General News, 1st prize stories: Migrants and refugees arrive by boat in November 2015 near the village of Skala on the Greek island of Lesbos. Under Europe's system of open internal borders, the island's thinly patrolled, easily accessible coastline, within sight of the Turkish coast, might as well be the frontier of France or Germany or Sweden.


Gallery - Intimate Moments Reveal Migrants' 1000-Mile Trek Across Balkans

Sergey Ponomarev / for The New York Times / WPP via EPA
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Long Term Projects, 3rd prize: The picture is part of project entitled 'North Korea: Life in the Cult of Kim'. Photographer David Guttenfelder documented urban and rural North Korea, capturing the daily life of its citizens, military events and ceremonies. North Korea has been one of the most isolated and least understood countries. Few outsiders have ever had a glimpse of the country and there have been very few independent photographs ever made there. The photographer negotiated unprecedented access and took more than 40 trips to North Korea. Images taken in North Korea between February 2008 and May 2015.


Gallery - Reclusive North Korea Opens doors to Outsiders

David Guttenfelder / WPP via EPA
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General News, 1st prize singles: A doctor rubs ointment on the burns of Jacob, 16, in front of a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, at a YPG hospital compound on the outskirts of Hasaka on Aug. 1, 2015. According to YPG fighters at the scene, Jacob is an ISIS fighter from Deir al-Zour and the only survivior from an ambush made by YPG fighters over a truck alleged to carry ISIS fighters on the outskirts of Hasaka. Six ISIS fighters died in the attack, 5 of them completely disfigured by the explosion.

Mauricio Lima / WPP via Reuters
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Nature, 2nd prize stories: Rangers exhibit their riding skills as they return to Zakouma National Park after weeks on elephant patrol in Zakouma, Chad, on Jan. 7, 2015.

Brent Stirton / Getty Images for National Geographic / WPP via EPA
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People, 2nd prize 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.

Daniel Ochoa de Olza / WPP via AP
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Spot News, 3rd prize stories: A Syrian child fleeing the war is lifted over border fences to enter Turkish territory illegally, near the Turkish border crossing at Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on June 14, 2015.


Gallery - Desperate Syrians Overrun Turkey Border Crossing

Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images / WPP via EPA
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Long Term Projects, 2nd prize: The picture is part of project entitled 'A Life in Death'. A daughter photographs her own parents who were in parallel treatment for stage-four cancer, side by side. The project looks at love, life, and living, in the face of death. It honors their memory by focusing on their strength and love, both individually and together, and shares the story of their final chapters, within a year of each other.

Nancy Borowick / WPP via EPA
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Contemporary Issues, 1st prize singles: A city in northern China is shrouded in haze, Tianjin, China on Dec. 10, 2015.


Gallery - Beijing Smog Reaches Peak Levels Stifling City 

Zhang Lei / Reuters
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Daily Life, 2nd prize stories: Tibetan Buddhist nuns stand following a chanting session in Sertar county, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, China, on Oct. 30, 2015.


Gallery - Buddhists Search for Bliss in Remote Tibetan Plateau

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images / WPP via EPA
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Sports, 1st prize stories: Evgeny Solovyov, head coach of HC Vetluga, prepares the stadium for a match in Vetluga, Russia on Feb. 19, 2015.

Vladimir Pesny / EPA
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Spot News, 2nd prize singles: A demonstration against terrorism in Paris on Jan. 11, 2015, after a series of attacks occurred across the Ile-de-France region, beginning at the headquarters for satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Corentin Fohlen / WPP via EPA
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Contemporary Issues, 3rd prize singles: Lamon Reccord stares down a police sergeant during a protest following the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by police in Chicago on Nov. 25, 2015.


Gallery - Chicago Protesters Take to the Streets for the Second Night

John J. Kim / for The Chicago Tribune / EPA
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Spot News, 1st prize stories: A wounded man walks out of a cloud of dust following reported airstrikes in the town of Hamouria in the eastern Ghouta region, a rebel stronghold east of the Syrian capital Damascus, on Dec. 9, 2015. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported at least 11 civilians, including four children, were killed in strikes on the town of Hamouria, but said it was unclear if they were carried out by Russian or regime aircraft.


Gallery - Dozens Dead After Airstrikes Hit Schools, Hospitals in Syria 

Sameer Al-Doumy / WPP via EPA
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Nature, 1st prize stories: A Bornean orangutan climbs over 30 meters up a tree in the rain forest of Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia on Aug. 12, 2015.

