Award of Excellence

Ezra Acayan
New York Times
Philippines

Children wash their hands next to overturned vehicles after severe flooding caused by Super Typhoon Rai in Loboc, Bohol province, the Philippines, Dec. 22, 2021. “The trees snapped like matchsticks.” Ed Boysillo, 54, a municipal worker in Ubay, in the central Philippine province of Bohol, was describing the fearsome power of Super Typhoon Rai. The storm made its first landfall on Dec. 16, bringing torrential rains and packing winds up to 168 miles per hour, comparable to a Category 5 hurricane. It blew away buildings, swelled rivers to overflow and forced more than seven million people to flee their homes. It cut off power, water and communications. It damaged critical infrastructure. The storm killed at least 397 people, injured 1,147 others and left 83 missing, official figures show.

Ezra Acayan is a photojournalist based in the Philippines with a decade of experience covering politics, climate change, and social injustice. Since 2019, he has regularly worked on assignment for Getty Images. In 2017, together with a team of Reuters journalists, he was awarded a special merit at the Human Rights Press Awards for multimedia reporting on the Philippines’ drug war. In 2018, he received grants from both the Ian Parry Scholarship and the Lucie Foundation, as well as being named Young Photographer of the Year at the Istanbul Photo Awards. In 2019, he received a World Press Photo Award in the Spot News category. In 2021, he was awarded a World Press Photo Award in the Nature Stories category for his work on Taal volcano’s eruption, and — together with a team of Getty Images photojournalists covering the global outbreak of COVID-19 — was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography for his work. In the same year he was also named Photographer of the Year at the inaugural Pictures of the Year Asia, and received several more awards from Picture of the Year International (POYi), National Press Photographers Association, and the Society of Publishers Asia. He has done work for various outfits such as Getty Images, Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency, and Agence France-Presse; and institutions such as the World Bank, Agence Française de Développement, African Development Bank, and French Red Cross, among others.
[ NATURE & ENVIRONMENT ] A single photograph that increases the understanding and appreciation of nature and our environment. Photographers are encouraged to explore the relationship between human and nature/environment. Studio scenes that are arranged by the photographer are not eligible. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 10 images. The images must be taken in 2021.
Judges for Nature & Environment
Ikuru Kuwajima
Tanvi Mishra
Sanjit Das
Maika Elan
Oded Wagenstein
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