A total of 18,920 photos have been participating in the photo contest launched by free-to-use mobile app Agora, but only one has been voted "World’s Best Photo of #Beauty2020" by the global community: congratulations to Spanish photographer @victordevalles who won the competition with a fascinating underwater self-portrait taken in Menorca.
Beauty is a universal concept which, when perceived, produces a feeling of satisfaction, pleasure, and happiness. In #Beauty2020, we can see how the meaning of beauty can be different depending on the cultures and personal points of view, though paradoxically it remains universal.
Octavi Royo, Agora's CEO & Co-Founder
Winner: 'Freediving underwater caves' by @victordevalles (Spain)
Location: Menorca, Spain
I took advantage of the quarantine to study how could I improve my underwater photography, from focus to exposure with low light. I took this photo on the first day we were allowed to leave our houses again, and I could put into practice what I had learned during the lockdown. In my photos, I usually try to transmit the beauty of the underwater world, especially in the caves by trying to capture all the dynamic range in the scene and the colors. The caves are usually quite dark and unexplored spots, but it all changes when a ray of light shines through: it shows the shapes and shadows with a lot of backlights. To me, it looks very aesthetic and uncommon to the public eye!
Discover the 49 finalist photos:
'I believe beauty comes from within' by @reqshotit (Ghana)
Location: Accra, Ghana
We did this shooting right before the COVID-19 lockdown in Accra. We wanted to portray happiness and hope, even during uncertain times. I love this particular image from the series because it illustrates perfectly the mood we were in but also shows the boldness and certainty of a better future.
'Milky Way' by @joeshellyy (UK)
Location: Arches National Park Visitor Center, USA
The core of the milky way rising up through Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah.
'Rainbow Spiral' by @aibanez (Spain)
Location: Huelva, Spain
The perfection of nature through a chameleon tail. Minimalist, but detailed. The colors, the skin, the spiral: many patterns come together to make something as simple as beautiful.
'Sunset' by @tyler.jordan.photos (USA)
Location: Bruneau Sand Dunes, Idaho, USA
I was able to go to the Bruneau Sand Dunes in Idaho for sunset where this lady was standing on the massive dunes. I quickly pulled out my camera and tried to find a composition that fit the scene and took this shot.
'Reflection of life' by @touhid_biplob (Bangladesh)
I love taking pictures during wintertime, although on this day the wind was so strong that I thought I would turn into ice. While I was sitting by the edge of the pond, I saw a man leading his two cows to the field. A perfect reflection of life.
'Peruvian beauty' by @nicoprg (France)
Location: Cusco, Peru
'Sandpipers dance' by @bachir01 (USA)
Location: Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area California, USA
It was a beautiful and rare moment to snap these fast-moving sandpiper birds in flight while being reflected with the calm water below at dusk. I was truly amazed by their rhythmic movements and their energetic expressions of a well-coordinated choreographic dance. I've been coming to this place for several years, and I have not seen anything like this before.
'Beautiful soul' by @jjnmatt (Indonesia)
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
I photographed my son praying at home. Because of the global pandemic, we weren't able to go to the mosque to pray. Despite such conditions, we still managed to get close to God through our prayers to feel peace, joy, and beauty within.
'Swallow' by @marian_fle (Germany)
Location: Worms, Deutschland
Even right at your front door, you can find the most amazing things to photograph. I live on the edge of a big field and the swallows often hang out around here.
'Studying' by @ghana_must_go (Ghana)
Location: Accra, Ghana
'Rainbow wedding' by @fedepagola (Uruguay)
Location: Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
This couple was getting married at one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand. The shooting conditions were challenging because it was very windy, so I decided to step away to capture the wind in the white veil. I wanted to transmit love and beauty, the rainbow helped me a lot!
'The dawn' by @kynhongbui (Vietnam)
Location: Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm, Vietnam
'Beautiful eyes' by @alinalsun (Bangladesh)
Location: Barisal, Bangladesh
I played with the shadows to strengthen the power of the child's glance.
