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Yuri Kozyrev Wins POYi's 2011 Freelance Photographer of the Year Award

by David Walker


©Yuri Kozyrev
Rebels in Ras Lanuf, Libya fought last spring against troops loyal to former dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

Russian freelance photographer Yuri Kozyrev has been named the 2011 Photographer of the Year in the freelance/agency category of the Pictures of the Year International competition. Judges said his portfolio "presented a stunning report on the Libya revolution."

Kozyrev, who is represented by the NOOR photo agency, won two first place POYi awards last week, during the first round of judging. The awards included News Picture Story in the freelance/agency category for his coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings for Time magazine. He also won in a special category called Impact 2011: Arab Uprisings for his iconic "Ras Lanuf" image showing Libyan rebels scattering as they come under attack last spring from troops loyal to Moammar Gaddafi.

Runners up for the 2011 freelance/agency Photographer of the Year award were David Guttenfelder of the Associated Press and John Moore of Getty images.

POYi jurors hand out awards over a three-week period, ending February 28. Last week's awards focused on news, and included the Newspaper Photographer of the Year award, which went to Craig Walker of The Denver Post.

This week's judging has focused on reportage categories.

Other award winners this week included Stephanie Sinclair, who took first place in the freelance/agency Issue Reporting Picture Story for her story about child brides around the world.

Anastasia Taylor-Lind won the first place award for freelance/agency Feature Picture Story for a story about Siberian supermodels. Sebastian Liste of Getty Images won the Community Awareness Award for his project about a community of squatters in an abandoned factory in Brazil.

Tomas van Houtryve won the World Understanding Award for his entry called "Behind the Curtains of 21st Century Communism," about countries where the Communist Party still hangs on to power.

Steve Winter won the Global Vision award for his entry about tigers.

Damon Winter of The New York Times won first and second place awards in the newspaper Feature Picture Story category for his stories about skyscraper construction and a battalion of soldiers returning to the US after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Craig Walker won the first place award in the newspaper Issue Reporting Picture Story category for his project about a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. The story was part of the portfolio that won Walker the Newspaper Photographer of the Year award last week.

Related Stories:
Samuel Aranda Wins World Press Photo of the Year (Yuri Kozyrev, Stephanie Sinclair are among the other first place winners)
Craig Walker Wins 2011 POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year
Yuri Kozyrev Wins 2 Prix Bayeux-Calvados Awards for Libya Coverage

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