We've handpicked a selection of our personal favourites from the winners of the Siena Photo Awards.
We've handpicked a selection of our personal favourites from the winners of the Siena Photo Awards. Copyright Credit: Siena Photo Awards

Siena Photo Awards 2023: Take a look at the powerful winning images

By Theo Farrant
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This year's Siena Photo Awards winners offer a breathtaking glimpse into the full spectrum of the human experience, spanning from deep-sea divers' adventures to emotional farewells at war.


The winners of this year's Siena International Photo Awards have been announced - and they're nothing short of spectacular. 

This year's 'Photo of the Year' has been awarded to an exceptionally poignant photograph by Salwan Georges, showing a Ukrainian soldier bidding a heartfelt farewell to their family.

We've handpicked a selection of our personal favourites from the winners. These winning images, along with many others, will be showcased in the Italian city until 19 November. 

'Georgy' by Salwan Georges (Photo of the Year)

Credit: Salwan Georges/Siena Awards 2023
Photograph of the year: Georgy Keburia bids goodbye to his wife, Maya, and children at a railway station in Odesa, Ukraine, on 5 March 2022.Credit: Salwan Georges/Siena Awards 2023

Georgy Keburia says goodbye to his wife Maya and children at a train station in Odesa, Ukraine, as they board a train to Lviv on 5 March 2022. 

The situation in eastern Ukraine has become extremely critical as the fighting intensifies.

Hundreds of women and children who escaped cities like Mariupol, Kherson, and Mykolaiv, are trying desperately to catch a train and leave for a safe place before the violence of the war reaches the city. 

Meanwhile, men like Georgy must stay to fight to defend their own country and families.

'Following their tradition!' by Shyjith Onden Cheriyath (Journeys and Adventure - Winner)

Credit: Shyjith Onden Cheriyath / Siena Photo Awards
Following their tradition! by Shyjith Onden CheriyathCredit: Shyjith Onden Cheriyath / Siena Photo Awards

In Umm al Quwain, every winter camel handlers take their camels into the sea for a bath.

The saltwater is believed to have medicinal properties that help rid the camels of ticks, fleas, and other parasites. 

Despite being an age-old Arab tradition, this practice is becoming less frequent in the region due to the development of new hotels and resorts along the coastline.

'Gotipua fading away' by Lucas Dragone (Journeys and Adventures - Honourable Mention)

Credit: Lucas Dragone / Siena Photo Awards
Gotipua fading away by Lucas DragoneCredit: Lucas Dragone / Siena Photo Awards

Gotipua, a traditional form of dance in Orissa, has been performed by boys dressed up as girls for centuries. 

However, this art is gradually fading away due to a lack of audience interest. When the artist has no audience, their art dies. 

'Kherson boy' by Andras D. Hajdu (Documentary and Photojournalism - Winner)

Credit: Andras D. Hajdu / Siena Photo Awards
Kherson boy by Andras D. HajduCredit: Andras D. Hajdu / Siena Photo Awards

On 11 November 2022, Ukrainian forces liberated Kherson from Russian occupation. 

In a crowded square, the crowd falls silent as President Zelensky delivers a speech. 

Glib, a 13-year-old boy, listens attentively in the front row: after months of fear and uncertainty, for the first time since the beginning of the war, he can finally leave his house.

'Child Labour in Afghanistan' by Weiken Oliver (Documentary and Photojournalism - 2nd place)

Credit: Weiken Oliver / Siena Photo Awards
Child Labour in Afghanistan by Weiken OliverCredit: Weiken Oliver / Siena Photo Awards

A young boy working in an informal coal mine in Chinarak stands outside the entrance.

Hundreds of miners, including children as young as 10 and men over 60, toil every day for a few pennies. Tunnel collapses pose a constant threat to their safety.

'Shooting Range Participant' by Matt Mcclain (Fascinating Faces and Characters - Winner)

Credit: Matt Mcclain / Siena Photo Awards
Shooting Range Participant by Matt McclainCredit: Matt Mcclain / Siena Photo Awards

Aliyana Stokes, 10, and her brother Bryson Stokes, 5, participate in a gun safety class for children alongside other attendees at Choppa Community, a gun range in rural Maryland.


It is a place for African American gun owners and others to assemble to learn gun safety, self-defence and have a place to target practice.

'Fans' by K Asad (Fascinating Faces and Characters - 2nd place)

Credit: K Asad / Siena Photo Awards
Fans by K AsadCredit: K Asad / Siena Photo Awards

In the Dhaka University area of Bangladesh on 1 December 2022, people gather to watch the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 match between Argentina and Poland on a big screen in the street. 

