Every year, the World Press Photo Foundation, an Amsterdam-based nonprofit whose mission is to “connect the world to the stories that matter,” selects a jury of professional photographers to pore over thousands of photos from the past year. Through these photos, we see humanity at its best and worst—the highs and lows of life on this planet.
Awards are given in eight categories: contemporary issues, environment, general news, long-term projects, nature, portraits, sports, and sports news, in addition to a grand prize winner of the best World Press Photo Story of the year. This year, the contest’s 63rd edition, the seventeen-member jury has selected 44 photographers from 24 countries to compete for the final prizes. The winners, announced last week, will each receive a €10,000 prize.
These incredible images, representing the best in photojournalism from around the world, are stunning for their technical and artistic skill, as well as the stories they tell. Here are this year's winners, and a few unforgettable runner-ups.