December 4, 2021

The incredible winning images of the Siena International Photo Awards 2021

The Siena International Photo Awards has a deserved reputation for consistently showcasing breathtaking photography.

And this year’s winners and commended entries keep the standard up.

Turkish photographer Mehmet Aslan was declared the overall winner with an ‘emotionally strong’ image of a father who had lost a leg in a bomb blast holding his son, who was born without lower or upper limbs due to a congenital disorder.

The photo was selected from tens of thousands of images submitted by photographers from 163 countries.

The winners will be on display in Siena from Saturday, October 23, at the Siena Awards Festival.

Scroll down for MailOnline Travel’s pick of the top entries… 

A remarkable picture of two tigers doing battle. It was shortlisted in the Animals In Their Environment category and was taken by Rahul Sachdev in India’s Ranthambore National Park. He said: ‘Two tigers roaring and fighting at around 15 feet from a vehicle. Not something that is for the faint-hearted. I was just lucky that I could manage to keep them in the frame. This image almost makes it seem as if a single tiger has four forearms’

This stunning picture, taken in Kansas, was shortlisted in the Beauty of Nature category. The photographer behind it, Laura Hedien, said: 'The winds made it challenging to make photographs, but what an adrenaline rush. These storms on the Great Plains feel like they are alive. The ebb and flow depending on the atmospheric conditions are so unpredictable and invigorating. When the storms have this appearance, everything is in sync for a crazy day'

This stunning picture, taken in Kansas, was shortlisted in the Beauty of Nature category. The photographer behind it, Laura Hedien, said: ‘The winds made it challenging to make photographs, but what an adrenaline rush. These storms on the Great Plains feel like they are alive. The ebb and flow depending on the atmospheric conditions are so unpredictable and invigorating. When the storms have this appearance, everything is in sync for a crazy day’

This amazing picture of an Asian male elephant alarming tourists took first prize in the Journeys & Adventures category. It was taken by wildlife photographer Sergey Savvi in Sri Lanka's Yala National Park

This amazing picture of an Asian male elephant alarming tourists took first prize in the Journeys & Adventures category. It was taken by wildlife photographer Sergey Savvi in Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park

This remarkable picture was taken in the Sea of Okhotsk in the Western Pacific Ocean. It was shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category

This remarkable picture was taken in the Sea of Okhotsk in the Western Pacific Ocean. It was shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category

This amazing picture was shortlisted in the Sports In Action category. The photographer, Juan Mayer, said: 'I took this photo of this skydiver freefalling over the Pyramids while I was also freefalling following him. He is a professional skydiver, but it was his first time skydiving over the Pyramids. We jumped from 15,000ft and I took this photo at about 10,000ft. It's also a highlight that the skydiver on this photo is paraplegic, so ground staff were waiting for him with his wheelchair just a few metres from one of the pyramids, where we landed'

This amazing picture was shortlisted in the Sports In Action category. The photographer, Juan Mayer, said: ‘I took this photo of this skydiver freefalling over the Pyramids while I was also freefalling following him. He is a professional skydiver, but it was his first time skydiving over the Pyramids. We jumped from 15,000ft and I took this photo at about 10,000ft. It’s also a highlight that the skydiver on this photo is paraplegic, so ground staff were waiting for him with his wheelchair just a few metres from one of the pyramids, where we landed’

Freediver Sebastian Lindstrom shares a moment with a sea lion off the coast of Baja, Mexico. The photographer, Karim Iliya, said that after more than half an hour playing together, 'they hovered for about 30 seconds, looking at each other - then the sea lion swam back off into the blue'. The image was shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventure category

Freediver Sebastian Lindstrom shares a moment with a sea lion off the coast of Baja, Mexico. The photographer, Karim Iliya, said that after more than half an hour playing together, ‘they hovered for about 30 seconds, looking at each other – then the sea lion swam back off into the blue’. The image was shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventure category

Runner-up in the Beauty of Nature category was this amazing picture by Johannes Lochner. It shows three hyenas, a jackal, and two elephants enduring a sandstorm in Botswana's Chobe National Park

Runner-up in the Beauty of Nature category was this amazing picture by Johannes Lochner. It shows three hyenas, a jackal, and two elephants enduring a sandstorm in Botswana’s Chobe National Park

The winning image in the Animals In Their Environment category is this one, by Ronan Donovan. He explained how the medal-luring shot was achieved: 'A camera trap placed inside a large muskox carcass [in the Canadian Arctic] was used to take this shot of a pack of 10 wolves, the members of which returned to feed for over a month. This location became the de facto rendezvous site for the pack in the months to come'

