These Striking Images Won The 2012 World Press Photo Contest

World Press

Photo: Samuel Aranda

2011 was, by any measure, a tumultuous year. Looking at the recently announced winners of the 55th annual World Press Photo contest, it becomes clear how photogenic the year was, too.

The first place press photo of the year, by Samuel Aranda, pictures a woman holding a wounded relative in her arms inside a mosque, converted to a field hospital, during protests in Yemen. Despite the pain it captures, the photograph, like every stark portrayal of animal and human life here, is quite beautiful.

World Press Photo has shared some of the winning photos with us–which range in category from daily life to contemporary issues to nature to sports, among others–and we’ve rounded them up here for you to see.

Samuel Aranda; Sanaa, Yemen (winner)

Vincent Boisot; Dakar Fashion Week (Senegal)

Rob Hornstra; The Sochi Project: Sochi Singers (Sochi, Russia)

Brent Stirton; Kryvyi Rig, Ukraine

Stephanie Sinclair; Hajjah, Yemen

Damir Sagolj; South Hwanghae, North Korea

Alejandro Kirchuk; Never Let You Go (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Alex Majoli; Mubarak Steps Down (Cairo, Egypt)

Paolo Pellegrin; Tsunami Aftermath (Japan)

Jenny E. Ross; Cliff-Climbing Polar Bear Attempting to Eat Seabird Eggs (Novaya Zemlya, Russia)

Brent Stirton; Rhino Wars (Tugela Private Game Reserve, Colenso, Natal, South Africa)

Tomasz Lazar; New York, USA

Yasuyoshi Chiba; Tsunami (Otsuchi, Japan)

Laerke Posselt; Danish and Iranian Culture (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Ton Koene; Afghan Police Recruits (Kunduz, Afghanistan)

Yuri Kozryev; On Revolution Road (Libya)

Niclas Hammarström; Utøya, Norway

Niclas Hammarström; Utøya, Norway

Ray McManus; Scrum Half (Dublin, Ireland)

Adam Pretty; World Swimming Championships (Shanghai, China)

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