Edinburgh Global

Photo competition winners - Extraordinary Edinburgh

The annual student photography competition winners have been announced! The competition was open in Semester 1 under the theme ‘Extraordinary Edinburgh’. Open to international students and students who have had a study or work away experience, the submissions totalled close to 300 photos.

2022 winners

Alison Sears – 1st prize

"My home base is Atlantic Canada. I’m studying Public Health."

The Meadows in Edinburgh on a sunny autumn morning with long shadows from the trees.

About Alison's image

"Morning Sunlight - Taken mid-October on a crisp fall morning with a blanket of fog settled on the grass and the sun streaking through the trees. Features Edinburgh’s morning commuters on the iconic Meadow Walk."

How does it feel to win? 

"I am on cloud nine; it was a great surprise!"

Judge’s comment

"There's great symmetry and composition in this picture and the light is lovely which conveys a sense of calmness. The inclusion of the people and cyclist silhouetted between the trees gives a sense of scale. There were quite a few entries that featured The Meadows, which shows just what an important space this is for students, but this image just had the edge."

Junkai Zhang – 2nd prize

"I come from Liaoning Province, China. I’m doing a PhD in Engineering."

The swirling rooftop of the St James' quarter building in Edinburgh at dusk.

About Junkai's image

"St James’ Quarter - The new landmark of Edinburgh in the twilight from the top of Calton Hill."

How does it feel to win?

"I feel very excited to win the prize in this competition, which inspires me to take more beautiful and high-quality photos. I will continue to share the beautiful world with people through my camera in the future."

Judge’s comment

“A nicely timed shot from an unusual, elevated angle featuring the new St James' Quarter. They've just caught the right time of day: the lights are on in the city but there is still some nice ambient light in the sky giving the overall image lovely orange and purple tones.”

Daniel Planovsky – Abroad category prize

"I am Slovakian but lived in Luxembourg since I was 5. I was on an exchange in Sydney. I’m studying Biological Sciences."

Sydney Harbour Bridge silhouetted against and orange sky.

About Daniel's image

"Overlooking the harbour bridge during sunset while on exchange at the University of Sydney. Sunset chasing with my exchange friends was a major part of my exchange experience, we sometimes used to plan our days according to what spot in the city we would be watching the sunset from. I happened to have my camera on one of these occasions and managed to capture the image."

How does it feel to win?

I am so surprised I wasn’t expecting it at all, and I’m really glad.”

Judge’s comment

“Whether it's sunrise or sunset, the colours in the sky have been captured perfectly and exposed well so as to silhouette the bridge and skyline.”

Rathanon Phattanakovit – Campus category prize

McEwan Hall ceiling details

"I come from Thailand. I study in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, but my hometown is Trang, a province in the south of the country. I’m studying Management (MSc)."

About Rathanon's image

"The beautiful pattern of the motif and aesthetic sequence within shapes colours and textures around the corridor inside the McEwan Hall. This photo inspires and boosts my energy. When you feel tired you will find beautiful things around you; head up and do your best."

How does it feel to win?

"I am very grateful to join this competition and this prize which gives me more passion to continue capturing all the memorable and beautiful moments further.."

Judge’s comment

"Nice asymmetric composition showing just a quarter of the interior of the McEwan Hall giving a nice abstract view of the University's most iconic building. The exposure and focus is perfect."



Elizaveta Belkina – City category prize

"I’m from Germany. I’m studying Biological Sciences."

Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh, in the fog with a solitary figure crossing the street.

About Elizaveta's image

"Ghost Town - If ghosts were real they would be in Edinburgh."

How does it feel to win?

“It feels incredible, I wasn’t expecting it, so it is really an amazing surprise. I love the photo and I am really happy that I got to share it with others. I love to capture moments and I think that people make a city, so this photo, to me, really captures both.”

Judge’s comment

“Lovely observed atmospheric moment of a man walking along Waverley Bridge in the haar. Even though the picture has been taken in colour it looks almost monochrome and is typical of one of those dreich days that many Edinburgh residents would be familiar with.”

Black and white scene of a crowd of people with their camera phones capturing something out of shot.

Rui Wang – People category prize

"I'm Taiwanese, born and raised in Beijing. I’m in my second year of a Film and Television degree."

About Rui's image

"Taken on 13 September 2022 this photograph captured the crowd gathered to watch Queen Elizabeth's coffin leaving Saint Giles Cathedral. This photograph is a reminder that the life we live in order to photograph mustn't become a commemoration of itself."

How does it feel to win?

“I’m surprised. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to get any prize from the competition; but a small ego boost can never be bad.”

Judge’s comment

“I like this shot because it makes you think of lots of questions? What is everyone in the scene looking at?  A nice record of a moment in history and very telling of the times with almost everyone in the scene holding a phone. It fits the brief for the People category perfectly.”



Dominique dos Santos Ferreira – Principal’s choice

"I'm Portuguese, born and raised in Germany. I was a visiting researcher in Comparative and European Private Law (LLM)."

Beams of light shine upwards from Edinburgh Castle sitting in the city skyline

About Dominique's image

"The picture was taken during one of the iconic military tattoos, a summer night in 2022, on Salisbury Crags. It is a great place to watch the fireworks. I took the picture because I was mesmerised by the interplay of spotlights, city lighting, and the clean, starry sky. The picture is not faithful to the sentiment you will experience up there when it gets calm and dark. And I guess that is why I chose this photo: as an invitation."

How does it feel to win?

"Frankly, I had forgotten about the competition and did not expect to win any prize at all. So this was quite the surprise, a sudden burst of glee! I am happy to have shared something that at least one other person seemed to enjoy as well."

Arthurs Seat sits behind the buildings of Edinburgh on a sunny day.

Aleen Salman – People’s choice

"I am Pakistani, but lived in Dubai for 12 years. I’m studying Business Management (MA Hons)."

About Aleen's image

"Captured from 40 George Square. The Edinburgh city maze beckoning hills for an easy escape and temperamental skies."

How does it feel to win?

“So good! Thank you to everyone who voted.”