Bishnu Gurung (C) weeps as the body of her daughter, Rejina Gurung, 3, recovered from the rubble of her earthquake destroyed home, lays covered by cloth during her funeral on May 8, 2015 in the village of Gumda, Nepal. Neighbours discovered the body of the small girl in the rubble of the entrance of the family home, ending a 13 day search for Rejina in the remote mountain side village of Gumda in Gorkha district. On the 25th of April, just before noon local time, as farmers were out in fields and people at home or work, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal, killing over 8,000 people and injuring more than 21,000 according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Homes, buildings and temples in Kathmandu were destroyed in the 7.8 magnitude quake, which left over 2.8 million people homeless, but it was the mountainous districts away from the capital that were the hardest hit. Villagers pulled the bodies of their loved ones from the rubble by hand and the wails of grieving families echoed through the mountains, as mothers were left to bury their own children. Over the following weeks and months, villagers picked through ruins desperate to recover whatever personal possessions they could find and salvage any building materials that could be reused. Despite relief teams arriving from all over the world in the days after the quake hit, thousands of residents living in remote hillside villages were left to fend for themselves, as rescuers struggled to reach all those affected. Multiple aftershocks, widespread damage and fear kept tourists away from the country known for its searing Himalayan peaks, damaging a vital climbing and trekking industry and compounding the recovery effort in the face of a disaster from which the people of Nepal continue to battle to recover.

Bishnu Gurung (center) weeps as the body of her daughter, Rejina Gurung, 3, recovered from the rubble of her earthquake destroyed home, lays covered by cloth during her funeral on May 8, 2015 in the village of Gumda, Nepal. Photo © Daniel Berehulak.

The National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA) has named Australian photographer Daniel Berehulak the Photojournalist of the Year (Large Markets) and Scott McIntyre, a Kentucky native, as the Photojournalist of the Year (Small Markets).

Berehulak, who has been shooting since 2000 and was named Photographer of the Year by POYi last year, is based in New Delhi though he has worked in Nepal, Liberia, Antarctica, and was more recently on assignment in Brussels to cover the aftermath of the terrorist bombings. “I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to connect with people and to share their stories to the world,” Berehulak told News Photographer magazine.

McIntyre has been working in Naples, Florida since 2011 and credits the variety of the stories in his portfolio for his win. “This year’s portfolio was a very ‘Florida’ portfolio, different than the ones I’ve entered before,” he told News Photographer. “It’s got Florida’s colors, its beaches, its characters and senior citizen love… it’s unique compared to my portfolios of the past.”

Photojournalist of the Year (Large Markets) runners up were Marcus Yam of the Los Angeles Times, and  Christoffer Hjalmarsson of Expressen. Runners up for Photojournalist of the Year (Small Markets) were Rachel Mummey of The Herald in Dubois County, Indiana, and Gerry Melendez of The State in Columbia, South Carolina.

In other categories, Al Bello of Getty Images has won 2016 Sports Photojournalist of the Year. Photographers from Getty Images swept the category, with Patrick Smith taking second, and Matthias Hangst taking third place.

Mary F. Calvert of ZUMA Press won Cliff Edom’s “New America Award” for her long-term documentary project “Missing In Action: Homeless Women Veterans.” Runners up were Brian Cassella of the Chicago Tribune (whose work was recently covered in PDN), and Jim Lo Scalzo of European Pressphoto Agency.

A full list of winners has been posted by the NPPA and can be found here.

Judges for the competition were  NPPA past president Clyde Mueller; Harry E. Walker, visuals director of Florida’s Naples Daily News; John Agnone, a former senior editor for National Geographic; and Brooke LaValley, a staff photojournalist for the Columbus Dispatch.

Olga Riano wipes tears from her eyes as she and her fellow newly naturalized American citizens sing along to the song, "Proud To Be An American," by Lee Greenwood during a Naturalization Ceremony for 51 people from 20 different countries at Hodges University in Naples on Thursday, November 12, 2015. "It's my big day," said Riano, who's originally from Colombia, "I'm happy to be in this country. I'm free."

Olga Riano wipes tears from her eyes as she and her fellow newly naturalized American citizens sing along to the song, “Proud To Be An American,” by Lee Greenwood during a Naturalization Ceremony for 51 people from 20 different countries at Hodges University in Naples on Thursday, November 12, 2015. Photo © Scott McIntyre.

 


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