‘One Shot’ Contest Winners Exemplify Emotion of Black and White Photos

On the left, two birds fly among trees with hanging moss and beams of light in a monochromatic setting. On the right, a close-up of a lion's head, eyes closed, with rich mane detail against a black background, also in black and white.

The Exposure One Awards have announced the winners of the 2024 One Shot Photo Contest, and they are an incredible showcase of the emotional power of black and white photography.

“The images that rose to the top enrich our experience of the world by helping us see through others’ eyes or by sharing something new and unexpected,” explains Exposure One. “From the front lines of war to images stretching the boundary of what a photograph can be, these images inspire, delight, and dare.”

This year’s winning photographers, split into professional and non-professional categories, hail from over 50 countries.

Overall Winners

A black and white image of a cockfighting ring surrounded by a large crowd of spectators. Two roosters are engaged in a fight at the center of the ring, and dozens of people are intently watching the event from all sides. Signs in Thai script are visible at the top.
“Feathered Warriors: A Moment of Suspense” by Paul Lukin — 1st Place Professional

“In the heart of the cockpit, two majestic roosters soar through the air,” explains photographer Paul Lukin. “Their feathers ruffle in the intensity of the moment. Surrounding them, a captivated crowd holds their breath, their eyes fixed on the airborne spectacle unfolding before them.”

A black and white aerial image of a swirling river with white birds flying over it, creating a striking contrast between the dark water and foamy currents. The scene appears abstract due to the patterns formed by the water and light.
“Absense” by Silke Hullmann — 2nd Place Professional

This image shows that flamingos are still beautiful birds even when their iconic pink colors are absent. A flock of wading birds is seen here flying over the marbled waters of Lake Magadi in Kenya.

Black and white photo showing a large, unexploded missile lodged in the center of a remote dirt road. The landscape is barren with sparse vegetation and a cloudy sky. Trees and shrubs line the road's edges in the background.
‘Journey to the Frontline’ by Lenka Klicperová — 3rd Place Professional

“I had just arrived in the village of Terny, newly conquered by the Ukrainian army. The Russians were only a short distance away, and they were not yet willing to give up this territory. We were still under artillery fire. There were still many dead bodies of Russians lying in the village, the Ukrainian dead bodies had already been removed. It looked like the Second World War,” explains photographer Lenka Klicperová in an interview.

“Being on the front lines in Ukraine is extremely dangerous. I have worked in many conflicts before – from Africa to Afghanistan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Iraq, and Syria, but nowhere was it as dangerous as here,” she continues.


Black and white photograph of two children lying side by side with closed eyes. Dappled light filters through a textured surface above them, casting intricate shadows on their faces and bodies. Their expressions are peaceful and relaxed.
‘Brothers’ by Olga Steinepreis — 1st Place Non-Professional

“Two brothers are so different, but sometimes they are as one. They quarrel, but cannot live long without each other. After all, neither of them two recall a time before he had a brother,” says Steinepreis.

A black and white photo shows a large flock of sheep being herded through a dusty valley. A shepherd holding a staff is seen in the distance, with a dog nearby. The scene is enveloped in a haze from the stirred-up dust, and hills rise on either side.
‘Flock of Sheep’ by Serkan Dogus — 2nd Place Non-Professional

“Every day in the Tatvan district of Bitlis, hundreds of sheep make a dusty journey to reach the pasture. Joining the dusty journey and photographing them was an indescribable feeling,” explains photographer Serkan Dogus of his winning image.

A white dress hangs on a clothesline next to a brick wall. The angle of the photo captures the dress from below, creating a balloon-like appearance. The scene is in black and white, emphasizing the contrast between the dress and the textured brick background.
‘Totalitá’ by Loredana Sansavini — 3rd Place Non-Professional

In their native Italian, photographer Loredana Sansavini says this image “evokes birth” and symbolizes the “perpetual cycle of life.”

Selected Gold Award Winners

In addition to the top three overall winners in each group, there are also “Gold Winners” across various categories, including portrait, wildlife, street, travel, photojournalism, landscape, conceptual, abstract and minimalism, and more. There can be more than one gold award per category, so many beautiful images exist.


