For the eighth year of its prestigious International Photo Awards, Siena (SIPA) has released an impressive array of images that highlight, once again, the diversity and artistry of the craft.
From tourists being accosted by polar bears and hippos, surreal headless footballers and swimmers to Angelina Jolie covered in bees, the winners of the competition were chosen from tens of thousands of entries featuring some of the best photography of 2022, submitted by amateur and professional photographers from 140 countries.
The Siena International Photo Awards is organized by Art Photo Travel, a non-profit association that creates cultural initiatives aimed at spreading, promoting and enhancing art, monuments, traditions, cultures and natural beauty from around the world and that also holds the yearly “Drone Photo Awards” and “Creative Photo Awards” open to all photographers — professionals, enthusiasts and new talents.
The overall winning image, along with the winners in 11 categories — Street Photography, Journey & Adventures, Fascinating Faces and Characters, Beauty of Nature, Animals in Their Environment, Architecture and Urban Spaces, Sports in Action, Documentary & Photojournalism and Under 20 — are exhibited in the beautiful Italian city of Siena as a feature of the Siena Awards festival of visual arts running from October 1 to November 20.
The Siena International Photo Awards is free to enter and applications are open.
“Woman from Evia” is the title of the overall winning image (above) by Greek photographer Konstantinos Tsakalidis, capturing the desperation of Kritsiopi Panayiota, an 81-year-old woman, as the flames approach her home during the devastating forest fires in the summer 2021 causing extensive environmental damage.
Amid the hottest and longest-lasting heatwave in the last 30 years, with temperatures reaching 47°C/117°F, hundreds of forest fires broke out across the country, severely hitting Greece’s second-largest island. Thousands of residents and tourists were evacuated by boat. The flames, which raged uncontrollably for a week in the tinder-dry pine forests, destroyed more than 50,000 hectares of forest area and agricultural land, burned dozens of houses and killed many animals.
A 70-year-old woman with a cheerful spirit who loves farming the land and raising pets, particularly poultry. Her wrinkled face and hands, clearly worn from a life of work, do not hide her hopeful smile. She carries her hen in such a way that it becomes a piece of her: through her eye, everything is beautiful.
It’s not about what’s in vogue today: It’s about elegance and style. This is the portrait of Dennis “Baqteria,” model, tailor, actor, mentor, stuntman and Kibera (Kenya) model of the year.
Marietta, a 17-year-old soccer player, is a member of the newly-founded Mauritanian women’s national football team. In this deeply conservative society, for many the idea of women taking part in such a sport is disagreeable. “We want to change our society’s vision of women,” claims Oumou Kane, the director of the federation.
While the horse is eating a carrot, an expression of excitement, happiness and fear all occur on the young girl’s face.
Ayse, who has Down syndrome, is very happy when she gets in touch with the horse. Horses are highly useful as an alternative medicine in the treatment of children with disabilities.
Here is the complete Fascinating Faces and Characters gallery of winning images.
Journeys And Adventures
The shot was taken in Pabna, one of the most important river ports in Bangladesh for the import of fertilizers, cereals, coal and cement and where at the end of the day, one’s pay depends on the number of bags transported.
Nagarbari Ghat is one of the busiest river ports in the country. Importers use this route for easy transportation, and laborers work here all day to unload the products from the ships.
A territorial male hippopotamus suddenly emerges out of the Chobe River, Botswana. After his first appearance 20 seconds earlier, Chobe Princess guide Patrick wisely decided to turn the small boat around and leave the area, but the hippo nevertheless gave chase.
Every year in October and November polar bears will head out to the Hudson Bay ice-sheets looking for food. Here a curious polar bear approached the rear of the open deck of a buggy vehicle where many curious visitors were also trying to catch a close-up of the giant creature.
Thousands of people live by the railroad tracks, crossing Kolkata and its outskirts. When trains pass by, they hide themselves inside their shelters. In this picture, a child is hiding behind his house’s curtain.
The green Kerala grassland in India is endless and the undulations of the mountains look like the waves of the sea, cascading and reaching into the distance. The evening sun was highlighting the curves, creating a contrast between light and shadows, when two herdsmen steered their horses like surfers up the ridge.
A sister teaches her brother at night. In Char Island, the main source of earnings is farming. Sometimes thieves come and steal their cattle. That’s why they take it to the same room where they sleep, because the cattle represents their only source of income.
Here is the complete gallery of Journeys and adventures winning images.
A girl, with a sad expression and lips painted with lipstick, is the model for a photo shoot.
The photo concept got altered by the arrival of a curious little bird, a spider hunter, attracted by her colored lips and immortalized in flight.
The picture conveys a sense of freedom and the paradox of loneliness and companionship.
The birds fluttering their wings towards infinity are a symbol of freedom and unity, while the tree alone stands firmly on the hill as a symbol of resistance.
Here is the complete gallery of Under 20 winning images.
Sports in Action
Brazilian Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ana Marcela Cunha competes in the Women’s 10km Marathon Swimming Final event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Odaiba Marine Park. A small fish splashes out of the water, going backwards from the athlete’s stroke.
Sumire Kita of Japan competes in the individual category of rhythmic gymnastics at Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
While making a split in the air, the athlete’s head seems to disappear behind her shoulders. Warm colors and sharp muscular lines become the protagonists of the shot.
A group of children playing football in Iraq. The child in the middle, Qassem Muhammed, had a leg amputated as a result of an explosion that occurred in his city.
Nonetheless, desire and ambition are still his lifelong companions. Among his peers, he looks right on a springboard, ready to score the goal of a lifetime.
Munich scores the second goal during its UEFA Champions League group E match against Barcelona.
The ball ends up in the net, passing exactly behind Marc-André’s head, creating an incredible optical illusion.
Roger Federer plays a backhand in his semi-final match against Jeremy Chardy of France during the 2014 Brisbane International. Only the tennis player’s face and chest stand out, against a completely dark background. His determined gaze is turned towards the fluorescent ball in the foreground.
Here all the Sports in Action winning images.
Dressed in a detective coat and hat, the protagonist of the photo seems to emerge from a cloud of underground steam rising from beneath East 37th Street. In the background, skyscrapers and ancient buildings complete the picture.
The neighborhood of Giza is next to Egypt’s pyramids. It’s home to the horses and camels that carry tourists — one of which looks out the window of a brick wall, exchanging glances with a girl passing by.
A motorcyclist carries a coffin through the streets of the city. It’s not known if the crate is full or empty. In Benin, motorbikes carry everything, from sofas to animals.
Qatar is preparing for the Fifa World Cup 2022. The city is undergoing final maintenance work. The image of the two men seemingly carrying the city on their shoulders, portrays the importance of human workforce.
Here are all the winning images of the Street Photography category.
Architecture and urban spaces
It’s said that buildings are lifeless subjects. However, as an architectural photographer, the author thinks reality exactly the contrary.
The title of this image, ‘Joker Smile’, tells a different story: the one of a polka-dot building with a smiling roof. The moon completes the face of this brick Joker.
The image, taken from a street in Manhattan, creates a stunning optical illusion. The perfect geometry of the four sides gives the impression of being on an elevator: we do not know which way it is going, but we feel ourselves lifted upwards, even though we are still standing with our feet on the ground!
Through a series of layered, repetitive architectural patterns, the series Close alludes to the suffocating atmosphere of the pandemic. We were forced to close our doors and stay home. This made us come closer together – as a humanity, to family, friends and to ourselves.
All the winners of Architecture and Urban Spaces category.
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