Photography art has been around for nearly 200 years now and humanity’s fascination with taking pictures has only been growing over the past couple of centuries. Nowadays, it is one of the primary ways to explore and experience the world. In fact, photography is such a big deal that there are now plenty of social media websites dedicated to showing the world all of the beautiful photos that we’ve shot. That is beside the multibillion-dollar industry and the countless communities that revolve around photography.
EyeEm, one of such communities, are currently holding its annual photography contest —the EyeEm Awards 2019. Bored Panda got in touch with the EyeEm Awards Team to learn more about the photo contest, all the while providing you with a chance to gaze upon powerful images from this year’s EyeEm Awards finalists.
EyeEm is a photographic community that was formed in 2010 along with the world photography contest. According to the EyeEm Team, over 5,000 photographers from around the globe sent in their best photos, thus forming the community.
“Since then, the community has grown to around 25 million photographers and we’ve introduced various opportunities for the community to profit from their work,” explained EyeEm.
“Photographers can license their interesting photos through our Market, apply for The Collective—our pool of top talent that we tap into to shoot for brands—or simply use the app to get inspired and interact with other photographers.”
Bimo Pradityo, The Mobile Photographer Category
Gear: Huawei Mate 10 pro
Location: Imogiri, Yogyakarta Indonesia
"Her name is Mss Ponikem, she is a batik craft maker from Giriloyo, Imogiri, Yogyakarta Indonesia. She's been making Batik for 35 years. Batik is one of Indonesia heritage legacy in fashion."
Yentl Slik, The Traveler Category
Gear: Nikon D3200
Location: Mary Mother of God Center in Lamadi, Tanzania
"This image was taken at the Mary Mother of God Centre in Lamadi, Tanzania. This is an orphanage for children with albinism that can't live with their own family anymore because of the danger they are facing. In Tanzania, when you have albinism, you are thought to be evil. There even is a price on the head of children with albinism since killing a person with albinism is considered to bring you good luck. People with albinism live in constant fear and because of the killings, many children with albinism now live in camps. Rejected by and cut-off from their families, they live separate from society in order to keep them safe.
In Sister Helena's Mary Mother of God centre, the children are loved and well taken care of. On the photo you see one of the ''mama's'' giving one of the children a wash at the end of the day."
EyeEm highlights that it is a community above all else: “As a brand, we’re a community first. We want to empower our creators through education and opportunities for their own revenue, while providing unique original creative content for brands.”
The competition may not yet be over, but the EyeEm team already has something to celebrate. “Each year the EyeEm Awards grow. In 2017, we broke the record for the world’s largest photography competition with more than 590,000 submissions. In 2018, it received more than 700,000 and this year we received over one million submissions.”
Participants are competing in a number of categories, including The Traveler, The Street Photographer, The Minimalist, the Great Outdoors, and several others. “The categories have pretty much stayed the same more or less, but we’ve added some over the years. For instance, this was the first year we introduced a Mobile Photographer category, and it ended up being the most popular category! Our curators look at community trends and consider what type of stories can potentially be told, and how we can best find unseen talents.”
Jeffrey Kieffer, The Great Outdoors Category
Gear: DJI Mavic Pro
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
A Winter Paddle
"It's the time of year where 99% of Sweden's population is hibernating indoors. There's light for around 6 hours a day. On this particular morning, I found myself walking outside, away from the city and into the nearest forest. I'm not exactly sure what triggered the urge, or what made me bring my camera equipment.
My three thermals did little in the blistering cold. But I didn't really notice... A half-hour stroll had just magically transported me to a winter wonderland. Fresh powder covered every surface, stacking up several inches high.
Clearing the snow off a frozen bench, I sat down and let the drone take to the sky. I really hoped that its little mechanical heart would hold out in this weather.
Soon enough, from the stark white scene - emerged a single sign of life. Against all odds!
Slicing through the river, the water opened like curtains as the kayaker moved downstream. Silent and graceful. The 1%."
