These winning entries of Siena International Photo Awards will take your breath away!

Siena International Photo Awards has become one of the most prestigious platforms in only its third year, for the photographers to showcase their art and gain global acknowledgement that the spectacular images deserve. The foundation of the awards was laid by an NGO, Art Photo Travel as an initiative to promote “cultural initiatives aimed at spreading, promoting and enhancing art, monuments, traditions, cultures and natural beauty from all around the world.”

The photo contest received almost 50,000 submissions from 161 countries in the world, belonging to different categories such as landscape, wildlife and people. The submissions were made along with a descriptive title and a short caption which explained the background of the image.

Keep scrolling below to see entries that made their mark from the spectacular collection of Siena International Photo Awards!


1. ‘Sand Hill Cranes’ by Randy Olson

SIPA Contest Photo of the Year
Place: Wood River, Nebraska, U.S.
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Image & Caption Credits: Randy Olson

This photograph harkens back to a time when the USA had braided streams and plenty of space for the Sand Hill Crane migration. Now, only a small area of the Platte River in Nebraska can accommodate all of them. Volunteers at the Crane Trust counted 413,000 Sandhill Cranes on this evening… more than they’ve ever counted before. These cranes are running out of habitat in most of their migration that goes from Siberia to South America.

2. ‘Dreaming on Ice’ by Roie Galitz

1st Place, Fragile Ice 
Location: Svalbard
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Image & Caption Credits: Roie Galitz

In the fjords of Eastern Spitsbergen, a male Polar Bear is sleeping on the floating sea ice after eating a walrus. This image in the surroundings of Svalbard, reminded me of the danger of increasing sea temperatures, with potential sea ice melting and its impact on Polar Bears. Polar bears rely on sea ice for survival and “Dreaming on Sea Ice” shows the special relationship between the bear and his trusted ice.

3. ‘Beast’ by James Smart

1st Place, The Beauty of Nature
Place: Black Hawk, South Dakota, U.S.
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Image & Caption Credits: James Smart

“Chasing this storm in Black Hawk was amazing. After waiting hours for something to develop, the storm began to turn into a supercell. This absolute stunning ship like structure invaded and took over the Black Hawk area.”

4. ‘Book Temple III’ by Hans-Martin Doelz

1st Place, Architecture & Urban Spaces
Location: Stuttgart
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Image & Caption Credits: Hans-Martin Doelz

Stuttgart City Library, inaugurated in 2011, designed by Yi Architects. The design of the reading rooms takes its inspiration from Étienne-Louis Boullée’s grand design vision of the French National Library at the end of the 18th century. Staircases arranged in pairs create flowing walkways between the floors. All the interior furnishings are colored in an unobtrusive, subtle grey. Only the book spines set bold color accents.

5. ‘Attack’ by Sergey Gorshkov

1st Place, Animals in their Environment
Location: Russia. Wrangel Island.
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Image & Caption Credits: Sergey Gorshkov

In late May, about a quarter of a million snow geese arrive from North America to nest on Wrangel Island, in northeastern Russia. They form the world’s largest breeding colony of snow geese. I spent two months on the remote island taking pictures there. Arctic foxes take advantage of the abundance of eggs and, later, goslings, catching surplus eggs for leaner times. In this image a fox has to face a gander and must rely on its speed and guile to steal eggs. Usually the battles were fairly equal and I only saw a fox succeed in grabbing an egg on a couple of occasions, despite many attempts. Surprisingly, the geese lacked any sense of community spirit and never reacted when a fox harassed a neighboring pair nesting close by.

6. ‘At World’s End’ by Alessandra Meniconzi

1st Place, Journeys & Adventures
Location: Yamal, Siberia, Russia
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Image & Caption Credits: Alessandra Meniconzi

The Nenets are the last nomadic people left in Russia, leading a precarious existence in an inhospitable autonomous district in Northwest Siberia. The Yamal-Nenets district is a glacial place where winter temperatures fall to -40°C or even -50°C. Olya, six years old, helps her parents with chores by collecting wood for the fire.

7. ‘Crow of Lviv’ by Jack Savage

1st Place, General Monochrome
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
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Image & Caption Credits: Jack Savage

This Gothic inspired piece is inspired by the beautiful city of Lviv, whose churches and architecture cast a spell over me whilst visiting last year. An image that lets Dostoevsky meet David Lycnch in the 1940’s era of film noir processed through my trusty vehicle of Photoshop CC.