'New York' by @alan_gallo (Italy)
Location: New York City, USA
I was in a helicopter tour throughout New York's bustling skyline, and I took this shot right when the lights of the Empire State Building switched on.
'Warrior' by @lightpalmer (Tanzania)
Location: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
This female warrior from the Hadzabe tribe in northern Tanzania has been trained to protect the wild animals.
'Llum' by @xopet1969 (Spain)
Location: Barcelona, Spain
No matter how slow you go, the important thing is to keep moving forward.
'Shanghai sunrise' by @panvelvet (Russia)
Location: Shanghai, China
'Tulips' by @marionstoffels (Netherlands)
Location: Midden-Drenthe, Netherlands
Every year around April, the tulip fields burst into full bloom around the country. The most beautiful time of the year if you ask me! This photo was taken in the early morning at sunrise when the tulips are still closed and waiting to open later during the day.
'Beauty' by @alexdeangelis_ (Italy)
Location: Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy
The beauty is not only in the eyes, but also in the colors of life.
'Amanecer en puente Vasco de Gama' by @izlemus (Spain)
Location: Vasco da Gama Bridge, Lisboa, Portugal
A show worth seeing! Built on the occasion of the Expo 98 World Fair, the Vasco da Gama Bridge connects the northern and southern parts of Portugal. With a length of 12,3km, it is the longest bridge in the European Union.
'Common Kingfisher and Lotus' by @sagorphotos (Bangladesh)
Location: Mohanpur Upazila, Rajshahi District, Bangladesh
Although seeing Common Kingfishers is quite normal in the area, photographing it on a Lotus flower is another story! To take this shot, I had to wait and focus for 5 hours. To me, the combination of the Common Kingfisher and Lotus flower represents the complete harmony of nature.
'Purple dahlia beauty' by @ rodolfoclautier (El Salvador)
Location: Montgomery, USA
'Pray on the river' by @mrkphotographer (Vietnam)
Location: Hue, Vietnam
During the national holidays in Vietnam, it's a tradition for people to release candles on the river in order to pray for health and peace.
'Family portrait' by @abdulmomin (Bangladesh)
Location: Bogra, Bangladesh
'Details' by @drnik1987 (India)
Location: Himachal Pradesh, India
My wife offered me this rose for our wedding anniversary. As a photographer, I had never tried to look into the inner beauty of flowers, so I gave it my best shot. This photo is very special to me.
'Through the walls of colorism' by @kreativekwame (Cameroon)
Location: Long Street, Buea, Cameroon
The photo shows an Albino male looking straight into the eyes of the viewer with a smirk, telling them: "I can see through the dark walls (stares, discrimination) that I’m in. I assert my beauty and I accept my skin".
'Midway Geyser Basin' by @jassensf (USA)
Location: Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone, USA
This is one of my most favorite areas to explore from above while flying my plane. I am always inspired to witness and photograph, and the first time to do so during the winter. According to recent studies, there is a Super Volcano under the entire park. Taking photos while flying a plane is very challenging but also extremely rewarding. You literally have wings!
'The mustache' by @pitokung (Indonesia)
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
I had a great time photographing this fearsome, beautiful jaguar.
'Walking through art' by @blakehobson (Canada)
Location: Ven a la Luz, Ahau Tulum Resort, Mexico
The South African artist Daniel Popper built this imposing wooden sculpture as part of an art and cultural festival in Tulum.
'Duality' by @cannonmatt (UK)
Location: Death Valley, California, USA
I aimed to express the beauty of the Mojave desert by focusing on it's soft contrasting patterns.
