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Paul Hansen wins World Press Photo of the Year 2012

Paul Hansen wins World Press Photo of the Year 2012

© Paul Hansen/Dagens Nyheter

February 2013

The international jury of the 56th annual World Press Photo Contest has selected a picture by Canon photographer Paul Hansen (pictured above), of the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter, as the World Press Photo of the Year 2012.

The picture shows a group of men carrying the bodies of two dead children through a street in Gaza City. They are being taken to a mosque for the burial ceremony while their father’s body is carried behind on a stretcher. Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by a missile strike. Their mother was put in intensive care. The picture was taken on 20 November 2012 in Gaza City, Palestinian Territories.

© Wei Seng Chen

This image by Wei Seng Chen, Malaysia, won 1st Prize in the Sports – Sports Action Single category of the 2013 World Press Photo Contest. 12 February 2012, Batu Sangkar, West Sumatra, Indonesia. A jockey, his feet stepped into a harness strapped to the bulls and clutching their tails, shows relief and joy at the end of a dangerous run across rice fields. The Pacu Jawi (bull race) is a popular competition at the end of harvest season keenly contested between villages.
Taken on a Canon EOS-1D Mark III with an EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens at 220mm; the exposure was 1/500sec at f/8, ISO 800.

Paul Hansen spoke to CPN and explained: “I shall never forget this moment – it’s burned onto me. At the risk of sounding like a beauty contest winner, it is fantastic to win but I have to tell you, I have very mixed emotions right now. It’s such a paradox, you know? On one hand I should be happy, but right now I’m in tears. I’ve been travelling to Gaza for 13 years, and every time I go there it’s the same old cycle of sad stories. But this one was very different. Children have no voice against politicians and soldiers and in the last round of fighting half of the victims killed were children under 18.” The image was taken with an EOS 5D Mark III DSLR at a focal length of 16mm; the exposure was 1/800sec at f/5, ISO 400.

The jury gave prizes in nine themed categories to 54 photographers of 32 nationalities from: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, Palestinian Territories, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA, and Vietnam.

The members of the jury announced the winners at a press conference held at the World Press Photo offices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 15 February.

Mayu Mohanna, jury member from Peru, said of Paul Hansen’s winning picture: “The strength of the picture lies in the way it contrasts the anger and sorrow of the adults with the innocence of the children. It’s a picture I will not forget.”

Santiago Lyon, Vice President and Director of Photography at The Associated Press, spoke of the selection of prizewinners: “When I look at the results, as chair of the jury, I think that the World Press Photo of the Year, and all the other photos that were given prizes, were solid, stellar examples of first-rate photojournalism that is powerful, that is lasting, and that will reach whoever looks at them.”

The 2013 World Press Photo Contest winners

The full list of winners in the 2013 World Press Photo Contest is as follows:

World Press Photo of the Year 2012

Paul Hansen (Dagens Nyheter), Sweden – Gaza Burial, Gaza City, Palestinian Territories, 20 November 2012.

Spot News Singles category

  1. Paul Hansen (Dagens Nyheter), Sweden – Gaza Burial, Gaza City, Palestinian Territories, 20 November 2012.
  2. Emin Özmen, Turkey – Interrogation, Aleppo, Syria, 31 July 2012.
  3. Adel Hana (The Associated Press, collaborator), Palestinian Territories – Gaza City, Palestinian Territories, 20 November 2012.

Spot News Stories category

  1. Bernat Armangue (The Associated Press), Spain – ‘Gaza, November 2012’.
  2. Fabio Bucciarelli (Agence France-Presse), Italy – ‘Battle to Death, Aleppo, Syria, October/December 2012’.
  3. Javier Manzano (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images for The New York Times), USA – ‘Siege of Aleppo, Syria’.

General News Singles category

  1. Rodrigo Abd (The Associated Press), Argentina – Aida, Idlib, Syria, 10 March 2012.
  2. Sebastiano Tomada (Sipa Press USA), USA – Wounded Baby in Hospital, Aleppo, Syria, 3 October 2012.
  3. Dominic Nahr (Magnum Photos for Time magazine), Switzerland – Dead Soldier in Oil Pool, Heglig, South Sudan/Sudan border, 17 April 2012.

