Woman Playing Cards Wins “World’s Largest Photo Competition”

Woman playing cards in Indonesia

“Right from the heart of life” by Dikye Ariani. Overall winner and Winner, People. Location: Indonesia.
“A powerful picture with a very good composition of a connected community – right from the heart of Indonesian life.”

German photo printing company CEWE has just announced the winners of its photo competition, which it says is the world's largest. Indonesian photographer Dikye Ariani was the overall winner for her image of a woman immersed in a card game with locals at a traditional Indonesian café, or “Warung Kopi.”

Ariani's slice-of-life image won out over the 509,612 photos submitted by amateur and professional photographers around the world. “Dikye Ariani impressively captures the atmosphere of a special moment with her photo,” states the jury. “The outstanding composition of the image is striking in its depth and clear focus on the main character, who is surrounded by the other protagonists of the scene. A central, diffused light enhances the artistic composition and intensifies the impact of the image.”

Prizes were also awarded to 10 category winners, which also included Ariani as the winner of the People category. Standout images include Michael Kemter's surreal look at a busy observation deck in New York's The Summit, which won the Architecture & Technology category. Claudia Räss' intimate look at the hand of a chimpanzee in Uganda, which topped the Animals category, is also particularly striking.

The other big winner of the contest is SOS Children's Villages. CEWE donated €0.10 to the Austrian non-profit for every photo submitted to the 2023 contest. This means that a total of €50,961 ($53,708), was donated to the organization. These funds will go towards an educational project by the children's aid organization in Somalia.

Scroll down to see all of the individual category winners from the CEWE Photo Award 2023.

Here are the winners of the CEWE Photo Award 2023.

Observation deck of "The Summit," New York City.

“Order in chaos” by Michael Kemter. Winner, Architecture & Technology. Location: Observation deck of “The Summit,” New York City.
“This photograph gives us a front-row seat, like in a theatre, like at a performance. It elevates the mundane to a world of experience that the eye can hardly get enough of.”

Hand of a chimpanzee at the Kibale National Park

“Come, give me your hand” by Claudia Räss. Winner, Animals. Location: Kibale National Park , Uganda.
“The photo shows a strongly focused section of a much larger scene, but it is precisely the concentration on the monkeys' hands that shows the emotionality of the animals.”

Glacier crashing down with seals in the water

“Thundering vulnerability and treacherous calm” by Christian Bovians. Winner, Nature.
“This is such a visually beautiful picture with a vivid depiction of the frightening consequences of global warming.”

Aerial photo of someone crossing the street in Tokyo

“Symphony of Symmetry” by Chin Leong Teo. Winner, Aerial Photography. Location: Tokyo.
“What strong lines in this picture! The symmetry embodies the essence of balance and order, a testament to the photographer's keen eye and deep appreciation for the appeal of lines and structures.”

Over 500,000 photos were entered into what the organization calls “the world's largest photography competition.”

On the banks of the Nile in Egypt

“Like a moment from a bygone era” by Hans Wichmann. Winner, Travel & Culture. Location: Egypt.
“The picture shows a magical moment, as if time had stood still. The technical brilliance and sensitive design with the courage to use dark image areas develop a visual density that convinced us.”

Volcanos in Iceland

“The glowing power of the earth” by Marián Kuric. Winner, Landscapes. Location: Iceland.
“This is a great photo with a dramatic and mystical expression, as if it had been taken in the middle of the Earth's evolutionary history.”

Detail of someone running

“A tribute to all runners” by Rainer Köfferlein. Winner, Sport.
“[The photo immortalizes] everything that makes up sport: the beauty of movement, the competitive element and the enthusiasm of the spectators.”

Person diving into a pool

“The moment afterwards” by Karl Bordron. Winner, Hobby & Leisure. Location: South of France.
“What is so special about this picture is that you can feel the complete silence of the anonymous person under water, after their submersion after the jump. Is it possible to leave reality through a single jump? Yes, in this tiny little moment.”

Chefs taking a break

“A brief moment, a great photo” by Clério Black. Winner, Cooking & Food. Location: Brazil.
“After a long day at work, the chefs at a wedding party in Brazil take a break. The smartphone camera captures this scene compositionally and technically at the highest level – a small moment that has become a great photo thanks to the photographer's skill and visual language.”

CEWE: Website | Instagram | Facebook 

All images via CEWE.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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