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Photographer Yiwei Li 2020 portrait of the year
Photo: Golli. Photographer Yiwei Li watching the clouds. 2020 Portrait of the year by the Icelandic Press Photo Association..

Press Photos of the Year 2020 Revealed

Iceland Review photographer Golli’s portrait of photographer Li Yiwei was awarded Portrait of the Year at this year’s Press Photo Exhibition hosted by the Icelandic Press Photo Association last Friday. Golli’s portrait, seen above, show’s Li looking up at Iceland’s winter clouds. The jury described the photograph as an “Beautiful, enigmatic, and dreamlike,” adding “The subject lies on the ground looking at the clouds but at the same time, it’s as if she herself is floating on clouds. An unusual and well-executed portrait. Its construction evokes feelings of infinity and calm.”

The Icelandic Press Photos of the Year have been awarded annually since 1979 by the Union of Icelandic Journalists, in seven different categories, in addition to the Press Photo of the year. This year’s Press photo of the Year portrays Ásta kristín Marteinsdóttir, paramedic and legal student who signed up for the healthcare professional reserve corps when the pandemic began. The photo was taken by the National Hospital’s photographer Þorkell Þorkelsson, who also shot the Photo Series of the Year. The judge’s panel called it “ a beautiful moment at the end of a demanding shift at the National Hospital. Beauty in an institutional and sterile environment. There’s calm and peace in the photo but also sadness and fatigue. A symbolic shot for the situation this year, that most people can relate to – handwashing, disinfectant, and fatigue.”

Press photo of the year 2020
Þorkell Þorkelsson. Paramedic and legal student Ásta kristín Marteinsdóttir, who signed up for the medical staff reserve corps when the pandemic began.

Other photographers awarded this year included Kristinn Magnússon (Morgunblaðið) for News photo and Magazine photo of the year, Vilhelm Gunnarsson (Vísir) for Sports and Environment photo of the year, and Valgarður Gíslason for the best photo depicting daily life. The winning photographs are on display at Reykjavík’s Museum of Photography.

This is not Golli’s first distinction from the Press photo Association, as last year, he shot the Press Photo and Photo Series of the year. 

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