A Syrian Kurdish family waits to be taken to a Turkish shelter after fleeing shelling in Yumurtalik, Turkey.
A Syrian Kurdish family waits to be taken to a Turkish shelter after fleeing shelling in Yumurtalik, Turkey.Bryan Denton—The New York Times
A Syrian Kurdish family waits to be taken to a Turkish shelter after fleeing shelling in Yumurtalik, Turkey.
Afghan National Army soldiers with injuries and amputations adjust their prostheses between sessions at a therapy center.
The bones of victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide on display at a small memorial chapel in Antelias, Lebanon.
The smoke from a controlled detonation of an improvised explosive can be seen through tall grass in a hamlet in Kakeran, Afghanistan, where US and Afghan forces conduct a joint clearing operation.
Rebels warm themselves by a fire early in the morning near the Ras Lanuf oil refinery.
A rebel gravedigger buries a row of more than 300 Qadafi government troops killed in combat in the city of Misrata, Libya in 2011.
An Anti-Qaddafi rebel, armed with Kalashnikov assault rifle, clears an area near the front line in Bin Jawad in 2011.
Sayed Mohammad Sultani, left, examines pelts brought in by middle men who procure them from shepherds in Northern Afghanistan. Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, 2015.
TEHRAN, IRAN | 2011-11-24 | Yassi and her friend take a cab to an opening reception at a gallery in northern Tehran. Even though being bold and eye-catching is always a factor that concerns the morality police, many girls choose to put on bright lipstick and wear distinctive fashion.
EASTERN AZERBAIJAN, IRAN | 2013-04-04 | Mozhdeh (15) and her 8 year old brother spend time in their cabin on the TransAsia train that goes from Tehran to Ankara. They are both equally saddened and confused by their parents' decision to flee the country and become refugees in Turkey.
TEHRAN, IRAN | 2013-11-18 | At the Grand Bazar, a clothing store sells fashion and clothing imported from Turkey, which has got more difficult and more expensive, making it hard to compete with locally made fashion goods.
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN | 2014-08-10 | Young Afghan men, all in their early 20s, socialize and smoke hooka at Cafe Che, in Western Kabul. Cafe Che is one of the fewer cafes that have become very popular among young people in mixed groups as a meeting place.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY | 2014-11-15 | Lola's painted finger nails rest on her lap. Stranded by closed culture and unfriendly attitude of Turkish locals in small town of Denizli, Amir started to dress up as a woman, enjoying a bit of more freedom while exploring his sexuality in ways that he had not explored before. He adopted the name Lola and dresses like a woman for most parts.
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN | 2015-05-25 | A 23 year old police officer, unable to speak from a severe injury to his jaw caused by shrapnel during the fighting against Taliban, lays in his bed at the Italian Emergency Hospital, while nurses treat his wounds on his back.
IZMIR, TURKEY | 2014-08-17 | Lola and a friend share a bed passed out after a night out. Ashamed from her visible beard and rough skin, Lola covers her face with a scarf. Lola, formerly known as Amir, is an Iranian transgender waiting for her refugee status in turkey.
MAZANDARAN, IRAN | 2010-07-14 | Despite the rules that women are not allowed to swim in public, even fully clothed, Sheida and Behnoosh escape the hot and humid night and hit the Caspian Sea with their manteaus and scarves on. They were kicked out of the beach for breaking the rules by the guards shortly after.
A Syrian Kurdish family waits to be taken to a Turkish shelter after fleeing shelling in Yumurtalik, Turkey.
Bryan Denton—The New York Times
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Bryan Denton, Kiana Hayeri Win Chris Hondros Fund Awards

Apr 14, 2016

The Chris Hondros Fund award can be a bittersweet recognition. The prize comes with a $20,000 grant to support documentary work, but is named after a photojournalist who was killed on April 20, 2011, in Misrata, Libya. Hondros was a deeply respected Getty Images photographer who, over his years on the job, influenced the lives and work of many of his colleagues.

“It’s not just an accolade,” says Bryan Denton, this year’s recipient of the Getty Images and Chris Hondros Fund Award. “It’s a motivational award too.”

Denton, a long-time freelancer and contributor to the New York Times, has spent the last decade working across Afghanistan, the Middle East Africa and South East Asia.

Denton has received the grant just as he's decided to look for projects that are more long-term than what he's used to, a new direction partly inspired by the recent birth of his son. “I’ve realized that the real commodity in life is time, especially when you’ve had a kid,” he says. “Before I had the baby, I was spending six to eight months out of the year on the road. I feel like it’s a lot harder to find the time to work now but at the same time, when I do work, I feel that every day that I get away from home has to count.”

The grant will help him achieve that goal, even if he doesn’t know exactly how at the moment. “I’m sort of trying to come up with a plan for what I’m going to use it for,” he says. “Obviously I want to put it to good use to bring my work forward.”

For New York Times International Picture Editor David Furst, Denton's evolving work shows a deeper understanding of the kind of photography he wanted to make over the years. "Even in the most kinetic and dangerous environments he still manages to have a very sensitive eye," Furst says. "He cares a lot about the subjects he photographs, and he cares a lot about the subjects in his photographs.”

Kiana Hayeri, who received the Chris Hondros Fund Award in the Emerging Photographer category, shares Denton’s wish to focus on the personal. In the last five years, the Iranian photographer has focused on impact war and oppression has had on millennials — first in Iran and Afghanistan, and now in Congo and Europe.

“The body of work Kiana is building is beyond impressive,” says photographer Peter DiCampo, who nominated the Iranian-born photographer for the award. “She inserts herself into private moments and creates intimate portraits of life in parts of the world where we rarely see anything beyond the nightly news. And she does this seemingly effortlessly. Her talent is to put those around her at ease.”

For Di Campo, Hayeri’s strength resides in her subtle approach. “The small moments, the telling details that make up our lives: a flip of hair, a skeptical expression,” he says.

Hayeri will continue with this approach, but, she says, it will now come with “the pressure of living up to Chris’ name and creating strong and inspiring work.”

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

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