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This image of British photographer Jonathan Banks, taken in the capital of Liberia, Monrovia, is the overall winner of the Siena International Photo Awards competition of 2019. Called a boy in the crowd, it shows a child in a festival crowd guarded by armed soldiers trying to catch his ball. Banks, an award-winning professional photographer and British Red Cross volunteer, said: & # 39; At this specific three-day festival on the outskirts of Monrovia in 2008, the audience was tens of thousands. I started by photographing the soldiers, but then turned into what was more interesting in the crowd. I had circled this soldier when suddenly from the crowd this boy leaned toward his precious ball, afraid of soldiers and their guns. All of this happened in an instant and resulted in this image, which seems to represent the precariousness of peace, seen through the eyes of a young child with little understanding of the greater dynamics that play. All he knew was, he wanted his ball back, but also to stay safe & # 39;

Staring at the prize-winning images of the Siena International Photo Awards 2019 is something of a roller coaster experience.

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Because they surprise, shock and melt the heart – and break the heart.

The jury members searched 187 photographers from 54 countries before deciding on the winning and nominated images in 10 categories – 20 of which we present.

The overall winner is a captivating photo of a boy trying to find his ball behind an armed guard in Liberia, made by British photographer Jonathan Banks.

He had to deal with some very talented competition, as our selection shows.

Other images that caught the eyes of the jury include a crocodile feeding frenzy in Zambia, President Trump for a portrait of Hillary Clinton and a leopard seal bursting out of the water trying to catch a penguin. Scroll down for a photographic feast for the eyes.

This image of British photographer Jonathan Banks, taken in the capital of Liberia, Monrovia, is the overall winner of the Siena International Photo Awards competition of 2019. Called a boy in the crowd, it shows a child in a festival crowd guarded by armed soldiers trying to catch his ball. Banks, an award-winning professional photographer and British Red Cross volunteer, said: & # 39; At this specific three-day festival on the outskirts of Monrovia in 2008, the audience was tens of thousands. I started by photographing the soldiers, but then turned into what was more interesting in the crowd. I had circled this soldier when suddenly from the crowd this boy leaned toward his precious ball, afraid of soldiers and their guns. All of this happened in an instant and resulted in this image, which seems to represent the precariousness of peace, seen through the eyes of a young child with little understanding of the greater dynamics that play. All he knew was, he wanted his ball back, but also to stay safe & # 39;

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This image of British photographer Jonathan Banks, taken in the capital of Liberia, Monrovia, is the overall winner of the Siena International Photo Awards competition of 2019. Called a boy in the crowd, it shows a child in a festival crowd guarded by armed soldiers trying to catch his ball. Banks, an award-winning professional photographer and British Red Cross volunteer, said: & # 39; At this specific three-day festival on the outskirts of Monrovia in 2008, the audience was tens of thousands. I started by photographing the soldiers, but then turned into what was more interesting in the crowd. I had circled this soldier when suddenly from the crowd this boy leaned toward his precious ball, afraid of soldiers and their guns. All of this happened in an instant and resulted in this image, which seems to represent the precariousness of peace, seen through the eyes of a young child with little understanding of the greater dynamics that play. All he knew was, he wanted his ball back, but also to stay safe & # 39;

Surfing monster waves up to 100 feet high is an extreme activity in Nazaré in Portugal, another is cutting into a safety harness and walking along a rope between a lighthouse and a rock, while the Atlantic Ocean rages everywhere. This stunning image of the Australian Aidan Williams shows a daring neck trying the precarious crossing. It has earned Mr Williams the third prize in the Sports in Action category

Surfing monster waves up to 100 feet high is an extreme activity in Nazaré in Portugal, another is cutting into a safety harness and walking along a rope between a lighthouse and a rock, while the Atlantic Ocean rages everywhere. This stunning image of the Australian Aidan Williams shows a daring neck trying the precarious crossing. It has earned Mr Williams the third prize in the Sports in Action category

Surfing monster waves up to 100 feet high is an extreme activity in Nazaré in Portugal, another is cutting into a safety harness and walking along a rope between a lighthouse and a rock, while the Atlantic Ocean rages everywhere. This stunning image of the Australian Aidan Williams shows a daring neck trying the precarious crossing. It has earned Mr Williams the third prize in the Sports in Action category

