"Judges are looking at reborn dolls during the Valencia doll show" by Didier Bizet
Category award: Documentary shortlist
Series name: Baby Boom
About the series: Bizet documents the creation and adoption of "reborn" dolls. These hyper-realistic dolls that resemble newborns first appeared in the US in the 90s, according to Bizet, and feature "birthmarks, veins, hair, visible skin pores, and even saliva."
Photographer image description: "Hundreds of visitors flock to the Doll Show in Valencia, Spain. This reborn dolls show is the largest in Europe. The jury of reborn artists from all over the world, adored by collectors, meets at the end of the first day of the show. On the left, Bianca Franke carefully notes the many details of the babies such as hair implantation and painting work. April 2019."
About the series: In 2019, Schmid visited 50 Spomeniks, or brutalist memorials made of concrete and steel that were erected in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugosalvia beginning in the 1960s. Following the Yugoslav Wars in the 90s, many of the monuments were forgotten, according to Schmid. She photographed the structures under full moonlight.
Photographer image description: "Monument to the Fallen Soldiers of the Kosmaj Detachment, Kosmaj Mountain, Serbia. Coordinates: N44°28'04.3", E20°34'18.3". Year Completed: 1971. Designer: Vojin Stojić and Gradimir Medaković."
Series name: Project 596 (Chinese nuclear landscape)
About the series: Ruiz used digital techniques to depict the "invisible" radioactivity of Lop Nor, a dried-up salt lake in northwest China's Xinjiang province that was used as a nuclear weapons testing site from 1964-96. "The first Chinese nuclear bomb test, codenamed Project 596, was conducted here in October 1964. As a result of these activities, the region is still heavily contaminated," Ruiz wrote.
Photographer image description: "I wanted to show the invisible danger in this desolate area. Using a Geiger counter I measured the presence of radiation in becquerels (Bq). The title of each image is the level of soil contamination I recorded, expressed in Bq. Using digital techniques, I superimposed image fragments, suggesting atoms altering and a general feeling of impermanence. These broken perspectives show the landscape twisting and changing, leading to a sort of vertigo or malaise."
About the series: Guillemard photographed the Jardines del Humaya cemetery in Culiacan, Mexico. Built in 1969 by the city's wealthiest families, the cemetery was later taken over the Cartel de Sinalon, who transformed the site with "mansion-like" tombs. The cartel tombs include air conditioning, satellite TV and some are estimated to be worth millions of dollars, according to Guillemard.
Photographer image description: "Arturo Beltran Leiva's 'El Barbas' grave, from the Cartel de los Beltran Leiva. December 27, 2019. Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico."
About the series: Albarenga stitched together photographs of indigenous leaders in Brazil and the lands that they protect. Albarenga cited a 2018 report by Global Witness that states that 57 land and environmental defenders were killed in Brazil in 2017, 80% of whom were defending land in the Amazon.
Photographer image description: "Nantu is an indigenous young man from the Achuar Nation of Ecuador who leads a project of solar-powered river boats for collective transport. By installing solar panels on a specially designed boat's roof, he is working to end Achuar's dependence on petrol. Left: On his land, Nantu lies dressed with traditional Achuar clothing. Right: the pristine rainforest from the Achuar territory. Sharamentsa, Pastaza, Ecuador."
About the series: Peixia Xie took these aerial photographs between October and November 2019 in the Pamir Plateau of China's Xinjiang province. She captured what locals refer to as the 'Plateau Sky Road,' which opened in July 2019, runs for 22 miles between Tashkurg Tajik Autonomous County and Wacha Township, and is full of hairpin turns.
About the series: Enoch spent a week on the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam, photographing delivery drivers. These deliverymen have "amazing balance skills" and deliver goods ranging from car parts to eggs to pet fish and ice across the city, sometimes even selling directly from their bikes, Enoch said. Increasingly, vans are being used for commercial deliveries, he noted.
Photographer image description: "A man poses with his scooter in Hanoi with a delivery of pet fish, taken at the start of 2019. The riders have the ability to transport all manner of goods in amazing quantities."
Category award: Natural World & Wildlife shortlist
Series name: At the Pink Planet
About the series: Samuchenko used a drone to capture the brilliant colors of Lemurian Lake, a salt lake in Ukraine that turns pink and red in the summer months as a result of microscopic algae that live in the water. "The first time you see the pink salt lakes of the Kherson region in Ukraine it feels as though you are looking at another planet," Samuchenko said. "The view from above is literally out of this world," he added.
"Laura and Katie meet at the prison fence" by Richard Ansett
Category award: Portraiture finalist
Series name: The Women of HMP Foston Hall
About the series: Ansett visit HMP Foston Hall, a closed prison for women over 18 in Derbyshire, England. "The aim of the project was to communicate to the outside world the effects of their incarceration, and how they try to make sense of their lives inside," Ansett said.
Photographer image description: "Relationships are not officially sanctioned, but are inevitable, and grabbed moments of intimacy are all the more precious for being denied."
About the series: Sasani, a professional judoka, or practitioner of the martial art judo, captured portraits of her fellow professional female athletes in Iran.
Photographer image description: "I am a professional athlete. I was six when I took up sport. Now I am a national champion. From the very first day up until now — I am 27 — only my father knows that I am a professional judoka. My father has never witnessed my joy when I win or been by my side when I fail because he is not allowed to enter the hall."
About the series: Maslov set out to document the "fairy-tale" railroad crossing houses of his native Ukraine as well as the workers who live in them. "During the course of this project, it occurred to me that the crossings are reassuringly permanent — they stand firm in the face of constant change. Unfazed by the passing of trains and time, they are here to stay," he said.
Photographer image description: "322 km crossing of Poltava Kyiv. The Southern Railways."
About the series: Battistelli captured the ethereal beauty of a Texas swamp during a kayaking trip in November 2019. "The Spanish moss looked incredible in the early morning light, and the water and trees formed endless fascinating shapes," he said.
Photographer image description: "Stunning trees, Spanish moss, and orange leaves combined are the essence of autumn in the swamps of Texas."
Photographer image description: "A lone fire truck is framed by a wall of flame and a fire tornado during Green Wattle Creek fire, which erupted out of the bush and hit properties in Sydney southwest."
Photographer image description: "Ah Yan (alias), a first-aid worker hit by a tear gas canister while he was on duty in Causeway Bay on November 2, 2019, suffered from third-degree burns. His fingers were also burnt when he tried to remove the canister between his back and backpack. After a four-hour skin grafting operation, he has to dress the wound everyday, which is quite painful."
About the series: Gurrieri documented his travels through India in 2019. "Traveling the roads here is as much an inner as an outer journey," he said." Daily life unfolds, interspersed with religious rituals. Embarking on a walk allows thoughts from the depths to rise to the surface," he said.
Photographer image description:"Memories, dust, religion, and pollution. Kumbh Mela, 2019."
About the series: Evans documented life in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin. The region is experiencing what Evan likens to "a water crisis usually experienced in Third World countries." The water, she notes, has "become undrinkable and unsuitable for swimming or bathing."
Photographer image description: "Talita Cohen, 4, washes in a bath filled with tap water from the Darling River in Louth, Australia. For Talita, the brown foul-smelling water is nothing out of the ordinary for her; it is her reality. It is the only water available for her and her family. Local communities in the Darling River area are facing drought and clean water shortages as debate grow over the alleged mismanagement of the Murray-Darling Basin."