These are clearly not the most extraordinary photographs from the competition, yet in my opinion they stand out because instead of portraying the worst about humanity (our profound hatred of the Other, our fear of change, our disrespect for nature, the war, the war, the war, the killing, the killing, the killing), they show our best: how we can be extremely good, loving, courageous and creative when we set out to help others. 

Note: being that the WPP is not only a photojournalism competition, but also a display of our darkest moments, it is always controversial. More on that on the following post.


© Ami Vitale, from the project Pandas Gone Wild (commissioned by National Geographic).

2nd prize stories Nature.

October 2015. As conservation icons go, nothing quite beats the giant panda. Instantly recognizable worldwide and adored by billions, the giant panda is a virtual brand whose resemblance to anything wild is as tenuous as it is rare. Like many endangered species, giant pandas have declined as a growing human population has seized wild lands for human uses.

The Chinese have spent the past quarter of a century perfecting breeding methods, building a captive population and protecting habitat. The giant panda was recently taken off the world endangered species list—a minor miracle, due to the unique efforts of Chinese zoologists and conservationists.



© Ameer Alhalbi, from the project Rescued From the Rubble.

2nd prize stories Spot News.

April, 2016: A Syrian man evacuates an area following a reported airstrike in the rebel-held neighborhood of Hayy Aqyul in Aleppo. Air strikes on rebel-held neighborhoods in Aleppo killed at least 14 civilians and wounded more than a dozen others, according to the local civil defense. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime warplanes carried out the airstrikes and gave a toll of 10 dead.

Since 2012, Syria’s northern city of Aleppo has been divided between rebel and regime-held districts, but a devastating regime offensive launched in mid-October saw the rebels ousted from their iconic former stronghold. The army’s victory in Aleppo was marked by heavy shelling which destroyed all established hospitals in the area and much of the city was reduced to a wasteland by air and artillery attacks.





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