“Battle Victim” by K M Asad. Ukhiya, Bangladesh. SIPA Contest Photo of the Year. In Cox’s Bazar, Asmat Ara looks clearly traumatized after the recent violence which took place in Myanmar, on September 6th, 2017. The previous night she had entered Tenkhali Rohingya refugee camp with her family from Kumar Khali, Myanmar Rohingya state. According to the UNHCR, more than 646,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar since August 25th, 2017, most of them trying to cross the border to reach Bangladesh.
The annual Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA) reveal parts of the world that go unknown to many. Now in their fourth year, the contest demonstrates an incredible range of subject matter, from amazing portraits of the animal kingdom to heart-wrenching photos of humanity to applaudable feats of architecture. The awe-inspiring pictures are in keeping with the mission of the contest. SIPA is hosted by Art Photo Travel, a non-profit organization whose mission involves “cultural initiatives aimed at spreading, promoting and enhancing art, monuments, traditions, cultures and natural beauty from all around the world.”
The 2018 competition saw more than 48,000 entries from amateur and professional photographers in 156 countries. A fraction of the submissions were selected for category awards. Using unconventional names including Fragile Ice, Animals in Their Environment, and Fascinating Faces and Characters, the section winners are awarded starting with 1° Classified, then 2° Classified, and then 3° Classified. Beyond that are the honorable mentions.
Above all of the submissions, SIPA crowned their Photo of the Year. This year’s top prize went to K M Asad for a striking portrait called Battle Victim. In it, the documentary photographer captured the tears of a young Rohingya girl after she and her family entered the Tenkhali refugee camp in Bangladesh. She looks on as others arrive, having also fled Myanmar. The emotional photo is a grave reminder of the refugee crisis.
See our selection of favorite winning photographs from 2018, below, and view all of the winners on the SIPA website.
The Siena International Photo Awards is a yearly culture and nature photo contest that selects an incredible variety of images from every corner of the globe.
“Kid with Hand Crafts” by David Nam Lip Lee. Ethiopia. 1° Classified, Fascinating Faces and Characters. In Ethiopia, the kids of the Suri tribe are being over-protected by their families. Imagine these metal handcrafts as a jail with a Suri kid locked inside. Young kids are the hope and inheritors of the Suri culture, but the overprotection will marginalize the new generation from the world.
“Migration” by Khalid Alsabt. Desert of Dahana, Saudi Arabia. 2° Classified, The Beauty of Nature. In the desert of Dahana, in the center of Saudi Arabia, Bedouins migrate with camels from place to place, searching for food and water. I took this picture while a group of nomads was passing us with their camels, creating beautiful shadows in a peaceful atmosphere.
“Game of Colors” by Anurag Kumar. Nandgaon, Uttar Pradesh, India. 2° Classified, Fragile Ice. The Holi Festival is a yearly Indian celebration announcing the arrival of spring, with a colorful atmosphere that radiates love and happiness.
“Henningsvær Football Field” by Misha De-Stroyev. Henningsvær, Lofoten Islands, Norway. 2° Classified, Architecture & Urban Spaces. The football field of Henningsvær, in the beautiful Lofoten Islands in Norway, is considered to be one of the most amazing football fields in Europe, and maybe even in the world.
“Facing Reality” by Amos Nachoum. Pleneau Island, Antarctic Peninsula. 1° Classified, Animals in Their Environment. A leopard seal got into a lagoon just before low tide. The seal was hiding, waiting to ambush young penguins as they got closer. When a penguin got close enough, the seal moved extremely fast and caught the penguin by its feet dragging it to the open water. I was following parallel to the action. The seal released the penguin twice and the terrified penguin succeeded in escaping, but the seal continued chasing after it, and on the third attempt, drowned the penguin and devoured it.
“Floating Market” by Sina Falker. Borneo, Indonesia. 1° Classified, Fragile Ice. Early in the morning before sunrise up to a hundred boats meet at the colorful Lok Baintan Floating Market in Indonesia. It is one of the oldest markets in Asia where the inhabitants still trade from traditional wooden boats.
“Hanging in the Primary Forest” by Marco Gaiotti. Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia. Honorable Mention, Animals in Their Environment. A wild Sumatran orangutan in Gunung Leuser National Park, in Northern Sumatra. This species is critically endangered according to the IUCN red list, due to habitat loss, as a consequence of palm oil exploitation and logging. Less than 3,500 orangutans still survive in the wild. We found this big male while hiking into the primary forest, and after initial mistrust, it became confident allowing me to take some wide-angle shots.
“El Calbuco” by Francisco Negroni. Los Ríos Region, Chile. 1° Classified, The Beauty of Nature. This photograph was taken during a violent night eruption of the Calbuco volcano in the Lagos region, Chile. An incredible dirt storm wraps the fumarole of the erupting volcano.
“Reflection Pole Vault” by Ajuriaguerra Saiz Pedro Luis. Bilbao, Spain. 1° Classified, Sports in Action. The pole vaulter makes his final jump, decisive to proclaim himself the winner of the event. The moment is captured in the reflection generated by the intense rains on the ground.
“Toy Houses” by Fyodor Savintsev. Arkhangelsk, Russia. 1° Classified, Architecture & Urban Spaces. This picture of some Russian dachas near the city of Arkhangelsk is interesting thanks to the intense contrast between the colors of the houses and the white snow covering the Russian town.
“On Guard” by Riksa Dewantara. Bromo Semeru Tengger National Park, Indonesia. 2° Classified, Journeys & Adventures. The explosive eruption and loud rumbling of the Mt. Bromo volcano scared the horse causing it to rear up onto its hind legs.
“Fisherman at Inle Lake” by Yinzhi Pan. Inle Lake, Myanmar. 1° Classified, Student. This picture was captured at Inle Lake on the Shan Plateau in Myanmar. As the lake is covered with reeds and floating plants, it is difficult to row while sitting. As a result, the Intha fishermen have developed an unusual rowing style. It is amazing how people in each corner of the world find ways to adapt to nature, inspired by nature itself.
“Every Breath You Take” by Klaus Lenzen. Duesseldorf, Germany. 1° Classified, General Color. The picture was taken from 35 individual images of swimmers at the triathlon in the Duesseldorf Media Harbour in the summer of 2017. I was able to take them from above, while the athletes crossed a pedestrian bridge capturing their very individual “breathing techniques“. I was inspired by the work of Andreas Gursky; therefore, I took the individual images with the highest possible sharpness.
“The Wave” by Lorraine Turci. South of Drake Passage, Antarctica waters. 3° Classified, Journeys & Adventures. In the Drake Passage, between Cape Horn and Antarctica, a 12-meter wave pounds the boat's forecastle with its enormous splashes.
“Snowfall” by Matthias Hangst. Lahti, Finland. Honorable Mention, Sports in Action. Vincent Descombes Sevoie of France competes in the Mixed Team HS100 Normal Hill Ski Jumping during the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Finland.
“Runner” by Marcel van Balken. Arnhem, The Netherlands. 1° Classified, General Monochrome. This photograph highlights the modern architecture of Arnhem Central Station in the Netherlands by using black and white technique and the movement of the runner in the static scene.