The SIENA International Photo Awards (SIPA) allows photographers, both professional and amateur to capture a mature awareness towards different cultures, allowing the viewer to have an understanding of places, of populations and of people. Supported by Art Photo Travel, a non-profit association that aims to promote traditions, cultures and natural beauty across the globe, there are 11 categories in total, including portraits, architecture, nature and storyboards. SIPA marks the start of the Art Photo Travel Festival, which will be held in Siena, Italy, for 30 days with a range of major events and exhibitions. IBTimesUK presents a selection of some of the winners and those who were commended for the 2016 Siena International Photo Awards:

SIPA Contest Photo of the Year: Sardine Run by Greg Lecoeur (FR) The overall winner.

During the sardines' migration along the coast of South Africa, all marine predators are looking for sardines! I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time to photograph their capture.

Siena International Photo Awards
Greg Lecoeur/ SIPA

Storyboards: Missing in action: Homeless women veterans by Mary F. Calvert (US).
Women veterans are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States and are four times more likely to become homeless than civilian women. Women who have survived Military Sexual Trauma are the most hidden population of homeless women and often flounder in unsafe relationships, live in their cars or endure drug-infested motels to avoid shelters or the streets.

The terminal. Last stop Eidomeni by Antonio Gibotta (IT).
It is a stream of souls that is crossing half Europe on foot. It is difficult to estimate the people who are still in the camp of Eidomeni in Greece, but we could estimate a number between 12,000 and 15,000 people, without any hope left of passing the border. The rain and the closing of the border made many people leave the camp. Some went toward Albania, where, on the border with Greece, there seem to be around 1,000 people who were stopped by the police. They all search for some firewood to warm themselves in front of the thousands and thousands of summer tents sunk in the mud.

Open Colour: Phan Rang fishing net making ,Vietnam by Danny Yen Sin Wong (MY).
In a small village in southern Vietnam near Phan Rang, a woman wearing a typical cone hat is creating a fishing net in their traditional manner. The manufacturing of handmade nets is still a typical Vietnamese activity for women which they carry on while their husbands are out fishing.

Siena International Photo Awards
Danny Yen Sin Wong/ SIPA

Makkah3, Saudi Arabia by Majid Alamri (OM).
A multitude of observant Muslims hold the traditional circumambulation ritual around the Kaaba, an ancient building located in the center of Mecca, which is the holiest place for the Islam community.

Siena International Photo Awards
Majid Alamri/ SIPA

Open Monochrome: A man feeding swans in the snow, Poland by Marcin Ryczek (PL)
Taken from the Grunwald bridge in Krakow, Poland

Siena International Photo Awards
Marcin Ryczek/ SIPA

Desert Kid by Fadhel Almutaghawi (BH).

Siena International Photo Awards
Fadhel Almutaghawi/ SIPA

Architecture: Women Reflection, Abu Dhabi by Ali Al Hajri (AE).

Siena International Photo Awards
Ali Al Hajri/ SIPA

Less is More by Cristina Paladini (IT).

Siena International Photo Awards
Cristina Paladini/ SIPA

Nature: Senzazioni, Etna in Eurozione, Cesarò (ME) by Giuseppe Mario Famiani (IT).

Siena International Photo Awards
Giuseppe Mario Famiani/ SIPA

La Foresta in Fiamme by Marco Gaiotti (IT).

Siena International Photo Awards
Marco Gaiotti/ SIPA

People and Portrait: The Outsiders by Justine Tjallinks (NL).

Siena International Photo Awards
Justine Tjallinks/ SIPA

Liza, Zaporozhye City - Ukraine by Paul Apal'kin (UA).

Siena International Photo Awards
Paul Apal'kin/ SIPA

Sport: Knock Out 05, Ghent, Belgium by Eric Tkindt (BE).

Siena International Photo Awards
Eric Tkindt/ SIPA

Travel: The Bedouin Boy, Oman by Habib Alzadjali (OM).

Siena International Photo Awards
Habib Alzadjali / SIPA

Wildlife: Sharing Reseources, Tromsø, Norway by Audun Rikardsen (NO).

Siena International Photo Awards
Audun Rikardsen/ SIPA

Orangutan in the rain, Bali, Indonesia, by Andrew Suryono (ID).

Siena International Photo Awards
Andrew Suryono/ SIPA

Wine: Chinese wine making, China Hebei mud Wine Co. Ltd by Xiaolong Guo (CN).

Siena International Photo Awards
Xiaolong Guo/ SIPA

Student: Okulsárlón Beach, Iceland, by Spencer Cox (US).

Siena International Photo Awards
Spencer Cox/ SIPA