Worth a Thousand Words: World’s Best Photos

world press photos 2009

Photo by Pietro Masturzo, Italy.

Women shout their dissent from a Tehran rooftop on 24 June, following Iran’s disputed presidential election. The result had been a victory for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, but there were allegations of vote-rigging. In the ensuing weeks, violent demonstrations took place in the streets. At night, people shouted from the roofs, an echo of protests that took place during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

world press photos 2009

Photo by Adam Ferguson, Australia.

A woman is rushed from the scene of a suicide car bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan on 15 December. The bomb exploded near a hotel in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood, home to many embassies and Western aid groups and one of the most heavily guarded areas of the city. At least eight people were killed and around 40 injured in the blast.

world press photos 2009

Photo by Mohammed Salem, Palestinian Territories.

world press photos

Photo by David Guttenfelder, USA.

US soldiers take defensive positions after receiving fire from the Taliban in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan on 11 May. Specialist Zachery Boyd was wearing ‘I Love NY’ boxer shorts when he rushed from his bunker to support fellow platoon members.

world press photos

Photo by Kitra Cahana, Canada.

A congregation at The Dirty Kids’ Camp.
The Rainbow Gathering is an annual festival that takes place around the Fourth of July holiday weekend in a different American national park each year. Part of the point is to celebrate inclusiveness and pray for world peace. The festival attracts hundreds of teenage runaways and travelers who are nicknamed ‘The Dirty Kids’. The 2009 Gathering was held in the Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico.

world press photos

Photo by Kent Klich, Sweden.

Light enters through a hole in the roof of a house hit by a tank shell in Tuffah, northern Gaza. The family that lived in the house had fled during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli attack on Gaza that began at the end of December 2008. Mohammed Shuhada Ali Ahmed, 39, had gone back to fetch clothes for his children and was killed when the shell struck.

world press photos 2009

Photo by Stefano De Luigi, Italy.

Light enters through a hole in the roof of a house hit by a tank shell in Tuffah, northern Gaza. The family that lived in the house had fled during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli attack on Gaza that began at the end of December 2008. Mohammed Shuhada Ali Ahmed, 39, had gone back to fetch clothes for his children and was killed when the shell struck.

world press photos 2009

Photo by Gihan Tubbeh, Peru.

Adrian, 13, has autism and lives in Lima, Peru. He is fascinated by the television. He likes touching the screen and feeling the tickle of static.

world press photos

Photo by Marco Vernaschi, Italy.

Youths smoke crack in Reno, the poorest neighborhood of Guinea-Bissau’s capital city. Crack was unknown in the country before international drug traffickers arrived. Guinea-Bissau has become a hub for cocaine trafficking as South American drug cartels seek new smuggling routes to Europe. With over 100 islands off its coast and a navy with no working boats, Guinea-Bissau offers a haven for drop-offs, storage and movement of cocaine.

world press photos 2009

Photo by Eugene Richards, USA.

Nelida Bagley helps her son Jose Pequeño from his bed at the West Roxbury Veterans Medical Center in Massachusetts. He lost 40 percent of his brain when a grenade exploded in his vehicle while on patrol in Ramadi, in central Iraq.

By the end of 2009, over 4,300 men and women from US military forces had been killed and some 30,000 maimed or wounded since the beginning of the conflict in Iraq.

world press photos

Photo by Joan Bardeletti, France.

A family enjoys a picnic on a beach outside Maputo, in Mozambique. According to the World Bank, the number of people that can be classified as belonging to the middle classes in developing countries is on the rise and will have reached one billion by 2030.

world press photos 2009

Photo by Kees van de Veen, the Netherlands,

Artists Janna Bathoorn and Onur Kilinçci, together known as Güler Lacht, take photographs of people dressed in Middle Eastern clothing against different backdrops in order to challenge preconceptions. At KunstSpoor, a three-day art event held at the end of May in the northern Dutch town of Stedum, Güler Lacht were to be found at the end of a kilometer-long route of different art and artists.

world press photos 2009

Protestors hiding behind Garbage bin.

world press photos 2009

Bird's Eye view, literally.

world press photos

Gaza being attacked by Israeli forces.


Perspective Photo of a Girl trying to Block the Smoke

world press photos

Protestors trying to hit police officer.


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  34. Sandra /

    What i don’t understand… is the photographers who took these photos ? how can someone wait and take picture while this is happening ? are they really that heartless ????

  35. All of these images are taken from the 2010 world press photo competition. They’re some of the best known and highly regarded images from the field of photojournalism, and some amazing shots within there own rights, but its a bit misleading to simply name them ‘the worlds best’!!! And a bit lazy to just rip them from one source and relabel them!!

  36. The world’s best may not be the best title for this compilation of photos, one might say the a better title could be “the reality of the rest of this world viewed through the eye of an artist”. A bit wordy but a more appropriate. These photos are beautiful but sad. I would say that it was reality check. As I sit here in my home, not having to worry about the next air raid, or soldiers coming through my door, I appreciated seeing a uncensored picture and reading the story behind the pictures. This made me realize that the problems I have currently are not as bad as the families fighting for survival in a war torn country have. Thank you to the artists that risked there lives, and took these beautiful photos.

  37. Its very risky for the photo guys who cover such situations in a danger zone like these A great collection

  38. Just because they may risk their lives does not mean they are not exempt from criticism. I imagine they are critical of themselves as well, for how else would they grow as photographers? Just because someone may take a risk does not mean they always produce impeccable results. I agree that these are not the world’s best, but some are outstanding.

  39. Mmarie /

    Very impressive post even though extremely sad to see war and war and war again..
    All of them may loose life either in fighting or taking photos.

  40. very impressive!

  41. The photo journalists who capture these images often risk their lives to
    show the people of the world what is going on outside of our comfy little
    Westernized cities. Yes they are violent, and yes they are often unpleasant,
    but the fact that they make us feel uncomfortable about our privileged lives
    Is no grounds for criticism. Thank you to those men and women who expose
    the hypocrisy of wars in the name that we can drive our cars to work.

  42. Awesome photos. Some seriously iconic images

  43. I remember the Gaza photo when Israel forces attacking

  44. Amazing photos. I remember the Gaza photo when Israel forces attacking

  45. celepost dot com /

    It’s amazing, very beautiful photos. Thanks for the post.

  46. Thing is, these are the World Press Photo Award winners.
    So yeah, not the world’s best but definitely they have something that won them awards.

  47. Bill W /

    They’re interesting but “world’s best?” Hardly.

  48. So, basically, the World’s best photos are about war and violence. It may be a sad world but I also question the choice of photos. My opinion.

  49. I was curious as to what the story was behind what appears to be a deceased giraffe, lying in a dried up ravine…

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