World famous for his intrepid explorer's style of photographing the world's most exotic places, Reza (as he is known) has covered most of the globe for National Geographic magazine.National Geographic Television has produced several films on Reza's work. Subscribe to National Geographic magazine and save. Print and digital editions available for as little as $12. Winners of the 56th World Press Photo contest capture some of the most emotional, devastating, and beautiful images of 2012. The World Press Photo organization's annual contest, now in its 56th year, recognizes the most outstanding journalistic and documentary photography of the previous year. National Geographic contributing photographer Christian Ziegler shot this stunning close-up of a southern cassowary feeding on fallen fruit from a nearby blue quandong tree in northern Australia. Photographer Wei Seng Chen's winning image captures the action of the Pacu Jawi, a traditional competition between villages in Indonesia's West Sumatra province. A mass protrudes from Makone Soumaoro's neck as she poses for a photograph taken by Stephan Vanfleteren.
National Geographic contributing photographer Paul Nicklen's award-winning shot helps illustrate scientific research about how emperor penguins can double or triple their speed underwater by releasing streams of tiny bubbles from their feathers. An injured woman cries after her home in the northern Syrian city of Idlib (map) was shelled by the Syrian Army during civil conflict in March 2012, killing her husband and two children.Unlike a lot of the other photographs that won awards, this image, taken by Associated Press photographer Rodrigo Abd, includes a significant portion of the subject out of focus. One year after a 30-foot tsunami swept through northern Japan, uprooted pine trees remained scattered on a beach in the city of Rikuzentaka (map). Smoke clouds Gaza City after an Israeli air strike damages two buildings used by foreign media outlets and Hamas. A woman who makes her living by picking through trash for recyclable goods at a 30-acre (12-hectare) dump near the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, pauses in the rain to peruse a book she found.
Taking second prize in the "Staged Portraits Singles" category is Stefen Chow's portrait of artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who has become a symbol of the struggle for human rights in China.
Syrian opposition fighters in Aleppo torture a suspected government informant in this July 31, 2012, photograph taken by Turkish photojournalist Emin A–zmen. Photographer Fausto Podavini's series offers an intimate look at the challenges of caregiving through the lives of an Italian couple coping with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

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One of them received an Emmy Award in 2002, and another production, which traced the history of his life, was nominated for the award as well. In 2013, a global jury of 19 experts selected winners from more than 100,000 images submitted by 5,666 photographers from 124 countries.For the most coveted prizea€”Photo of the Yeara€”the jury chose this image by Swedish photojournalist Paul Hansen. The tall, flightless bird is an endangered species in Australia, where it plays a vital role in rain forest ecosystems by dispersing large seeds across very wide ranges.
Soumaoro, 30, is a housewife with three children who worries that the mass could be a tumor. This image of a penguin using bubbles to launch itself toward the surface of the sea ice appeared in a November 2012 National Geographic magazine feature about emperor penguins. Jury member Bill Frakes said the blurriness of the woman's hand bothered him at first, but then: "The more it was on the screen, the more it grew on me. This image by Associated Press photographer Bernat Armangue, who is based in the Middle East, is part of a series documenting the November 2012 escalation of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite being placed under house arrest, Ai continues to use the Internet and forums like Weibo, a microblogging site similar to Twitter, to voice his criticism against authoritarianism and censorship in his country."It's a very layered picture," commented jury member Anne Wilkes Tucker. The captive was released after 48 hours.Jury member Anne Wilkes Tucker praised A–zmen's ability to gain access to a sensitive situation in order to illustrate the realities of the Syrian conflict. Reza was the creative director for National Geographic's most viewed documentary, Inside Mecca.
It shows two Palestinian children being carried to their funeral after an Israeli missile struck their home in Gaza City.
Guinea is considered one of the least developed countries in the world, with most of its citizens lacking access to affordable health care. The couple has been together for 43 years, and Mirella's life is now devoted to assisting Luigi with daily activities."When Mirella started to dry her husband, the steam on the mirror started to disappear," Podavini said of the shot.

In May 2008, National Geographic, as part of its Exceptional Journeys series, released a DVD that follows Reza’s extensive photographic career and travels, with special features highlighting his work as a humanitarian.Reza’s award-winning images are iconic.
The way he approached the subject of health in Africa from the angle of a staged, studio-lit portrait is respectable.
He is the founder of Aina (The Mirror), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and empowerment of children and women through the use of media and communication.
His aim is for them to develop skills that can contribute to the building of a free and open society by supporting sustainable development, promoting human rights, and strengthening national unity.In 1991 Reza acted as a consultant to the United Nations in Afghanistan, helping to distribute food to populations in war-torn parts of the country.
For his exemplary dedication to such humanitarian causes and because of his work with Aina in Afghanistan, National Geographic awarded him the title of National Geographic fellow in 2006.Reza is deeply committed to the education of future generations. He spends much of his time as lecturer, trainer, and visiting professor, giving presentations and running workshops on global issues, his humanitarian work, and photojournalism, in international institutions and universities such as George Washington University, Stanford University, Beijing University, and the Sorbonne in Paris.Reza's photographs have been displayed in major cities throughout the world. These include “War+Peace” (2009) at Caen Memorial (Peace Museum) in Normandy, an exhibition portraying 30 years of his photographic journey in search of human stories. Reza is the author of 16 books, including War & Peace, the first book in the National Geographic Masters of Photography series.
His latest book, Sindbad, is about the seven trips of Sindbad, the mystical character from One Thousand and One Nights.
Another book is Childhood Promise, a story told by three people, Reza, Rachel, and their son Delazad, about a promise made by a father to his son in order to discover more about each other and themselves.In 1996 Reza won the Hope Prize for his contribution to a joint project with UNICEF, “Lost Children Portrait” in Rwanda. He was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Merite, France’s highest civilian honor, in November 2005, for his philanthropic work in children’s education and the empowerment of women in the media. In 2006, Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe presented him with the Prince of Asturias Humanitarian Medal. Reza is currently planning a new photography project with inhabitants of the Sicilian suburb of Librino.

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