All About Photo Awards – The Mind’s Eye is an international photography contest that’s in its 8th year now. For a chance at the coveted title of “Photographer of the Year,” a total of 39 photographers were shortlisted, who came from 18 different countries. Five of these were selected to win cash prizes totaling USD 10,000. All 39 will be featured in the winner’s gallery online and in the printed issue of AAP Magazine Special Edition All About Photo Awards 2023. We take a look at some of the winners and what gear they used to get their winning entries.
A Note from the Editor in Chief
Before we go on, we’d like to note a few things. First off, there are four major components to a photograph: moment, subject, gear, and the photographer. Winning images, like those from the All About Photo Awards, typically happen when there’s a full harmony of all of them. Some photographers like to say that gear doesn’t matter simply because they don’t want people to get hung up on it and instead to bring the conversation back to themselves. But the truth is that gear does matter. None of these images could’ve necessarily been caught with a large format tintype camera unless you had thousands of extra dollars in lighting. In fact, none of the winners of the All About Photo Awards have used analog methods from what we understand.
However, the photographer’s ability to be in the moment and understand what’s happening is also paramount. The human element is something that photographers still understand, and that is not necessarily understood by AI just yet. And unlike the Sony World Photo Awards, none of the winners of the All About Photo Awards have used AI that we’ve been able to gather at least. With that said, it’s a fascinating question to ponder whether or not these moments could be recreated with an AI image generation platform. They say that a picture is worth 1,000 words. And considering that the staff and I here regularly write well over 1,000 words a day, we wonder how many people would really want to do the same thing.
On top of all this is the subject matter that’s in front of you. It typically is exactly as how it is. If you’re photographing a portrait subject, you probably have put a lot of work into coordinating wardrobes, lighting, etc. If you haven’t, then the other elements that make a great photograph might need to work harder. The winners of the All About Photo Awards seem to understand this. The subject matter is incredibly diverse, and the perspectives presented are all uniquely human.
Finally, there’s the importance of the moment. Lots of photographers these days try to shoot at 20 frames a second all the time in hope that they’re just going to capture the moment. But they’re not usually in tune with what’s happening. Being one with the moment isn’t necessarily a skill — but it’s an idea that we need to open ourselves up to. We’re usually all pulled away and distracted by our phones and other things happening. However, being present is something that photographers have to have at all times to get photos like what these talented humans have produced. The winners of the All About Photo Awards truly seem to understand this.
More importantly, I wish that this was taught more within the photography world and that modern photographers put more emphasis on this than gear. Gear can become monotonous, but moments are genuinely always fresh.
The Top Five 2023 All About Photo Awards Winners
Without further adieu, here’s the list!
Photographer of the Year 2023, Priyo WidiyantO (Indonesia)
As someone who’s done professional sports photography for many years, this image strikes a personal chord with me. The tension of the moment itself is what would have won this photograph the top prize at 2023 All About Photo Awards. There’s drama, excitement, and a huge question mark about what happened next. Priyo really nailed it with this photograph which won him USD 5000 and the title of All About Photo Photographer of the Year 2023.
Gear Used: Canon EOS R, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L lens
2nd Place Winner, Haikun Liang (China)
Never having burst a firecracker at arm’s length, this image looks ever so slightly terrifying to me. But the beauty of it is that this amazingly captured still photograph makes me feel like I am right in the scene. And just looking at the photo fills my mind’s ears with loud bursts of sounds. Haikun also takes home USD 2000 for winning 2nd place.
Gear Used: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens
3rd Place Winner, Raul Cacho Oses (Spain)
Almost painterly in some ways, the 3rd place-winning image of the All About Photo Awards depicts the vivid Moroccan Tbourida equestrian performance. In this age where many cultural traditions seem to be dying out, it’s nice to see some countries still practicing such arts. Raul captures this tradition at its very best and nabbed himself USD 1500 for his photo.
Gear Used: Fujifilm X-T2, FUJIFILM XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Lens
4th Place Winner, Andrea Bettancini (Italy)
You might not be able to tell it at first glance, but this is a composite of two separate images taken by Andrea in two different countries. The image portraying an attempt at a better life wins him USD 1000.
Gear Used: No camera or lens info
5th Place Winner, Pedro Luis Ajuriaguerra Saiz (Spain)
Taken with a Nikon D90 DSLR that was launched nearly 15 years ago, Pedro proves that you can take an award-winning image even if you don’t have the latest, greatest camera in your possession. With just 4.5 fps to work with, he’s got his timing perfect in this photo.
Gear Used: Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G lens
Merit Winners of The 2023 All About Photo Awards
Here’s a list of some incredible photographers on the Merit list of the All About Photo Awards.
Tony Law (Australia)
Gear Used: Sony a7r III, No Lens Information
Maria Bratan (Rep. of Moldova)
Gear Used: Sony a7 III, Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens
Deba Prasad Roy (Bangladesh)
Gear Used: Canon EOS 77D, Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens
Mitchell Anolik (USA)
Gear Used: Olympus EM-5, Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ Lens
Laurie Freitag (USA)
Gear Used: iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro Max back triple camera 1.54mm f2.4 lens
Supratim Bhattacharjee (India)
Gear Used: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens
Muhammad Amdad Hossain (Bangladesh)
Gear Used: Dji Mavic Air 2, Dji 24.0 mm f/2.8 lens
Susanne Middelberg (Netherlands)
Gear Used: Fujifilm GFX100s, FUJIFILM GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR Lens
Tariq Zaidi (United Kingdom)
Gear Used: Sony a7 III, Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens
Alejandro Martinez Velez (Spain)
Gear Used: Canon EOS R6, 35mm lens
Pedro Jarque Krebs (Peru)
Gear Used: Sony a7r IV, Sony FE 100-400mm F4.5–5.6 GM OSS lens
Natalya Saprunova (Russia/France)
Gear Used: Sony a7r IV, Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens
Azim Khan Ronnie (Bangladesh)
Gear Used: Canon EOS R5, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens
Rico.X. (Grenada/United Arab Emirates)
Gear Used: Nikon D850, Nikon 24mm f/1.8 lens
Shahriar Farzana (Bangladesh)
Gear Used: Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens
Klaus Lenzen (Germany)
Gear Used: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100 f2.8 lens
Wendy Stone (USA)
Gear Used: Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens
Stefano Rosselli (Italy)
Gear Used: Sony a7r III, Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens
Ingmar Björn Nolting (Germany)
Gear Used: Nikon Z7 II, Nikkor Z 24-70 f4 S lens
Joseph-Philippe Bevillard (Ireland)
Gear Used: Nikon D7500, Nikon AF-S DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4 lens
Matthiew McClain (USA)
Gear Used: Nikon D6, Nikon 35mm f1.4 G lens
Patricia McElroy (USA)
Gear Used: Fujifilm X-T2, Fujifilm 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens
Mauro De Bettio (Italy)
Gear Used: Canon EOS R5, Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM lens
Copyright for the images belongs to the respective photographer. All images used with the permission of the All About Photo Awards communications team. The lead image is by Whitney Dafoe