The World Press Photo Contest may be the most prestigious and popular of its kind—once again, the number of images submitted to more than 97,000, from 5,692 press photographers from 131 countries across the globe. And as if to underscore that, this year also included a new category to add to its exclusive few, Long-Term Projects, which earned more than 14,000 photo submissions just on its own.
Here are some of the finest photos from this year’s winning crop, including Mads Nissen’s stunning shot of two gay men in Russia, the picture chosen as the Photo of the Year. These award-winning photos will now be touring the world as part of an exhibit. For an overview of all the winners, click here to visit the 2015 Contest gallery.
World Press Photo of the Year 2014, First Prize Contemporary Issues, Singles
Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment. Life for LGBT people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks from religious and nationalistic groups. (Mads Nissen, Denmark, Scanpix/Panos Pictures. Shot in St. Petersburg, Russia.)