The 61st World Press Photo Contest has recently announced the winning image of their 2018 competition. Since 1955, the organization has recognized the best in international photojournalism, and their selections are always incredible; they are often hard to look at for very long, as the scenes depict dire situations and humanity at its breaking point. But, these images illuminate the stories that need to be told.
The chosen World Press Photo of the Year always makes a lasting impression. The 2017 winner was certainly one that’s hard to forget; the controversial image was captured during the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey. For 2018, the champion image is just as heart-wrenching; photographer Ronaldo Schemidt shot Venezuela Crisis, a jaw-dropping scene featuring a man named José Víctor Salazar Balza on fire during violent clashes with riot police in the South American country. He survived the incident with first and second-degree burns.
Of the winning image, the judges complimented the image on both its technical abilities as well as the feeling it evokes. Magdalena Herrera, the chair of the jury, remarked, “It’s a classical photo, but it has an instantaneous energy and dynamic. The colours, the movement, and it’s very well composed, it has strength. I got an instantaneous emotion…”
In addition to selecting the World Press Photo of the Year, there are also eight category winners ranging from Nature to People to Sports. (Schemidt also took home the first prize for the Spot News category.) Check out the rest of the winners below, and then take a look back at the nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year 2018 that were announced earlier in the year.