The annual International Photography Awards receives thousands of submissions worldwide, and this year they gathered 13,000 submissions, choosing the winners out of 13 different categories.
For every year there’s a different theme, but 2020 has been quite hectic. There were a lot of things that happened that we didn’t even have time to breathe in between them.
“In these unprecedented times, this year’s entries reflect some of the biggest challenges facing our generation, not the least of which is dealing with a virus which, for the first time, is an event that has affected every person on earth in some way. We see photography at its best—whether covering the Covid pandemic or the world’s uprising against injustice—the images captured are breathtaking. I can easily say these are the best images I have seen in the last decades,” says The president and founder of IPA, Hossein Farmani.
Despite the circumstances, artists were able to share amazing photographs and collect their awards. Check out the winning submissions below.
‘Flying Over The Sea’: 1st Place in Professional Special & Pets Category.
“I love to represent the dog as a superhero in my action shots. This dog and its owner were practicing disc dog in the water. It isn’t easy to do such amazing performances in these conditions since the water breaks every movement. It was sunrise, and I love the colors. The girl’s position is really focused on her dog, and the launch of the disc was perfect. It’s a shot you can’t repeat more than one or two times since the dog needs to rest after that. The dog remains the main subject, and his position in the air is perfect and extended with the maximum tension of muscles.”
‘Shinjuku’: 1st Place in Professional Fine Art & Abstract Category
“Shinjuku is a major commercial and administrative center with lots of people. Shot looking down from the movie theatre area of Shinjuku. It was a bustling scene, and I made it feel even busier by multiple exposing the image five times. Changing the camera angle between each frame as I went. What makes this image special to me was that the sign on the left towards the bottom of the frame was lit in the first frame, then it changed to dark tones. This gave a place where the eye could rest. I also like the abstract shape that can be found in the high tones that travel down the street.”
‘Goddess Advent’: 1st Place in Professional Special & Night Photography Category.
“The magical aurora exploded over and over again in the most beautiful fishing village in Norway at clear and cloudless midnight.”
“Watching this astonishing scenery in this quiet small town, my heart followed with visual impacts accompanied by aurora expositions, full of shock and moved. All the previously hard work was left behind at this moment.”
‘Best Friends‘: 1st Place in Professional Nature & Animals/Pets Category.
“Two of my dogs (Border Collies) that teach me every day how to be happy with easy things like running. To take this photo I made them run together starting at a different point so that the faster one could reach the slower one exactly on the log. It’s one shot that required a lot of preparation to understand their behavior running side by side. It’s amazing to see how they compete with each other and at the same time play like best friends ever.”
‘Plastic Crisis’: 1st Place in Men On The Front Lines (Professional Editorial/Press & Environmental Category.
“The urban poor in Accra risk injury and drowning to swim in the Korle Lagoon to recover recyclable plastics that flow into the heavily polluted water from the city’s waterways during rainfall events.”
“They sell the plastic for pennies, which they depend on for sustenance. Scavengers and waste pickers are major stakeholders in the informal plastic recovery industry worldwide. Yet their role is not recognized and appreciated. They make significant economic and environmental contributions by helping to reduce waste, cost of cleanups, and supply secondary materials to industries.”
‘Last Eagle Hunters’: 1st Place in Professional Special, Travel & Wanderlust Category.
“For centuries, Eagle Hunters have used golden eagles to hunt prey during the bleak winter months, an extraordinary example of a relationship between humans and semi-wild animals. There are an estimated 250 eagle hunters in Bayan-Ölgii, which is located in the Altai Mountains of western Mongolian. They maintained ancient practice of hunting with golden eagles on horseback, and they primarily hunt red foxes and corsac foxes. Present Kazakh eagle hunters are old and grow weaker due to the unforgiving winters, and thus the traditional berkutchi is becoming a dying breed.”
‘Mirror‘: 1st Place in Professional Special & Smartphone Photography Category,
“I’ve had this vision for many years before it came into life. Then finally, while we were traveling across Thailand, I managed to convince my wife and my muse to perform this jump from the edge of a swimming pool. She said spontaneously: “OK, I’ll do it, but just once!“. I didn’t have my professional camera with me but was determined to go with the flow. Therefore I borrowed… an iPhone from a friend and realized my vision, captured in just one take, without any repetitions.”
‘Enchantment‘: 1st Place in Professional Special & Panorama/Panoramic Category.
“As the sunset for the day it lit up the ice walls, bringing the cave to life!”
