Czech Press Photo 2018 - Winners

Olympus Masters

30 November 2018 – 13 January 2019

Opening hours:
Tue - Fr: 11 – 18
Sa - Su: 10 – 18

Entrance fee:
80 CZK / 40 CZK, including entrance to adjacent exhibition in the CPC Small Hall

Large Hall CPC
Seydlerova 2835/4
Prague 5 (Nové Butovice)
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(Prague – November 20 2018) Winners in each category were announced at the awards ceremony of the 24th annual Czech Press Photo competition held in the Brožík Hall of the Old Town City Hall. The Photograph of the Year award went to Lukáš Zeman, whose photograph “A mother orangutan with her dying baby,” taken in Borneo, has a global outreach. The international jury chose the winners from among 6,000 submissions from more than 400 authors

“Death in nature. This photograph depicts the relationship between humans and nature, and also shows very clearly the immediate effect of people interfering with the natural order of life. Pollution, damage of the natural environment and depletion of the ozone layer are some examples of how we are turning our planet into a barren rock. If nature dies, humankind dies too. Therefore, the jury found this photograph to be the most powerful of all submitted photographs,” member of the international jury, photographer of the daily The New York Times Joao Silva, summed up its statement.

“I went to Borneo because I consider it one of the last places where you can watch orangutans in the wild. On the entire island of Borneo, there is a constant conflict between the nature of the national parks and the quickly growing palm plantations and other industries, in particular coal mines. I took the photograph of the mother orangutan with her dying baby in the Tanjung Puting national park, which is separated by a river from a huge plantation of oil palm trees, leaving only a narrow (50-100 m) strip of the original vegetation, in which these animals do not have enough food and space, and so they are basically imprisoned. The female orangutan in the photograph was about twenty meters in front of us. For several tens of minutes, we watched as she switched her lifeless baby from one arm to the other and the baby was not reacting,” the author of the photograph Lukáš Zeman explains the photograph.

This year, participants competed in eight photo categories and three video categories. As is now tradition, submissions were made online throughout the entire month of September. The jury judged the work of 430 photographers, who submitted a total of 6,456 photographs. In the video category, 26 authors submitted a total of 41 videos.

“I am sure that the choice of the jury for Photograph of the Year 2018 will surprise many. It is not a typical photograph that we are used to seeing at Press Photo. But its message - nature is dying and we are part of it - is very topical and alarming. War photographer Joao Silva fought the most for this photograph to win. I understood his viewpoint after his emotional speech about his life story. A person, who from his childhood lived in a foreign country in poverty as an immigrant, got caught up in the world of drugs, later as a war photographer saw suffering at every step, experienced the death of his friends, suffered severe injuries resulting in the loss of both legs, and later underwent around 70 surgeries, will change his values. I think that he could care less about politicians struggling for power and about local conflicts and that he thinks in a timeless and global way. I am thankful that I could meet him,” explains Veronika Souralová, director of Czech Press Photo.

This year, for the first time an award for lifelong contribution in photography was given to Josef Koudelka. The statue was made specially for Czech Press Photo by artist David Černý.

Since its very beginning, the competition has always included the Prague Grant – the Prague municipal council’s annual creative scholarship for photographing transformations of the capital city, which the Prague mayor personally awards based on the recommendation of the jury. Thanks to the Prague Grant, a large collection of photographs documenting Prague and its development has been gradually created. In the past, for example Jaroslav Kučera and Karel Cudlín won this award.

This year’s winner of the Prague Grant is Tomáš Vocelka, who works as a freelance photographer and also writes the column Photo on the website Aktuálně.cz. He was nominated for the Prague Grant for his project Below the Prague Spires (Pod pražskými věžemi).

“It is said that Prague has a hundred spires. From these spires, we can see the beauty of the city, its Baroque and Gothic architecture. As a photographer, however, I have been more interested in everyday life since the 1980s, when I started taking photos in the Prague streets as a student. In my series Below the Prague Spires, these two things were interconnected. I realized that if you stop looking at the beautiful skyline and look directly below from the spires, you discover a completely new world. When I was taking the photos, I was surprised how different the view looking down is from what we usually see when we walk around the historic center of Prague,” adds author Tomáš Vocelka.

In addition to the Prague Grant, the author also received the PICTOART Award for printing the exhibition that will take place at the Czech Photo Center once the year’s work is finished.

The announcement of winning photographs is followed by an exhibition of the winning and other chosen photographs and videos of the 24th annual competition Czech Press Photo, which will be at the Old Town City Hall from 21 November to 30 January. The exhibition will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. General admission tickets are 150 CZK and discounted admission tickets are 70 CZK. During the exhibition, there will be accompanying activities, such as meetings with the winners in individual categories.

You can find more information and individual photographs at

Contacts and other information:

Public relations – Anna Vacková, +420 777 09 36 90,

Winning photographs and videos of Czech Press Photo 2018

PHOTO segment


Lukáš Zeman / A mother orangutan with her dying baby

A mother orangutan with her dying baby in her arms in Central Kalimantan (Borneo) is paying the price for cutting down of original old-growth rainforests.

