2018 World Press Photo Contest Nominees: Hanging Chickens, A Blindfolded Rhino : Goats and Soda Nominees for the 2018 World Press Photo contest are both newsy and unexpected: child jockeys, a blindfolded rhino, cave-dwellers in China.
NPR logo Extraordinary Moments: Top Contenders For A Photojournalism Prize

Extraordinary Moments: Top Contenders For A Photojournalism Prize

A young white rhino, drugged and blindfolded, is about to be released into the Okavango Delta in Botswana. It was relocated from South Africa to protect it from poachers. Neil Aldridge/World Press Photo hide caption

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Neil Aldridge/World Press Photo

A young white rhino, drugged and blindfolded, is about to be released into the Okavango Delta in Botswana. It was relocated from South Africa to protect it from poachers.

Neil Aldridge/World Press Photo

A good photo can let you see the world in ways you never dreamed of.

That's what struck us about the nominees for the 2018 World Press Photo contest, an annual competition that highlights the best photojournalism of the year. The finalists were just announced.

As a blog that focuses on the developing world, we looked with special interest at photos that focus on life in the countries we cover, from Nigeria to North Korea. They give us a glimpse into both the beauty and pain of daily life, from women learning to swim in Zanzibar to boys carrying trash in Nigeria.

World Press Photo contest director Micha Bruinvels says the judges look for content, technique and aesthetics. The photos also need to meet journalistic standards like accuracy and fairness.

In some cases, these photos can help upend stereotypes we may have, Bruinvels adds.

"This is a window to our world by photojournalists who actually are working in not very easy environments these days, to show us really what's happening," he says.

Photographers from 125 countries submitted more than 73,000 photos for this year's World Press Photo contest. Jurors narrowed that number down to six pictures that have been nominated for the World Press Photo of the Year.

Altogether, more than 40 photographers are nominees for awards in categories like environment, people and general news.

The winners will be announced in April.

Girls in Zanzibar, a Tanzanian archipelago, are often discouraged from learning how to swim, partly because of the fear that wearing an immodest swimsuit will compromise cultural or religious beliefs. The Panje Project teaches women and girls to swim in full-length bathing suits. Anna Boyiazis/World Press Photo hide caption

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Anna Boyiazis/World Press Photo

Girls in Zanzibar, a Tanzanian archipelago, are often discouraged from learning how to swim, partly because of the fear that wearing an immodest swimsuit will compromise cultural or religious beliefs. The Panje Project teaches women and girls to swim in full-length bathing suits.

Anna Boyiazis/World Press Photo

An official guards the exit at the Kim Il-sung Stadium, where a crowd has gathered for the Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea. Roger Turesson, Dagens Nyheter/World Press Photo hide caption

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Roger Turesson, Dagens Nyheter/World Press Photo

An official guards the exit at the Kim Il-sung Stadium, where a crowd has gathered for the Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea.

Roger Turesson, Dagens Nyheter/World Press Photo

A group of American expats in Lagos is steered through the canals of Makoko, ”a slum €”on the shores of Lagos, Nigeria. Jesco Denzel, laif/World Press Photo hide caption

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Jesco Denzel, laif/World Press Photo

A group of American expats in Lagos is steered through the canals of Makoko, ”a slum €”on the shores of Lagos, Nigeria.

Jesco Denzel, laif/World Press Photo

Child jockeys ride bareback, barefoot and with little protective gear on small horses during the Main Jaran race on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. Alain Schroeder, Reporters/World Press Photo hide caption

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Alain Schroeder, Reporters/World Press Photo

Child jockeys ride bareback, barefoot and with little protective gear on small horses during the Main Jaran race on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia.

Alain Schroeder, Reporters/World Press Photo

This chicken-processing factory northwest of Shanghai, one of China's largest, employs about 1,500 workers and handles more than 10,000 birds an hour. Operated by a Thai conglomerate, the plant supplies fast-food restaurant chains. Rapidly rising incomes in China has created a changing diet and an increasing demand for meat, dairy and processed foods. George Steinmetz, for National Geographic/World Press Photo hide caption

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George Steinmetz, for National Geographic/World Press Photo

This chicken-processing factory northwest of Shanghai, one of China's largest, employs about 1,500 workers and handles more than 10,000 birds an hour. Operated by a Thai conglomerate, the plant supplies fast-food restaurant chains. Rapidly rising incomes in China has created a changing diet and an increasing demand for meat, dairy and processed foods.

George Steinmetz, for National Geographic/World Press Photo

Nadhira Aziz watched as Iraqi Civil Defense workers dug out the bodies of her sister and niece from her house in the Old City, where they were killed by an airstrike in June. Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times/World Press Photo hide caption

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Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times/World Press Photo

Nadhira Aziz watched as Iraqi Civil Defense workers dug out the bodies of her sister and niece from her house in the Old City, where they were killed by an airstrike in June.

Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times/World Press Photo

Djeneta (right) has been bedridden and unresponsive for two and a half years, and her sister Ibadeta for more than six months. The girls, who live in Horndal, Sweden, have been diagnosed with uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome. It is a condition believed to exist only amongst refugees in Sweden. Magnus Wennman, Aftonbladet/World Press Photo hide caption

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Magnus Wennman, Aftonbladet/World Press Photo

Djeneta (right) has been bedridden and unresponsive for two and a half years, and her sister Ibadeta for more than six months. The girls, who live in Horndal, Sweden, have been diagnosed with uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome. It is a condition believed to exist only amongst refugees in Sweden.

Magnus Wennman, Aftonbladet/World Press Photo

Boys carry trash in Lagos, Nigeria. Kadir van Lohuizen, NOOR Images /World Press Photo hide caption

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Kadir van Lohuizen, NOOR Images /World Press Photo

Boys carry trash in Lagos, Nigeria.

Kadir van Lohuizen, NOOR Images /World Press Photo

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, having laid down its weapons after more than 50 years of conflict, is transforming itself into a new political party. It aims to create a professional football club made up of victims of conflict as well as former rebels. Juan D. Arredondo/World Press Photo hide caption

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Juan D. Arredondo/World Press Photo

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, having laid down its weapons after more than 50 years of conflict, is transforming itself into a new political party. It aims to create a professional football club made up of victims of conflict as well as former rebels.

Juan D. Arredondo/World Press Photo

Two brothers live in a traditional yaodong, or "kiln cave," carved into a hillside on the Loess Plateau in central China. The earth-lined walls have good insulation, enabling residents to survive cold winters. Li Huaifeng/World Press Photo hide caption

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Li Huaifeng/World Press Photo

Two brothers live in a traditional yaodong, or "kiln cave," carved into a hillside on the Loess Plateau in central China. The earth-lined walls have good insulation, enabling residents to survive cold winters.

Li Huaifeng/World Press Photo

Courtney Columbus is a multimedia journalist who covers science, global health and consumer health. She has contributed to the Arizona Republic and Arizona PBS. Contact her @cmcolumbus11