Gaile Juknyte, The Street Photographer Category
Gear: Canon 5D mark IV 16-35mm 2.8
Location: Tokyo, Japan
"Traveling around Japan and soaking in its unique, fast paced rhythm. We happened to be on a JR line, traveling to Shinjuku. Once we entered the train, we were surprised how focused, quiet and distant everyone was traveling to their homes at the busiest time of the day. This perfectly reflected a very intense city lifestyle which I decided to paint with a little splash of color in the middle of the grays and blacks."
Finalists were chosen by EyeEm’s in-house curators Fabiana Sala and Jonathan Davidson, as well as the panel of judges. This year’s jury includes a number of photographers, videographers, creative directors, and other notable people in the industry. The winners will be selected October 12, 2019 by the EyeEm Team.
Besides receiving the title of “Photographer of the Year”, serving as EyeEm’s lead ambassador, and getting a trip to the Berlin Photo Week, the winner will also receive a small fortune in various prizes: “Additional prizes include mentorship throughout the year from Magnum Photos, a Canon M50 camera, €3000 photo gear and €500 travel vouchers from MPB, Skylum software and more! All winners will get featured, exhibited and published on a global scale.”
Bored Panda has covered a handful of photography competitions, like the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, so be sure to check them out if you haven’t had your fill of photography yet!
Jewgenia Rücker, The Great Outdoors Category
Gear: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 L IS USM
Location: Parco Regionale Migliarino San Rossore, Italy
"It was one of the most beautiful mornings on our Italy photo roadtrip in April 2019, when we arrived in the fairytale land of Tuscany. The sunrise painted the sky with lovely oranges and yellows, the birds were singing and the ground was bathed in soft mist. Because the nature park was still closed to the public, we decided to drive back and to shoot the sunrise at a field of mist. At 8 am we went back to the nature park and started our independent walk directly on the avenue, surrounded by huge fascinating pine trees. There was this beautiful silence, which reminded me of a quote by Rumi: "Listen to the silence. It has so much to say." A very pleasant feeling came over me and I felt happy and free. Only a few sunrays fought their way through the dense pine trees. I have seldom had such a spectacular view. In that moment a stranger appeared in front of us and painted an amazing silhouette in this picture. I can honestly say that was one of the most impressive mornings in my life."
Arief Dharma Kurniawan, The Foodie Category
Gear: Sony A7II
Location: Jogokariyan Mosque Yogyakarta Indonesia
"This photo explains the preparation of 2,500 portions of Ramadan fasting at the Jogokariyan mosque in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. There is a unique tradition that has been preserved for decades until when the coming of Ramadan, a total of 2,500 portions are distributed every day to worshipers and people who perform fasting worship."
Marcos Ferreira, The Mobile Photographer Category
Gear: Samsung Galaxy S8
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
"This is one of the most special photographs I've ever taken, and it's because of the story behind it. I remember the feelings I was having that day as if it were today. A few days before this photo, I ended a relationship with a girl who I've never stopped missing, and who was and is the most special person I've ever been with. The fact that we broke up has made me feel very sad and nostalgic for a long time and that's exactly what I feel every time I see this picture. I remember that sunset in my building terrace here in Buenos Aires, and that building looking exactly as lonely as I was feeling without her. So I took out my phone from my pocket and just let the feelings press the shutter. I named this picture "Miranda."
Alexander Zalokar, The Street Photographer Category
Gear: Sony Alpha A7R3 / Sony 85mm f1.4 GM
Location: Vienna, Austria
"I love to shoot when it is raining in my hometown in Vienna. People are more focused and introverted. This catch was made close to a big subway station where many people are passing by, which gives more opportunities to shoot. I am always looking for certain characters and emotions."
Mathias Trumminger, The Architect Category
Gear: Fujifilm X100F
Location: Vejle, Denmark
"Due to a family emergency it happened that i had to go to Vejle for the first time after several years. I felt like I'd need some time for myself and just went out exploring. I ended up at the ocean where I just stayed for a while. I was just fascinated how calm water could actually be, even though the harbor and ocean was just right next to this place."
Vitaly Golovatyuk Aka Panvelvet, The Creative Category
Gear: Dji Phantom 4 Pro
Location: Hong Kong Island
"I took that photo on my business trip to Hong Kong last year in April. It consists of 45 photos and what you see now is a result of an experiment I tried when I wanted to make something fresh."
