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GALLERY: 50 winners in the World Press Photo contest

Stunning images from some of the world’s best photographers.

WAR, LOSS, LOVE, triumph and failure are all themes portrayed beautifully through the winning images of the World Press Photo contest 2012.

Split into the nine themed categories, including contemporary issues, observed portraits, staged portraits, daily life, sports action, general news, sports feature, nature and spot news, the pictures reflect global life as it was in 2012.

Europe’s austerity demonstrations, Syria’s conflict, Central America’s gang problems, Middle East tensions and London’s games all feature in the winning gallery. But it’s not just the big events – powerful glimpses of daily life are also favoured by some of the talented photographers.

Here are 50 of the best. (The overall winner, an image of a burial of two small children in Gaza, can be seen here.)

GALLERY: 50 winners in the World Press Photo contest
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  • Zuzia - Staged Portraits, 3rd

  • Whale Sharks - Nature, 3rd

  • Warm Up - Sports Action, 2nd

  • Victims of Forced Love - Observed Portraits, 1st

  • The Pink Choice - Contemporary Issues, 1st

  • The Golden Touch - Sports Action, 2nd

  • The Cage - Nature Stories, 2nd

  • Synchronized Swimmer - Sports Action, 3rd

  • Sumo Wrestler - Sports Feature, 2nd

  • Sudan Border Wars - General News, 3rd

  • Southern Cassowary - Nature, 1st

  • School for Less Fortunate - Contemporary Issues, Honorable Mention

  • Pool Hall Attack - Contemporary Issues, 2nd

  • Pepper Spray - General News, Honourable Mention

  • People of Mercy - Staged Portraits, 1st

  • Pacified Favela - Daily Life, Honourable Mention

  • Natalia - Contemporary Issues, Honourable Mention

  • Mournful - Staged Portraits, 2nd

  • Miss My Parents So Much - Staged Portraits, 3rd

  • Mirella - Daily Life Stories, 1st

  • Mirella - Daily Life Stories, 1st

  • Mirella - Daily Life Stories, 1st

  • Mimin - Nature, 2nd

  • Migrant Sex Workers - Daily Life Stories, 2nd

  • Martin - Observed Portraits, 3rd

  • Lone Chaw Lethwei Gym - Sports Feature, 3rd

  • London 2012 - An Overview - Sports Action, 3rd

  • London 2012 - An Overview II - Sports Action, 3rd

  • Little Survivor - Observed Portraits, 1st

  • Life in War - Contemporary Issues, 2nd

  • Life in War - Contemporary Issues, 2nd

  • Kayla - Observed Portraits, 3rd

  • Joy at the End of the Run - Sports Action, 1st

  • Interrogation - Spot News, 2nd

  • In the Shadow of Wounded Knee

  • I just want to dunk - Sports Feature, 1st

  • Gaza - Spot News, 1st

  • Football in Guinea-Bissau - Daily Life, 1st

  • Emperor Penguins - Nature Stories, 1st

  • El Salvador Gangs - Daily Life Stories, 3rd

  • Daniel Kaluuya - Staged Portraits, 1st

  • Cross Country Steeplechase - Sports Action, 1st

  • Collaborator - Spot News, 3rd

  • Bullfighter's Comback - Observed Portraits, 2nd

  • Bonnie - Observed Portraits, 2nd

  • Barcelona Demonstrations - Contemporary Issues, 3rd

  • At the Dining Hall - Daily Life, 3rd

  • At the Dandora Dump - Contemporary Issues, 1st

  • Aida - General News, 1st

  • Ai Weiwei - Staged Portraits, 2nd

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