'Open running' by @withchris (UK)
Location: Plemont beach, Jersey, UK
During this lockdown period, a lot of us have struggled with maintaining a fitness regime. When the lockdown guidelines did gradually ease on the island of Jersey, I was finally allowed to take the drone out and head to my favourite beach. I noticed this man running laps during low tide and managed to talk to him as he noticed my drone, and he said that this has been his gym while they’ve been closed. He’s loved the change of being in the fresh open air rather than run on a treadmill. He had found his new happy place.
'Endlich erwacht die Natur wieder in allen Formen und Farben' by @wunderbilder (Germany)
Location: Saalfeld, Germany
I just laid down in my garden and photographed all kinds of flowers very closely. I love the kind of abstract macro photography that makes you wonder "What is this?" and invites you to stare at it until you find out. I usually take pictures with manual autofocus and rotate until the picture looks good.
'The beauty of Landmannalaugar' by @santicozar (UK)
Location: Landmannalaugar, Iceland
'Timeless' by @e.stis (Italy)
Location: Petra, Jordania
'Come un balletto' by @lefotodiannae (Italy)
Location: Oasi Sant’Alessio con Vialone, Italy
I wanted to transmit the beauty and elegance of these majestic flamingos. It seemed like they were performing in a ballet.
'Freedom beach' by @michelle.wandering (Netherlands)
Location: Phuket, Thailand
It was like we had found paradise.
'The beauty of nature and its elements' by @sixthlens (Italy)
We got to this place after an exhausting walk, pitched our tents, watched the sunset, and lit the fire. With this shot, I wanted to represent a moment of peace of mind in connection with the natural elements. This valley is known to be a land of magic between reality, myth, and fantasy.
'Standing beauty' by @sakinamahama_ (Ghana)
Location: Accra, Ghana
I want to blend the Western and African styles, using western earrings and African print clothing.
'Survival of the fittest' by @nisad (Bangladesh)
Location: Panchagarh, Bangladesh
It took me 5 days to get this photo of a blue-tailed bee-eater in action. Through my photo, I want to show the world that food chains are essential and need to be protected. Birds are essential to maintain the balance of earth and nature.
'Heavenly place' by @artempikalov (Russia)
Location: Manjuyod sandbar, Philippines
It was an unforgettable trip to the Philippines. The highlight was this sandy island with crystal clear water: a real paradise, although the wind was so strong that I almost lost the drone!
'Staring at dusk' by @lensapriyo (Indonesia)
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Beauty can radiate from different points of view.
'Practicing Social Distance' by @poletaev.photo (Russia)
Location: Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic
The main idea behind this photo was to highlight the solitude in the crowd. My beautiful wife lies on the pavement with her lantern, while people go by and ignore her. But at the same time, it looks like she's flying, so this is an inspiring solitude and not a depressing desolation. We shot this long before the pandemic, but the idea behind this photo resonates quite well with current events.
'Sunshine' by @aburizchi (Indonesia)
Location: Serpong, Indonesia
These two kids were playing an ancient traditional game, Egrang, on a sunny morning day. With this photo, I wanted to illustrate the happiness and simplicity of growing up in the countryside. l
'Terciera' by @jprphotos (UK)
Location: Azores, Portugal
If I could run away from this whole situation and escape back here, to this beautifully isolated island, believe me I absolutely would...
'Creating beautiful hand embroidery' by @olgacristal (Portugal)
Location: Algarve, Portugal
I want to convey the beauty of manual work as well as the patience and dedication that is put into it.
'Sunset in Singapore' by @jaywu10 (Singapore)
Location: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
It was a rainy day and I didn't expect such a nice sunset. Just before the sky got dark, the clouds turned pink and purple to my biggest surprise.
'Forward to the autumn' by @drummer_vn (Ukraine)
Location: Vinnytsia, Ukraine
I caught this red car driving through the beautiful autumn forest while flying my drone in the Ukrainian countryside.
'Lone Paddler' by @above_and_beyond_visuals (UK)
Location: Jersey, UK
'Waterfall beauty' by @maxbuiting (Netherlands)
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