This beautifully lit shot by William Burrard-Lucas of British black rhino in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya, wins first prize in the Animals in their Environment category

This beautifully lit shot by William Burrard-Lucas of British black rhino in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya, wins first prize in the Animals in their Environment category

This beautifully lit shot by William Burrard-Lucas of British black rhino in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya, wins first prize in the Animals in their Environment category

This incredible photo taken in Karawang, Indonesia, has become second in the Beauty of Nature category. It shows a snail that seems to give a lizard a kiss

This incredible photo taken in Karawang, Indonesia, has become second in the Beauty of Nature category. It shows a snail that seems to give a lizard a kiss

This incredible photo taken in Karawang, Indonesia, has become second in the Beauty of Nature category. It shows a snail that seems to give a lizard a kiss

This surprising confrontation was recorded by photographer Liang Wu in Shanghai. The image is on the shortlist in the Beauty of Nature category
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This surprising confrontation was recorded by photographer Liang Wu in Shanghai. The image is on the shortlist in the Beauty of Nature category

This surprising confrontation was recorded by photographer Liang Wu in Shanghai. The image is on the shortlist in the Beauty of Nature category

This amazing image shows a giant whale shark under a fishing platform in the Teluk Cenderawasih National Park, Indonesia. It is on the shortlist in the Animals in their Environment category

This amazing image shows a giant whale shark under a fishing platform in the Teluk Cenderawasih National Park, Indonesia. It is on the shortlist in the Animals in their Environment category

This amazing image shows a giant whale shark under a fishing platform in the Teluk Cenderawasih National Park, Indonesia. It is on the shortlist in the Animals in their Environment category

This amazing shot, made by Eduardo del Alamo from his boat in Antarctica, shows a gentoo penguin - the fastest penguin in the water - fleeing for its life from a leopard seal. The image is on the shortlist in the Animals in their Environment category

This amazing shot, made by Eduardo del Alamo from his boat in Antarctica, shows a gentoo penguin - the fastest penguin in the water - fleeing for its life from a leopard seal. The image is on the shortlist in the Animals in their Environment category

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This amazing shot, made by Eduardo del Alamo from his boat in Antarctica, shows a gentoo penguin – the fastest penguin in the water – fleeing for its life from a leopard seal. The image is on the shortlist in the Animals in their Environment category

This image of a cute seal pup has received an honorable mention in the Animals category in their area. It was taken in Lake Baikal, Russia

This image of a cute seal pup has received an honorable mention in the Animals category in their area. It was taken in Lake Baikal, Russia

This image of a cute seal pup has received an honorable mention in the Animals category in their area. It was taken in Lake Baikal, Russia

The amazing power of the tiger is captured in this beautiful statue of Shouzhi Wang. It is nominated in the category Animals in their environment

The amazing power of the tiger is captured in this beautiful statue of Shouzhi Wang. It is nominated in the category Animals in their environment

The amazing power of the tiger is captured in this beautiful statue of Shouzhi Wang. It is nominated in the category Animals in their environment

This funny photo of a polar bear photographing in Svalbard, Norway, is shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category
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This funny photo of a polar bear photographing in Svalbard, Norway, is shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category

This funny photo of a polar bear photographing in Svalbard, Norway, is shortlisted in the Journeys & Adventures category

The first prize in the Beauty of Nature category goes to this drone recording in Zambia of around 100 crocodiles that devour a dead hippo in a nourishing frenzy. It is the work of the Spanish photographer Ignacio Medem

The first prize in the Beauty of Nature category goes to this drone recording in Zambia of around 100 crocodiles that devour a dead hippo in a nourishing frenzy. It is the work of the Spanish photographer Ignacio Medem

The first prize in the Beauty of Nature category goes to this drone recording in Zambia of around 100 crocodiles that devour a dead hippo in a nourishing frenzy. It is the work of the Spanish photographer Ignacio Medem

This fascinating image of Mt Seorak in South Korea is shortlisted in the Beauty of Nature category

This fascinating image of Mt Seorak in South Korea is shortlisted in the Beauty of Nature category

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This fascinating image of Mt Seorak in South Korea is shortlisted in the Beauty of Nature category