Philip Am Guay, The Traveler Category
Gear: Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
Location: Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, Philippines
"It was my last day of vacation and we usually spend it in a nearby beach with my family. From afar, I saw this group of kids enjoying the high tide by backflipping into the sea. So I decided to sit behind them and take couple of shots when a moment came that they decided to do it all together."
Aron Shakeri, The Street Photographer Category
Gear: Canon 60D. 18-135
Location: Rishikesh, India
"Two weeks in India is a glimpse, but it did give me quite a few perspectives on how people live. Of these people, the women in particular caught my eye. You can find them doing all these things that look bizarre to us. I happen to see many of them carrying baskets and other things on their heads. I saw this woman coming up the street with a giant pile of some fort of plant on her head, I could not see her face. I managed to get my camera out take a couple of shots. I don't think she ever saw or heard me taking her photo."
Jairo Díaz, The Great Outdoors Category
Gear: Canon 5D Mark IV
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands. Spain
"Running away from the crowded beaches of Tenerife, my friend Sergio and I decided to explore the north shore of the island. We found this natural pool known just by a few people."
Ömerali Şenakaylı, The Great Outdoors Category
Gear: DJI Mavic Pro
Location: Kayseri, Turkey
"This land is in the middle of the Anatolia. I always wanted to see wild horses and the rural life on the doorstep of 5th highest peak of Turkey called Erciyes mountain(3917).Ali dayı owner of the horses.Dayı means uncle in turkish, everybody calls him uncle.He is the boss of the ranch in his village called Hörmetçi köyü.He feed horses as well as look after them and when the photographers come over he start to show with his cowboy cap on.What he told me was there are more than 300 horses in his ranch.I was little bit nervous when the herd running out by me,the ground was moving like Earthquake, but this place was a wetland so it was so normal.It was worth to see and photograph wild horses even though im covered in mud up to my knees.To be honest i could not get enough of this rural life when i was there, so im planing to visit there again next summer."
Dimpy Bhalotia, The Mobile Photographer Category
Location: Banaras, India
"The title of this photograph is “Flying Boys”. These boys were jumping off a man-made cliff into the Ganga river to beat the heat. It was about 40 degrees celsius that day."
Sandra Morante, The Traveler Category
Gear: Canon 1000D with a Tamron AF 18-270m
Location: Larung Gar, Garzê, China
"The main reason I went to China was to know more about the Buddhist settlement of Larung Gar and its ritual, Sky Burial.
One of the mornings it was snowing and many Buddhist students were gathered in the main temple, reading and chanting near the stairs. I observed the group for a while, from the distance, taking a couple of shots without interfering in their tasks.
Suddenly, this little novice looked at me. The magic of the alignment, where the set up was perfect, happened just in front of my eyes. I just immortalized it for the collective memory."
Dimpy Bhalotia, The Traveler Category
Location: Pushkar, India
"The title of this image is ‘Shoulder Birds’. This was a spontaneous shot. This was shot in Pushkar, Rajasthan during the last day of the Camel Fair. I was walking towards the desert route where all the camel masters were heading back to their villages. I probably walked for a good 30 minutes and aftet a while, I saw a bunch of camels with their masters sitting by the roadside resting. They were all smoking and having a laugh. I had a split second to take this shot. This was shot on an iPhone."
Sotiris Bougas, The Minimalist Category
Gear: Canon 6d mark II
Location: Athens, Greece
"This image showcases how ''fragile'' and how ''strong'' the human body can be or become. This is a metaphor for the brain, soul and heart. Although it looks broken, polymorphic and weird at the same moment, it's beautiful in it's own way. You have to break as a human in order to become stronger."
Patrik, The Great Outdoors Category
Gear: Sony ILCE-6300
Edge of the world.
