Chosen from almost 5,000 entries, 176 pictures are in running to be named Poland’s Grand Press Photo 2013. The photography competition, designed for professional photo reporters working for agencies or freelancing, is organised by the magazine Press, alongside Polish photo reporters and photo editors.
The Grand Press Photo jury is composed of international photographers. The head of the jury for 2013 is Spanish photojournalist Samuel Aranda, who was awarded the World Press Photo of the Year 2011, and previous heads include Francesco Zizola, Claus Bjorn Larsen, Jean-Marc Bouju, Eric Grigorian, Spencer Platt, Finbarr O’Reilly, Lucian Perkins and Jodi Bieber.
The contest is divided into six categories: Events, People, Everyday Life, Sport, Environment and Staged Portraits, for both individual photos and photo series. Culture.pl presents the winners:
Grand Press Photo of the Year 2013
Grand Press Photo of the Year 2013 by Michał Legierski, a shot of a man carrying a cross in front of a blazing church in the town of Orzesze Jaśkowice. When the church caught fire at night on the 14th of January 2013, 30 firefighting divisions were trying to put it out and locals ran to salvage church possessions. (Partly destroyed, the church is being reconstructed with help of church members and nearby parishes.) Jury head Samuel Aranda called the picture "a classical example of good photo journalism", and added "recognising this picture in particular wasn’t just my decisions, we took it together. The choice wasn’t easy, each and every one of us has a different point of view, but this was the only picture that we could all agree on". Winning the Photo of the Year automatically makes Legierski the winner of the Events Section. The photographer commented that "I don’t like overdoing and exaggerating in my photos, that’s why I am glad that the jury appreciated this aspect of the photography".
Events Section, 2nd place for individual photos - Maksymilian Rigamonti, for his shot taken in Afghanistan in August 2012 for the weekly magazine Wprost. Patroling the main road that crosses the province of Ghazni is a task of the soldiers of the Eleventh Rotation of the Polish Military Contingent, deployed with the International Security Assistance Force. Rigamonti won the Grand Press Photo of the Year 2012, for his shot taken for Newsweek Poland in May 2011, during the exhumation of Polish officers at a graveyard in Ukraine.
Events Section, 3rd place, individual photos - Bartłomiej Kosiński. Independence Day march on the 11th of November 2012 in Warsaw. The march turned violent when riot police confronted right-wing nationalists. The 11th of November celebration marks the day when Poland regained its independence, 123 years after it was divided between Russia, Prussia and the Austrian Empire.
Everyday Life Section
Winner of the Everyday Life Section, individual photos - Bartosz Wrześniowski. Three hours after a complicated delivery, Matylda is held and fed by her mother for the first time at the Neonatology Intensive Therapy ward in a Düsseldorf hospital, on the 19th of May 2012.
Everyday Life Section, 2nd place, individual photos - Mariusz Forecki for the Press and Photography Agency TamTam. Taken on the 14th of June 2012 during the Euro 2012 Football Championship, the Irish tourist in the picture is travelling on a tram in Poznań.
Everyday Life Section, 3rd place, individual photos - Jacek Turczyk for his My Own All Inclusive taken for the Polish Press Agency. In July 2012, a young couple creates a holiday environment at their family’s farm in a Polish village.
Winner of the People section, individual photos - Damian Kramski. People gather to pay their respects to Father Jan Kaczkowski, who looked after cancer patients at a hospice for many years and died of cancer. Puck, 19th of September 2012.
People Section, 2nd place, individual photos - Arkadiusz Gola for Polska Dziennik Zachodni / Poland Western Daily. Members of a radical nationalist movement arrive in the city of Katowice from around Poland, to take part in a manifestation. Katowice, 14th of April 2012.
People Section, 3rd place, individual photos - Mariusz Janiszewski for Doc! Photo Magazine. The picture is taken from a photo report on the work in a charcoal factory in Manila, the Phillipines, December 2012.
Winner of the Sport Section, individual photos - Kacper Kowalski for Panos Pictures. Queue to the chairlift in the skiing resort of Czarna Góra in the Kłodzko Valley, 17th of Febuary 2013.
Sport Section, 2nd place, individual photos - Grzegorz Celejewski for the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza Katowice. Hockey player Łukasz Rutkowski at thel playoffs of the Polish Championship in ice hockey between JKH GKS Jastrzębie and Comarch Cracovia Kraków, 29th of March 2013.
Sport Section, 3rd place, individual photos - Andrzej Grygiel for the Polish Press Agency. Heart patients cheer for a Polish goal during a football match against Greece on the 8th of June 2012.
