57 stunning photos from the National Sony World Photography Awards 2020

Every year, the World Photography Organisation celebrates the very best images and photographers on the planet with the Sony World Photography Awards. Last year we showed off some of the amazing images from the overall awards where hundreds of thousands of submitted photos had been whittled down to just a few winners. 

This year the organisation has celebrated incredible photographers at a national level with the National Awards. This awards program selects just one photographer as a national winner for a single, standalone image. With 63 countries taking part and 190,000 submissions, it’s certainly been a challenge for the judges. 

We’re showing off some of the best of these national photographers for you to enjoy. 

Jacek Patora (Poland)

  • Image Name: The Game of Shadows
  • Photographer Name: Jacek Patora
  • Year: 2020

Jacek Patora was chosen as the national winner for Poland with this photo taken in Portugal.

“This image was taken a few days after 2019’s New Year’s Eve in Lisbon, Portugal.
I always wanted to take a photograph of this famous bridge covered in fog, and that day turned out to be perfect. I took this shot as I was astonished by the shapes created by the light and shadows, the perfect lines and people’s silhouettes. Lisbon is famous for it’s incredible light, and advection fogs like that one are a common sight there. They occur when moist air passes over a cool surface of the river Tagus, creating this breathtaking sight.”

Tran Tuan (Vietnam)

  • Image Name: Drying Tea
  • Photographer Name: Tran Tuan
  • Year: 2020

This brilliantly colourful aerial photo from the skies above the fields of Vietnam saw Tran Tuan chosen as the nation’s winner. 

“Workers in Moc Chau and Son La in Vietnam spread green tea leaves out to dry – this is the first stage of oolong tea production.”

Kiatthaworn Khorthawornwong (Thailand)

  • Image Name: Red day
  • Photographer Name: Kiatthaworn Khorthawornwong
  • Year: 2020

Thailand’s national photography winner actually went to a photographer who snapped this striking landscape image from a lakeside view in Japan. A wonderfully framed mountain backdrop makes for a staggering view of a peaceful lake. 

“The beauty of Autumn at Kawaguchigo lake, Japan.”

Ya-Ting Chung (Taiwan)

  • Photographer Name: Ya-Ting Chung
  • Year: 2020

This national winner from Taiwan is almost a portrait of local tradition and history of the land in a single image. 

“The aboriginal peoples of Taiwan have a deep and rich history. As to traditional clothes, they must be worn for special occasions. In Hualien In 2019.”

Alessandra Meniconzi (Switzerland)

  • Image Name: Never without my Raptor
  • Photographer Name: Alessandra Meniconzi
  • Year: 2020

Swiss winner, Alessandra Meniconzi best describes this image themselves:

“The idea for this journey take up more than 18 years! My first amazing trip that introduce me to get to know one of the most fascinating and ancient methods of hunting with the Golden Eagle in Kazakhstan. At the feet of the Altai mountain (Mongolia), I met again the Berkutchi (hunters with Golden Eagle). They are men that with extreme patience and dedication have domesticated to their advantage the different qualities of the Eagle. The secrets of this practice have been passed on for generations. Where once training and hunting with eagles was the preserve of men only, now new traditions are emerging, including a surprising equality of opportunity for women. Zamanbol, 16 years old start at the age of 10 years old to trains Golden Eagle and Saker Falcon. She said to me that the tradition now is in her hand.”

Marcus Westberg (Sweden)

  • Image Name: Spread’em
  • Photographer Name: Marcus Westberg
  • Year: 2020

Life must be hard for giraffes with those long necks and awkwardly gangly legs. Apparently even having a drink can be a bit of a problem. Swedish photographer, Marcus Westberg, captured this image from a hide in Namibia and managed to win the national award as a result. 

“I had spent several days in a hide in Onguma Private Reserve, near Etosha, Namibia, initially hoping to see elephants or big cats, but enjoying all the visitors that came to the waterhole nearby. I knew if I was patient enough I would have a good chance of photographing giraffes as they came in to drink, but I never imagined any of them would squeeze in between the hide and the waterhole! This presented me with a different perspective than I had envisioned. Patience, and a willingness to sit quietly in nature is often reward in itself – although in this case I was delighted to leave with an image like this.”

