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The False Illusion by Andre Boto
Copyright  Siena Creative Photo Awards/Andre Boto

Pollution and illusions: Winners of Siena Creative Photo Awards show us humanity in 2022

By Jonny Walfisz

The winners have been announced for 2022's Siena Creative Photo Awards

The annual competition celebrates artistic and creative photography from the last year. Tens of thousands of images were submitted by photographers from 128 countries. 

Winners and runner-ups have been chosen across 17 categories. 

All winning photographers for this award will be exhibited in November in Siena, Italy as part of the Siena Awards Festival. 

'The False Illusion' by Portuguese photographer André Boto (above) was the winner of the overall competition. 

Taken in Montijo, Portugal, his startling image details the ways in which pollution is ignored or minimised, without stemming the source of the existential issue. 

Here are some of our favourites from the winning categories this year. 

Fish, You Can! by Yuliy Vasilev

Siena Creative Photo Awards/Yuliy Vasilev
Fish, You Can! by Yuliy VasilevSiena Creative Photo Awards/Yuliy Vasilev

Winner of the food category. Vasilev created this image to showcase the importance of using real and fresh products instead of relying on canned and manufactured/processed foods. 

The Death of Marat by Du Yi

Siena Creative Photo Awards/Du Yi
The Death of Marat by Du YiSiena Creative Photo Awards/Du Yi

Winner of the nude category. Du Yi's photo references the 1793 painting by Jacques-Louis David which depicted the artist's friend, murdered French revolutionary leader, Jean-Paul Marat.

Du Yi's "playful" and "ironic" take maintains the man and the box, but the Chinese photographer opts to hide his Marat's face. 

Arrivo della Sposa by Damiano Salvadori

Siena Creative Photo Awards/Damiano Salvadori
Arrivo della Sposa by Damiano SalvadoriSiena Creative Photo Awards/Damiano Salvadori

Winner of the wedding category. Italian photographer Salvadori captures the human moment the groom bursts into tears as he waits for the bride to enter. 

Just in Time by Jo Howell

Siena Creative Photo Awards/Jo Howell
Just in Time by Jo HowellSiena Creative Photo Awards/Jo Howell

Winner of the experimental category. Australian photographer Howell captures the intricacy of an ant colony and the need for cooperation across several million individuals. 

"This image is my attempt to show the intricate relationship that the littlest of creatures share, and how everyone plays an important role, even the little guy who is last to arrive. The creation of this image required an amount of patience I didn't know I possessed!" she said. 

Swallow by Tania Barrenetxea

Siena Creative Photo Awards/Tania Barrenetxea
Swallow by Tania BarrenetxeaSiena Creative Photo Awards/Tania Barrenetxea

Winner of the conceptual category. Mental health is the focus of Spanish photographer Barrenetxea's work. She created the photo at a time she was struggling with anxiety and wanted to express how being emotionally overwhelmed felt through images.