Siena International Photography Award is a prestigious worldwide competition offering the opportunity for photographers and enthusiasts to gather together in Siena, share their passion, and attend the Oscars of photography.
In its sixth year the Siena International Photo Awards continues to impress with a captivating array of celebrated shots, from astonishing images of fire and lightning highlighting the power of nature, to some sublime perspectives on life in lockdown.
“A few years ago we started this adventure in order to bind a uniquely beautiful and historic city like Siena with a photo festival and contest: the Siena International Photo Awards,” says competition founder Luca Venturi. “In these six years our project has become, year by year, a highly anticipated event appreciated worldwide”.
“A Boy in the Crowd,” the stunning shot of a Liberian child trying to retrieve his ball in a festival crowd guarded by armed soldiers, taken by the British Photographer Jonathan Banks, was selected as the the overall winner of the 2019 Siena International Photo Awards (SIPA), @SIPAContest.
Banks, an award-winning professional photographer and British Red Cross volunteer who often works with non-governmental organizations, shot the winning image in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, while working for International Alert, a peace-building organization.
Winning photographers in the contest that this year fielded entries from 161 countries, were given the awards on October 26 at a ceremony in the historic Rinnovati Theater in Siena, Italy.
The SIPA Contest is open to professional, amateur and student photographers from around the world and judged by an international panel that includes renowned photographers, editors and photo buyers.
The contest covers most of the usual photography competition categories, including architecture, nature, animals and sport. A one-off themed category is also offered every year, and this time around it unsurprisingly focuses on Life in Lockdown during the global pandemic.
#1 Friends (Honorable Mention In Fascinating Faces And Characters Category)
#2 Mother (Remarkable Artwork In Documentary & Photojournalism Category)
Hassan Ghaedi – Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, had been involved in the war for four years. A mother, who returned home after the end of the conflict, found her child’s toy car in their destroyed house.
#3 Night Hunter (1st Place In Animals In Their Environment Category)
#4 Woman At Work (Remarkable Artwork In Fascinating Faces And Characters Category)
Azim Khan Ronnie – Vietnamese workers sit surrounded by thousands of incense sticks in Quang Phu Can, a village in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the sticks have been traditionally made for hundreds of years. Incense plays an important role in the spiritual lives of Vietnamese people. People use incense in all worship activities. The bamboo bundles are arranged on the ground on sunny days so as to dry them.
#5 Stolen Childhood (2nd Place In Documentary & Photojournalism Category)
#6 Home Alone (1st Place In Architecture & Urban Spaces Category)
Attila Balogh – Only a single apartment’s windows are lit in Tsing Yi district, a densely populated area of Hong Kong, right before sunset.
#7 When Rays Fly (Honorable Mention In Animals In Their Environment Category)
#8 Waiting For Winter (Honorable Mention In The Beauty Of Nature Category)
Martin Rak – Leaves against the silhouettes of grey beech trunks in a cold winter forest. This scene immediately caught my eye and I captured it with my telephoto lens.
#9 Mother Cares (Honorable Mention In Animals In Their Environment Category)
Nachum Weiss – In the Israeli Negev desert, a Nubian Ibox looking for food is very carefully escorting her one-and-a-half-month-old puppy in a difficult and dangerous passage.
#10 The World Is Going Upside Down (2nd Place In Animals In Their Environment Category)
Thomas Vijayan – The name orangutan means “man of the forest” in the Malay language. There are 3 varieties of Orangutan, the one in this picture is Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Adult male orangutans can weigh up to 200 pounds. Flanged males have prominent cheek pads called flanges and a throat sac used to make loud verbalizations called long calls. They mainly feast on wild fruits like lychees, mangosteens, and figs, and slurp water from holes in trees.
#11 Spanish Moss (2nd Place In The Beauty Of Nature Category)
Mauro Battistelli – Early in the morning on a November day, inside the swamp, looking for the magnificent beauty of the Spanish moss. The late autumn colors made it appear almost monochromatic and the Bald Cypress stood in the still water creating an incredible reflection in the misty atmosphere.
#12 Taboo (2nd Place In Fascinating Faces And Characters Category)
Fattah Zinouri – I took this photo inside my home studio in Iran while I was working on a movie project about Afghan immigrants living in Iran. It was the first time that I’d witnessed someone wearing a burka in person. What struck me immediately upon seeing this woman was that I couldn’t see any part of her body except the soles of her feet as she walked. Since I captioned this photo as “Taboo,” the message I am expressing is one of rebellion.
#13 Frozen Mobile Home (Photo Of The Year)
Greg Lecoeur – Massive and mysterious habitats, icebergs are dynamic kingdoms that support marine life. As they swing and rotate slowly through polar currents, icebergs fertilize the oceans. Carrying nutrients from the earth, they are responsible for life blooms by developing phytoplankton and inﬂuence the carbon cycle by sequestering carbon dioxide from the air. They also thus shelter big animals such as crabeater seals that spend the entire year on the pack ice.
#14 Diogo Cancela (1st Place In Sports In Action Category)
Ian Macnicol – Diogo Cancela of Portugal is seen during practice prior to day three of the British Para-Swimming International meeting at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.
