This winners collection celebrates the work of all award winning photographers capturing life in its most vivid forms. These unique and international artists constitute the best of the photographic scene and we are very proud to share their work.
“Balinese temple” - Bali, Indonesia.
A Pemangku (Balinese priest) sits and recites prayers and rings a holy bell in his cave temple, deep in a remote ravine in northern Bali, Indonesia. © Michael Morgan
“Silent preparation” - Valencia, Spain
Portrait of the Spanish bullfighter Marco Polope (from the bullfighting school of Valencia), preparing to go out to fight in the Final of the Contest “Valencian Bullfighting Federation” in Sueca (Valencia). © Jordi Cohen
“Aarti, the Ceremony of Lights” - Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Arti, (Hindi: “the ceremony of lights”) Sanskrit aratrika, in Hindu and Jain rites, the waving of lighted lamps before an image of a god or a person to be honored. In performing the rite, the worshiper circles the lamp three times in a clockwise direction while chanting a prayer or singing a hymn. © Virginia Hines
“Integrity” - Santee Alley, Los Angeles, California, August 2021
© Ambrus Deak
“Nomadic life” - Western Mongolia
A young Kazakh nomad of Western Mongolia looks over a herd of Bactrian camels at dawn. during the winter migrations camels usually lead the way and do not need to be herded like the rest of the livestock because they do know the way. © Alessandra Manzotti
"I’m different” - Siena, Italy
“With my portrait work I want to show people that without clothes and without status labels, we are all the same. We love, we live, we breathe, we work, we make love and for all these actions there is no difference in how we look.” © Albina Abdullina
Juan Carlo Calingo
“Life’s a Blur” - New York, USA
The New York subway is probably one of the perfect examples of the rapid movement of life in the city. Everyone is in a hurry. This image illustrates movement versus restriction. Busy versus calm. A juxtaposition of life. © Juan Carlo Calingo
“The cooks” - Havana, Cuba
Cubans cooks on their break in Havana, Cuba. Cubans are, despite all the adversities of life in Cuba, some of the happiest and most interested people I’ve ever met. My goal was to make a candid photograph that shows them in their daily life, capturing the essence of their soul. © Andreas Kamoutsis
“The shower of blessings” - Vrindavan, India
From “Holi”, the annual festival of colors celebrated in India. © Satyam Bhuyan
“Haenyeo - The Grandma Divers” - South Korea
Soon-ja Hong of Seongsan comes out of the water holding an octopus. She explains that she and her fellow Haenyeo set traps to catch octopuses which come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Today she was lucky to catch this large specimen. Now 69, she is at the peak of her career, It has taken Soon-ja many years to build up her endurance and fine-tune the hunting techniques that enable her to dive most efficiently. But even the most experienced divers must follow the strict rules imposed by the fishing cooperatives including diving cycles that allow the women to work seven days on and eight days off in order to recuperate.
Jeju island, known for its characteristic basalt volcanic rock, sits off South Korea. It is the home of the renowned Haenyeo or women of the sea who free dive off the black shores of Jeju harvesting delicacies from the sea. Wearing thin rubber suits and old-fashioned goggles, this aging group of women are celebrated as a national treasure and inscribed on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, but the tradition is slowly fading as fewer women choose this extremely hazardous profession. Today, the majority of Haenyeo are over the age of 50 and many are well over 70. In a society obsessed with education, the future of this physically arduous activity would appear bleak, and yet… Efforts by the government and local communities to preserve and promote this ecological and sustainable lifestyle have brought renewed interest from young people disillusioned with urban life and eager to return to their roots. It is perhaps a renaissance. © Alain Schroeder
– Theme PEOPLE / Competition Judge: Elizabeth Krist (National Geographic Editor & Curator)
Crossing borders, spanning cultures, and traversing the most remote corners of the world: the People Photography Award celebrates the diverse beauty of humanity.
We are delighted to present the images of 10 visual artists whose work shows an exceptional level of talents: Congratulations to the winners and finalists!
Join us over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we’ll be sharing all our favorite images from the competition. Congratulations to all the talented photographers who made it to the final!
1ST PRIZE: Michael Morgan
“In this layered image of a Balinese priest amid his prayers, he is the bright focus at the center, anchoring the scene. We see him through the framing composition of foreground elements–the umbrellas and the silhouette of the woman on the right–feeling as if we are being given a rare glimpse into a blessed existence. The soft milky light in the background of the cave, and the flame in the woman’s hands (the same orange as the umbrellas), help reinforce the sense of the divine, rendered even more appealing by the casual secular presence of the attentive dog. “ — Elizabeth Krist, National Geographic
2ND PRIZE: Jordi Cohen
“In the moments before a dangerous confrontation, a young bullfighter looks vulnerable, the gentle light playing over naked muscle. The saint on the wall tile seems to promise protection. From the formal shirt, immaculate for the moment, dangle white ties, balanced on the other side of the frame by the black dangling suspenders. The angle of his elbow echoes the curve of the pipes. This intimate image invites our sympathies and challenges us to share his thoughts.” — Elizabeth Krist, National Geographic
3RD PRIZE: Virginia Hines
“Virginia Hines has captured, with excellent artistry and salience, the essence of this remarkable scene. The smoke from the burning lamps casts a hazy filter across our view, furnishing the image with an almost oil-painting-like quality and accentuating the hypnotic ambiance of the ritual. The nether perspective, and immaculate timing, means all participants are framed perfectly within the composition; they display a fervent reverence for their task, thus imparting the cultural significance of what we are witnessing.” – The Independent Photographer Editors
A National Geographic photo editor for over 20 years, Elizabeth Krist has worked on more than 100 stories and edited at least four million photographs.
Throughout her extensive career, Krist has taught for the International Center of Photography, Syracuse University, Santa Fe Workshops, and La Luz. She has reviewed portfolios for The New York Times and was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass. She curated Women of Vision, organized the first Women Focus event at the Newseum in Washington D.C and is on the board of Women Photograph. Krist has judged for The Fence, Picture Of the Year International, Getty Instagram, and the RFK Journalism Awards.
She is currently working on a National Geographic book and exhibition on China and producing stories for Magnum Photos.
Open to All Photography
Be part of a vibrant community: The competition award is a unique opportunity to gain exposure and provides a platform to celebrate the very best of contemporary photography.
THEME: Open Call Deadline: 31 December 2021
Portrait, documentary, fashion, landscape, fine art, street, conceptual, and more: this summer your work may fall into any category and we invite all photographers to share their best images!
We want you to challenge us and respond to the theme in as many inventive ways as you can imagine: Edit carefully and show us what you’ve got!
1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400