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.
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