Will Venter (South Africa)

  • Image Name: I’m Here
  • Photographer Name: Will Venter
  • Year: 2020

We like that at first glance this photo looks just like one of the undergrowth until you spot the buffalo with its head poking through. 

“This water buffalo peeked out at us from the dense foliage. It had a look as though it wanted us to help it. So many people around the world rely on these amazing creatures for survival, and yet few help to protect its natural environment.”

Lakshitha Karunarathna (Sri Lanka)

  • Image Name: Splasher
  • Photographer Name: Lakshitha Karunarathna
  • Year: 2020

Sometimes a good image is all about timing and patience. Especially with awesome nature photographs like this one. Lakshitha Karunarathna certainly deserves to be Sri Lanka’s national winner.

“As I spent a whole night photographing a heron in a small pond, close to Bourne in Lincolnshire, this handsome hunter popped up all of sudden, right in front of me and started swimming and diving for fish, at an unbelievable pace. I could not get a proper shot for some time, due to the speed and the unpredictability of this skillful night hunter. After good half an hour of hunting, it took a break and shook the water off and I did not miss that moment where the Eurasian Otter is stand-still and the tiny water drops could be seen all-over the mammal.”

Jose Luis Ruiz Jimenez (Spain)

  • Image Name: Couple
  • Photographer Name: Jose Luis Ruiz Jimenez
  • Year: 2020

This wonderfully angelic image of gannets was snapped in Ireland by Spanish photographer Jose Luis Ruiz Jimenez. A brilliant view of nature at its finest and obviously a logical contender for winning the national award. 

“Gannets on the steep cliffs of the Saltee Islands in Ireland. In June, These birds are in this place during the breeding season. This behavior is very common during this time.”

Victor Gui (Singapore)

  • Image Name: Parallel
  • Photographer Name: Victor Gui
  • Year: 2020

Victor Gui from Singapore took this perfectly timed and well-framed image of a freighter moving through the water alongside a long straight bridge. This satisfying parallel image resulted in him being chosen as the national winner and its easy to see why. 

Ales Krivec (Slovenia)

  • Image Name: Ring of frost
  • Photographer Name: Ales Krivec
  • Year: 2020

Another national winner showing off the wonder of our world with a natural phenomenon caught on camera in the wild. 

“Fog and snow particles created an interesting glow around the tree. Halo is the name for a family of optical phenomena produced by light (typically from the Sun or Moon) interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Halos can have many forms, ranging from colored or white rings to arcs and spots in the sky.”

Jana Fašungová (Slovakia)

  • Image Name: The End of Love
  • Photographer Name: Jana Fašungová
  • Year: 2020

“This photograph represents the vast loneliness and despair we can sometimes feel despite the fact that we are surrounded by people. Love has many forms and at some point in life, each of us experienced the end of some kind of love.
The changes in our world are huge, however, there are also huge changes inside all us as individual persons, in the way we communicate and perceive things, in the way our friendships and relationships look like. There is a difference between the real emotions we feel every day and the images of ourselves we post on social networks. The world changes, but in the background, it is always the individual person that undergoes its own changes as well. And there are the good times and the bad times for all of us. Our private despairs replaced by our private new hopes.”

Jelena Jankovic (Serbia)

  • Image Name: KOLO
  • Photographer Name: Jelena Jankovic
  • Year: 2020

The national winner for Serbia went to another photo showing the traditional dress of the region. It’s great to see awards being given to photos that capture the nationality of the area. 

“This is Maja. She is a dancer and a singer of Ensemble KOLO.
Maja is dressed in one of the many traditional costumes that she wears while she performs on stage. The paint on her face is one of the colors associated with Serbian tradition.
All the performers of Ensemble KOLO are people whose job is to preserve Serbian tradition through music, song, and dance. In fact, the main mission of Ensemble KOLO is to collect, adapt and perform Serbian folk dances and songs. With this diverse repertoire, Ensemble travels around the world and represents the rich culture of its country.”