As Argentina scores a goal, the crowd’s faces light up with excitement and amazement.

'New generation' by Fabio Savini (The Beauty of Nature - Winner)

Credit: Fabio Savini / Siena Photo Awards
New generation by Fabio SaviniCredit: Fabio Savini / Siena Photo Awards

Female Northern spectacled salamanders, also known as Savi’s salamanders, lay their eggs on submerged branches in cold waters of an Apennine stream in Italy’s Foreste Casentinesi National Park.

'The awakening of a giant' by Francisco Negroni (The Beauty of Nature - 2nd place)

Credit: Francisco Negroni / Siena Photo Awards
The awakening of a giant by Francisco NegroniCredit: Francisco Negroni / Siena Photo Awards

Villarrica is the most active and dangerous volcano in Chile. 


After seven years of dormancy, it has started showing signs of activity, prompting authorities to declare a Yellow Alert. 

The photo captures a stunning lenticular cloud illuminated by the glowing lava from the crater, which is now close to the surface.

'Lions in Lines' by Torie Hilley (Animals in their environment - Winner)

Credit: Torie Hilley / Siena Photo Awards
Lions in Lines by Torie HilleyCredit: Torie Hilley / Siena Photo Awards

In the African savanna, as the dry season approaches and the grass turns yellow, lions become even more elusive, blending seamlessly into their surroundings. 

As Torie was tracking their footprints on the ground, she was suddenly presented with a stroke of luck: a pride of lions appeared in front of her, walking in a line and following the tire tracks.

'Blooming Dreams' by Martin Gregus (Animals in their environment - 2nd place)

Credit: Martin Gregus / Siena Photo Awards
Blooming Dreams by Martin GregusCredit: Martin Gregus / Siena Photo Awards

A large male polar bear recharges his energy by resting in a bed he specifically made among the fireweed. 


The drone’s use offers an up-close glimpse of how he meticulously arranged the flowers to ensure a comfortable rest.

'Catch Me If You Can' by Samuel Barnes (Sports in action - Winner)

Credit: Samuel Barnes / Siena Photo Awards
Catch Me If You Can by Samuel BarnesCredit: Samuel Barnes / Siena Photo Awards

Grant Holloway of the USA team leading the field whilst competing in the men’s 60m hurdles semi-finals during day three of the World Indoor Athletics Championships at the Stark Arena in Belgrade. 

He completed the run in 7.29 seconds, equalling his existing world record, and went on to win the final.

'The Cloud' by Fabrice Guerin (Sports in action - 3rd place)

Credit: Fabrice Guerin / Siena Photo Awards
The Cloud by Fabrice GuerinCredit: Fabrice Guerin / Siena Photo Awards

In the silence interrupted only by air bubbles, a freediver trains in a freshwater abyss moving from the bottom of a cenote towards the surface. 

The sulfur cloud beneath him reflects the sun’s rays, creating an extraordinary visual effect: initially, it appears solid, but then dissolves like clouds once passed through.


'A la station balneaire' by Benoit Segalen (Street photography - Winner)

Credit: Benoit Segalen / Siena Photo Awards
A la station balneaire by Benoit SegalenCredit: Benoit Segalen / Siena Photo Awards

In a seaside resort town in France, a gas station is suddenly transformed into a spectacular diving board, from which some boys jump into the sea with daring and breathtaking acrobatics, creating a surprising and stunning scene.

'Fish Eats Fish' by Lilian Koh (Underwater life - Winner)

Credit: Lilian Koh / Siena Photo Awards
Fish Eats Fish by Lilian KohCredit: Lilian Koh / Siena Photo Awards

In nature, it is common for fish to feed on other fish to survive, but this scene captured during a dive in Anilao, Philippines, shows extraordinary determination. 

The young grouper had been nearly swallowed whole by a lizardfish, but with incredible effort, it managed to break free and escape just moments after the photo was taken.

'Crowd Control' by Andy Schmid (Underwater life - 2nd place)

Credit: Andy Schmid / Siena Photo Awards
Crowd Control by Andy SchmidCredit: Andy Schmid / Siena Photo Awards

An orca infiltrates a ball of herring to stun its prey with its tail. 

Every winter, large numbers of orcas and humpback whales are attracted to the fjords of northern Norway by huge shoals of migrating herring. 


Orcas work together in a strategic way to bring the herring up from the depths and gather them into a bait ball.

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