Honourable mention – Ammar Awad (Reuters), Jordan – Israeli Border Police Pepper spray Palestinian Protester, Jerusalem, 30 March 2012.

General News Stories category

  1. Alessio Romenzi (for Time magazine), Italy – ‘Syria Under Siege’.
  2. Paolo Pellegrin (Magnum Photos for Zeit Magazin), Italy – ‘Postcards from America: The Crescent, Rochester, NY, USA’.
  3. Daniel Berehulak (Getty Images), Australia – ‘Japan After the Wave’.

Sports Action Singles category

  1. Wei Seng Chen, Malaysia – Pacu Jawi Bull Race, Indonesia.
  2. Yongzhi Chu, China – Warm Up at Sports School, China.
  3. Wei Zheng, China – Synchronized Swimmer at 2012 Olympic Games, London, UK.

Sports Action Stories category

  1. Roman Vondrous (Czech Press Agency), Czech Republic – ‘Cross Country Steeplechase, Czech Republic’.
  2. Sergei Ilnitsky (European Pressphoto Agency), Russia – ‘The Golden Touch - Fencing at the Olympics’.
  3. Chris McGrath (Getty Images), Australia – ‘London 2012 – An Overview’.

Sports Feature Stories category

  1. Jan Grarup (Laif), Denmark – ‘Women’s Basketball, Mogadishu, Somalia’.
  2. Denis Rouvre, France – ‘Sumo Wrestlers, Japan’.
  3. Vittore Buzzi, Italy – ‘Lone Chaw Lethwei Gym, Myanmar’.

Contemporary Issues Singles category

  1. Micah Albert (Redux Images), USA – Woman Reading at Dandora Municipal Dump, Nairobi, Kenya.
  2. Esteban Felix (The Associated Press), Peru – Pool Hall Attack, San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
  3. Emilio Morenatti (The Associated Press), Spain – Shop Stormed by Demonstrators, Barcelona, Spain, 29 March 2012.

Honourable mention – Felipe Dana (The Associated Press), Brazil – Natalia, 15-year-old crack user, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Contemporary Issues Stories category

  1. Maika Elan (Most), Vietnam – ‘The Pink Choice, Vietnam’.
  2. Majid Saeedi (Getty Images), Iran – ‘Life in War, Afghanistan’.
  3. Aaron Huey (for National Geographic magazine), USA – ‘In the Shadow of Wounded Knee, USA’.

Honourable mention – Altaf Qadri (The Associated Press), India – ‘School for Less Fortunate, New Delhi, India’.

Daily Life Singles category

  1. Daniel Rodrigues, Portugal – Youth Playing Football, Dulombi, Guinea-Bissau.
  2. Søren Bidstrup (Berlingske), Denmark – Early Morning on Summer Holiday, Italy.
  3. Jacob Ehrbahn (for Politiken), Denmark – John McLean at Dining Hall, Youngstown, Ohio, USA.

Daily Life Stories category

  1. Fausto Podavini, Italy – ‘Mirella’.
  2. Paolo Patrizi, Italy – ‘Migrant Sex Workers, Italy’.
  3. Tomás Munita (for The New York Times), Chile – ‘El Salvador Gangs’.

Honourable mention – Frederik Buyckx (for De Standaard), Belgium – ‘Pacified Favela’.

People – Observed Portraits Singles category

  1. Nemanja Pancic (Kurir), Serbia – Milan, Belgrade, Serbia.
  2. Marie Hald, Denmark – Bonnie, Soroe, Denmark.
  3. Ilona Szwarc (Redux Pictures), Poland – Kayla, Boston, USA

People – Observed Portraits Stories category

  1. Ebrahim Noroozi, Iran – ‘Victims of Forced Love’.
  2. Daniel Ochoa de Olza (The Associated Press), Spain – ‘Bullfighter’s Comeback’.
  3. Ananda van der Pluijm, The Netherlands – ‘Martin’.

People – Staged Portraits Singles category

  1. Nadav Kander (for The New York Times/Time magazine), Israel - Daniel Kaluuya.
  2. Stefen Chow (for Smithsonian magazine), Malaysia – Ai Wei Wei.
  3. Anna Bedyńska (Agora), Poland – Zuzia.