Abbas Alkhamis (Saudi Arabia)

  • Image Name: Horse Motion
  • Photographer Name: Abbas Alkhamis
  • Year: 2020

Saudi Arabia’s national winner Abbas Alkhamis captured this magnificent image of a fantastic steed in action. Man and beast in harmony. 

“A horse breeder plays a horse in one of the stables of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.”

Antonio Bernardino Coelho (Portugal)

  • Image Name: Dubai
  • Photographer Name: Antonio Bernardino Coelho
  • Year: 2020

Antonio Bernardino Coelho won the national award winners prize for snapping this photo of the skyline of Dubai. An intriguing image that looks more like a painting than a photograph. 

“Based on an image of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper and surrounding skyline in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this still life was made out of staples of various sizes. The staples were positioned on black glass with a black background, and lit via three independent sources.”

F. Dilek Uyar (Turkey)

  • Image Name: Light Shadow and the Guards
  • Photographer Name: F. Dilek Uyar
  • Year: 2020

A Turkish masterpiece shows a man carrying out the humblest of trades, herding sheep through the hills. 

“From the hard and dusty journey of sheep herd in Bitlis Turkey. I went to Bitlis to take photos in that city and take this in that period. Sheep has a great impartance in Bitlis. It was really hard to take these photos. Sheep has a great impartance in Bitlis. This photo is like a pastoral symphony.”

Sergey Savenko (Russian Federation)

  • Image Name: Mount Elbrus
  • Photographer Name: Sergey Savenko
  • Year: 2020

One of the great things about these national award winners is the extreme differences between them. One winner taken in the depths of the desert, one in the frozen wilderness. 

“Bermamyt Plateau. The best place with a view of Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain peak in Russia and Europe, included in the list of the highest peaks of the world “Seven Peaks”.”

Mihaela Coman (Romania)

  • Image Name: Transcendence
  • Photographer Name: Mihaela Coman
  • Year: 2020

One of the moodiest looking photos in our list and the national winner for Romania is simply named “Transcendence”. 

“Some days she is in the mood for love, or maybe she just wants to feel the wind on her skin.
Some days her words are being silenced by other men who can’t handle her feelings.
Sometimes her thoughts transmute, she feels both pleasure and sadness when tasting the
forbidden fruit.
She transforms from a soft Eve to a dark one, being always both.
She is now strong but also fragile, soft and intense, passionate but also anxious, like the woman
portrayed in the poem by Warsan Shire ‘For women who are difficult to love’.”

Bjørn-Arild Schancke (Norway)

  • Image Name: Mine 6
  • Photographer Name: Bjørn-Arild Schancke
  • Year: 2020

Norway’s winning photographer captured this amazing snap of the wonder of nature and man-made structures existing together. 

“This is mine 6, which is a closed coal mine in Svalbard. The mining operation here was between 1969-1981. The mine is today a protected cultural heritage, and it still remains approx. 380,000 tons of coal inside this mountain. Mine 6 is located in Adventdalen between Todalen and Bolterdalen in Longyearbyen.”

Kushal Shahi (Nepal)

  • Image Name: Street to the Mountain
  • Photographer Name: Kushal Shahi
  • Year: 2020

Another breath-taking view of nature captured from the mountains of Nepal. 

“Mardi Himal, Kaski: A Parade of mountaineers heading towards the destination in search of destiny by following the natural street into the Himalaya. Fighting with the cold and dry blows, we march towards the summit. The attachment with these majestic Himalayas in the reason that has kept us going and the reward is something different; Peace and Serenity.”

Abdulla AL-Mushaifri (Qatar)

  • Image Name: Silma
  • Photographer Name: Abdulla AL-Mushaifri
  • Year: 2020

We’re starting to get the impression that the World Photography Awards judges have a thing for photos showing national dress or traditional wear. This is yet another winner showing just that. Though it’s easy to see why. 

“A Portrait photo for a young girl from Oman, wearing her traditional cloths.”

