The Siena International Photo Awards only started in 2015 but it has quickly moved into a position of being one of the most impressive annual photographic competitions in the world. This year's recently revealed winners affirm that prestigious position with a spectacular assortment of images spanning everything from architecture to photojournalism.

Much like other photographic competitions the Siena Awards covers the usual categories, including nature, animals, architecture and travel. However, the competition also includes a special themed category every year. In 2018 this special category was entitled "Splash of Colors" seeking out exceptional color compositions.

The overall Photo of the Year award for 2018 went to Bangladeshi photographer K M Asad for a striking image entitled Battle Victim. The heartbreaking photograph captures a young Rohingyan refugee just days after arriving at a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Asad has been chronicling the plight of the persecuted Rohingya in Myanmar for six years now, and this haunting image perfectly encapsulates the human tragedy currently occurring.

Another winning highlight is Amos Nachoum's amazingly timed image, Facing Reality. The absolutely remarkable shot freezes in time a moment illustrating a leopard seal hunting a penguin.

"The colors and clarity of the shot are incredible, as is the expert timing of the photographer as a leopard seal hunts a penguin in a lagoon at Pleneau Island in the Antarctic," explain the judges in an accompanying statement. "As for the outcome, the penguin escaped ... twice, but wasn't so lucky on the third strike."

Other spectacular highlights include Francisco Negroni's astounding shot of lighting interacting with a wild eruption of the Calbuco volcano in the Lagos region of Chile, and The Wave from French photographer Lorraine Turci, reminding us of the power of the ocean, as a massive wave pounds a boat nearing Antarctica.

Some of the images celebrated in the Siena Awards are certainly familiar, having appeared in prize-winning slots for other photographic competitions over the past year. However, this actually feels like a strength of the Siena competition, rather than a weakness, with the entire list of winning and commended images acting like a "best of the best" collection, encapsulating the most amazing images from the past 12 months.

Take a look through our gallery for a glimpse at our favorite entries in this impressive photo competition.

Source: SIPA Contest

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