The winning image in the Animals In Their Environment category is this one, by Ronan Donovan. He explained how the medal-luring shot was achieved: ‘A camera trap placed inside a large muskox carcass [in the Canadian Arctic] was used to take this shot of a pack of 10 wolves, the members of which returned to feed for over a month. This location became the de facto rendezvous site for the pack in the months to come’

This heartwarming shot by Amit Eshel was given an honorable mention in the Animals In Their Environment category. The photographer explained that his picture, taken in Patagonia, shows a puma kitten jumping on his mother's neck from behind to practice his hunting skills. Amit said he spent weeks following the family, and added: 'The puma of Patagonia have made a phenomenal comeback in recent decades thanks to safeguarding measures'

This heartwarming shot by Amit Eshel was given an honorable mention in the Animals In Their Environment category. The photographer explained that his picture, taken in Patagonia, shows a puma kitten jumping on his mother’s neck from behind to practice his hunting skills. Amit said he spent weeks following the family, and added: ‘The puma of Patagonia have made a phenomenal comeback in recent decades thanks to safeguarding measures’

John Finney earned an honorable mention in the Beauty Of Nature category for this breathtaking shot of a storm near the town of Waynoka in Oklahoma. He said: 'This remarkable fast-moving supercell changed shape and color minute by minute'

John Finney earned an honorable mention in the Beauty Of Nature category for this breathtaking shot of a storm near the town of Waynoka in Oklahoma. He said: ‘This remarkable fast-moving supercell changed shape and color minute by minute’

Freediver Brianna Zurlo playing with a giant baby humpback whale, captured by Karim Iliya in a snap that was gilded with an honorable mention in the Journeys & Adventures category

Freediver Brianna Zurlo playing with a giant baby humpback whale, captured by Karim Iliya in a snap that was gilded with an honorable mention in the Journeys & Adventures category

'Having fun at the North Pole,' is the photographer's description for this amazing snap, shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category

‘Having fun at the North Pole,’ is the photographer’s description for this amazing snap, shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category 

Shepherds in Turkey's eastern Black Sea region make the journey back to their village across a snowy plateau. This picture was given an honorable mention in the Journeys & Adventure category

Shepherds in Turkey’s eastern Black Sea region make the journey back to their village across a snowy plateau. This picture was given an honorable mention in the Journeys & Adventure category

The Bishwa Ijtema, an annual gathering of Muslims that attracts about five million pilgrims, is a three-day affair in Bangladesh held in Tongi, a small town by the banks of the River Turag, in the outskirts of Dhaka. This eye-catching picture of a balloon-seller at the station after the arriving pilgrims had left was given an honorable mention in the Journeys & Adventure category

The Bishwa Ijtema, an annual gathering of Muslims that attracts about five million pilgrims, is a three-day affair in Bangladesh held in Tongi, a small town by the banks of the River Turag, in the outskirts of Dhaka. This eye-catching picture of a balloon-seller at the station after the arriving pilgrims had left was given an honorable mention in the Journeys & Adventure category

'Swamp motel': Second prize in the Journeys & Adventure category went to this bewitching self-portrait by Mac Stone of a hammock set-up during a trip in Florida. He said: 'With my kayak tied to the cypress trees and only a few gators lurking in the blackwater, I felt pretty safe hanging my hammock in this beautiful spot'

‘Swamp motel’: Second prize in the Journeys & Adventure category went to this bewitching self-portrait by Mac Stone of a hammock set-up during a trip in Florida. He said: ‘With my kayak tied to the cypress trees and only a few gators lurking in the blackwater, I felt pretty safe hanging my hammock in this beautiful spot’

This snap was bewitching enough to earn an honorable mention in the Animals In Their Environment category

This snap was bewitching enough to earn an honorable mention in the Animals In Their Environment category

Alex Lindbloom is the photographer behind this amazing snap, shortlisted in the Documentary & Photography category. He explained: 'After accidentally smashing through a shark cage with three people inside, this great white shark was safely released. Everyone inside was fine. Cage diving has been a controversial issue as sharks do breach cages from time to time, which has resulted in at least one shark's death. Nobody wants to hurt the sharks, of course. However, if shark tourism like this was to be banned, illegal shark fishermen would wipe out an entire population within months'

Alex Lindbloom is the photographer behind this amazing snap, shortlisted in the Documentary & Photography category. He explained: ‘After accidentally smashing through a shark cage with three people inside, this great white shark was safely released. Everyone inside was fine. Cage diving has been a controversial issue as sharks do breach cages from time to time, which has resulted in at least one shark’s death. Nobody wants to hurt the sharks, of course. However, if shark tourism like this was to be banned, illegal shark fishermen would wipe out an entire population within months’