Adil Javed (Kuwait)

  • Image Name: Pulp Fiction
  • Photographer Name: Adil Javed
  • Year: 2020

Something a little different from Kuwait. The national winner here is paying homage to the classic image of Pulp Fiction. 

“Big fan of Uma Thurman, bigger fan of Quentin Tarantino and of course, Pulp Fiction is love. Recreated this iconic look, keeping in mind the original concept.”

Tien Sang Kok (Malaysia)

  • Image Name: Descend From Above
  • Photographer Name: Tien Sang Kok
  • Year: 2020

Tien Sang Kok won for Malaysia with this photo that almost conjures up the sound of the thundering hooves just from looking at it. 

“Hundred of horses are galloping when the sun is about to shine its last ray. It is traditionally said that a Mongol without a horse is like a bird without a wing, this is how strong the bond between human being and animal that we should appreciate.”

Arvids Baranovs (Latvia)

  • Image Name: Autumn serpentine
  • Photographer Name: Arvids Baranovs
  • Year: 2020

This award-winning photograph from Latvia looks like it would be a perfect fit in our gallery of the best drone photos ever taken. Another image of man’s impact on the world with a winding road striking through a forest.  

“Mountain serpentine in the mountains Romania during golden autumn.”

Liliana Navarrete (Mexico)

  • Image Name: Mañana Universitaria
  • Photographer Name: Liliana Navarrete
  • Year: 2020

A simple yet striking view from Mexico was enough to win Liliana Navarrete the national award. 

“I had never noticed the lines that frame the main University City buildings at UNAM, and in my waiting time outside my classroom I decided to capture these lines.”

Andrius Aleksandravičius (Lithuania)

  • Image Name: Standing on the edge of the Baltic sea coast
  • Photographer Name: Andrius Aleksandravičius
  • Year: 2020

“This shot I called “Standing on the edge of the Baltic sea coast”. It was a very cold and windy winter day. I really enjoy visiting the sea during the off-season. The empty beach covered with snow, the sea is not frozen but looks like sorbet ice-cream. And the sound is magical. Lithuania has only 90km of the Baltic Sea coast.
This photo was taken in Smiltyne beach near Klaipeda, Lithuania. It‘s a unique part of my country – the Curonian Spit National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, curved sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast.”

Roberto Corinaldesi (Italy)

  • Image Name: Sur La Mer
  • Photographer Name: Roberto Corinaldesi
  • Year: 2020

Another classic aerial view, this time showing a mass of swimmers making their way through the incoming waves. 

“Swimmers seen from above take on the appearance of human ants.”

Riyas Muhammed (United Arab Emirates)

  • Image Name: The Hero
  • Photographer Name: Riyas Muhammed
  • Year: 2020

The national winner from United Arab Emirates shows the tallest structure in the world that stands at 829 meters tall. It’s fitting that an award-winning photo is also of an award-winning building. The Burj Khalifa won the Global Icon award in 2010, the year after it was built. 

Gunawan Santoso (Indonesia)

  • Image Name: Al Jabar mosque
  • Photographer Name: Gunawan Santoso
  • Year: 2020

“The images shows the architecture of mosque that has a unique construction. The structure is dominated by steel and painting glass. The structure is rarely found in mosque construction. The pictures is taken in Bandung city, Indonesia on 14/01/2019. The image shows front side of the mosque.”

Tooru Iijima (Japan)

  • Photographer Name: Tooru Iijima
  • Year: 2020

The Japanese winner is likely one of the simplest views on our list. An aerial view of a solitary person walking through the snow was enough to win the national award for Tooru Iijima.

Ildiko Ratkai (Hungary)

  • Image Name: Korforgas_Circulation
  • Photographer Name: Ildiko Ratkai
  • Year: 2020

Ildiko Ratkai was declared Hungary’s national award winner thanks to this nigh-time image captured with a fisheye lens and a brilliant sense of perspective. 

“Budapest Eye” in motion (3-sec exposure). Shot was taken on 26 November 2019 in Budapest. I used a Sony NEX5T camera and a Samyang 8mm f2.8 II fisheye lens. A monopod provided stability.”