#15 Security Man (3rd Place In Architecture & Urban Spaces Category)
Martin Seraphin – It was still very early and the Maat Museum was still closed. But the guard was already walking slowly along the building. There was only a narrow path between the building and the river Tejo and my feet got wet taking this shot.
#16 Baby Orangutan Surgery (Honorable Mention In Documentary & Photojournalism Category)
Alain Schroeder – Brenda, a 3-month-old female orangutan is ready for surgery to repair her damaged humerus. Orangutans are under threat from the ongoing depletion of the rainforest due to palm oil plantations, logging, mining, and hunting.
#17 Koichi Omae (1st Place In Fascinating Faces And Characters Category)
Silvia Alessi – I met the amputee dancer Koichi Omae, originally from Osaka, on my way. At 23, when he was entering his career, a car accident took away all his dreams. He had his left leg amputated below the knee. With great willpower, he decided to continue his career as a dancer, aware that without the limb, he would have to spend much more energy not only in performing the artistic gesture, but also just walking normally.
#18 Fear (Honorable Mention In Documentary & Photojournalism Category)
Dante Diosina Jr. – Detainees are terrified after one of them died due to meningococcemia at a detention center in Biñan, Laguna, the southern part of Metro Manila. Authorities also banned visitors for safety precautions.
#19 Hope (3rd Place In Documentary & Photojournalism Category)
Francis Pérez – Southwest of Tenerife, where one of the most important colonies of pilot whales lives, this 6-month-old young specimen had been hit and mutilated by a boat. The only thing left to do was to euthanize him. The traffic of ships poses a serious threat to whales worldwide.
#20 Dentist (Remarkable Artwork In Animals In Their Environment Category)
Lilian Koh – Symbiosis between a moray eel and a cleaner shrimp. This moray eel was having its routine dental checkup. The cleaner shrimps clean parasites, insects, algaes, etc. off of the eels, making them more healthy – in return, the shrimps get a free meal.
#21 Desert Ice (2nd Place In Sports In Action Category)
Christian Pondella – Professional ice climber Will Gadd climbing on the remaining glacial ice on the crater of Mount Kilimanjaro. This ice wall is freestanding and looks like an iceberg emerging from the sand.
#22 Utopia (1st Place In Under 20 Category)
Riccardo Marchegiani – I called the photo Utopia, because nowadays, in our anthropomorphized world, it’s almost impossible to see a scenario like that, an unspoiled nature in a perfect wilderness state, like it has been frozen forever in time.
#23 Sisters (3rd Place In Fascinating Faces And Characters Category)
sipacontest.com – Natalya, Irina, and Tatyana are three twin sisters from the northern Russian city of Krasnoyarsk. I found out about their existence from social networks a couple of years ago and really wanted to take pictures of them. This year, I managed to do it. Three sisters, three friends, three soulmates. Their love for each other is respected.
#24 In The Storm (Remarkable Artwork In Journeys & Adventures Category)
Stefano Cestari – Nenets people during a snow storm in the harsh siberian winter. In this part of the world, during winter time, temperatures can go as low as -50° and wind blows over 100km/h making these reindeer herders’ life very difficult.
#25 La Dama Blanca (2rd Place In The Beauty Of Nature Category)
Stanislao Basileo – There are still places in the world where fortunately nature reigns. Among them are the wild cliffs of Portugal where it is still possible to observe the nesting of storks.
#26 Benediction (1st Place In Journeys & Adventures Category)
Amirmahdi Najafloo Shahpar – Muslim women praying in Hamedan, Iran for Eid al-Fitr. The last day of Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims all over the word with special prayers and gatherings.
#27 Think Different (Remarkable Artwork In Animals In Their Environment Category)
Pietro Formis – A big-scale sand smelt moving towards a moon jellyfish. To defend themselves from predators, these fish move together grouping in ever-changing forms. In this case, a single specimen appears to be making a “counter-current” decision.
#28 Death Of A Fire Victim (1st Place In Documentary & Photojournalism Category)
Mohammad Sazid Hossain – A man desperately tries to save himself during a fire that destroyed a 22-story building in Dhaka. The blaze resulted in 25 deaths and 70 injuries. The man was lowering himself by holding onto a cable, but the heat forced him to suddenly let go and he crashed to the ground.
#29 Church Ceiling Concrete (2nd Place In Architecture & Urban Spaces Category)
Barbara Schmidt – Nevigeser Wallfahrtsdom church has truly unique architecture, with this concrete ceiling that seems to be an abstraction in reality.
#30 The Rescuers (Honorable Mention In Documentary & Photojournalism Category)
Shibasish Saha – This image was taken during the Vijay Diwas celebration in Kolkata. This day is known as the victory of the Indian Army over Pakistan.
Other highlights include a disorientating look at burning embers streaming off a tree during a fire in California; a lone ice climber tackling the last remaining glacial ice on the crater of Mount Kilimanjaro; and a rare glimpse of two large mobula rays flying out of the ocean in the Sea of Cortez.