It’s prestigious competitions like the Military Visual Awards that affords photographers a glimpse at images we may normally never see and the winning images from this year’s awards are truly spectacular. 2020’s contest saw over 2000 entries from military photographers all over the globe, giving us an insight into what these professional image-makers line-up in front of their lenses on a daily basis.
This year’s big winner was Dana Beesley, a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, who received the highest military photography honour as the 2020 MVA Photographer of the Year, with her portfolio of images impressing a panel of judges that included Tom Brenner, a White House photojournalist for Reuters and Ariana Drehsler, a freelance photographer for the New York Times.
The winner of the Combat Documentation category was named as Daniel Parker, which captured this heart-stopping frame showing soldiers assigned to 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, stack up against a simulated door for a silhouette charge.
In the Portrait category, Astrid Amtén from Sweden captured this frame showing tank conscripts guarding the royal castle in Stockholm using a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera.
Great imagery can sometimes be all about viewpoint and a great example of this is Cody Hendrix’s image of U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, C-130 pilots and crew arrive at Naval Air Station Pensacola with the team’s new C-130J Super Hercules, which netted Cody first place in the Pictorial category.
A stunning image showing man and machine helped Joshua Seybert take first place in the Hardware category. His image shows a technician working on the thrust reverser fan duct on a C-17 Globemaster III engine and was captured on a Nikon D5.
Rebecca Brown brought a fine-art approach to this image of a Gurkha Recruit at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, UK. The image, which was captured with a Nikon D5 paired with a 50mm lens, was named as 2nd place winner in the Portrait category.
First place in the Feature category went to Dutch photographer Aaron Zwaal who captured the commander of Zr. Ms. De Ruyter and some of his crew walking in the desert of Dubai using a Canon 1DX Mark II paired with a 70-200mm lens.
First Place in the News category went to Trevor Cokley, for an image showing the U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2020 graduates toss their hats skyward as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds roar overhead during the graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs.
Also placing in the Hardware category was this dynamic frame from UK military photographer Timothy Hamlin, which shows a medical evacuation Stryker, assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, under a night sky and was captured using a Nikon D810.