Hong Chen (Hong Kong)

  • Image Name: Flamingo fly over Lake Magadi
  • Photographer Name: Hong Chen
  • Year: 2020

Hong Chen’s award-winning photo is unusual as it was not only not shot in the home country, but also was taken from onboard a helicopter.

“The water forms many unique colors and shapes, when Flamingo fly over the Lake Magadi, Kenya, I shot it from a helicopter.”

Abhijeet Kumar Banerjee (India)

  • Image Name: Mating Rhinos
  • Photographer Name: Abhijeet Kumar Banerjee
  • Year: 2020

“Taken this image at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam India in Dec 2019. It was early winter morning and we were on a jeep safari. And suddenly we encountered this mating Indian one horned Rhino pair. Needless to say, an unique and rare opportunity. Light was just right and we have an opening on the edge of this grass field. Moving around taken some shots from different angle and distance. Here the pair was indifferent to the Egrets sitting along.”

Iraklis Kougemitros (Greece)

  • Image Name: Emptiness
  • Photographer Name: Iraklis Kougemitros
  • Year: 2020

It might have been taken before the Coronavirus outbreak, but this award-winning photo was almost a prediction of the future. 

“An empty city. The feeling of loneliness and imprisonment.”

Wolfgang Wiesen (Germany)

  • Image Name: funfair
  • Photographer Name: Wolfgang Wiesen
  • Year: 2020

This award-winning photograph looks like the photographer was given the remit of trying to capture happiness in a single image. This was the result. 

“Multi-exposure of people on a chairoplane.”

Gabriel Corado (Guatemala)

  • Image Name: Ugundani
  • Photographer Name: Gabriel Corado
  • Year: 2020

Sometimes people make for the best photographs.  This happy chap helped Gabriel Corado win the national award for his country. 

“He is Ugundani. I met him on my way to Siete Altares, Livingston, Guatemala. His name is in the Garifuna language and means happiness.”

Greg Lecoeur (France)

  • Image Name: Frozen mobil home
  • Photographer Name: Greg Lecoeur
  • Year: 2020

From the land to the ocean, it seems that anything goes when it comes to these photos and just how incredible they are too. 

“During an expedition on a small sailboat, we explore the Antarctica Peninsula by diving below the surface. Although the conditions are extreme with a temperature of minus 1°C, we have documented an extraordinary marine life in its fragile ecosystem such as on this image: crab-eater seals living on the pack-ice but which are affected by global warming with the melting of the ice.”

Sofia Jern (Finland)

  • Image Name: The world on your shoulders
  • Photographer Name: Sofia Jern
  • Year: 2020

“The photograph is taken in Kajiado distict of Kenya in August 2019. In a time where modern values such as education challenges the traditional customs of the Maasai people, Margret Koitangkei Nkalo is determined to choose education and not being given in marriage. When asked how Margret Koitangkei Nkalo would represent her people, she attired her traditional jewelry and looks calmly into the camera. It’s important that indigenous peoples get to choose how they represent themselves – it is not for the world to define who they are, the choice should always be theirs.”

Inger Rønnenfelt (Denmark)

  • Image Name: Sonia Suhl
  • Photographer Name: Inger Rønnenfelt
  • Year: 2020

This award-winning photograph from Denmark is actually a vision of the process of film making. A movie in creation captured on film. Simple and yet somehow wonderful.  

“I did stills on a Danish film students film “Wolf” and this portrait of actress Sonia Suhl is one of those I found very special. The film is in black and white – as were all my photos. It was such a joy to make.”

Jeroen Adema & Tryntsje Nauta (Netherlands)

  • Image Name: Johan Maurits van Nassau
  • Photographer Name: Jeroen Adema & Tryntsje Nauta
  • Year: 2020

This photograph is unusual in that it’s part of a visual story telling:

“This photo is part of a series, where we combined stories from the past with a modern element.

