“Aesthetics from Africa” by Frank Zhang. Photo of the Year. “The world of beauty has witnessed the celebration of diverse aesthetics. For a long time, the fashion industry's perception of beauty was seen through a Eurocentric lens. However, in recent times, African American model and influencer Sonia Barbie Tucker, originally from Ghana, has been showcasing the rich and vibrant aesthetics of Africa.”
An eye-catching tribute to global beauty was awarded the top prize at the 2023 Creative Photo Awards, which is organized by the Siena Awards. Aesthetics from Africa is a portrait of African-American model and influencer Sonia Barbie Tucker. Taken by Chinese photographer Frank Zhang, the stunning image won out over work submitted by photographers from 133 countries.
In addition to Zhang, nine category winners were named. Standouts include American photographer Patty Carroll, who won the Series category for Anonymous Women: Domestic Demise. This series of images comically addresses the pressures of perfection women face in the home.
Spanish photographer Lurdes Santander won the Animals/Pets category for an ethereal image of a white horse. “I aimed to capture the elegant movement of a horse in a free reign jump, experiencing the sensation of the snow beneath its feet and its inherent desire for freedom, much like humans yearn for,” she shares.
In the Fine Art category, winner Alexander Sviridov demonstrates the creative possibilities of the human body. The Canadian photographer’s Human Skull is impressively formed from nude bodies and takes the viewer by surprise as they slowly realize that the interlocked bodies come together to form the shape of a skull.
Thanks to the Creative Photo Awards, the world is able to clearly see the artistic value of photography and how artists are able to use the camera to not only document the world around them but to push creative boundaries.
All of the winning images will be on display in an exhibition titled I Wonder If You Can, which will show in Siena, Italy, at the Palazzo Pubblico from September 30 to November 19, 2023. If you aren't able to make it over, scroll down to see some of our favorite images and check out the full gallery on the Creative Photo Awards website.
See the winners of the 2023 Creative Photo Awards.
“White Beauty” by Lurdes Santander. Animals/Pets, 1st Classified. “I aimed to capture the elegant movement of a horse in a free reign jump, experiencing the sensation of the snow beneath its feet and its inherent desire for freedom, much like humans yearn for it. This moment was extraordinary, and I persisted through several attempts on my camera to find that elusive shot, a challenge many photographers face.”
“Human Skull” by Alexander Sviridov. Fine Art, 1st Classified. “A black and white surreal photo-art piece featuring several female models whimsically blending together to form a skull. Symbolizing the defiance of mortality, the composition conveys a powerful message of unity in the face of death, evoking reflection and challenging perception.”
“Anonymous Women: Domestic Demise” by Patty Carroll. Series, 1st Classified. “The subject is the conflation of woman and home. A lone woman is surrounded by her domestic objects, activities, and obsessions. The still-life narratives created in the studio for the camera comment on the mania of collecting, accumulating, and decorating a home. In the series, the woman is overwhelmed by her possessions, leading to disaster and mayhem. Growing up in suburbia provided the basis of my work. I photographically create worlds that critique and satirize claustrophobic expectations of perfection that women continue to face, despite contemporary life and careers.”
“The girl with the spiky hairstyle” by Giorgia Corniola. People, 1st Classified. “The girl with ebony skin frees herself from the chains, and some of them remain attached to her, as she escapes. In the gesture of liberation, the shapes of her hairstyle and neck take on elongated forms.”
“Scent of Texas 04292022B” by Ziesook You. People, Runner Up. “After moving to Texas, one of the first things I did was go out and collect some of the state's wildflowers. This project is a great way to celebrate the beauty of Texas and raise awareness about the importance of preserving its natural treasures.”
“Can not see” by Haruka Nishizaki. Fine Art, Runner Up. “Have I overcome the pandemic? My supposedly liberated mind feels like a blocked eyelid. Nevertheless, I must continue to look forward and move on. This expression reflects my feelings of wavering between despair and hope.”
“Still life with oysters and artichoke” by Hester Blankestijn. Open Theme, Runner Up. “This still life captures the abundance of winter. A lush flower bouquet and a table laden with various foods are visited by two tropical birds. Following the tradition of the still life painters of the Dutch Golden Age, this photograph is rich in elements that harmoniously complement each other, forming a balanced composition.”
“Tango” by Pedro Jarque Krebs. Animals/Pets, Runner Up. “The American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a sight to behold during its peak mating season. Their elegance and grace are on full display as they engage in a dance that aims to seduce their potential mates. Their feathers and movements come together in a mesmerizing symphony of passion and beauty.”
“Red” by Andre Boto. Advertising, Runner Up. “The foods we consume today are often saturated with preservatives and chemical additives, intended to preserve, enhance color, improve appearance, prolong shelf life, and withstand lengthy journeys to their final destinations, sometimes lasting for weeks or even months, without significant external changes.”
“The rear window of the Guggenheim” by Soraya Sampedro Bores. Architecture, Runner Up. “I have always been captivated by the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, from the moment I witnessed its construction to its completion. Every time I visit Bilbao, I make it a point to stop by the museum, and I am always compelled to take photos of it. However, on one particular day, what truly stole my heart was the window overlooking the La Salve bridge. The view from that window was simply mesmerizing and left a lasting impression on me.”
“The cake kid” by Steven Herrschaft. Wedding, 1st Classified. “I captured this photo during a beautiful summer wedding in the red wine region of Germany. The majestic Castle on the hill was stunning, and the moment I captured was fleeting yet magical. Sometimes, as a photographer, you need to be in the right place at the right time to create art.”
“Flock” by Zdeněk Vošický. Nature & Landscape, Runner Up. “”Tree of Life” depicts a solitary old tree on the horizon of undulating South Moravian fields, accompanied by a flock of birds. The composition, created from my photographs, evokes the cycle of life and its phases, representing youthful vigor to the serene tranquility of wise old age.”
“sound of light and glass” by Iwona Czubek. Open Theme, 1st Classified. “The photo was taken in 2022 using the “Haruhisa camera,” which was designed and constructed by the Japanese photographer Haruhisa Terasaki. It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to use this camera. Terasaki is known for his unique method of photographing, which he refers to as new pictorialism. This image is projected onto a dry plate and captured with a digital camera.”
“Capital Gate Tower Abu Dhabi” by Frank Loddenkemper. Architecture, 1st Classified. “The Capital Gate Tower in Abu Dhabi was captured in a unique moment from a moving bus. As we traveled on the highway during late afternoon, the sun's rays cast a mesmerizing glow, creating the perfect lighting for the shot.”
“Generational Harmony” by Samuele Ciaffoni. Wedding, Runner Up. “In the foreground, two grandmothers sit together, seemingly sharing stories from the past, while in the background, their granddaughter prepares for her big day. This photo beautifully captures the essence of tradition and the passing of the torch from one generation to another, celebrating the bonds of love and family.”
“Spirit of the Universe” by Peter Lik. Nature & Landscape, 1st Classified. “Capturing this image took patience and perseverance. It started with the search for a single tree amidst a lavender field at sunset. Then the wait for the night sky to unveil its beauty. Combined with a second, long exposure, the light invisible to the naked eye, revealing a truly enchanted world.”
“Spotless Elegance” by Cheraine Collette. Advertising, 1st Classified. “Featuring a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing from 1955, this photograph was captured at the private collection of Museum METROPOLE Druten in the Netherlands. It prompts us to ponder how humankind would have been and still be without the presence of the natural treasures that inspire us to dream and surpass our limits.”