The EyeEm international contest received over 590,000 submissions from 88,000 photographers, making it the world’s largest photography competition.
The competition’s entries were judged using EyeEm’s aesthetic image recognition technology — specialist software that detects the colours, proportions, and light that makes a beautiful photo — before the shortlisted entrants were judged by the EyeEm Photography Festival’s curators and a panel featuring representatives from National Geographic, Refinery29, BBC, and others.
19-year-old Russian native Sasha Dudkina’s depictions of life in contemporary Moscow won her the grand title of EyeEm’s Photographer of the Year.
Madeline Dudley-Yates, lead curator of the competition, said: “We always look for images that tell strong stories above anything else, and this year’s finalists were all rich with an incredible variety of stories and concepts.”
Scroll on to discover a selection of breathtaking photos from the winners of this year’s EyeEm Photographer of the Year competition.
Earlier this year, Guiga Pira -- who won for 'The Great Outdoors' category -- joined the crew of an anti-poaching ship as a drone pilot.
The expedition set out to protect the world's most endangered marine mammal -- a type of porpoise only found in Mexico's Gulf of California -- from poachers.
Pira's drones were used to locate, identify, and document illegal fishing activity. Commenting on the expedition, Pira said: 'I saw too much of the dark side of humanity in such a beautiful place.'
'I decided to make the best of my time while flying, so every time the drones were launched I tried to capture the beautiful side of the area I was patrolling,' Pira added.
Ramin Mazur's series of photos titled 'The Process' -- which helped him win 'The Photojournalist' category -- depict a production of 'Hamlet' put on by a prison in Moldova.
A local art centre organised the production in an attempt to highlight the issues with Moldova's prison system which has one of the highest numbers of inmates per capita in Europe.
Inmates were trained in acting for several months, until they reached 'the same level as professionals from the National Theatre,' according to EyeEm.
20-year-old Adeolu Osibodu from Ogun State, Nigeria, submitted a series of portraits from his wider collection, 'Losing Amos,' and subsequently won 'The Portraitist' category.
'My Grandfather Amos died in 2014. It was then that I realised how casual my idea of him was,' Osibodu said.
'I constantly asked myself why I couldn't see beyond his heavy grins, why I couldn't define him as more than the man who was never unhappy... these were the unsettling thoughts that meddled with my conscience.'
As a result, Osibodu decided to photograph himself wearing various outfits once owned by his grandfather that were reminiscent of various times in his relative's life.
'Maybe this is inspired by an urge to find consolation or my intimate affection for a time before, or me just being Adeolu. Regardless, I'm forever glad I happened to find myself in this state,' Osibodu said.
Winner of 'The Street Photographer' category, Julie Hrudova's photos captured in Moscow, Tokyo, and Amsterdam were all taken from her larger series: 'Leisure.'
In her series, Hrudova plays with the balance between photography as a source of truth while still creating confusion about what is happening in the image, like this man limply hanging in a children's playground.
Hrudova's street photography subjects are often depicted as isolated while participating in their leisure activities -- like this woman slack-lining on an empty beach.
Denise Kwong, winner of 'The Architect' category, is based in Sydney, Australia, but travelled to Hong Kong to capture the busy market scene. When she arrived, Kwong stumbled across a block of flats that captured her imagination.
'With its lighting scheme, it was giving off a cinematic vibe and I also love(d) how each lit balcony made the building facade look like a sheet of negatives -- each telling its own story,' Kwong said.
Kwong's photo series fought off competition from over 95,000 other submissions in order to win in the architecture category.
Robert Torrontegui's series of portraits won him the competition's Community Vote, which is open to all finalists.
The series of six photos, captured in Manila in the Philippines, features a young woman deep in thought in various positions, all incorporating touch and texture.
Overall winner and Photographer of the Year, 19-year-old Sasha Dudkina is a photographer based in Moscow, Russia, who defines her style as 'glances' and 'holding onto fleeting moments,' according to EyeEm.
Dudkina sees herself as an observer, and many of her photographs are candid snaps of her friends or strangers in everyday scenarios.
Her photography is inspired by her native country. The series features glimpses into Russia's history, literature, and music, as well as Russia's natural landscapes and its people.
Dudkina was chosen to be crowned EyeEm's Photographer of the Year 2017 over 88,000 other applicants.
Brada Vavi Barassi, head of photography at EyeEm, said that Sasha Dudkina 'shares life through her lens in a really consistent, intimate way. We're excited to work with her, help her unleash her creativity to the full and provide support throughout her photography journey.'
Dudkina's series, along with the rest of the category winners, will be featured in a limited edition EyeEm magazine that will be distributed across the world.
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