This was voted best pic at prestigious photo contest. Is it better than the runners-up?
The photograph by Tabyldy Kadyrbekov, photo correspondent for the Russian news outlet Sputnik in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, was one of 5,000 entries from 76 countries for the 2017 edition of the three-year-old prize.
“We are happy about the results of the online voting, which demonstrates the popularity of modern photography among viewers. The photos for which the non-professionals voted are distinguished by their precision in conveying candid scenes from daily life and brightness of colors,” said Alexander Shtol, Head of Rossiya Segodnya's Photo Directorate and a member of the judging panel which will award its own prizes in multiple categories next month.
Kadyrbekov said the photograph was the result of an unwanted assignment, inspired by the unusual weather in the capital of the Central Asian country, Bishkek.
“There was a snowstorm in the street. To be honest, I was reluctant to go out when the editor told me to make a photo report. But in the process of taking photos I really got into it, and I no longer felt cold and stopped hiding from the snow. It was interesting to see how residents of Bishkek responded to the snowstorm,” he told the organizers.
Despite its colors, and the expression of the subject who looks into the camera, the shot wasn’t staged, as Kadyrbekov explains.
“I was about to finish my photo session, when I saw an old woman selling candy floss. I took a photo of her from behind but it seemed to me that something was missing. I walked around her and took a couple of pictures. She smiled and I took this picture. She asked me: ‘Why are you taking pictures of me?’ I said: ‘As a memento.’”
The four other photos that were voted into the top five depict a refugee baby in a box on the Greek border, a riot in a South African housing project, widows at an Indian festival and a group of Russian surfers riding impenetrable gray waves against a harsh snow-covered landscape in the Far East of the country.
The contest, endorsed by UNESCO and leading photography and media groups around the world, is open to anyone aged 33 or under, the age of Andrei Stenin when he died.
Stenin was killed in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, likely by a shell, while covering the armed conflict in the region.