Lukáš Zeman studied computer science at a university in Pardubice. After his graduation, he set up an advertising studio in Pardubice, to which he later added a printing shop and a photo studio. He got his first camera as a child from his grandparents and since then has been taking photographs. He became even more interested in photography with the arrival of digital photography and later with the opportunity to travel around the world. In recent years, he has been going on expeditions where he focuses on documenting the life of animals in the wild.

Statement of the international jury:

“This story is not only about life in the wild. It is a story about all of us, our future and how closely we are connected to each other and this planet. In this world, which is inhabited by seven billion people, we must learn to see ourselves as part of nature. Our fate is connected to the fate of animals. The future of nature is our future. Nature does not need people. People need nature.

Although this year was full of political events, the jury decided that the topic of nature provides a more powerful story. When a part of nature disappears, it affects all of us. The state of our planet and this year’s Photograph of the Year show the relationship between man and nature and the direct effects that human interference has on the natural life order. Pollution, driving animals out of their natural habitats and depletion of the ozone layer are just some examples illustrating how we are turning our blue planet into a barren wasteland. When nature dies, so do people.

The photograph illustrates how the largest species of orangutan in the world is disappearing quickly due to strong deforestation, where wild jungles are turned into plantations of palm tree oil or cellulose. During the past 16 years, the island of Borneo lost 100,000 orangutans, which is more than the number of this critically endangered species of orangutan currently alive.”



Michal Čížek, AFP – Andrej Babiš: Czech billionaire and leader of the political party ANO Andrej Babiš thanks Marek Prchal, the PR manager of political party ANO, for a successful election campaign shortly after winning the election on 21 October 2017 in Prague.


Tomáš Benedikovič, Denník N – Babiš in Jihlava: One of the last pre-election meetings of Andrej Babiš in Jihlava. The highlight was a competition in sausage eating.



Martin Trabalík, freelance photographer – A Rohingya family disembarks in Bangladesh: Thousands of refugees disembark on 26 September on the coast of Shah Porir Island. First, they had to hide for days in the jungles of Myanmar and then cross the wild river Naf.


Pavel Nasadil, freelance photographer –A youth jail: A youth jail is located at the edge of the slum Kroo Bay in the center of Freetown. Its entire length is bordered by a barred ambulatory where young delinquents are hanging around. The jail that can accommodate a total of 50 delinquents currently holds 38 inmates. Their fates differ, but they have one thing in common – they wait a very long time for a verdict. The legal system in Sierra Leone is basically non-functional and chaotic as a result of the Ebola epidemic.



Jan Wünsch, freelance photographer –A gym on the beach: On the island of Zanzibar, a group of enthusiasts built their own gym on a nearby beach. Although some of them work at a nearby luxury resort, they all live in extreme poverty in mud huts in the village Kendwa.


Jan Cága, freelance photographer– The Danube delta: The Danube Delta, which is the best-preserved river delta in Europe, spreads out over the border of Romania and the Ukraine. Over 1,200 plant species, 300 bird species and 45 fish species live in the wetlands and still and flowing waters of the Danube Delta. The delta is also a major nesting ground for migratory birds and since the year 1991 has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the past, the large meadows of the Danube Delta gave way to agriculture and excessive fishing. Today, mainly tourist potential is being developed here.



Zdeněk Dvořák, freelance photographer – Circus Humberto: The audience cannot see behind the curtain and this is where the most tense situations happen.


Jiří Steinbach, freelance photographer – Uffizi: The entire series was created on 7 August 2018 during a one-day visit to the famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence (Tuscany, Italy). The author focused on the behavior of visitors who, in combination with the overall atmosphere and special lighting in the gallery, created interesting poses.



Martin Kozák, freelance photographer – Ski jumping competition: The judges evaluate the style of jumps during the competition of young ski jumpers in Lomnice nad Popelkou.


Lukáš Bíba, Economia, a. s. – Adam Ondra – World Climbing Championship 2018: Czech climber Adam Ondra and his 10 days at the World Climbing Championship in Innsbruck, Austria (September 2018). He won the silver medal in lead climbing and in an Olympic combination that for the first time will become part of the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.



Matěj Kalina, News and Media Holding, a. s. – Remembering Ludmila: Mrs. Margaréta Cervanová with a portrait of her daughter Ľudmila Cervanová who was raped and murdered on 9 July 1976. It is one of the longest and most controversial cases in the Slovakian justice system.


Filip Singer, EPA – The Chancellor: The life of a chancellor in one of the important countries of the world today is full of high-level meetings. She meets with prime ministers and heads of states. The last year was one of the most difficult for her. In the year 2017, she was re-elected for the fourth time. This time with a significant loss of voters’ confidence. She faced several domestic political crises, which she withstood. She faces pressure from abroad and at home due to her decision to accept refugees. She has many followers and many opponents. Angela Markel – the first lady of world politics.



Lukáš Zeman, freelance photographer –A mother orangutan with her dying baby: A mother orangutan with her dying baby in her arms in Central Kalimantan (Borneo) is paying the price for cutting down of original old-growth rainforests.


