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Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

In its first year, the Siena International Photography Awards is already Italy’s biggest photography contest, attracting entries from more than 100 countries. Following the announcement of the winners on 31 October, we showcase a selection of incredible shots now on display in the Tuscan city.

Photographer of the year winner: On the river, by Vladimir Proshin
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

Chinese fishermen on the Ou river close to the city of Lishui – whose name means Beautiful Water. ‘I took this in 2013 during a photo tour for the 15th China International Photographic Art Exhibition, run by the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique and China Photographers Association, where it won the gold medal.’

Nature: Descent to Rivendell, by Enrico Fossati
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘During a violent thunderstorm in France’s Haute Savoie, I took refuge inside a big cave in the mountain. From the inside I was able to capture this dangerous but fascinating summer storm. The quick movement of the clouds gave me only a few chances to shoot the scene in good conditions before they descended, bringing down the curtain. The title was inspired by a John Howe illustration for The Hobbit.’

Nature: Lake Bogoria, by Franco Cappellari
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘These saline shallows are in the northern region of the Kenyan rift valley, a superb landscape of hills with dry bushes, grassland and riverine forests framing the calm water populated by millions of flamingoes.’

Nature winner: Showtime, by Hasan Baglar
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘When mantises are afraid of something, they raise their arms and spread their wings. It’s their normal defensive behaviour. To take the picture I attempted to touch them and this is how they reacted, opening their wings. They look like smiling ballet dancers.’

Open colour: Braving the storm, by Joseph Tam
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘This shot was taken from a fishing village in Dianbai, in China’s Guangdong province. The fisherman in the timber boat is a courier who brings the catches from fishing boats to shore regularly. The swirling threat of the storm clouds and thunderous clamour of the angry waves sends a foreboding message to most.’

Open colour: Shwamibagh temple, Bangladesh, by Noor Ahmed Gelal
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘The Hindu community celebrating the three-day Rakher Upabas festival at Loknath Temple in Barodi, near Dhaka. Devotees offer prayers after lighting earthen lamps and fast until the lamps have burned out.’

Open colour winner: Cappadocia balloon, by Giulio Montini
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘Just before dawn on almost every day in this part of Turkey, about 100 hot-air balloons rise into the air simultaneously. The breathtaking spectacle is made even more magical by the rising sun illuminating the peaks of the rocks and the balloons. I was lucky enough to be higher than the other balloons, and was able to isolate one, perfectly illuminated.’

Travel: Summer day on the French Riviera, by Sebastien Nogier
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘Young men diving into the Mediterranean on a hot summer’s day in Nice, southern France. I took this picture in July 2014, in temperatures of about 28C.’

Travel: Beehive, Sellin, Rügen Island, Germany, by Massimo della Latta
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘These beach cabins are used all over Germany’s north sea coast. Their position on the white sand, their unique orientation, and the people coming in and out of the “cells” recalled, for me, bees in a hive.’

Travel: At prayer in Bagan, Myanmar, by Lim Chee Keong
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘You find a lot of monks and young novices in Myanmar, where Buddhism is very influential. I couldn’t help but fall in love with this country, whose people are very honest, full of enthusiasm and very polite.’

Travel: Sunrise at the Great Wall of China, by Joseph Tam
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘Where I was standing is the hardest part of the Great Wall to reach without special climbing gear. This image captures the wall’s timeless magnificence as a true celebration of mankind and a reflection of the rising dragon that is China and its place in the world order.’

Travel: Coming to get salt, by Jørgen Johanson
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is among the hottest and most inhospitable places on earth. It is also one of the lowest, and Asale lake is 116 metres below sea level. The Afar people are extracting salt here, using camels for transport.’

Travel winner: Jumping over the train, Gazipur, Bangladesh, by Noor Ahmed Gelal
Winning shots from Siena International Photography Awards 2015 (PHOTO)

‘At the end of the annual Biswa Iztema, the second-largest Muslim gathering in Bangladesh, a lot of people are rushing to try to grab in any possible way a seat or a space on a train at Tongi railway station.’

Source: Guardian
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