Based in Budapest, Hungary, freelance Australian photographer Richardson took the grainy black-and-white photograph in August last year, near Horgoš (Serbia) and Röszke (Hungary).
The photograph, entitled Hope for a New Life, pictures a man and baby who were part of a movement of people aiming to cross into Hungary before the secure fence was completed. The tense yet subtle shot, captures the hurried yet delicate moment of the baby being passed through barbed wire, symbolic of the current wider crisis yet also timeless in it’s sentiment. The powerful image offsets the surrounding confusion of the blurry landscape with the sharpness of the blades and the man’s exhausted expression.
“I camped with the refugees for five days on the border. A group of about 200 people arrived, and they moved under the trees along the fence line. They sent women and children, then fathers and elderly men first. I must have been with this crew for about five hours and we played cat and mouse with the police the whole night,” Richardson describes. “I was exhausted by the time I took the picture. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone.”
Here are some other standout images from this year’s shortlist …
La Maya Tradition, Daniel Ochoa de Olza, Spain, 2015. A ‘Maya’ girl sits in an altar during the traditional celebration of ‘Las Mayas’ on the streets of the small village of Colmenar Viejo, near Madrid, Spain on Saturday, May 2, 2015. The festivity of ‘Las Mayas’ comes from pagan rites and dates from at least the medieval age, appearing in ancient documents and celebrates the arrival of the spring. A girl between 7 and 11 years is chosen as ‘Maya’ and should sit still, serious, and quiet for a couple of hours in an altar on the street decorated with flowers and plants.
In the Same Boat, Francesco Zizola, Italy, 2015. After spending two days and two nights sailing on the Mediterranean Sea on the deck of the M.S.F. (Médecins Sans Frontières – Doctors Without Borders) search and rescue ship Bourbon Argos, rescued migrants – still wrapped in their emergency blankets – catch sight of the Italian coast for the first time soon after dawn (23 August 2015)
North Korea: Life in the Cult of Kim, David Guttenfelder, USA, 2015. A North Korean woman sits next to models of military weapons at a festival for the “Kimilsungia” and “Kimjongilia” flowers, named after the country’s late leaders, in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. The exhibition was held to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War on July 27.
A Life in Death, Nancy Borowick, USA, 2015. Borowick photographs her own parents who were in parallel treatment for stage-four cancer, side by side. MArried for thirty years, Howie and Laurel Borowick embrace in the bedroom of their home. Chappaqua, New York. March 2013.
Tianjin Explosion, Chen Jie, China, 2015. Aerial view of the destruction after the explosion in Tianjin, China, 15 August 2015.
The Forgotten Mountains of Sudan, Adriane Ohanesian, USA, 2015. Michael Oryem, 29, is a recently defected Lord’s Resistance Army fighter who’s former L.R.A group is involved in the poaching of Ivory. Oryem is seen with 2 of 6 ivory tusks that he hid and then led the Ugandan forces to inside the border region of the Central African Republic. He claims that the LRA killed many elephants in Garamba National Park in the DRC and that he was ordered by Joseph Kony, the LRA’s notorious leader, to bring the ivory to him in Darfur, South Sudan.
Haze in China, Zhang Lei, China, 2015, Tianjin Daily. A city in northern China shrouded in haze, 10 Dec 2015.
March Against Police Violence, John J. Kim, USA, 2015, Chicago Tribune. Lamon Reccord, left, scolds a police sergeant during a police violence protest and march at State and Randolph streets 25 Nov 2015, Chicago.
Tough Times for Orangutans, Tim Laman, USA, 2015. A Bornean orangutan climbs over 30 meters up a tree in the rain forest of Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, 12 August 2015.
The Power of Nature, Sergio Tapiro, Mexico, 2015. Colima Volcano in Mexico shows a powerful night explosion with lightning, ballistic projectiles and incandescent rockfalls (13 Dec 2015). The 8 second shot captures a 600 metre lightening bolt.
The New York Times, Sergey Ponomarev, Russia, 2015. Migrants struggle to climb onto a train headed to Zagreb, the Croatian capital.
Storm Front on Bondi Beach, Rohan Kelly, Australia, 2015, Daily Telegraph. Sunbather oblivious to the ominous shelf cloud approaching – on Bondi beach. A massive “cloud tsunami” looms over Sydney in a spectacular weather event seen only a few times a year.
IS Fighter Treated at Kurdish Hospital, Mauricio Lima, Brazil, 2015 for The New York Times. A doctor rubs ointment on the burns of Jacob, 16, in front of a poster of Abdullah Ocalan, center, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, at a YPG hospital compound on the outskirts of Hasaka, August 2015
Waiting to Register, Matic Zorman, Slovenia, 2015. A child is covered with a raincoat while she waits in line to register at a refugee camp in Preševo, Serbia, 07 October 2015.
China’s Coal Addiction, Kevin Frayer, Canada, 2015, Getty Images. Chinese men pull a tricycle in a neighborhood next to a coal-fired power plant in Shanxi, China, on 26 November 2015. A history of heavy dependence on burning coal for energy has made China the source of nearly a third of the world’s total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Exposure, Kazuma Obara, Japan, 2015. The world’s worst nuclear accident happened on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Just 5 months after the disaster, a girl was born in Kiev 100 km south from Chernobyl. This series of pictures represent the last 30 years of the life of that invisible girl, with pictures taken on old Ukrainian color negative films, found 5 km from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. “I was born just 5 months after the day of the explosion. I was a very sickly child and I remember feeling like something was wrong, not growing like a normal child. When I was born I was quickly admitted into the intensive care unit. I had cramps and I was very weak. Half of my childhood, I spent in hospital without receiving a diagnosis. I was treated for bronchitis, then pneumonia, and then neuroses.”
Read more here:: Warren Richardson wins World Press Photo of the Year 2015