Stunning images from a prestigious colour photo awards – including a shot of a rare black


These gifted photographers are showing their true colours.

Their extraordinary work has been awarded in a contest that sets out to celebrate ‘today’s most remarkable colour images’ – the 2023 Colour Photography Contest run by Refocus Awards, a digital platform for photographers

The contest is divided into two sections – professional and amateur photography – with prizes handed out in individual categories such as ‘Wildlife’, ‘Landscapes’ and ‘Travel’ across each.

This year, entrants from 69 countries worldwide submitted their work. Among the winning shots, there’s a spectacular aerial picture of a Sicilian town that’s shaped like a human, a mesmerising image of a rare black leopard with a kill between its jaws and a vibrant picture of a thundering Icelandic waterfall.

Two images, however, reign supreme overall. In the professional section, it’s a picture of a pair of wrestlers relaxing after training in India that takes the top spot, while the victorious photograph from the non-professional section is a poignant image of a man scavenging at a dump in Angola. 

Scroll down to see MailOnline Travel’s pick of the colourful pictures that struck a chord with the judges…

This extraordinary aerial shot shows Centuripe, a small town on the island of Sicily that bears an uncanny resemblance to the shape of a person. Taking the silver award in the 'Aerial' category for professional photographers, it's the work of photographer Marco Calandra, who gives the image the title of 'The Titan'

This extraordinary aerial shot shows Centuripe, a small town on the island of Sicily that bears an uncanny resemblance to the shape of a person. Taking the silver award in the ‘Aerial’ category for professional photographers, it’s the work of photographer Marco Calandra, who gives the image the title of ‘The Titan’ 

Leighton Lum captured this hypnotising photograph of a rare black panther in Kenya, spotted with its kill between its jaws. The image snares the silver award in the 'Wildlife' category for professional photographers

Leighton Lum captured this hypnotising photograph of a rare black panther in Kenya, spotted with its kill between its jaws. The image snares the silver award in the ‘Wildlife’ category for professional photographers 

Countryside in the Czech Republic's South Moravian Region is smothered in reds, greens and browns in this autumnal shot by Zdenek Vosicky. It receives the silver award in the 'Landscapes' category for professional photographers

Countryside in the Czech Republic’s South Moravian Region is smothered in reds, greens and browns in this autumnal shot by Zdenek Vosicky. It receives the silver award in the ‘Landscapes’ category for professional photographers 

Topping the podium in the 'Landscapes' category for non-professional photographers, this atmospheric picture shows the early morning fog over Hintersee Lake in Germany's Berchtesgaden National Park. It was captured by photographer Judith Kuhn

Topping the podium in the ‘Landscapes’ category for non-professional photographers, this atmospheric picture shows the early morning fog over Hintersee Lake in Germany’s Berchtesgaden National Park. It was captured by photographer Judith Kuhn

Topping the podium in the 'Architecture' category for non-professional photographers, this picture shows the 'fairytale ' Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi after sunset. Photographer Judith Kuhn says: 'A unique lighting system reflects the phases of the moon'

Topping the podium in the ‘Architecture’ category for non-professional photographers, this picture shows the ‘fairytale ‘ Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi after sunset. Photographer Judith Kuhn says: ‘A unique lighting system reflects the phases of the moon’ 

The Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in the Highlands of Iceland is beautifully captured in this photograph by Judith Kohn. She notes that it was a 'cool minus six degrees Celsius' when she took the picture, which takes the bronze award in the 'Landscapes' category for non-professional photographers

The Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in the Highlands of Iceland is beautifully captured in this photograph by Judith Kohn. She notes that it was a ‘cool minus six degrees Celsius’ when she took the picture, which takes the bronze award in the ‘Landscapes’ category for non-professional photographers

Vietnamese photographer Khanh Phan captured this dramatic picture of a man fishing as a storm approaches, which takes the silver award in the 'People' category for professional photographers

Vietnamese photographer Khanh Phan captured this dramatic picture of a man fishing as a storm approaches, which takes the silver award in the ‘People’ category for professional photographers 

This otherworldly picture by photographer Talia Greis shows an 'impressive' cluster of water lilies in a water-filled sinkhole in a Mexican rainforest. It takes the gold award in the 'Underwater' category for professional photographers

This otherworldly picture by photographer Talia Greis shows an ‘impressive’ cluster of water lilies in a water-filled sinkhole in a Mexican rainforest. It takes the gold award in the ‘Underwater’ category for professional photographers

Scooping the top prize in the 'Aerial' category for professional photographers, this striking picture shows a polar bear crossing melting sea ice during the summertime in Canada's Nunavut territory. It's the work of photographer Florian Ledoux

Scooping the top prize in the ‘Aerial’ category for professional photographers, this striking picture shows a polar bear crossing melting sea ice during the summertime in Canada’s Nunavut territory. It’s the work of photographer Florian Ledoux 

Describing this vibrant shot, photographer Andrea Michelutti says: 'This mantis shrimp embraces and protects its treasure: thousands of eggs.' It takes the silver medal in the 'Underwater' category for non-professional photographers

Describing this vibrant shot, photographer Andrea Michelutti says: ‘This mantis shrimp embraces and protects its treasure: thousands of eggs.’ It takes the silver medal in the ‘Underwater’ category for non-professional photographers

Look carefully at this stunning photograph of a lake in Peru's Manu National Park and you'll spy a spectacled caiman, a species of reptile, lurking in the water, which is mirroring Mauritia palm trees by the shore. The picture takes the silver medal in the 'Nature' category for professional photographers

