Syria photo series wins prize at World Press Photo awards

Syrian rebels dodge debris after the wall, which they were taking cover behind, is hit by a shell fired from a government controlled checkpoint during fighting between the two sides in Damascus on Jan. 30, 2013. (Reuters)

Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic won first place in the “Spot News Stories” category of the World Press Photo of the Year award for a photographic series of a rebel attack on a government checkpoint in Damascus, Syria on Jan. 30.

One black-and-white image captures the instant after a shell has landed and a fleeing man is engulfed by dust and rubble.

Meanwhile, the top prize went to a moonlit image of migrants trying to get mobile phone signals on a Djibouti beach on Friday won the World Press Photo of the Year award for U.S. photographer John Stanmeyer.

A 19-member jury awarded the prestigious prize for the haunting photograph of African migrants holding phones up to the sky to capture a signal so they can call home, as they make their way to a hoped-for better life in Europe.

“It's a photo that is connected to so many other stories -- it opens up discussions about technology, globalization, migration, poverty, desperation, alienation, humanity,” said jury member Jillian Edelstein.

The World Press Photo jury of photography professionals, presided over by VII Agency founder photographer Gary Knight, spent the last two weeks judging photos in Amsterdam.

Almost 100,000 images were submitted by 5,754 photographers from 132 countries and judged anonymously, organizers said.

Top winner Stanmeyer will be awarded a cash prize of 10,000 euros ($14,000) and a camera during a ceremony in Amsterdam in April.


(With Reuters and the Associated Press)

Last Update: 15:05 KSA 18:05 - GMT 15:05