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The stunning finalists of the 2019 Agora world photography awards

Cradling chimps and Bob Marley-inspired fishermen: The stunning images that made it through to the final of the 2019 Agora world photography awards

  • Michael Aboya’s photograph ‘Songs of Freedom’ won coveted Best Photo of the Year at 2019 Agora Awards 
  • Is among 50 images that made it through to final of the prestigious competition after 130,000 submissions 
  • Mr Aboya, who was born in Nigeria, aims to inspire a change in the way people perceive Ghana and Africa 

A striking Bob Marley-inspired shot of local kids from fishermen’s families in Ghana has been crowned the winner of a prestigious photography competition.

Michael Aboya’s powerful snap ‘Songs of Freedom’ was shot in Labadi, one of Ghana’s oldest neighbourhoods in the coastal part of Accra, and earned him a cool £25,000.

It is among 50 images that made it through to the final of the competition, after nine months of judging and more than 130,000 submissions from photographers all over the world.

The vision for his photo, which has won the coveted Best Photo of the Year at the 2019 Agora Awards, came to Mr Aboya when he was sat at home, listening to Bob Marley.

As soon as ‘Redemption Song’ started playing, the 24-year-old self-taught snapper knew he wanted to bring the legendary song to life through his lens.

Mr Aboya, who was born in Nigeria but moved to Accra aged 13, aims to inspire a change in the way people perceive Ghana and Africa in general through his photos.

His photos celebrate the love he feels for his country, by creating cheerful and optimistic representations of the life that surrounds him.

‘Motherly love’ by Santiago López: This image by photographer Santiago Lopez, entitled ‘Motherly Love’, was among the 50 pictures that made it through to the final. It shows a mother gently cradling her child on a piece of wood at a zoo in Tenerife. López spent two hours at the Loro Parque zoo in Tenerife, Spain, to capture his image

‘Songs Of Freedom’ by Michael Aboya: Michael Aboya’s powerful snap ‘Songs of Freedom’ was shot in Labadi, one of Ghana’s oldest neighbourhoods in the coastal part of Accra, and earned him a cool £25,000. The vision for his photo, which has won the coveted Best Photo of the Year at the 2019 Agora Awards, came to Michael when he was sat at home, listening to Bob Marley

‘Colors of life’ photographed by Pranab Basak: In India, this photographer captured seven female fishermen standing in bright blue water as they tried to collect fish to later sell at a market

‘Run and fun’ photographed by Ling Ling: Three young monks have fun along the Hsinbyume Pagoda. She took the photograph in March 2019

‘Sand wasp with prey’ by Imam Primahardy: This sand wasp is seen carrying a fly to eat at a later date in Surabaya, Indonesia

‘Mother’s goodness’ by Phyo Moe: A baby bird opens its mouth as the mother returns with a catch in Myanmar

‘Farming’ by Diep Van: Shot of the rice fields in Northern Vietnam, where workers plant the rice seedlings for the upcoming harvest

‘East Java’ by Jonathan Rogers: Taking this shot without getting his lenses soaked was a hard exercise for this photographer in Tumpak Sewu Waterfall, East Java

‘Dark Disneyland’ by Tommi Matz: Vertical panorama of the Neuschwanstein Castle

‘Echoes of the Unknown’ by Clement Eastwood: The photographer wanted to display the cordial relationship between a man and a beast

‘Eid prayer’ by Azim Ronnie: The Eid prayer is celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, after the fasting during the holy month of Ramadan

‘Fire Fighter’ by Tanveer Rohan: Locals and firemen work as a team to fight a fire caused by a power incident in Bangladesh

‘Expressions’ by Asim Ijaz: In Pakistan, Ijaz approached a saint, someone who dedicates their life to their shrine, and took a photograph

‘In retrospect’ by Patricia Soon: Lonely man looking at the horizon in Kobe, Japan

‘Hearts on the sea’ by Nguyen Phan Xuan: Aerial photos of fishing nets in Vietnam

‘Incense work’ by Khánh Phan: In Vietnam, incense is known to connect living people with ancestors and gods. When you burn incense, you’re communicating with the gods

‘L’espurna que fa que tot comenci’ by Albert Castañe: Correfocs during traditional Catalan festival, where groups dressed as devils light firework in the crowd

‘La mujer que espera’ by Paula Aranoa: Pictured in a salami shop in Rome, Piazza de la Rotonda

‘Rain’ by Perry Wunderlich: Portrait of the photographer’s father under the rain in Germany

‘Preparing for 1000 Takjil Iftar Ramadan Kareem’ by Dharma Kurniawan: Three volunteers serve 1000 plates of chicken and rice prepared for the Iftar in Indonesia, an evening meal in which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset

‘Oeil de zèbre’ by Sara Pinto Marin: This image of a zebra was taken at the Madrid safari in Spain

‘Nature always wins’ by Charlie Berthaume: Shipwreck graves in Brittany, France. Some boats have been there for more than 100 years

‘Out at sea – MSC Orchestra’ by Cameron Aird: Entry from the contest’s youngest finalist, a 18-year-old photographer from the Jersey Channel islands. The cruise boat was visiting the harbour close to his hometown

‘Rainy day’ by Hendy MP: Red-Eyed Tree Frog in West Java, Indonesia

‘Reitdiephaven’ by Anskar Lenzen: Long exposure sunset shot in the District in the city of Groningen, Netherlands

‘Reaching for Heaven’ by Konrad Paruch: The Mont Saint Michel, France, lost in the middle of the fog

‘Sea of Ice’ by Florian Ledoux: The professional wildlife photographer took this photo in Antarctica, where crabeater seals use the ice to rest after their meals

‘Rainbow Reine’ by Paal Lund: Double rainbow spotted as the photographer was crossing a bridge in the Lofoten islands in Norway

‘Six feet under’ by David Carbonell: Foggy morning in Ukraine, where the photographer spotted a man digging a grave with his bare hands in a little cemetery

‘Snow Horseman’ by Zay Yar Lin: Winter shot from Mongolia

‘Boys’ by Diego Campomar: The photographer wanted to portray the equality between two human beings in Uruguay

‘Blue eye’ by Pedro Luis Ajuriaguerra Saiz: The photographer pictured his son running through the City of Arts and Science, in Valencia

‘Among the white umbrellas’ by Aung ThuYa: A woman makes traditional umbrellas at a factory in Mandalay, Myanmar. The production of a traditional umbrella cannot be done by a single person or within a day: there is a division of labour in the making of a single umbrella. Each worker is responsible for different parts to finish one umbrella

‘Ant balancing the earth’ by Analiza De Guzman: It took the photographer 4 hours to take this shot of an ant carrying water drops spreaded on a piece of thread in the Philippines

‘Alone in the desert’ by Carles Alonso: The shot was taken from a high dune in Morocco, where Nomads are moving through the Sahara desert

‘Dancer’ by Markellos Plakitsis: Taken at the Peace and Friendship stadium in Athens 

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