My favourite capture of 2022

CAPTION: "The Rohingya camp fire of March 2022"

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "this is very powerful and has documented a significant event. It shows the scale of it with so many people in the image from foreground to background. The sun shining through the smoke shows the volume and the drama/urgency. Everyone is looking on and it is impossible to imagine the concern everyone must be feeling, even though the photos gives some sense of this. The composition works really well, roughly to the rule of thirds, which provides balance and easily draws the eye through the image."

Caption: “They told us not to play in the mud.”

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "a lovely and natural photo of the children playing that makes me feel as though I’m there with them. Works really well in black and white. Interesting juxtaposition of the barbed wire in the background and a sense that the joyful play of the children should be in an equally joyful environment."

CAPTION: "In the last five years of camp life, everything changed except our fate. Five years is enough."

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "a really strong portrait that makes the viewer think about the image and the message. The colour palette and composition is really pleasing to the eye and draws the eye straight in. The eye contact through the hand adds to the power of the image. As a campaign image it gives voice to someone who is usually invisible to the wider world."

CAPTION: "An entire family struck down by dengue fever."

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "there is a lot going on in the image which provokes emotion and questions. There is the rather poignant display of UNICEF rucksacks against a very bare living space. It speaks to this family being in a situation that they have little control over. It wasn’t immediately obvious that everyone is ill, I thought perhaps they were resting but the eye contact in the foreground draws you into the image and leads you to look at each group in turn. The caption was important for putting this all in context. It works well as a stand alone image but would also work well in a photoessay."

CAPTION: "Rohingya children come to play in the water after school or maktab and they call their times in Myanmar."

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "a great photo capturing the activity within a wide scene. The composition is well thought out, the rule of thirds works well here, as does the contrast of black and white against the moody sky."

CAPTION: Hoping & dreaming of returning to Myanmar - before we die in this mega camp."

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "this is an image that creates lots of questions and makes you think about what it represents and what the family is looking at. There is a nice use of colour and the contrast of the blue sky against the dirt. The photographer could try framing the family in different places to see how this alters the balance of the image. Because they are slightly off centre, it feels unbalanced. Rule of thirds might work well here."

CAPTION: "Rohingya refugee children somewhere in the world's largest refugee camp."

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "This image gives the viewer lots to consider especially with the branding visible in the foreground which echoes the children holding hands in the background. I looked at this a few times before I spotted the child in the foreground, it would have more impact if she were a few steps along with the sunlight on her. The colour contrast of orange and blue with the silhouette of the children on the horizon is great. Lots of thought has gone into this."

CAPTION: "One of the most harrowing stories I have reported. Relative of trafficked person showing pic of boat adrift at sea."

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "it is a pity that the image on the phone can’t be seen a little better but it is still clearly powerful showing the connection between people who are far from each other and concerned for the situation they are in. It gives an insight into the people left behind as well as the experience of those who are trafficked and the dangers they are put through."

CAPTION: "In Maungdaw, I had chickens, ducks and goats. I left them all behind after 9 October (2016).

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "an interesting documentary style image with lovely use of colour with the pink and blue against the bland ground. It would be interesting to see the result if the camera was a little lower, even looking up slightly at the woman. The caption helps to provide context but even without, there is a good sense of what this image conveys."

CAPTION: "Shahid playing hide and seek behind the tarpaulin wraps of a refugee shelter."

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "a lovely bold and colourful portrait that engages the viewer. Isolating the eyes makes the image interesting and fun. Its simplicity adds to the strength of the image."

CAPTION: "Annual flooding in the Rohingya camps is a huge public health concern."

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "a really strong image, especially so because the child is turned towards the camera whilst everyone else is moving away. It shows the flooding very clearly and the diagonal line draws the eye across the water to the group of people. There is a clear feeling of action. It’s a well balanced image to look at as well as the content being powerful."

CAPTION: "How we live in Kutupalong Camp 2E"

JUDGE'S COMMENT: "a great composition and use of colours, shapes and textures. Lots to look at and consider in the image. It gives a sense of scale as well as capturing an individual activity within the whole scene."

This competition asked photographers to submit their favourite photo from their own captures from 2022. Dr Natasha Hirst, FRSA, Vice-President of National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Chair of the Photographer's Council of the NUJ was requested to judge the competition.

She writes: 

"These images are all important because they show life inside the camp from the point of view of people who live there. Minoritised groups sharing stories from their own perspective exposes aspects of life that would otherwise remain unseen or be misrepresented from the outside.  It's important to empower people to document their lives and have control of their own narratives. "

The 12 selected images  (in alphabetical order) are by 

Ro Yassin Abdumonab, Ro Mon Sur Ali, Saiful Arakani, Laila Begum, Mohammed Ederis, Nur Hasan, Sahat Zia Hero, Ro Rezaul Islam, Ry Mg Mg Sa, Shofika, Mohammed Zonaid, Md. Zubair

The 4 award winners are: Ro Yassin Abdumonab, Ro Mon Sur Ali, Nur Hasan & Mohammed Zonaid.  

Dr Natasha Hirst kindly provided feedback for all entrants. All the submitted images may be viewed in our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

In the interests of transparency, Shafiur Rahman personally provided the cash awards for the award winners.  Dr Natasha Hirst performed the judging on a voluntary basis.