In this photo you see Johan Maurits van Nassau (1604-1679), the ruler of the German principality of Nassau-Siegen. At the age of sixteen he became a soldier in the army of the Dutch Republic. Eventually, he becomes field marshal. In 1664 Johan Maurits comes to Leeuwarden for the funeral of his nephew, the Frisian governor Willem Frederik. On the way back he falls with his horse in Franeker through a bridge in the city centre. The accident is almost fatal for him.

We photographed him in the modern day canal, on the exact same spot he fell through in 1664.”

Esteban Montero (Ecuador)

  • Image Name: Melancolia
  • Photographer Name: Esteban Montero
  • Year: 2020

Another photo that tells a tale. This time a sade one:

“The idea is born after the loss of a loved one, the objective is to show the melancholy that remains when you move away from someone you love, but also the attempt to maintain comfort by holding on and keeping his memory alive.”

Kristiina Tammik (Estonia)

  • Image Name: The look
  • Photographer Name: Kristiina Tammik
  • Year: 2020

Kristiina Tammik from Estonia snapped this fantastic image of a person and their furry friend hunting for ducks. We enjoy the striking colours of the hound and the look in his eyes as he returns with the prize. 

“Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever retrieving a duck to the hunter.”

Jan Simon (Czech Republic)

  • Image Name: Wondering monkey
  • Photographer Name: Jan Simon
  • Year: 2020

While in the depths of Indonesia, Jan Simon snapped this brilliant photo of a local creature in its natural habitat. 

“I was amazed by this creature while travelling through Indonesia. When I was in a place called Monkey Forest, I spot this monkey just sitting there and wondering about the world.
It’s incredible, how same we are.”

Kozjak Boris (Croatia)

  • Image Name: Veil of Remembrance
  • Photographer Name: Kozjak Boris
  • Year: 2020

This interesting image appears to show a photograph of a photograph but taken through a veil, which somehow gives it a nostalgic feel. 

“Tanja is her name, under the veil. Taken 7.6.2019. in Virovitica, Northern Croatia.”

Liliana Ochoa (Colombia)

  • Image Name: Building
  • Photographer Name: Liliana Ochoa
  • Year: 2020

Another award-winning photo shows a modern scene. Constant construction in a developing worth that’s forever growing. An eyesore to most, a beauty to behold to some. Certainly, work for someone. 

“Workers assemble an iron structure during the construction of a building in Medellín, Colombia. This is a common scene in urban areas, and reflects the overflowing and uncontrolled growth of modern cities.”

Tianhu Yuan (China)

  • Image Name: Another Self
  • Photographer Name: Tianhu Yuan
  • Year: 2020

Facemasks are probably a sore point the world over now. Yet this one has us asking so many questions as well as just enjoying it for what it is. Just a girl in a bear mask or something more?

“Another Self is an image from my ongoing project about Nijigen teenagers in China.”

Bun Chan (Cambodia)

  • Image Name: Calmness
  • Photographer Name: Bun Chan
  • Year: 2020

A mysterious scene, calm waters and a lone individual. Another brilliant and mysterious photo that won a national award for Cambodia. 

“Calmness is a simple word, but broad term and people try to find it based on external stories to fill in inner peace. The lake is clear because of the calm at the bottom of the lake Even though the wind is blowing, it is clear when the wind stops blowing but the lake will be murky Even without the wind if the bottom of the lake is rough.
It is also with the human mind that peace is from within and when our mind is at rest, everything around us calms itself.”

Alejandro Cifuentes (Chile)

  • Image Name: Dance and urbex
  • Photographer Name: Alejandro Cifuentes
  • Year: 2020

This unusual scene was captured by Chile’s winner, Alejandro Cifuentes who managed to photograph a dancer in mid-flight in the midst of what looks like an abandoned building. Life goes on, even when people have moved on.

“Ballet dance inside an old building.”

Atanas Chulev (Bulgaria)

  • Image Name: Sunset
  • Photographer Name: Atanas Chulev
  • Year: 2020

Atanas Chulev is the national award winner from Bulgaria thanks to this photo of a simple sunset. 

“The photo was taken in one of the excavated tunnels and galleries during the First World War. Most of them can be seen on Via Ferrata De Luca-Innerkofler, but it is advisable to go with the Via Ferrata kit.”