Look carefully at this stunning photograph of a lake in Peru’s Manu National Park and you’ll spy a spectacled caiman, a species of reptile, lurking in the water, which is mirroring Mauritia palm trees by the shore. The picture takes the silver medal in the ‘Nature’ category for professional photographers

Impressing the judges, this close-up photograph of a nectar bat feeding by photographer Gianni Maitan takes the top prize in both the 'Nature' and the 'Wildlife' category for non-professional photographers. It's the work of Gianni Maitan

Impressing the judges, this close-up photograph of a nectar bat feeding takes the top prize in both the ‘Nature’ and the ‘Wildlife’ categories for non-professional photographers. It’s the work of Gianni Maitan

Titled 'Double Trouble', this shot of two dogs was captured by French photographer Giovanna Arnaud Fleming. It bags the silver award in the 'Domestic Animals' category for professional photographers

Titled ‘Double Trouble’, this shot of two dogs was captured by French photographer Giovanna Arnaud Fleming. It bags the silver award in the ‘Domestic Animals’ category for professional photographers 

Photographer Heike Willers snared this shot of her pet dachshund, Kluftinger, on one of their 'early morning walks' in the German city of Wiesbaden. The dog is silhouetted by the lights of a railway station. The image takes the silver medal in the 'Domestic Animals' category for non-professional photographers and also scoops the People's Vote Award in the same category

Photographer Heike Willers snared this shot of her pet dachshund, Kluftinger, on one of their ‘early morning walks’ in the German city of Wiesbaden. The dog is silhouetted by the lights of a railway station. The image takes the silver medal in the ‘Domestic Animals’ category for non-professional photographers and also scoops the People’s Vote Award in the same category

This lushly-coloured shot shows the first frost on the Carp River, which runs through Michigan's Upper Peninsula region. Captured by photographer Cameron Wilcox, it takes the bronze award in the 'Aerial' category for non-professional photographers

This lushly-coloured shot shows the first frost on the Carp River, which runs through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula region. Captured by photographer Cameron Wilcox, it takes the bronze award in the ‘Aerial’ category for non-professional photographers 

Le Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden in Marrakech, Morocco, is the subject of this shot, which takes the bronze award in the 'Travel' category for non-professional photographers. Rebecca Crichton, who captured the image, says the gardens, which were once owned by the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, 'celebrate the usage of rich vibrant colour and are truly a feast [for] the eyes'

This eye-catching portrait of a Sphynx cat named Djaxx was captured by Pieter Clicteur and takes the bronze award in the 'Domestic Animals' category for professional photographers

LEFT: Le Jardin Majorelle, a botanical garden in Marrakech, Morocco, is the subject of this shot, which takes the bronze award in the ‘Travel’ category for non-professional photographers. Rebecca Crichton, who captured the image, says the gardens, which were once owned by the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, ‘celebrate the usage of rich vibrant colour and are truly a feast [for] the eyes.’ RIGHT: This eye-catching portrait of a Sphynx cat named Djaxx was captured by Pieter Clicteur and takes the bronze award in the ‘Domestic Animals’ category for professional photographers

Photographer Wolfgang Autexier took this powerful shot of an African lion, which takes the bronze award in the 'Wildlife' category for non-professional photographers

Photographer Wolfgang Autexier took this powerful shot of an African lion, which takes the bronze award in the ‘Wildlife’ category for non-professional photographers

Taking the top prize in the non-professional category as well as the gold award in the 'Photojournalism' category, this poignant photograph shows a man scavenging at a dump in southern Angola. Photographer Joao Coelho says: 'The dump is located in an uninhabited plain on the outskirts of a small town and the people who live and work here seem to have been forgotten by the rest of the world.' He continues: 'It is at the end of the day that the dump resembles a post-apocalyptic scenario. The atmosphere is heavy, almost palpable, interspersed with the living flames of the [dump's] fires spewing toxic fumes that mix with the warm evening air'

Taking the top prize in the non-professional category as well as the gold award in the ‘Photojournalism’ category, this poignant photograph shows a man scavenging at a dump in southern Angola. Photographer Joao Coelho says: ‘The dump is located in an uninhabited plain on the outskirts of a small town and the people who live and work here seem to have been forgotten by the rest of the world.’ He continues: ‘It is at the end of the day that the dump resembles a post-apocalyptic scenario. The atmosphere is heavy, almost palpable, interspersed with the living flames of the [dump’s] fires spewing toxic fumes that mix with the warm evening air’

Behold, the picture that claims the overall prize in the professional arm of the contest. Captured in the Indian city of Kolhapur, it shows two young men who practice Kushti, a traditional form of wrestling in India, relaxing after training. One wrestler has something caught in his eye, and the other is helping him to remove it. Photographer Alain Schroeder says: 'Living and training together promotes camaraderie, solidarity and fraternity in this universe where time has stood still.' The picture also gets the gold award in the 'People' category for pro photographers

Behold, the picture that claims the overall prize in the professional arm of the contest. Captured in the Indian city of Kolhapur, it shows two young men who practice Kushti, a traditional form of wrestling in India, relaxing after training. One wrestler has something caught in his eye, and the other is helping him to remove it. Photographer Alain Schroeder says: ‘Living and training together promotes camaraderie, solidarity and fraternity in this universe where time has stood still.’ The picture also gets the gold award in the ‘People’ category for pro photographers 



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