NEW YORK, NY, April 18, 2006. The Overseas Press Club of America has announced the winners of its 67th annual awards, and Chris Hondros of Getty Images has won the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for his images, "One Night In Tal Afar." The essay also recently won First Place in NPPA's 2006 Best Of Photojournalism contest for Best International News Picture Story.
“Every year, Chris comes up with a blockbuster set of pictures. This year it was the series of images from Tal Afar, which were just stunning. Last year it was from Monrovia, of the rebel jumping in the air with gunfire on a bridge,” said Michael Sargent, vice president for news, sports, and entertainment at Getty Images. “Chris is just a spectacular photographer. I’ve always liked his photography, but he continues to blossom and develop, not just as a photographer but as a journalist."
“He has a great passion for all the stories he photographs, he gets close to the people, he cares about them, he stays in touch with them," Sargent told News Photographer magazine today. "For Chris, it’s not just about the pictures. He has sincere feelings about the people who are his subjects. He’s not just moving on to the next contest. He’s stayed in touch with the little boy from the Tal Afar shooting, and with the rebel in Monrovia too. He shot a portrait of that guy on the same bridge this year, and his dreadlocks were gone, and he was wearing a collared shirt, and the former rebel looked like any other regular guy.”
Hondros has a busy schedule this spring, picking up the Capa Award on Thursday night and then traveling to Amsterdam to receive his World Press Photo honors.
In other Overseas Press Club photography honors, photojournalist Rina Castelnuovo of The New York Times was given the John Farber Award for the best photographic reporting from abroad in newspapers for a series called “Leaving Gaza.” Marcus Bleasdale was honored with the Oliver Rebbot Award for best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines and books for "The Rape of a Nation.” And Christopher Morris, of the VII Photo Agency on assignment for Time/Asia, was given OPC's Feature Photography Award for his essay "Inside the Hermit Kingdom."
The Overseas Press Club of America Awards were founded in 1940 to recognize excellence in foreign coverage in the categories of print, broadcast, and photography. Brian Williams, anchor of the NBC Nightly News, will be the awards presenter this year at the organization’s annual dinner on April 20. OPC executive director Sonya K. Fry says the club’s President’s Award will this year go to a special honoree, Ted Koppel, formerly of Nightline.