8. ‘Great Britain Team’ by Tim Clayton

1st Place, Sports in Action
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Image & Caption Credits: Tim Clayton

The Great Britain team of Edward Clancy, Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Bradley Wiggins winning the gold medal in world record time during the Men’s Team Pursuit race during the track cycling competition at the Rio Olympic Velodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

9. ‘Ice’ by Marcin Dobas

2nd Place, Fragile Ice 
Location: Greenland
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Image & Caption Credits: Marcin Dobas

Fancy forms of icebergs in Disko Bay, which originate from the Jakobshavn glacier. This is a consequence of the phenomenon of global warming and the catastrophic ice melting. The picture was taken while kayaking in Disko Bay, Greenland.

10. ‘Middle Earth’ by Enrico Fossati

2nd Place, The Beauty of the Nature
Location: Assiniboine Provincial Park
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Image & Caption Credits: Enrico Fossati

Before visiting Assiniboine I thought that certain places only existed in books like The Lord of the Rings. But this place really exists! It is the sum of all the beauties of an alpine landscape, with peaks, lakes, waterfalls, streams. It is totally wild with a unique atmosphere.

11. ‘Allianz Headquarters’ by Adrien Barakat

2nd Place, Architecture & Urban Spaces
Location: Zurich (Switzerland)
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Image & Caption Credits: Adrien Barakat

Architecture is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the art of photography. In certain situations my objective as an architectural photographer is to capture the present moment of a place, instead of creating a timeless image. The challenge for this image was to access a high point of view in order to shoot this roof terrace and the building’s connections from above. This image has a strong visual identity that reflects the concept and dynamism of this architecture. Furthermore the three men, taking a morning coffee, give a sense of life to this scene that would somehow feel empty without them. For this shooting I chose a cloudy day to get soft light and avoid shadows or sun reflections that would disturb the atmosphere of this composition.

12. ‘Pandas Gone Wild’ by Ami Vitale

2nd Place, Animals in their Environment
Location: Wolong, China
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Image & Caption Credits: Ami Vitale

Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a massive wild enclosure at a conservation center in Wolong Nature Reserve. Her 2-years-old cub, Hua Yan (Pretty Girl) was released into the wild after two years of “panda training.” Her name, whose characters represent Japan and China, celebrates the friendship between the two nations.

13. ‘Selfie Culture’ by Jelena Jankovic

2nd Place, Journeys & Adventures
Location: Pula, Croatia
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Image & Caption Credits: Jelena Jankovic

The year 2016 reminds me of the time when selfie culture started to determine our existence; everybody needs to know where we are and what we are doing. While we are waiting for the approval of others, we miss the opportunity to enjoy the mysterious world around us. The photo was taken at the Massive Attack concert in Pula.

14. ‘Playground’ by Wenpeng Lu

2nd Place, General Monochrome
Location: Paris
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Image & Caption Credits: Wenpeng Lu

The Tuileries Fair hosts many attractions. Access is free so it’s a wonderful place for a street photographer to spot very different people. In one of the attractions, children played in inflatable transparent plastic balls in a small pool. Their parents stayed around the pool taking pictures, and so was I. I spent quite some time circling the pool, taking multiple photos, and this one is my favorite. I had just bought my first Leica camera a few days before and started to shoot in 28mm after doing so in 35mm for years. So this picture to me is an important leap in evolution.

15. “Superman” Monfils by Jason o’brien

2nd Place, Sports in Action
Location: Melbourne (Australia)
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Image & Caption Credits: Jason O’brien

Gaël Monfils of France dives to hit a shot during his fourth round match at the Australian Open Tennis Tournament which each year is held in Melbourne.

16. ‘Ludovico’ by Pedro Armestre

3rd Place, Fragile Ice 
Location: Svalbard
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Image & Caption Credits: Pedro Armestre

Greenpeace holds a historic performance with pianist Ludovico Einaudi on the Arctic Ocean to call for its protection. Through his music, acclaimed Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi has added his voice to those of eight million people from across the world demanding protection for the Arctic.