The American Yousef Bohamed has been rewarded with a shortlist in the Beauty of Nature category for this shot, taken in Svalbard, Norway

The American Yousef Bohamed has been rewarded with a shortlist in the Beauty of Nature category for this shot, taken in Svalbard, Norway

The American Yousef Bohamed has been rewarded with a shortlist in the Beauty of Nature category for this shot, taken in Svalbard, Norway

This surprising photo of mating pigs, taken in Ashulia, Bangladesh, has been nominated in Journeys & Adventures

This surprising photo of mating pigs, taken in Ashulia, Bangladesh, has been nominated in Journeys & Adventures

This surprising photo of mating pigs, taken in Ashulia, Bangladesh, has been nominated in Journeys & Adventures

The American photojournalist Matt McClain has the category & # 39; Best author & # 39; of this year with top images recognized in multiple categories, including this heartbreaking, called Memorial Day. It shows a young boy sitting next to his deceased father's headstone during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery

The American photojournalist Matt McClain has the category & # 39; Best author & # 39; of this year with top images recognized in multiple categories, including this heartbreaking, called Memorial Day. It shows a young boy sitting next to his deceased father's headstone during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery

The American photojournalist Matt McClain has the category & # 39; Best author & # 39; of this year with top images recognized in multiple categories, including this heartbreaking, called Memorial Day. It shows a young boy sitting next to his deceased father's headstone during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery

The Italian Alessio Paduano has earned the top prize in the Documentary and photojournalism category for this photo, Life and Death in the Mediterranean Sea. It caught a gripping rescue operation for migrants off the Libyan coast

The Italian Alessio Paduano has earned the top prize in the Documentary and photojournalism category for this photo, Life and Death in the Mediterranean Sea. It caught a gripping rescue operation for migrants off the Libyan coast

The Italian Alessio Paduano has earned the top prize in the Documentary and photojournalism category for this photo, Life and Death in the Mediterranean Sea. It caught a gripping rescue operation for migrants off the Libyan coast

This shocking image has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category. It was taken by Theodore Jeptha in an illegal congregation in Port Elizabeth and caught the moving moment in 2018 when a father threw his baby daughter off the roof of a hut. Fortunately, she was caught by a policeman and was not injured. The father, accused of attempted murder, claimed that his actions were protesting the demolition of his house

This shocking image has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category. It was taken by Theodore Jeptha in an illegal congregation in Port Elizabeth and caught the moving moment in 2018 when a father threw his baby daughter off the roof of a hut. Fortunately, she was caught by a policeman and was not injured. The father, accused of attempted murder, claimed that his actions were protesting the demolition of his house

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This shocking image has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category. It was taken by Theodore Jeptha in an illegal congregation in Port Elizabeth and caught the moving moment in 2018 when a father threw his baby daughter off the roof of a hut. Fortunately, she was caught by a policeman and was not injured. The father, accused of attempted murder, claimed that his actions were protesting the demolition of his house

This image, taken in 2017, has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category. It was taken when President Trump surprised a White House travel party with an appearance for an official portrait of Hillary Clinton

This image, taken in 2017, has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category. It was taken when President Trump surprised a White House travel party with an appearance for an official portrait of Hillary Clinton

This image, taken in 2017, has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category. It was taken when President Trump surprised a White House travel party with an appearance for an official portrait of Hillary Clinton

This incredible image, nominated in the Documentary and Photojournalism category, was taken at the & # 39; Scheepskerkhof & # 39; in Chittagong, Bangladesh. It shows employees in the process of scrapping a huge container ship. About 200 ships are taken apart here every year

This incredible image, nominated in the Documentary and Photojournalism category, was taken at the & # 39; Scheepskerkhof & # 39; in Chittagong, Bangladesh. It shows employees in the process of scrapping a huge container ship. About 200 ships are taken apart here every year

This incredible image, nominated in the Documentary and Photojournalism category, was taken at the & # 39; Scheepskerkhof & # 39; in Chittagong, Bangladesh. It shows employees in the process of scrapping a huge container ship. About 200 ships are taken apart here every year

This eye-opening photo of a yellow cardigan protest in Paris has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category
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This eye-opening photo of a yellow cardigan protest in Paris has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category

This eye-opening photo of a yellow cardigan protest in Paris has been nominated in the Documentary and photojournalism category

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