A serene black-and-white landscape shows distant rolling hills enveloped in mist. A line of tall, slender trees traces the ridgeline, leading to a cluster of buildings. The foreground features scattered trees partially obscured by the fog.
‘Tuscany in the Fog’ by Alberto Fornasari — Landscape
A silhouette of a person in a hat can be seen through a fogged and slightly dirty rear window of an old vehicle. The background is hazy, with barely discernible details, giving an atmospheric, mysterious feel to the black and white image.
‘Winter Feeding’ by Allen Birnbach — Photojournalism
A black and white image shows four divers on a diving platform. One diver stands on the left, observing. Another stands on a lower platform slightly to the right. One more covers his face on the upper right platform, while a last diver jumps off from a height.
‘Diving’ by Maxim Korotchenko — People
A black and white film photograph split into three segments. It features two subjects holding flowers. The left shows a seated individual looking left, the right section presents an individual with hair tied back, sitting and holding a flower, gazing forward.
‘1994 and 1999: Our Portrait’ by Man Zhu — Conceptual, Film/Analog, Other
A person stands outside a closed pharmacy on a dimly lit street, exhaling a cloud of vapor. The scene is captured in black and white, emphasizing the contrast between the illuminated storefronts and the dark surroundings.
Untitled work from the series’ Independent Mysteries’ by Michael Magers — Street
A black and white image shows a person seated among a collection of marionette puppets. The person, wearing a dark cap and glasses, holds a puppet in their lap. The puppets, depicting various human figures, hang suspended from strings against a dark background.
‘Puppet Archive — National Puppet Master’ by Wei Zhang — Conceptual
A person stands in a field of tall plants, wearing a patterned, long-sleeve dress and a wide-brimmed hat adorned with a ribbon. The hat obscures the person's face, and the ribbon trails in the wind against a clear sky.
‘The Mennonites’ by Jorge Mónaco — Portrait
A large crowd of people, mostly dressed in dark clothing, standing close together with their hands raised and arms bent at the elbows in a uniform gesture. The image is in black and white, highlighting the dense and synchronized movement of the group.
‘Mourning Ceremony’ by Emrah Karakoç — Other and Travel
Black and white close-up of a male lion with eyes closed, head tilted slightly upward, and mane illuminated softly against a dark background. The lion's facial expression appears calm and contemplative.
‘The Mane Man’ by Gary Cox — Wildlife
A black-and-white photograph showing two egrets perched on tree branches illuminated by sunlight filtering through hanging moss and dense tree foliage against a dark sky. Sunbeams create dramatic lighting amid the textured canopy and birds.
‘Paradise’ by Fenqiang ‘Frank’ Liu — Fine Art and Nature


A group of children run excitedly down a dirt path in a grassy field, flying a large kite. The sky above them is partly cloudy, and a small building is visible in the background. The scene is lively and joyful, capturing the fun of outdoor play.
‘Kite’ by Alexander Shilov — Street
A black-and-white photograph depicts four children wearing traditional clothing. One child holds up a puppet head while others look on with interest. They are gathered around a wooden table, surrounded by a mysterious mist or smoke. The setting appears to be outdoors.
‘Balinese Kids Playing’ by Asep Setiawan — Photojournalism
A black and white image featuring three modern high-rise buildings with distinct architectural designs. The left building has vertical stripes, the middle building has diagonal crisscross patterns, and the right building has an abstract, textured facade.
‘Living in Geometry’ by Dorota Yamadag — Abstract and Architecture
A bustling alley in a marketplace with beams of light streaming through the ceiling. People walk, ride bicycles, and shop at stalls on either side. The scene is in black and white, highlighting the lively yet serene atmosphere of the market.
‘Souk Light’ by Tim Jamieson — Event, Photojournalism, and Travel
Silhouette of a primate stretched out on a tree branch against a cloudy sky, with surrounding foliage in the foreground and background.
‘Shadow of the Jungle’ by Brice Tribollet — Wildlife
A lone person paddles a small canoe across a calm, misty lake. The dense fog creates a serene and mysterious atmosphere, with barely visible shoreline trees in the distance. The scene is tranquil and moody, evoking a sense of solitude and peacefulness.
‘One Man Power’ by Andriy Stepanov — Minimalism
A black and white image of a modern, intricately designed, honeycomb-like structure with multiple levels of walkways and staircases, featuring a few people scattered throughout various levels, emphasizing the geometric pattern and architectural details.
‘Capricci’ by Antonella Sacconi — Architecture
A black-and-white photo of an expansive agricultural field with neatly aligned rows of crops. The horizon meets a clear sky with a few scattered clouds, creating a tranquil and orderly landscape.
‘Made Ready’ by Larry Bean — Landscapes and Minimalism
A black and white image of a person partially obscured by translucent fabric. The person's arms are artistically posed, with one hand near their face and the other extended upward. The texture and contrast of the fabric create an ethereal and evocative visual effect.
‘Like a Tree’ by Alberto Colognato — Nude
A black and white photograph of an egret perched on a branch against a cloudy sky. The bird has its wings partially spread and is bending its long neck to preen its feathers.
‘Great White Egret Preening Ballet’ by Caroline Peppiatt

Given the sheer volume of winning photos, PetaPixel has picked 20 to feature above, but the rest can be viewed on the One Shot Photo Contest website.

Image credits: Exposure One Awards. The individual photographers are credited in the image captions.