“What an incredible experience! Descending into this Ice Cave below Vantnajokull Glacier in Iceland was like entering a fairy tale. Since capturing this photo the cave has now completely melted. How incredibly blessed I was to visit and capture it!”
‘Divine Light’: 1st Place in Professional Nature & Trees Category.
“Taken in Hokkaido, Japan. The divine light was shining on the trees in the snowy field.”
‘Colossal Shadows, Super Tuskers Of East Africa’: 1st Place in Professional Nature & Wildlife Category.
“These giants appear pulled from the pages of a bygone era, nearly out of place in today’s day and age. That they still roam the Earth after all this time is nothing short of miraculous since the market for their ivory has pushed them to the brink of extinction.”
‘Black Mountain’: 1st Place in Professional Nature & Seasons Category.
“On January 2019 Canberra had one of the most spectacular lightning storms ever. It passed the city from West to East over the black mountains and continued towards Brindabella mountains.”
‘Odilo Lawiny – Handmade Soccer Balls’: 1st Place in Professional People & Children Category.
“Miles from the main roads in rural Uganda, soccer balls bounce unevenly. Playing fields are arid, lush, weedy, sandy—any flattish space will do. Some feet are bare, others shod in fraying sneakers, boots, or rubber sandals. Yet children kick and chase handmade, lopsided balls with skill and abandon, competing for pride and joy—for the sheer pleasure of playing. The balls are spun into being with whatever’s at hand: rag or sock, tire or bark, plastic bag, or banana leaves. Made entirely of recuperated materials, they give another life to something that would otherwise just be thrown away.”
‘Time Of Departure’: 1st Place in Professional Event/Wedding Category.
“In the eyes of the Oriental people, the father is a solemn figure. It’s only on the wedding day of the daughter, you can see his tender love for his kids.”
‘Insect Portraits’: 1st Place in Professional Nature & Macro Category.
“Macro photography allows you to see amazing portraits of these insects, damselflies, wasps, spiders, horse flies.”
‘Hybrid Solar Eclipse And Maasai Warrior‘: 1st Place in Professional Nature & Astrophotography Category.
“This photograph is my tribute to Geoffrey Lowa. He was a friend that I never met in person. He was planning to be my host, driver, and my photo model for a hybrid solar eclipse in Kenya on 3 November 2013. On 8 October 2013, he sent me his last message via Facebook:
“Sadly he was killed just one week before I arrived. His friend Peter Nakua who has tried to save his life is standing on a hill for 11 seconds of totality. The life of a human being is fragile and on an astronomical scale to shot.”
‘City Soleil, A Melody Of Hope’: 1st Place in Professional Editorial/Press & Other Category.
“The UN left and the police stations crumbled into ruin. The gangs declared war and the people… they die in the midst of their relentless shoot-outs. The sound of gunfire had become a cruel melody in their ears. Last three years, a small voice in my heart grew louder and wilder:
“Can we talk about hope here?”
‘Hands’: 1st Place in Professional People & Newborn/Baby Category.
“A father’s hand giving support, a mother’s hand guiding her baby, a sister’s hand welcoming her newborn brother, and a baby’s hand reaching for life.”
‘Phoenix’: 1st Place in Professional Advertising & Beauty Category.
“Like the Phoenix bird, she is born again by arising from the ashes. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
‘City Of Musical Scores’: 1st Place in Professional Fine Art & Collage Category.
“In this project, I would like to compose musical scores with images while attempting to capture the time and movement of soccer playground audiences. The stand is a five-line staff and the people are musical notes. While people in the stand are resting, chatting, eating, or watching a soccer game, they are inadvertently composed into a city musical.”
‘Beacons’: 1st Place in Professional Fine Art & Minimal/Minimalism Category.
“Lake Baikal is the largest source of fresh water on the planet, accounting for 23% of all Earth’s freshwater. It freezes in the winter creating a winter wonderland but also provides an important road system that connects communities. The small trees and branches are ‘planted’ in the ice by locals acting as Beacons that grant travelers safe passage across the lake. They are an important part of connecting communities from one side of the lake to the other.”
‘The Dukha People, Victims Or Culprits’: 1st Place in Professional Editorial/Press & Environmental Category.
“Bubble coral shrimp in the bubbles. Also called Crustaceans, Carid Shrimps, Commensal Shrimps, Bubble Anemone Shrimp, Philippine Shrimp, Anemone Shrimp.”