Tim Laman / EPA
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Contemporary Issues, 2nd prize stories: Eritrean migrants - the vast majority of the migrants rescued the day before off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea - gather on the deck of the Medecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) search and rescue ship Bourbon Argos to attend a service conducted by one of the three priests on board the ship on Sept. 3, 2015. The Argos is crossing the Mediterranean Sea towards Italy.


Gallery - Hundreds of Migrants Lost in Desperate European Voyages

Francesco Zizola / WPP via EPA
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Sports, 1st prize singles: Ondrej Bank of Czech Republic crashes during the downhill race of the alpine combined at the FIS World Champioships 2015 in Beaver Creek on Feb. 8, 2015.

Christian Walgram / Reuters
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People, 1st prize singles: A child refugee is covered with a raincoat while she waits in line to get registered in Presevo refugee registration camp on Oct. 7, 2015. Most of the refugees who crossed Serbia try to continue their route towards Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and other countries of the European Union.


Gallery - Migrants Endure Cold and Rain at Balkans Bottleneck


Matic Zorman / WPP via Reuters
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Long Term Projects, 1st prize: The series taken between 2013 and 2015 portrays women who have been raped or sexually assaulted during their service with the US Armed Forces. This picture shows homeless veteran Darlene Matthews in her car in Costa Mesa, Calif. on Dec. 1, 2014.

Mary F. Calvert / EPA
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Nature, 3rd prize singles: The Colima volcano erupts at night in Colima, Mexico on Dec. 13, 2015.

Sergio Tapiro / WPP via EPA
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General News, 1st prize stories: A wounded Syrian girl holds on to a relative as she awaits treatment by doctors at a makeshift hospital in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, following reported air strikes on the city on May 11, 2015.


Gallery - Horrific Images Show Why Syrians flee Their Daily Life

Abd Doumany / WPP via EPA
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Contemporary Issues, 1st prize stories: Runaway talibes stand on the bank of Senegal river, in Saint Louis city, north of Senegal, on May 20, 2015. Saint Louis is known as Talibe city. A city with small proportions compared to Dakar but with a large number of Talibes. Due to that many of them choose the streets instead of Daaras.

Mario Cruz / WPP via EPA
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General News, 3rd prize stories: Bishnu Gurung weeps as the body of her daughter, Rejina Gurung, 3, (unseen), is recovered from the rubble of her earthquake destroyed home, on May 8, 2015 in the village of Gumda, Nepal. Neighbors discovered the body of the small girl in the collapsed entrance of the Gurung family home, ending a 13 day search for Rejina in the remote mountainous village of Gumda in Gorkha district.


Gallery - Hundreds Killed in Nepal Earthquake

Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times / WPP via EPA
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General News, 2nd prize singles: Refugees travel in darkness through Europe to avoid detection in Lesbos, Greece, on Dec. 6, 2015.


Gallery - Chaos in Kos: Greek Isle Overwhelmed by Migrant Influx



Paul Hansen / WPP via EPA
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Daily Life, 3rd prize stories: Raul, the leader of Papo Reto collective, receives an image of mototaxi driver Diego da Costa Algavez, 22, who was shot by a cop near a favela in Rio de Janeiro in February 2015. After the shooting several cars and high caliber armed cops invaded the streets in alert of a possible confrontation with the gangs and the population.

Sebastian Liste for Noor / EPA
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People, 1st prize stories: The world's worst nuclear accident happened on April 26, 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Just 5 months after the disaster, a girl was born in Kiev just 100 km south from Chernobyl. The wind included a great amount of radioactive elements, and the girl became one of the victims of the tragedy. This series of pictures represent the last 30 years of the life of that invisible girl. All pictures taken on old Ukrainian color negative films, which were found in the city of Pripyat, located 5 km from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Kazuma Obara / WPP via EPA
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Daily Life, 1st prize stories: A member of a German research team from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena counts the number of penguin species and pairs as part of ongoing research on bird and penguin species in Antarctica, on Dec. 7, 2015 on Ardley Island in the Fildes Peninsula on King George Island, Antarctica. Yardley Island has been designated an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA 150) because of the importance of its seabird and penguin colonies.

Gallery - The Year in Pictures: 2015

Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times / WPP via EPA
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