The Press Photographer's Year

Phil Coomes
Picture editor

Published
image copyrightAdrian Dennis/AFP
image captionAdrian Dennis of AFP won photograph of the year for this picture at the London Olympics

Press photographers are a talented bunch. Day in, day out they give life to photographs that capture the world around us. From the front lines to the backstreets, from breaking news to sport, they are charged with making a captivating picture from a wide variety of situations, all usually against a tight deadline.

The Press Photographer's Year competition is run in association with the British Press Photographers' Association (BPPA). Now in its seventh year, it sets out to "demonstrate that even in an age of rolling television news, internet and satellite communication, the traditional still image burns the keenest, fastest impression on the public conscience and is the most effective way to show the world the world as it really is". I can agree with that.

The pictures must have been taken in 2011 or 2012 for, and used by, the UK media. More than 390 photographers based in more than 20 countries throughout Europe, as well as Japan, South Africa, India, Australia and the US, submitted 12,500 photographs online.

The top prize was awarded to Adrian Dennis of Agence France Presse, who won two sporting categories - Sports Folio of the Year and Olympic Folio - as well as Photograph of the Year (seen at the top of this page).

Alongside the traditional still pictures, Georgina Cranston won the multimedia section for her documentary on the lives of homeless women in London, focusing on Lucy's story. It is a very powerful piece and was produced in association with digital production company Duckrabbit. Here is a link to the piece, though I should warn you that some might find it upsetting.

Here are a few of those that were selected for the Press Photographer's Year - 150 pictures are on show at the Lyttelton Foyer of the National Theatre on London's South Bank from 6 July to 31 August 2013.

image copyrightAdrian Dennis/AFP
image captionThis picture of Great Britain's Richard Whitehead winning the men's 200m T42 Final at the 2012 Paralympic Games helped win Adrian Dennis first prize in the Sports Folio and Olympic Folio category.
image copyrightLuke MacGregor/Reuters
image captionReuters photographer Luke MacGregor won the Entertainment section with this photo of actor Peter Capaldi gesturing behind Alastair Campbell, communications director for former Prime Minister Tony Blair, on the trading floor of BGC Partners during a charity day. The annual event commemorates the 658 employees who lost their lives in the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
image copyrightCharles McQuillan/Pacemaker
image captionCharles McQuillan of Pacemaker Press in Northern Ireland caught Alistair Mennie diving under a crashing wave in a bid to avoid being caught in its wake.
image copyrightJack Hill/The Times
image captionTimes photographer Jack Hill's picture of a mother being comforted by her son over the bodies of two of her younger sons, who had been killed in a residential area of Al-Qusayr in Syria, was part of his winning news folio of the year.
image copyrightAdam Dean/Panos Pictures
image captionThis picture of Aung San Suu Kyi campaigning in Burma in March 2012 was taken by Adam Dean of Panos Pictures.
image copyrightOlivia Harris/Reuters
image captionOlivia Harris of Reuters captured this frame of Rebekah Brooks, the then chief executive of News International, as she arrived at Rupert Murdoch's flat on the day the News of the World published its final edition.
image copyrightAndrew McConnell/Panos Pictures
image captionAndrew McConnell's pictures from Gaza were awarded first prize in the Photo Essay section.
image copyrightFelix Clay/Duckrabbit
image captionThis dramatic picture of a woman killing a water monitor lizard in Zambia was taken by Felix Clay while working for WorldFish Center. The women are cutting and clearing heavy weeds with machetes before feeling through the water by hand to grab whatever fish they find and placing them in buckets.
image copyrightDavid Levene
image captionDavid Levene's picture of U2's Bono for the Guardian was awarded first place in the Arts category.
image copyrightWill Oliver
image captionWill Oliver covered the unrest in London during 2011.
image copyrightRick Findler
image captionWhile covering the conflict in Syria, Rick Findler photographed a group of members of the Free Syrian Army launching concrete blocks into a compound housing President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Aleppo.
image copyrightAndy Hooper/Daily Mail
image captionLaura Collett jumping Stonehenge on Natterjack at the Barbury International Horse Trials in Marlborough by Andy Hooper took first place in the Sports Feature category.
image copyrightJeff J Mitchell/The FA
image captionJeff J Mitchell was on hand to capture the moment shadow chancellor of the exchequer Ed Balls won the ball ahead of journalist Graeme Demianyk during the Labour MPs v Press Lobby party conference football match in Liverpool in 2011.
image copyrightJeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard
image captionEvening Standard photographer Jeremy Selwyn's picture of a relaxed cabinet alongside the Queen at Downing Street was winner of the Royalty section.