Israeli photographer Roie Galitz was handed the runner-up prize in the Animals In Their Environment category for this shot, which he named 'Elephant's Last Embrace'. He said: 'An elephant that died of natural causes became a big opportunity for a young lion. A lion's daily meat requirement can reach five kilograms for adult females and seven kilograms for males, but the animals can eat much more when more food is available'

Israeli photographer Roie Galitz was handed the runner-up prize in the Animals In Their Environment category for this shot, which he named ‘Elephant’s Last Embrace’. He said: ‘An elephant that died of natural causes became a big opportunity for a young lion. A lion’s daily meat requirement can reach five kilograms for adult females and seven kilograms for males, but the animals can eat much more when more food is available’

A dramatic image that was given shortlisted status in the Documentary & Photojournalism category. It was taken by Hannah Maule-ffinch in Monrovia, West Africa. She said: 'During the rainy season the only road that connects Monrovia to Lofa County becomes treacherous. Torrential rains drastically degrade the highway. Hundreds get stranded every year making this often vital journey. Many are injured by overturned trucks. Heat exhaustion and lack of water make it perilous. Farmers transporting goods have extreme loses. Many cannot reach work in the city, they then cannot feed their families. The impact is vast'

A dramatic image that was given shortlisted status in the Documentary & Photojournalism category. It was taken by Hannah Maule-ffinch in Monrovia, West Africa. She said: ‘During the rainy season the only road that connects Monrovia to Lofa County becomes treacherous. Torrential rains drastically degrade the highway. Hundreds get stranded every year making this often vital journey. Many are injured by overturned trucks. Heat exhaustion and lack of water make it perilous. Farmers transporting goods have extreme loses. Many cannot reach work in the city, they then cannot feed their families. The impact is vast’

This arresting image, taken in Masouleh in Iran, was shortlisted in the Documentary & Photojournalism category. The photographer behind it, Reza Baradaran Esfahani, explained: 'Every year, on a special day in this village, the traditional ceremony of Alambandan is held. Wherever the villagers are, they come to the village to participate in the ceremony. The houses in this village are interesting. The roof of each house is the yard of another house. The village becomes so crowded that people go to the roofs of houses to see the ceremony'

This arresting image, taken in Masouleh in Iran, was shortlisted in the Documentary & Photojournalism category. The photographer behind it, Reza Baradaran Esfahani, explained: ‘Every year, on a special day in this village, the traditional ceremony of Alambandan is held. Wherever the villagers are, they come to the village to participate in the ceremony. The houses in this village are interesting. The roof of each house is the yard of another house. The village becomes so crowded that people go to the roofs of houses to see the ceremony’ 

'Copperhead' ridden by Harry Cobden and 'Easy Game' ridden by Danny Mullins fall during the RSA Insurance Novices' Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 11, 2020. This startling picture was given second prize in the Sports In Action category

‘Copperhead’ ridden by Harry Cobden and ‘Easy Game’ ridden by Danny Mullins fall during the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 11, 2020. This startling picture was given second prize in the Sports In Action category

Photographer Jijian Yu revealed little about the location of this image, simply explaining: 'A father is feeding his little boy in the middle of a rubbish dump.' It was shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category

Photographer Jijian Yu revealed little about the location of this image, simply explaining: ‘A father is feeding his little boy in the middle of a rubbish dump.’ It was shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category

Mehmet Aslan's 'Photo of the Year', taken in Turkey near the Syrian border. Mehmet explained: 'This little boy’s father, Munzir, lost his right leg when a bomb was dropped as he walked through a bazaar in Idlib, Syria. His son Mustafa was born without lower or upper limbs due to tetra-amelia, a congenital disorder caused by the medications his mother Zeynep had to take after being sickened by nerve gas released during the war in Syria. Mustafa will need special electronic prostheses in the future which, unfortunately, are not yet available in Turkey'

Mehmet Aslan’s ‘Photo of the Year’, taken in Turkey near the Syrian border. Mehmet explained: ‘This little boy’s father, Munzir, lost his right leg when a bomb was dropped as he walked through a bazaar in Idlib, Syria. His son Mustafa was born without lower or upper limbs due to tetra-amelia, a congenital disorder caused by the medications his mother Zeynep had to take after being sickened by nerve gas released during the war in Syria. Mustafa will need special electronic prostheses in the future which, unfortunately, are not yet available in Turkey’

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