2023 Hasselblad Masters Winners Show the Best in Fine Art Photography

On the left, a wooden house is covered in snow with two dogs playing in front. Snow is falling from a gray sky. On the right, a man wearing glasses and holding a mask under his chin and a bouquet of red roses looks from outside a window at a woman holding a phone.

Hasselblad has announced the winners of its prestigious Hasselblad Masters 2023 competition.

It was a huge edition of the biannual contest, with more than 85,000 photos entered. This is a 35% increase in total entries compared to the previous 2021 Hasselblad Masters competition.

Hasselblad Masters 2023 included six categories, Landscape, Architecture, Portrait, Art, Street, and Project//21, and welcomed entries from established professionals, emerging talents, and photographers under the age of 21.

Each category winner earns the title of “Hasselblad Masters” and receives a Hasselblad X2D 100C medium-format camera, two XCD Series lenses, and a EUR 5,000 cash prize, about $5,350. Each winner will also work with Hasselblad on a collaborative project and be up for inclusion in a commemorative Hasselblad Masters book. The winners were selected through public voting and decisions by a professional grand jury.

“Being a jury member for this year’s Hasselblad Masters competition has been an exciting and challenging process, as the high level of quality in submissions made selection difficult. A word that comes to mind when looking at the winning contributions is sensemaking,” explains Stefan Jensen, photographer and curator at the Hasselblad Foundation. Jensen was the Grand Jury Chair for the 2023 competition.

“All but one category featured photographs in their original definition — a subject in front of the camera. They range from documentary to staged images and collages, but what they have in common is that they are a reflection of reality. This competition’s photographers open doors for viewers to understand and make sense of their surroundings, demonstrating the strength of the photographic image in contemporary times,” Jensen continues.

Without further ado, the category winners.


Chinese photographer Weimin Chu won the Landscape category with their series, “Tibetan Landscape from the Train Window.” The images show traditional Chinese landscapes integrated with modern development and industrialization, and Chu creates frames within frames, using the train carriage interior as part of the composition, taking viewers on a journey through time and place.

View from the window of a train compartment showing a vast desert landscape with a green fence and distant mountains. Inside the compartment, a table with a tray, jar, and some items on it is visible. Blue curtains frame the window on either side.
© Weimin Chu

“This series of works was shot in the trains of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and the Lalin Railway. Through the train windows, the traditional natural landscapes and the social landscape photography of the times are combine,” says the photographer. “On the way to Tibet by train, I was inspired by Chinese photographer Wang Fuchun’s ‘Chinese on the Train’ and American photographer Lee Friedlander’s ‘America by Car,’ and I came up with the idea of using trains, a large-scale means of transportation in China. ”

Person wearing a hat looks out of a train window at a scenic mountain landscape with pink blossoms and a river valley. Several bottles sit on the windowsill. Snow-capped peaks and lush greenery are visible under a partly cloudy sky.
© Weimin Chu
A cozy train compartment with two bunk beds and a small table in between. On the table, there is a thermos and a red cup. The window reveals a stunning view of a vast, calm lake with mountains in the distance and a bird flying by under a clear blue sky.
© Weimin Chu

“These landscapes with a sense of humanity send me on a trip across various locations. The color pallet is soft and refined, and intensely balanced,” remarks Anne Farrar, Assistant Managing Editor of Photography at National Geographic and Grand Jury member.


Finnish photographer Tiina Itkonen’s winning series, “Home,” turns the lens toward Inuit hunters, their families, and their remote wooden houses in Greenland.

A small red house covered in snow sits by a calm body of water with a backdrop of snowy mountains under a cloudy sky. The house has a single door and several windows, with snow piled around its base.
© Tiina Itkonen

“What I love about this series is its freedom to let the building live in a space. There’s a softness to the pallet which reflects the simple architecture on a quiet landscape,” says Farrar.

A small, weathered wooden cabin stands on stilts in a snowy, desolate landscape. The cabin has a steep, snow-covered roof with a ladder leaning against it. The background features a clear blue sky and expansive frozen terrain.
© Tiina Itkonen

Since 1995, Itkonen has regularly visited Greenland to photograph the Arctic landscape and its inhabitants. Starting in 2017, she began documenting the traditional lives of the country’s Indigenous population, particularly how their way of life faces an existential threat from climate change.

A small wooden house covered in snow during a snowfall stands against a gray sky. Two dogs are seen in the foreground playing in the snow, adding life to the serene, wintry landscape.
© Tiina Itkonen


“Bicycle Street Sellers of Jakarta” documents Indonesia’s cycling culture during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indonesian photographer Panji Indra Permana initially focused on lifestyle portraits, but the series transformed into one that looked at people who rely on bicycles as part of their lives and jobs.

A woman in a red hijab and orange shirt stands with a blue bicycle loaded with baskets and containers. She smiles at the camera, with a gray backdrop placed behind her and a residential area visible in the background.
© Panji Indra Permana

Although bicycles are viewed as an environmentally friendly mode of transportation in many countries, in Indonesia, they have long been a symbol of privilege. Through his series, Permana hopes to promote a healthy lifestyle that is better for the environment.