Matheus Leite (Brazil)

  • Image Name: Afrocentrípeta
  • Photographer Name: Matheus Leite
  • Year: 2020

“This work illustrates the narrative of union between black peoples, who were trafficked and enslaved in Brazil for 3 centuries. It is a portrait of the symbiosis and metamorphosis, which occurred here in Brazil, between the black people of the most different regions and cultures of Africa. Despite all the cuts and lashes, there is an afro-centripetal force that changes us, but also keeps our ancestral ligature.”

Kyaw Bo Bo Han (Burma)

  • Image Name: Young Eagle Hunter Lady
  • Photographer Name: Kyaw Bo Bo Han
  • Year: 2020

Burma’s winner shows a wonderful vision of an eagle and her owner. A photographic view of the local customs of Mongolia and a striking contrast to other photos that won this year’s competition. 

“This photo is taken in Olgii Provinces, Mongolia. they are hunting with eagles and Normally they stay at the border of Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Each October, Kazakh eagle hunting customs are displayed at the annual Golden Eagle Festival. Although the Kazakh government has made efforts to lure the practitioners of these Kazakh traditions back to Kazakhstan, most Kazakhs have remained in Mongolia.”

Agostina Valle Saggio (Argentina)

  • Image Name: Lucy
  • Photographer Name: Agostina Valle Saggio
  • Year: 2020

Sometimes a simple portrait photograph is enough to win an award. This one is far from a simple one though, but it sure is striking. Agostina Valle Saggio from Argentina won the national award for this portrait image of a subject known only as Lucy. 

Adam Stevenson (Australia)

  • Image Name: That’s Nothing to Laugh About
  • Photographer Name: Adam Stevenson
  • Year: 2020

It has been a rough couple of years and Australia had an especially bad time of it with the fires that destroyed life and landscape alike. This national award-winning photograph is hardly a consolation but it at least shows a view of the landscape for all to witness. 

“This image was taken with my iPhone X close to my home at Wallabi Point, New South Wales, Australia, after devastating bushfires swept through the area. As I watched the sun set through the smoke a kookaburra appeared and allowed me to walk right up to it. We shared a moment, watching the sun fade behind the apocalyptic scene… he was laughing.”

Steven Meert (Belgium)

  • Image Name: Cyclists
  • Photographer Name: Steven Meert
  • Year: 2020

Meanwhile, in Belgium, cyclists are snapped in motion around a racing track. The action being enough to draw the eye of both the viewers and the awards judges too. 

“Shot at training session in the Eddy Merckx cyclist race track.”

Matthias Pall (Austria)

  • Image Name: Melina Black and White
  • Photographer Name: Matthias Pall
  • Year: 2020

We’re immediately struck by this subject’s freckles and the intense stare she appears to be casting over the viewer. Matthias Pall did a fantastic job of capturing the beauty of his subject and was given the national award as a result. 

“Real beauty is connected to your inner world, it is something that comes from your inside”

Tonmoy Adhikary (Bangladesh)

  • Image Name: Reminiscence
  • Photographer Name: Tonmoy Adhikary
  • Year: 2020
  • Image Description: ‘Black And White’

“This photo is about someone I know who loves watching movies a lot. His love and affection of watching movies started when he was a little kid, in the era of VCR player. Today, in the age of modern-day technology, the VCR player is now nearly extinct. But there are people even to this day who cherish those vintage ever loved devices and their priceless memories.

This photo is in Black and white in three different ways. First, the photo itself is Black&White, Second, the VCR cassette in the photo is black and the eyes are white. And Third, there used to be a white piece of paper labelled on the cassette to write down the name of the film or content.”

Youngchul Kim (South Korea)

  • Image Name: Hugging each other
  • Photographer Name: Youngchul Kim
  • Year: 2020

Something most people should be seeking to avoid at the moment – a warm (germ spreading) embrace. 

“I shoot a fashion shoot in Seoul. During the fashion shoots, I asked models to huge each other and think something peaceful and blessed.”