17. ‘Prince of the Waters’ by Yannick Gouguenheim

3rd Place, The Beauty of the Nature
Location: Lamalou River in France
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Image & Caption Credits: Yannick Gouguenheim

The common toads start going back to the river in February in order to reproduce. The frozen waters of this small river are by then clear enough and ideal for underwater photography. This image was taken in natural lights and apnea. I chose to work on blacklights to value this iconic species from fresh water.

18. ‘Berlin Biker’ by Wenpeng Lu

3rd Place, Architecture & Urban Spaces
Place: Berlin, Germany
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Image & Caption Credits: Wengpeng Lu

“In classical landscape painting, there is always at least a tiny human presence, whose role is to put things in perspective and scale. Urban photography can choose to focus on architectural details and become abstract art, or to honour this tradition and put buildings in relation with people using them. In most cases, human silhouettes will seem dominated by the gigantic proportions of contemporary architecture; in this case, the bicycle wheels act as an ironic counterpoint to the building’s eye. Architecture might have solved the quadrature of the circle, but the guy just doesn’t care as he happily rides.”

19. ‘Baby Sea Lion’ by Filippo Borghi

3rd Place, Animals in Their Environment
Place: Mexico
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Image & Caption Credits: Filippo Borghi

“While diving in the waters of Mexico, I came across a curious sea lion cub, which left the other cubs to approach my camera and play.”

20. ‘Poplars in Sand Sea’ by Chuansheng Wang

3rd Place, Journeys & Adventures
Location: Xinjiang Province
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Image & Caption Credits: Chuansheng Wang

In the month of October Koral, in the South of Xinjiang, is the hometown of pears. The desert region is full of Gobi populous.

21. ‘Nomadi 02’ by Pietro Di Giambattista

3rd Place, General Monochrome
Location: Roma
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Image & Caption Credits: Pietro Di Giambattista

I took this picture in May, in the Nomads Camp of Vicolo Savini, Rome, on the day of St. George’s celebration . All the kids were happily playing in the streets of the camp. In order to complete this work on Gypsy culture and to develop a strong empathy with it, I chose to live with them for some time.

22. ‘Donavon at Cloud Break’ by Rodney Bursiel

3rd Place, Sports in Action
Location: Tavarua Island, Fiji
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Image & Caption Credits: Rodney Bursiel

Donavon Frankenreiter is a former pro surfer and now a touring musician. We met through his music. He is the reason I got back into the water after a 20 year hiatus, when I had the opportunity to photograph him surfing in Indonesia. This shot was at Cloud Break in Fiji. It is known for its world class, extremely large waves. This day they were rather small, so Donavon and I decided to get a little creative.

23. ‘The Crack’ by Luis Manuel Vilariño Lopez

Honorable Mention, Fragile Ice 
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Image & Caption Credits: Luis Manuel Vilariño Lopez

The effects of a strong storm on the Canadian Rockies, with a wind of more than 50 km/h and a temperature of 20 degrees below zero on Lake Abraham. The blizzard was so strong that it swept the smooth surface of the ice and the snow up on the plain, revealing the blue and crystal clear ice. In the background low clouds surrounded the slopes, thus covering the peaks and creating a mysterious atmosphere.

24. ‘Dirt’ by James Smart

Honorable Mention, The Beauty of the Nature
Location: Simla, Colorado, USA
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Image & Caption Credits: James Smart

A rare and jaw-dropping anti-cyclonic tornado touches down farmland, missing by little a house near Simla, Colorado.

25. ‘The Red Cloak’ by Mohammad Awadh

Honorable Mention, Architecture & Urban Spaces
Location: Abudhabi- UAE
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Image & Caption Credits: Mohammad Awadh

The woman walking through the architecture of Sheikh Zayed’s Grand Mosque with a red cloak highlights the geometry of the building and Islamic ornaments.

26. Red Army by Qiusheng Hu. Africa

Honorable Mention, Animals in Their Environment
Location: Africa
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Image & Caption Credits: Qiusheng Hu

A long shooting time and the reflection of the pink flamingos on the water, give to this image a dreamy sense of peace and the impression that one is observing a painting rather than a photo.

27. ‘Homeland’ by Xingxing Yang

Honorable Mention, Journeys & Adventures
Location: Jiangbian village, Fuding city, Fujian province of China.
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Image & Caption Credits: Xingxing Yang

A fisherman on a tiny boat works on the peaceful sea which looks like an unbroken mirror. The looming coastline and a flock of flying pigeons contribute to produce a picturesque landscape.