Stanislav Krupař, freelancer photographer –The devasted East: It has been four years since the Revolution of Dignity and the Ukraine is not in a good state. A large part of the separatist East seems to be lost for good, regions are ravaged by devastation. The Ukraine is the least energy-efficient country in the world and the sixth largest producer of CO2 per capita. Even though it started adopting the European Union’s standards, progress is slow and the environmental protection standards are systematically violated.



Miloš Nejezchleb, freelance photographer– Alopecia – Human flower: The photograph depicts a flower made from the heads of children who suffer from alopecia. The flower symbolizes the fact that people without hair are also attractive. The goal of the photograph is to spread knowledge about this increasingly widespread disease. Those affected most often find that people think they have cancer.


Roman Vondrouš, Czech News Agency – Fashion at the horse races: The Czech Republic has a long and prominent history of horse racing. Each track is specific thanks to its unique environment for which it is sought after by viewers. At the beginning of the 20th century, horse racing was a sport for the elite and rich who seized this opportunity to show off their wealth and social status through fashion. This is partly true to this day.

Photographs that won special awards


András Á. Cséfalvay, Pomněnka – A child in the nursing home Pomněnka in Senec, Slovakia.


The Czech Press Photo competition, together with the Canon company, wants to support young talented photographers in their work. Therefore, all three nominees received the award.

Oliver Beneš – Eclipsis

Jakub Klíma – A look

Paula Malinowska – A misprint


Ivana Jašminská – Digital detox


Martin Trabalík, Exodus of the Rohingya people


Pert Vrabec, – Eviction of families with children from boarding houses in Ústí nad Labem


Marek Musil – Dust&Light the Burning Man Collection

The Photograph of the Month award has been announced for the first time. Its goal is to bring attention to the work of professional photographers throughout the year, not just during the Czech Press Photo competition. Czech Press Photo actively looks at photographs in various media and shows the best news photos taken for newspapers, websites or agencies.

Winners: January – Dan Materna, February – Michal Růžička, March – Martin Divíšek, April – Michal Čížek, May – Yan Renelt, June – Filip Singer, July – Roman Vondrouš, August – Radim Hanzl, September - Martin Frouz

VIDEO segment


Jarmila Štuková, Andrej Štuk, freelancers – Three friends: Refugees are often depicted as lazy parasites waiting for financial support of host countries. In reality, especially among young refugees from Syria, there is a high percentage of those who work. The portraits of three friends were taken at the refugee camp al Husn in Jordan.


Silvie Kleková, Czech Television – Too expensive hope: Patients with incurable cancer could have a chance at prolonging their life. There are biological medicines on the market that have fewer side effects and patients can function normally with them and even work. However, they are expensive and the state refuses to pay for them.


Lenka Klicperová, Markéta Kutilová, Czech Television – Queens of the caliphate: At the turn of the year 2017, the capital city of the Islamic State in Syria, Raqqa, was liberated. Tens of thousands of civilians fled from the ravaged city and so did hundreds of wives and children of Jihadists. They are now in a refugee camp in northern Syria, where they face understandable opposition and hostility. Their husbands are either dead or on the run. How do they look back on their life in a caliphate and what are they planning to do? Experts warn that these women could take over the black flag and continue in the fight for Jihad.

The international jury awarded nominations in eight categories. Nominations for the Prague Grant of the Prague mayor were chosen as well. The regular awards included: the CANON JUNIOR AWARDS for young photographers up to age 23, the Czech News Agency Award, the UNHCR Award, the Czech News Agency Award, the UNCHR Award, the Award of the Good Will Committee – the Olga Havlová Foundation “My Life with a Handicap,” the Children’s Award, the PICTOART Award. The Viewers’ Award will be given based on a survey among exhibition visitors.

The jury for the video segment evaluated video submissions on 10 October 2018. The jury for the video segment comprised of: Josef HARVAN, director, screenwriter and producer – chairman of the jury, Martina HYNDRÁKOVÁ, online marketing specialist, Miro ŠVOLÍK, photographer, Jan VANIŠ, cameraman and photographer, Alois FIŠÁREK, editor and university professor. The jury chose winners in three competition categories.

The competition and exhibition CZECH PRESS PHOTO 2018 are organized by:

Czech Photo, o.p.s., and the capital city of Prague under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and the mayor of Prague.

General partner: Trigema

Partners: ProCeram, Berlitz, Renomia, Canon, eCONTEST, Olympus, UNHCR, the Good Willl Committee – the Olga Havlová Foundation, EIZO, Samsung, Pictoart, Siko, Ptáček-koupelny

Main media partner: Český rozhlas 1 – Radiožurnál

Media partners: Právo,, Reflex, Prima ZOOM, Czech News Agency, Forbes, Lidé a Země

The main prize, the Crystal Eye, was made by the company Rückl Crystal.

The exhibition CZECH PRESS PHOTO 2018 will be open to the public from 21 November 2018 to 30 January 2019 in the Cloister and the Knights’ Hall of the Old Town City Hall.

Press release for download in .docx

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