Columbia University has announced the winning photographs of both the Breaking News and Feature Photography Pulitzer prizes for 2013 — all of which depict the heartrending civil war in Syria. At first glance that may not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that the Breaking News prize wasn’t awarded to one, but five AP photographers jointly, the power of these photos begins to sink in. Read more…
Nick Ut is the Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photojournalist who shot the iconic Vietnam War photo that most people refer to as “Napalm Girl”.
PetaPixel: Can you tell me a little about what your childhood was like?
Nick Ut: I had a big family in Vietnam. My father was a farmer. My mother was busy — there were ten brothers and one sister. Big family, but some of them died in the war. My brother was an AP photographer. He worked as a CBS cameraman in 1960. In 1964, he joined the AP, and worked there for almost two years. He was killed in 1965 doing an AP assignment.
Every photo has a story, and this particular photo has one of the most interesting stories of them all — a story of anonymous fame, and famous anonymity. To this day the above photo, titled “Firing Squad in Iran,” is the only anonymous photo to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. And although the photo was taken in 1979, the photographer behind the lens didn’t receive credit until 2006. Read more…
How does a Pulitzer Prize worthy photograph come into existence? For most of us the photos that are considered the best of the best each year seem somewhat untouchable; as if one has to be in the right place at the right time, and when they look down find that they also happen to have their camera on them. The truth, however, is rarely so unanticipated. In the case of Craig F. Walker’s 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning series, it all began with a hike.
Afghan photographer Massoud Hossaini won the Putlizer Prize yesterday for his Breaking News photo showing a 12-year-old girl screaming after a suicide bombing in Kabul. His images of the mosque attack were so powerful that the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal all published them on their front pages on December 7, 2011. However, each one ran a different image captured at the scene, and only the New York Times ran the Pulitzer Prize-winning shot that showed the full extent of the carnage. Shortly afterward, The Washington Post interviewed the photo editors at each paper to discuss why they chose the images (and the crops) they did.
The Post, NYT and WSJ show same scene of Kabul carnage via different photos (via Poynter)
The 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners have been announced, and both winning photographers focused on the unbearable trauma of war. Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse won the Breaking News award for his “heartbreaking image of a girl crying among a pile of dead bodies after a suicide bomber’s attack at a crowded shrine in Kabul.” Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post won the Feature Photography prize for chronicling “Colorado resident Scott Ostrom’s struggles with severe post-traumatic stress disorder after four years as a Marine Corps reconnaissance man and two deployments to Iraq.”
2012 Pulitzer Prize Winners [The Pulitzer Prizes]
Photojournalists Mary Chind of The Des Moines Register and Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post won Pulitzer Prizes this year in photography.
Chind’s photo of a harrowing water rescue photo won as the Best Breaking News Photograph. The photo, published July 1, 2009, shows a construction worker dangling above the rapids of a dam, in an attempt to reach a victim in the water. The Pulitzer board say the photo captured “a heart-stopping moment.”
The victim and her husband had gone over the edge of the dam on a boat. Rescuers could not reach the pair with a crane. According to the National Press Photographer Association, Chind took the photo from a nearby bank crowded with rescue workers and firefighters. A worker in a makeshift rig was lowered down towards the water and managed to save the woman after several attempts.
Walker won the Best Feature Photography for his intimate photo essay of a teenager, Ian Fisher, as he entered the Army. Walker documented the young man for 27 months, following him as he recruited, trained, was deployed to Iraq, and finally returned.
The Pulitzer board described Walker’s work as “an intimate portrait of a teenager who joins the Army at the height of insurgent violence in Iraq, poignantly searching for meaning and manhood.” Color versions of Walker’s essay can be seen on the Pulitzer website and the multimedia package can be seen on the Post’s website.
Image Credits: River Rescue in Downtown Des Moines by Mary Chind and American Soldier by Craig F. Walker