Winner of the Environment Section - Tomasz Adamowicz for Gazeta Polska Codziennie / Polish Newspaper Everyday. Part of a photo report on hunting as a longstanding controversial tradition in Poland. Spała, 20th of October 2012.
Environment Section, 2nd place, individual photos - Tytus Żmijewski for the Polish Press Agency. A passing tornadoleft its destructive path 300 – 400 metres in diameter on 8-9 kilometres of the Tuchola Forest. Village of Łążek-Szałata, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, 17th of July 2012.
Environment Section, 3rd place, individual photos - Marcin Ryczek. The photo was taken from the Grünwald bridge over the Vistula River in Kraków on the 24th of January 2013.
Staged Portraits Section
Winner of the Staged Portraits Section, individual photos - Jacek Ura. Portrait of a child from the Special School and Educational Centre for blind and partially blind children in Kraków, 12th of April 2012.
Staged Portraits Section, 2nd place, individual photos - Filip Ćwik for Napo Images / Newsweek Poland. Shot of a Syrian refugee in a refugee camp, Islahiye, Turkey, 4th of September 2012.
Staged Portraits Section, 3rd place, individual photos - Anna Bedyńska, Gazeta Wyborcza. Anna Bedyńska’s subject is Zuzia, a young woman who is sensitive to sunlight due to her albinism. She attends a special school for partially sighted children and dreams of meeting someone like herself. The photograph was taken in October 2012. In Febuary 2013, the photo won third prize in the People - Staged Portraits Single category of World Press Photo 2013. Anna Bedyńska is a photographer specialising in social issues. She received the Grand Prix Grand Press Photo in 2005 for a photograph of a 6-year-old cancer patient consoling her mother.
Winner of the Events Section, photo reports - Wojciech Grzędziński. Shot in Waghez, in the Afghani province of Ghazni, the picture captures some the 300 soldiers in the 5th platoon, 2nd Company of the fighting division of the Polish Military Contingent. March 2013.
Events Section, 2nd place, photo reports - Piotr Piwowarski, for Super Express. "Wake Up, Poland" march organised by members of the Law and Justice party, today’s Solidarity trade-union movements and the supporters of the religious television station Trwam, Warsaw, 29th of September 2012.
Everyday Life Section
Winner of the Everyday Life Section - Jakub Szymczuk, for Gość Niedzielny / The Sunday Guest. Alinka, Mrs Iryna’s daughter, is Ukrianian. She has cancer and is further affected by sepsis and anemia, and has no feeling in her legs, all a result of insufficient treatment provided by the Ukrainian healthcare system. During a stay in a Kiev hospital, she was infected with HIV. Mrs Iryna managed to bring her daughter to Poland, while her husband stayed in Ukraine, to seek medical care. Treated with chemiotherapy, the child’s health improved. The mother and daughter in Warsaw, 22nd of March 2013.
Everyday Life Section, 2nd place, photo reports - Adam Tuchliński. Although the importance of rivers has significantly decreased over the centuries, in the northeastern part of Poland people gather to honour nature.
Winner of the People Section, photo reports - Karolina Jonderko for Napo Images. With the help of the Itaka Foundation, the photographer created a project to raise awareness on the issue of missing people. She documented the rooms of family member who had gone missing. Hopeful of the beloved one’s return, the families have not changed anything in the rooms. Every year the Polish police registers over 15,000 cases of missing people.
People Section, 2nd place, photo reports - Renata Dąbrowska, for Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto. Monika Zarczuk lost her eyesight as the result of an accident at age 3. A university graduate, she travels around the world, learns English, plays golf, and currently lives in Belgium with her fiancée Roland, who is also blind. July 2012.
Winner of the Environment Section, photo reports - Agnieszka Rayss for Sputnik Photos / Copernicus Science Centre. The photo series deals with the exchange process between the river and the city. The water that is taken from the bottom of the Vistula River is then pumped back into the river. During her work, the author came across the sewage plant Czajka, a mysterious enclave under the Warsaw district of Praga. April 2012.
Environment Section, 2nd place, photo reports - Maciek Nabrdalik for VII Photo. The photo was taken in April 2012 in the Chernobyl zone, which can be visited by its former inhabitants once a year, in the week following Easter. They visit the ruins that they still call their homes and meet with the people they still call their neighbours, and say that the region they lived in was too beautiful to house a nuclear power plant.
Winner of the Nikon Award - Krzysztof Wierzbowski for the Polish Photographer’s Agency Forum. Warsaw, construction of the tallest steel apartment block, designed by Daniel Libeskind at Złota 44. 3rd of October 2012.
All pictures are issued from the Grand Press Photo press materials. For more information see: Grand Press Photo website
Sources: original Polish article for culture.pl, translated and edited by MJ 13.05.2013