2015 World Press Photo contest winners
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2015 World Press Photo contest winners

World Press Photo of the Year 2014, First Prize Contemporary Issues. Photo by Mads Nissen, Denmark, Scanpix/Panos Pictures

A photograph that highlights the difficulties facing sexual minorities in Russia has won the World Press Photo contest's top prize. 'Jon and Alex', from a project called 'Homophobia in Russia', shows a 'intimate moment' between a gay couple from St. Petersburg and won Danish photographer Mads Nissen the Contemporary Issues category of the competition, as well as the first prize for a single image, netting him 11,500 Euro and Canon DSLR equipment.

The 2015 contest attracted entries from 5692 photographers representing 131 nationalities, and drew in a total of 97,912 pictures. Once again what constitutes an acceptable degree of digital manipulation has been questioned, with a spokesperson reportedly telling UK photo magazine Amateur Photographer that 22% of the short listed entries were rejected by the jury once original files were called in for checking. The World Press Photo foundation published Integrity of the Image (PDF), a paper dealing with the characteristics of image manipulation and the acceptable boundaries last year, which describes what it considers 'minor/normal/subtle/moderate' and which acknowledges that defining 'excessive' is open to interpretation.

For more information on the winners, the competition and to see a gallery of all the winning entries, visit the World Press Photo website. You can also hear the phone call in which Nissen was told he had won the overall prize.