Squirrel playing hide and seek tops CEWE Photo Award 2019

Squirrel playing hide and seek tops CEWE Photo Award 2019
'Hide-and-seek with a ground squirrel' topped the Animals category, and took top prize, in the CEWE Photo Awards 2019 (Image credit: Ina Schieferdecker)

Leading lights from the photography industry gathered in Vienna to celebrate the winners of the CEWE Photo Award 2019 – the world’s largest photo competition. 

Twelve talented photographers were rewarded for their achievements in 10 categories, which were themed around ‘Our World is Beautiful’, a call to search for the good in times of increasing global conflict. 

The CEWE Photo Award 2019 received over 448,000 entries; submissions were made online, and each entrant could enter up to 100 images. The competition is open to all photographers – professionals, hobbyists, amateurs and everyone in between. 

The winning image, of a squirrel playing hide and seek, was shot by Ina Schieferdecker from Germany, and topped the Animals category. 

Ina Schieferdecker from Germany collects her overall winner's prize from president of the CEWE Photo Award jury, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and CEWE chairman Dr Christian Friege

Ina Schieferdecker from Germany collects her overall winner's prize from president of the CEWE Photo Award jury, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and CEWE chairman Dr Christian Friege (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Ina will now enjoy a holiday of her choice worth €15,000, plus €7,500 of photography equipment and €2,500 of CEWE products. 

And the second to 10th place winners each receive €5,000 of photography equipment and €2,500 of CEWE products. 

Although the prizes were very generous, organisers CEWE was keen to stress that these awards are not a commercial event – 10 cents of every photographic submission went to charity, so €44,815.20 was donated to SOS Children’s Villages. 

Established for over 50 years, CEWE is the largest photo printing service in Europe, delivering millions of photo products each year including wedding photobooks, greetings cards and holiday snaps. 

The competition was judged by a panel of recognised industry experts, including established British music photographer Christie Goodwin, who has worked with artists such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.

All the winners of the CEWE Photo Award 2019 gathered on stage at the end of the event

All the winners of the CEWE Photo Award 2019 gathered on stage at the end of the event   (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

View the winning entries of the CEWE Photo Award 2019  

Animals category winner: 'Hide-and-seek with a ground squirrel' by Ina Schieferdecker (Germany) Ina came to Vienna to take pics of squirrels, and got this shot while she was setting up her camera equipment. (Image credit: Ina Schieferdecker)

Special award winner: 'Downstairs' by Klaus Lenzen (Germany) Klaus Lensen won this award for his shot taken in a government building in Berlin. He set the camera up and had to wait 20 minutes before someone walked into the shot – the man wasn't added during editing. “A real picture,” noted Yann Arthus-Bertrand.  (Image credit: Klaus Lenzen )

People category winner: 'Everyday life' by Janusz Nadolski (Poland) The image was shot in Grochowice, Poland, and the dog belongs to the grandmother of Janusz’s wife. The judges noted how colour  links the elements in the composition of this photo, and how it could have been called “Everyday beauty” instead.  (Image credit: Janusz Nadolski )

Nature category winner: 'Bunny Jumping' by Czaba Daróczi (Hungary)  Czaba captured this image of rabbits “love dancing” in a national park in Hungary, while he was positioned 10m away. They were wild rabbits and he gave them rabbit food – what looks like water is actually sand.  (Image credit: Czaba Daróczi)

Hobby and Leisure category winner: 'The Pool, revisited' by Anders Andersson (Sweden) One of Anders’ friends can be seen floating in the middle of the image; the other people received ice cream-shaped incentives to appear. “I would have loved to have taken this one myself,” commented Yann Arthus-Bertrand. (Image credit: Anders Andersson)

Humor category winner: 'The Coat' by Alice van Kempen (The Netherlands) Alice took her dog Claire to an abandoned house in eastern Europe to get this shot. (Image credit: Alice van Kempen)

Sport category winner: 'Jump' by Thorsten Becker (Germany) Taken in Gran Canaria, Thorsten was on his knees on a skateboard to move at the same speed as the model. Although they were shooting for 20 minutes, he nailed it with this – the first shot.  (Image credit: Thorsten Becker)

Architecture and Infrastructure category winner: 'Insomnia III' by José Antoine Costa (France) José Antoine laid on the ground to get this mesmerising image of a street canyon in Hong Kong – a megacity he finds fascinating.  “Perfect lines, and a combination of natural and artificial light sources,” said the judges.  (Image credit: José Antoine Costa)

Landscape category winner: 'Mystical Lands' by Cosmin Stan (Romania) Cosmin was touring in a Romanian national park to photograph red deer. During blue hour early one autumn morning, they turn up but he was able to get this shot instead. “I’ve got nothing to say about this photo,” said Yann Arthus-Bertrand. “It’s perfect.”  (Image credit: Cosmin Stan)

Travel and Culture category winner: 'Balance' by Annemarie Berlin (Germany) Travelling in Myanmar in 2014, Annemarie was getting a boat back home and heard about a fisherman who controlled his boat using one leg. She asked him if she could take a picture – he didn’t like it at first, but the eye contact makes the image feel natural.  (Image credit: Annemarie Berlin)

Food category winner: 'Bread Boat' by Cihan Karaca (Turkey) Cihan is a teacher who travels a lot and loves to explore, although his trip to Vienna to collect this award was his first time out of Turkey. This image of a grandmother baking bread and proud that she can still feed the family aged 65 shows happiness and joy, said the judges, who noted the “special light” in the image.  (Image credit: Cihan Karaca)

The president of the CEWE Photo Award jury was world-renowned photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

Commenting on the overall winner, he said: “Ina Schieferdecker’s winning image is the perfect combination of everything that makes a photo great: idea, design and technique – with a dab of humour thrown in. A real winner with symmetry, pastel colours and excellent technique.”

Dr Christian Friege, chairman of the board of CEWE and one of the seven judges of the contest, said: “Just over 448,000 photographers showed that our world is beautiful and we saw 10 outstanding examples of photography at the ceremony.

“Of the 20 categories, none was shot on a smartphone, but this may not be the case next time. It doesn’t matter, though, because what matters is the eye of the photographer, and their imagination.”

The next CEWE Photo Awards will be launched at Photokina in Cologne, Germany, from 27-30 May 2020.

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Niall Hampton

Niall is the editor of Digital Camera Magazine, and has been shooting on interchangeable lens cameras for over 20 years, and on various point-and-shoot models for years before that. 

Working alongside professional photographers for many years as a jobbing journalist gave Niall the curiosity to also start working on the other side of the lens. These days his favored shooting subjects include wildlife, travel and street photography, and he also enjoys dabbling with studio still life. 

On the site you will see him writing photographer profiles, asking questions for Q&As and interviews, reporting on the latest and most noteworthy photography competitions, and sharing his knowledge on website building.