People – Staged Portraits Stories category

  1. Stephan Vanfleteren, Belgium, (Panos for Mercy Ships/De Standaard), Belgium – ‘People of Mercy, Guinea’.
  2. Ebrahim Noroozi, Iran – ‘Mournful, Iran’.
  3. Fu Yongjun, China, City Express – ‘Miss My Parents So Much, China’.

Nature Singles category

  1. Christian Ziegler, Germany – Southern Cassowary, Australia.
  2. Ali Lutfi (for The Jakarta Globe), Indonesia – Circus at the Crossroads, Indonesia.
  3. Randall Benton (The Sacramento Bee), USA – Caribbean Trumpet Fish, Bonaire.

Nature Stories category

  1. Paul Nicklen (National Geographic Magazine), Canada – ‘Emperor Penguins, Ross Sea’.
  2. Xiaoqun Zheng (Wenzhou Daily), China – ‘The Cage, China’.
  3. Thomas P. Peschak, Germany/South Africa – ‘Whale Sharks, Indian Ocean’.

Now in its 56th year, the annual World Press Photo Contest is universally recognised as the world’s leading international contest for photojournalists, setting the standard for the profession. The judging is conducted at the World Press Photo offices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where all entries are presented anonymously to the jury, which discusses and debates their merits over a period of two weeks. The jury operates independently, and secretaries without voting rights safeguard a fair and correct procedure.

© Christian Ziegler

This image by Christian Ziegler, Germany, won 1st Prize in the Nature Single category of the 2013 World Press Photo Contest. 16 November 2012, Black Mountain Road, Australia. The endangered Southern Cassowary feeds on the fruit of the Blue Quandang tree. Cassowaries are a keystone species in northern Australian rainforests because of their ability to carry so many big seeds such long distances.
Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 16mm; the exposure was 1/13sec at f/11, ISO 640.

The Contest Jury

The 2013 Photo Contest Jury convened in Amsterdam from 2 to 14 February to judge the entries.


Santiago Lyon, USA, Vice President and Director of Photography, The Associated Press.


  • Elisabeth Biondi, Germany/USA, independent curator.
  • Bill Frakes, USA, photographer Sports Illustrated.
  • Staffan Widstrand, Sweden, photographer and Managing Director Wild Wonders of Europe.
  • Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Iraq, Special Correspondent The Guardian.
  • Mayu Mohanna, Peru, photographer and curator.
  • Véronique de Viguerie, France, photographer Reportage by Getty Images.
  • Anne Wilkes Tucker, USA, Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
  • Gu Zheng, China, Professor at School of Journalism, Fudan University, Shanghai.
  • Monica Allende, Spain, Photo Editor The Sunday Times Magazine.
  • Jocelyn Bain Hogg, UK, photographer VII Photo Agency.
  • Rena Effendi, Azerbaijan, photographer.
  • Riason Naidoo, South Africa, Director South African National Gallery, Iziko Museums of South Africa.
  • Anja Niedringhaus, Germany, photographer The Associated Press.
  • Pim Ras, the Netherlands, freelance photographer Algemeen Dagblad.
  • Barbara Stauss, Switzerland, Photo Director and founding member Mare magazine.
  • Steve Winter, USA, contributing photographer National Geographic magazine.
  • Jérôme Bonnet, France, photographer.
  • Platon, UK, photographer CLM/David Maloney.

Jury secretaries:

  • Daphné Anglès, France/USA, European Photo Assignments Editor The New York Times.
  • Simon Njami, Cameroon, independent curator, lecturer and art critic.

The Awards Ceremony

Paul Hansen, the photographer who took the World Press Photo of the Year 2012, will receive the award during the Awards Ceremony in Amsterdam on 25 April 2013. The award also carries a cash prize of €10,000. In addition, sponsor Canon will donate a Canon EOS Digital SLR camera and lens kit to Paul Hansen.

Touring exhibition

The prize-winning pictures are presented in an exhibition visiting more than 100 cities in over 45 countries. The first 2013 World Press Photo exhibition opens in Amsterdam on 26 April 2013.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.