Marlon E. Villaverde, The Photojournalist Category
Gear: fujifilm x-e2 with 35mm 1.4/f lens
Location: Lucban, Quezon Philippines
"I was in my hometown documenting the events happening during holy week. I’ve always wanted to capture the beginning to the end of this so-called procession of the “mahal na senyor” or “image of the dead christ,” wherein hopes and promises are the main reasons many people perform these rituals. They believe it will bring luck, success, conceive a child and even cure sickness. As I was looking for the right moment, I saw this group of men on the side of the glass carriage then quickly got my backup camera with 35 mm lens so I could be closer and compose it tightly in the frame. Beyond lighting, composition, aesthetic and expressions, there’s more to it than meets the eye. That moment I knew something extraordinary caught my camera and a year later I am still moved at this image. Perhaps it is the purpose of the rituals that affects me deep within."
Jan Tong, The Portraitist Category
Gear: Sony A7R3
Location: Hong Kong
"#children born not of light but of shadow
Inhabitants seemingly gilded in gold call this city home. Once vibrant, energetic and widely known around the world has now fallen into decay. Children born into this fading glory inescapably had their golden shell stripped. Yet one’s true self can only be seen by the world when one is not shielded by a suit of armor.
Turns out, this city is still achingly beautiful."
Tanya Walton, The Traveler Category
Gear: FUJIFIM X-T1 The Lens 16-55 f2.8
Location: between Tinghir and Fez in Morocco
"This image was taken during a long car journey between Tinghir and Fez in Morocco during a ten day photography trip. We were in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by empty landscapes when we drove past this man on a donkey. The opportunity was too good to miss as I had been trying to capture ordinary people going about their daily lives. So we stopped the car a little further along the road and waited for the man to approach. I took a few shots and chose this one to submit."
Modernfilms Oam, The Street Photographer Category
Gear: Canon EOS6D
Location: Yangonbauk, Malaysia
Georgina Abreu, The Portraitist Category
Gear: Nikon D600
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall
"This photograph is part of a series entitled ‘Um-do-li-tá’ and is related to childhood. Who are we and who were we? Looking back is something people often do when they are in a position in life where they are not really pleased with. Remembering moments of the past which brought them happiness can be perceived as an escape or a way of wanting to experience those feelings again. Through this photograph, I aim to embrace the pureness of the being, by representing childhood and the blissful ignorance of simpler times."
Lauren Marek, The Mobile Photographer Category
Gear: Google pixel 3XL
Location: Texas, USA
"Night Sight mode has just come out for the Pixel and I was excited to see what the phone was capable of shooting in the dark.
My partner and I were also in the middle of construction inside our home. I believe this photo was taken one night after the drywall was mudded which resulted in all of our windows fogging up from the moisture.
For the photo, my girlfriend stood outside and I shot through our back windows just after the sun had set. The backyard streetlight illuminating her profile."
Himanshu Roy, The Traveler Category
Gear: iPhone X
Location: Lajpur Surat, Gujarat, India
"This women works at a brick factory. She's balancing the bricks on her head then loading them on trucks. It’s her work, so she does it sincerely, and with a smile that gives us an example of determination."
Tinatin Jabanashvili, The Mobile Photographer Category
Gear: Huawei 10 lite
Location: Georgia. Tbilisi
"In my photos I try to share how seeing the world and feeling is important."
Altan Can, The Minimalist Category
Gear: Fujifilm xt3
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
"Stronger than a flower. This editorial was inspired by a girl who is stronger than a flower.
Photographer and stylist’s goal was to showcase an image of about how a woman blossoms into a warrior in nature with paint in her eyes."
Ueli Frischknecht, The Traveler Category
Gear: Sony A7II with Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART
Location: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
"Showing a fresh view on things is what I really love. I captured this moment on an early morning exploration of the local food market in Ubud, Bali. Markets have something that fascinate me. They are raw and the people are real. There's only one question left to ask: How much is the fish?"
Laura Callsen, The Portraitist Category
Gear: Nikon D7000
Location: Goslar, Germany
"With this picture I tried to tell a story about two people who are bound together. Living in symbiosis as long as everything's balanced. One person carrying and protecting the other, while knowing how fragile this equilibrium can be. The title of this image is "The Sisters". The Models are: Michelle Hartl (Left) and Michelle September (Right)."
Note: this post originally had 100 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.