28. ‘Re-Entry’ by Scott Portelli

Honorable Mention, General Monochrome
Location: Tonga, South Pacific
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Image & Caption Credits: Scott Portelli

A young humpback calf propels its 3 tons body from the water with a spectacular re-entry into liquid space. The humpback whale has one of the most powerful peduncle and tails in the animal kingdom. Landing only inches away the wake of this gentle giant lingered on.

29. ‘Human Icycle’ by Christian Pondella

Honorable Mention, Sports in Action
Location: Helmcken Falls, Canada
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Image & Caption Credits: Christian Pondella

One of the more unique, fascinating, and challenging objectives for professional ice climbers is the overhanging amphitheatre of Helmcken Falls, BC, Canada. Here Klemen Premrl climbs an overhanging route where he delicately and gracefully becomes one with his surroundings.

30. ‘Just Enter In’ by Peter Svoboda

Remarkable Award, Fragile Ice 
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Image & Caption Credits: Peter Svoboda

31. ‘The Snow Poweder’ by Marko Korosec

Remarkable Award, The Beauty of the Nature
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Image & Caption Credits: Marko Korosec

32. Flatiron Building in the Snowstorm by Michele Palazzo

Remarkable Award, Architecture & Urban Spaces
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Image & Caption Credits: Michele Palazzo

The winning position went out to the most deserving photograph which shows tons of lightening behind a flock of moving cranes, submitted by the National Geographic photographer Randy Olson.

33. Dancing Octopus by Baratheiu Gabriel

Remarkable Award, Animals in Their Environment
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Image & Caption Credits: Barathieu Gabriel

34. ‘Walker’ by Xiaolu Tu

Remarkable Award, Journeys & Adventures
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Image & Caption Credits: Xiaolu Tu

35. Etna in Eruzione by Giuseppe Mario Famiani

Remarkable Award, General Monochrome
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Image & Caption Credits: Giuseppe Mario Famiani

36. ‘Shark Fin’ by Christian Pondella

Remarkable Award, Sports in Action
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Image & Caption Credits: Christian Pondella

37. Collapse by David Oliete Casanova

Remarkable Award, General Color
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38. Umbrella by Petar Sabol. Palovec

Honorable Mention, The Beauty of Nature
Location: Palovec, Croatia
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Image & Caption Credits: Petar Sabol

On the morning I shot this picture the weather was strange and I had almost decided to stay home as it was about to rain. But then I left and I spotted two dragonflies hiding under a flower as if it was an umbrella.

39. Betel Nut by M Yousuf Tushar

Honorable Mention, General Color
Place: Coxbazar, Bangladesh
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Image & Caption Credits: M Yousuf Tushar

“A young man collecting Betel nuts to sell them in a local market in Coxbazar, Bangladesh. The plantations of Betel palms are helping many people to overcome unemployment.”

40. Pine Rock Lightning and Full Moon by Miguel Angel Artus Illana

Honorable Mention, The Beauty of Nature
Place: Tossa de Mar, Spain
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Image & Caption Credits: Miguel Angel Artus Illana

“This night photo was shot with a long exposure which allowed to capture a lightning in a stormy sky. The magic atmosphere of the image is also created by the light of the full moon illuminating the water and the beach.”

41. Lionrock by Gabriela Staebler

Honorable Mention, Animals in Their Environment
Place: Serengeti N.P. Moru Kopjes, Tanzania
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Image & Caption Credits: Gabriela Staebler

“During a safari, I discovered this male lion sleeping in the shade of a huge rock. It seemed that the lion was stopping with his leg the rock from rolling over him. Next to this huge rock the mighty lion seemed small and fragile.”

42. Painting of the Wave by Dieter Schweizer

Honorable Mention, The Beauty of Nature
Place: Iceland
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Image & Caption Credits: Barathieu Gabriel

“Aerial picture taken while flying over the Snaefellsnes peninsula on the West coast of Iceland. The weather was very bad, but I was lucky to get some rays of sun when we flew over this beach with the seagulls.”

43. Cave Dwellers by Scott Portelli

Remarkable Award, Journeys and Adventures
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Image & Caption Credits: Scott Portelli

Source: Siena International Photo Awards

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