With entries by photographers from over 100 countries in 11 categories, the jury of the second Siena International Photo Awards had their hands full to select the winning images. The winners were revealed at a ceremony held in Siena, Italy on October 29 and the victors will have their images displayed through November 30 in the Beyond the Lens exhibition organized during the Siena Art Photo Travel Festival.
Though the contest is only in its second year, the breadth and quality of the photographs has already made it an important staple of the international photography community. Travel, nature, people and portrait, architecture, and wildlife are just some of the categories filled with photographs that inspire. Some, Jacob Ehrbahn's Refugee Stream, capture the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Below we highlight some of our favorites from this year's breathtaking competition.
Above image: Danny Yen Sin Wong (Malaysia). Making fishing nets, Vietnam. Winner Open Color Category. This dreamy image captures a woman in the small fishing village of Phan Rang in southern Vietnam making a traditional fishing net. Handmade fishing nets are typically manufactured by women while the men are responsible for catching fish.
Leyla Emektar (Turkey). Strawberry Greenhouses. Winner Travel Category. Photographed in her native Turkey, Emektar's stunning image has a hypnotizingly symmetrical composition, with a female worker peeking out in between the colorful sea of greenhouses.
Greg Lecoeur (France). Sardine Run. Siena Photographer of the Year. French photographer Lecoeur took home the biggest prize of the evening by photographing an underwater game of cat and mouse in South Africa. Lecoeur explains, “During the migration of the sardines along the coast of South Africa, all the marine predator are running for sardines! I was lucky to be at the right place at the good moment to photograph the predation.”
Marcin Ryczek (Poland). Krakow, from the Grunwald Bridge. Winner Open Monochrome Category. Ryczek cleverly uses the contrast between the shoreline and water to create an image of contrasts that almost seems like an optical illusion.
Audun Rikardsen (Norway). Sharing Resources, Tromsø, Norway. Winner Wildlife Category. The Norwegian photographer was a big winner at the awards, with winning images in the wildlife and sport category. His winning photograph in the wildlife category shows the developing relationship between killer whale and fisherman, as the whale learns the sounds of the boat and lingers to catch extra herring that fall from the fisherman's nets.
Audun Rikardsen (Norway). Urban skiing in the Arctic. Winner Sport Category. Rikardsen's other winning image sees him immortalizing a friend's descent off a 33-foot high clifftop in Tromsø, Norway. Darkness necessitated a long exposure and flash to get the final result.
Jacob Ehrbahn (Denmark). Refugee Stream. Winner Storyboard Category. The Danish photojournalist won the storyboard category with this touching image of Syrian and Afgani refugees touching down on the Greek Island of Lesbos. After an arduous journey, Ehrbahn captures their joy and relief at having safely arrived at their destination.
Gianluca De Bartolo (Italy). Joy of a Farmer, Romania. Winner Wine Category. A Romanian farmer kisses the fruits of his labor after harvest, reminding us of the strong connection between man and nature. In a single image De Bartolo reminds us to be grateful for what the earth provides.
Mike Hollman (New Zealand). Warp Speed, Tokyo (Japan). Winner Architecture Category. Hollman took home the architecture prize for this long exposure image taken while traveling on the Yurikamome Line in Tokyo.
Jiming Lv (China). Mother and Son. Winner People & Portrait Category. This clean, simple, and touching image depicts the bond between mother and son, each mirroring each others position with an expression of calm contentedness on their faces.
Krishna Vr (Mexico). Ofelia. Winner Under 20 Category. The Siena International Photo Awards also seeks to promote developing talent. The winning photograph in the under 20 category hauntingly resembles an oil painting from the Romantic Era.
Antonius Andre Tjiu. Floating market, Malaysia. Third Place Travel Category.
Isa Ebrahim. Jodhpur family, Rajasthan. Honorable Mention Travel Category.
Hong Ding. Ripples in tea, China. Honorable Mention Travel Category.
Isa Ebrahim. Central Black, Bahrain. Third Place Open Color Category.
Fuyang Zhou. Sprinkle Net. Remarkable Award Open Color Category.
Ali Al Jajri. Light and shadows, Abu Dhabi. Runner Up Architecture Category.