The series’ style is also quite interesting, thanks to Permana’s use of artificial lighting and a backdrop in the real world.

A man standing next to a bicycle with various items for sale, including bags of snacks and small toys. The bike is old and equipped with a wooden box for storage. The backdrop is a simple gray screen set up in a grassy park area with trees in the background.
© Panji Indra Permana
An elderly man with glasses and a black hat stands beside a bicycle laden with bunches of bananas. He holds a walking stick and is positioned against a backdrop with lush greenery. The scene evokes a setting of simple street-side commerce.
© Panji Indra Permana

“By using a backdrop and flash, the photographer plays on the historical aspects of studio photography, bringing out elements reminiscent of historical paintings,” says Stefan Jensen.

And yes, Permana travels around with all his gear on a bicycle, which sometimes must be quite challenging.


Belgian photographer Jan Pypers’ series” Diorama” also examines humans’ connection with nature, although in a different way than the photographers above. Pypers blends a diorama-like approach to create a surreal set of photographs that simultaneously seem carefully constructed yet serendipitous.

Two swimmers in blue and orange swim caps stand on a metal structure over a misty body of water. Other figures are visible in the background, including one in mid-dive and another standing. A whale's tail emerges from the water under a foggy sky.
© Jan Pypers
A serene forest scene featuring a wild boar walking along a fallen log on the left, and three people walking in a field in the background. Two bicycles lean against trees in the foreground, one on the ground. Sunlight filters through the trees, creating a peaceful atmosphere.
© Jan Pypers

“The photographer skillfully balances what looks like a documentary scene with added elements that make us question their reality,” Jensen explains.

“The series explores our lost bond with nature, inspired by traditional dioramas and modern digital representations. It urges reconnection and respect with nature,” the photographer says. “I used Photoshop to merge several photos. Contrary to what many think, I do not use 3D or artificial intelligence, but old film techniques such as scale models and forced perspective.”

Four children in hiking gear stand at the base of a large rock in a misty, wooded area, observing a wild mountain goat perched at the top. The ground is covered in moss and scattered rocks, and the background shows tall trees in a foggy setting.
© Jan Pypers


Transportation is a consistent theme throughout the Hasselblad Masters 2023 competition. British photographer Tom Pitts took top honors in the Street category with his series, “The Commute,” which shows people at bus stops and in transit.

A man wearing glasses and a partially removed face mask holds a bouquet of red roses wrapped in brown paper while looking through a glass window. In the foreground, a person wearing a headscarf appears slightly blurred, focusing on their phone.
© Tom Pitts

“I wanted to capture and share the stories and moments that take place every day during people’s commutes and the underlying beauty that passes us by,” Pitts says.

A silhouetted person sits alone by a rain-splattered bus window. Through the adjacent window, a blurred figure is seen walking with an umbrella in the rainy weather outside. The image contrasts the cozy interior with the wet, gloomy exterior.
© Tom Pitts

The photographer captured the images in his hometown of Cheltenham and London in 2023.

A person with gray hair and a distressed expression rests their hand on their forehead, pressing against a foggy, raindrop-covered window. Another indistinct figure can be seen in the background, also blurred by the window.
© Tom Pitts

“The artist has captured moments that create a poignancy and narrative, essential to successful Street Photography,” says Andy Saunders, Senior Vice President at Getty Images and Grand Jury member.

Project // 21

“Let’s marvel at these tiny faces and remember to respect all life forms, no matter how small. Insects are vital to our ecosystem, pollinating plants and maintaining balance in nature. You don’t have to travel far to witness nature’s wonders — just step outside and look closely,” says Dutch photographer Efraïm Baaijens of his award-winning series, “Tiny Titans.”

Close-up photo of a blue dragonfly facing forward. The insect's large, compound eyes and intricate facial features are clearly visible. Its antennae, delicate legs, and detailed wing structures can be seen resting on a pale, lacy plant material.
© Efraïm Baaijens
Close-up photograph of a praying mantis's head, showcasing intricate details. The mantis has large, purplish compound eyes, long segmented antennae with dark metallic-like tips, and spiny forelegs against a smooth, dark pink background.
© Efraïm Baaijens
Close-up of an insect's head against a pink background. The image prominently features the large, multifaceted compound eyes which have an intricate pattern and a shiny, reflective surface. Fine hair-like structures are visible around the head and antennae.
© Efraïm Baaijens

“Beautifully executed,” comments Saunders. “We’re drawn into believing these insects have character and what they might be ‘thinking.'”

More About Hasselblad Masters

The Hasselblad Masters Competition was established in 2001 and has become one of the world’s most prestigious photography contests.

Image credits: All images courtesy of the 2023 Hasselblad Masters Competition. Each photographer is credited in the photo captions.