Photographers Jonas Roosens and Jasper Jacobs have won the 2018 Nikon Press Photo Awards with photographs featuring two strong women, Angela Merkel and Nafissatou Thiam. Roosens won the “News” category with his photograph, titled “The Messiah and the Apostles”, which showed the German Chancellor surrounded by other European heads of state. Jacobs’ photograph of Belgian athlete Nafissatou Thiam won him first prize in the “Sport” category.
Rosen’s photo, taken for the Dutch news agency, ANP, impressed the jury with its technical quality.
“In press photography, timing is essential,” the jury noted. “Jonas Roosens took this photograph just after the official group photo. He succeeded in capturing Angela Merkel’s look at a very particular moment, while all the other protagonists have eloquent attitudes and expressions,” the jury stressed, adding that the photo showed the central role the German chancellor “plays in this assembly”.
Jasper Jacobs’ creation, “The Crown of Laurels of Nafi Thiam”, also immortalises an exceptional woman. The moment he captured was during the Gotzis Heptathlon, where the Belgian athlete smashed the 7,000-point ceiling. “Her braids seem to float in the air and surround her with a modern version of the crown of laurels that have been awarded to winners since Antiquity,” the jury commented. This photo also earned its author the public prize.
The jury awarded Honourable Mention to “The Secretary of State” by Belga photographer Dirk Waem. “This photograph is a unique composition: a swimming pool, a young woman sunbathing on a Unicorn buoy and … Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and his entourage during a mission to Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire),” the jury said. The photographer “evidently waited for the ideal moment.”
The three photos were among 604 submitted by 86 journalists based in Belgium and the Grand Dutchy of Luxembourg.