Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs Inspire Photographers and the World Alike

The iconic Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal

What do you think is the ultimate pro photographer’s dream?

Is it to make money, become famous, or win a Pulitzer Prize?

If it was to win a Pulitzer Prize for two photojournalists then this was their big dream week.  On Monday,  two photojournalists were recognized for their photography when the annual Pulitzer Prize winners were announced.

The Pulitzer Prize for Photography (Breaking News) was awarded to Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse for, “his heartbreaking image of a girl crying in fear after a suicide bomber’s attack at a crowded shrine in Kabul” and the Feature Photography Pulitzer winner was Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post for, “his compassionate chronicle of an honorably discharged veteran, home from Iraq and struggling with a severe case of post-traumatic stress.”

Pulitzer Prize winning photographs have changed the way the world views major events. One photograph can capture a moment more beautifully, or poignantly than words.

The 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning photographs (I’ve linked to the winning photographs because they can be quite disturbing):

Breaking News Photography – Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse

Feature Photography – Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post

Few people from my home town of Santa Rosa, California can forget the 1997 Pulitzer winning photograph for Spot News Photography by photographer Annie Wells, who worked for the local newspaper, The Press Democrat.  She captured a frightening moment when a local fireman rescued a Santa Rosa teenager from a raging local creek.

This creek runs through a section of Santa Rosa known as Bennett Valley that leads to a State park.  I usually runs dry during drought summers, so this picture surprised most of the residents.  No one thinks of the little creek as dangerous.  But 1996 was a particularly stormy, wet winter.  The photo illustrates the power of water — even in a small city creek after a heavy rainfall.  Since this photograph, we’ve never been able to look at our local creeks the same…

It’s a striking example of how photography has the ability to change our perceptions of what we think we know, or understand —

Pulitzer winner for Spot News Photography by Annie Wells of the The Press Democrat Copyright: 1996, The Press Democrat, photograph courtesy of www.pulitzer.org

Here is a video of a collection of some of the photographs which have won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography from 1961 to 2007 —

Congratulations to this year’s winners, who set the bar for photography.

Do you have a memorable photograph that changed your perception?

What is your big photography dream?

Remy Gervais, photogpraher

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