SIPAContest Photo of the Year

Author: Jonathan Banks (GB)

Location: Monrovia (Liberia)

Description: One of the charities that I support is International Alert, a peace-building organisation that works with people directly affected by conflict to build lasting peace. I was asked to document their work in Liberia, where they had been working since 1993. Liberia, and the Mano River Region in West Africa more broadly, had experienced civil war for many years, and International Alert supported various programmes to build stability and long-term peace. These included community radio stations, dialogues between local leaders, initiatives to promote greater security and a political voice for women, and festivals to celebrate peaceful co-existence and mutual respect between the different cultures of the region. The festivals attract an audience from far and wide, with an attendance that grew rapidly from year to year. These festivals brought together people from the regionâs many diverse ethnic groups, providing a wonderful opportunity to re-establish harmony between different cultures: diversity in unity, and unity in diversity. At this particular three-day festival on the outskirts of Monrovia in 2008,the crowd was tens of thousands strong. I was interested in photographing the people attending and the West African peacekeeping troops who were keeping order, as well as the performances themselves. With any subject, I observe what is happening whilst trying to determine how I can best show what is front of me. However, sometimes I am so immersed in seeing how to frame the picture and capture the moment that I am unaware of everything else. I started by photographing the soldiers, but then changed to what was more interesting in the crowd. I had been circling this particular soldier, when I sensed something happening behind. Suddenly out of the crowd leaned this boy reaching for his precious ball. This was a child who had grown up in war, and had good reason to be scared of soldiers and their guns. He wanted to get his ball back, but his eyes were fixed on the soldier. This all happened in the blink of an eye and resulted in this picture, which seems to represent the precariousness of peace, as seen through the eyes of a young child with little understanding of the greater dynamics at play. All he knew was, he wanted his ball back, but also to stay safe.

Journeys & Adventures

Fascinating faces and characters

The beauty of nature

Animals in their Environment

Architecture & Urban Spaces

Sports in action

Creative & Still Life

Documentary & Photojournalism

Jump For Joy

SIPAContest Photographer of the Year

Jonathan Banks is an award-winning British photographer with over 20 years’ experience in commercial and media photography. He enjoys collaborating with charitable organisations and NGOs on serious campaigns.\r\nJonathan studied under the prolific artist John Blakemore, and graduated from the University of Derby with a BA honours in Photographic Studies. He cut his teeth in editorial photography freelancing for The Daily Telegraph and various agencies.\r\nJonathan has diversified over the years into photographing for corporate clients but continues to work with a handful of editorial publications. He has always worked with NGOs both in the U.K. and abroad. He is the longest serving British Red Cross photographer and has exhibited work in support of International Alert. Jonathan currently works with a stable of blue chip clients and NGOs. Jonathan lives in Kent with his wife and two sons.\r\n“I am passionate about my work and embrace the challenges of collaborating with global corporations, magazines and NGOs alike. I work with a number of charities because I believe my photographs do make a difference. Every assignment is different, and, as such, is approached uniquely. I am always on the lookout for new creative partnerships.”

SIPAContest Best Author of the Year

Matt McClain is a staff photographer with The Washington Post. He previously worked at the Rocky Mountain News and the Ventura County Star. During his time as a photographer, McClain has covered a wide-range of assignments, including deadly mass shootings in Las Vegas, NV and Parkland, Fl, the 2004 Asian Tsunami, three U.S. presidential inaugurations, the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and the Zika Virus outbreak in Brazil. His work has received recognition from Pictures of the Year International, World Press Photo, Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards, best portfolio in the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar contest and NPPA Best of Photojournalism. Born and raised in rural Indiana, McClain is a graduate of Indiana University. An avid sports fan, McClain also enjoys bar trivia and karaoke. One of his lifetime goals is to be a contestant on Jeopardy.



At home - a journey back to Greece

Author: Nick Kontostavlakis

Location: Greece, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway

Description: I am Nick, a freelance photographer. In the past 10 years I‘ve been travelling and photographing around the world. What I realized, though, was that I had gradually stopped seeking new destinations. I found a place that offered me a sense of stability and warmth where my inspiration and creativity amplified. Nature in all its’ forms was still surrounding me: Snowy landscapes, deep canyons, lakes and rivers, vast forests and of course the sea. In the end, I think I found my destination, a place that has nurtured me, and has always been so close to me. That makes me feel home! Greece. " The video is about the story of a photographer who has explored the far corners of the planet.Yet no other place on earth ends up completely blowing him away, in ways he'd never have expected and revealing his inner emotions by making him feel warm, intimate, hospitable and closely connected to it like his old, familiar pillow, Greece. Without a doubt Greece stands alone as the most incredible, breathtaking places in the world. Produced and directed - Nick Kontostavlakis Editing - FKY Cinematography - Nick Kontostavlakis & Antonis Kitsikis Voice - Dimitris Kaplanis Camera - Antonis Kitsikis Time-lapse - Nick Kontostavlakis & Nikos Pomonis Drone - Nick Kontostavlakis Music - Tony Anderson


City of Athens - A Portrait of a Changing Metropolis

Author: Alexandros Maragos

Location: Athens, Greece

Description: The film is a homage to the capital of Greece. It features hyperlapse, timelapse and drivelapse cinematography of the urban area, the skyline and the architecture of the glorious city. Shot almost entirely from the highest rooftops, hills and mountains at night, the film explores the urban core, the city center and beyond.


The Prostitutes and the Priest

Author: Christian Bobst

Location: Windhoeck, Namibia

Description: The Prostitutes and the Priest" tells the story women and girls in Namibia, who have to sell their bodies in order to survive, and the priest Father Hermann Klein-Hipass who has made it his personal mission to help them. In the short film Father Herman and the women talk about their lifes and experiences. Sex work is very dangerous in Namibia, the women face a high risk of infecting themselves with HIV and STDs, get beaten up, raped or even killed. Condemned to the lowest rungs of society they are insulted, scoffed and despised and rejected by their own people. Even charity organisations and NGOs consider them to be lost, because many of them are alcoholics and thieves. Father Hermann ist he only one who is helping us“ says Samantha, one of the protagonists. The multimedia film is based on a long term photo project that started in 2008 and came to an end in 2018, after Father Hermann passed away.


Beyond the Limit

Author: Nicolas Raspiengeas

Location: Hawaii


Jaco Cover X UpendoVibes - No Diggity

Author: Jamie Robert Othieno

Location: Europe


Life Without Borders

Author: Robert Gauthier

Location: Roma, Texas, USA