The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced yesterday - and the images are outstanding. What does it take to produce an image worthy of a Pulitzer, and what do the images that win look like? Take a few minutes to peruse these images and honor those photographers risking life and limb to bring us some of the most incredible, thought-provoking photojournalism of the last 12 months.
Daniel Berehulak, a freelance photojournalist for the NY Times, took the 2015 Pulitzer for Feature Photography for his coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, while the staff at the St Louis Post-Dispatch took the Pulitzer for Breaking News for the coverage during the Michael Brown protests in Ferguson, Mo.
While undoubtedly there are many factors that go into what makes an image a Pulitzer, there is something very special that goes into what drives someone to be able to create such an image.
What that ‘special something’ is can of course vary, but in the case of the 2015 winners, it’s clear the photographers risked a tremendous amount personally to bring us these images and the stories that accompany them.
When most of us think about taking risks when taking photographs, rarely do these risks ever extend to thinking about whether or not to travel to the frontline of deadly viral outbreaks, or whether to immerse ourselves in the midst of volatile conflict and civil unrest.
While risking life and limb for your photography certainly doesn’t necessarily guarantee any degree of success, it is indicative of a commitment shown by the photographers who won, and tells a clear story about their approach to image making. I don't know about you, but it certainly makes me reevaluate the 'risks' I believe I'm taking with my work, and how much more I can actually commit to what I'm photographing. While I'm never going to go to the frontline and take the sort of risks Daniel took, it certainly does inspire me to realize I can go much further with my own work.
The close proximity to serious injury or even death that the winning photographers endured undoubtedly played a role in the strength of image making, but more than anything it speaks volumes of their commitment to bring us the images we need to see.
When you combine that commitment with a great photographic eye, being in the right place at the right time, and a little luck, that’s where the best images are likely to be found.
Congratulations to the winners, very well deserved.
[Via: Wall Street Journal]