George Doupas (3rd, L) and Stephen Shaver (1st, L), both first prize winners, pose for pictures at the award ceremony of the 2013 Beautiful Beijing in the Eyes of Foreign Friends Photo Contest held in Beijing on Dec. 12, 2013. The photo contest was hosted by the Beijing People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. (Photo by Zhang Junmian/China.org.cn)
"Beijing is a beautiful city which presents many possibilities to photography enthusiasts," George Doupas, a freelance photographer from Greece, said at the award ceremony of the 2013 Beautiful Beijing in the Eyes of Foreign Friends Photo Contest held in Beijing on Thursday.
Doupas, with his photo "Curves and Lines," shared the first prize together with Stephen Shaver, chief photographer from the United Press International China Bureau.
50 photos stood out from a total of 4,168 entries taken by 180 photographers from 57 countries in this year's contest: two were awarded the first prize, four the second prize and eight the third prize; another 36 received the Award of Excellence.
"I took the photo at Galaxy SOHO at dusk, and it resembles the terraced fields in south China's Guangxi (Zhuang Autonomous Region,)" said Doupas, who has been in Beijing for four years.
In Doupas' eyes, the complex's lines are both delicate and impressive. He said, "Beijing has a rich history, rich culture and many great architectural buildings, both ancient and contemporary."
Shaver, a veteran photographer, said that his award-winning "Chinese soldiers" was taken earlier this year at a welcoming ceremony hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The photo captured the Chinese soldiers performing their honor guard task.
"I like the photo so much," a visitor commented. "Just the right moment makes for a great photo."
"Annual Red Dress Charity (Hashers) Run," another photo taken by Shaver, won an Award of Excellence.
Francisco Little, an expert from South Africa, still very much likes his masterpiece entitled "Peaceful Corner." He said, "I took it at the Palace Museum after the first snow in the winter of 2011." The photo won second prize.
The photo contest, an annual event initiated by the Beijing People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in 2009, aims to offer a platform for communication among photography enthusiasts across the world and help them learn more about Beijing.
The event is very popular among expats. "We have received more than 17,000 photos from nearly 1,000 photographers of about 80 countries over the past five years," Zhao Jiaqi, president of the non-profit organization, said when unveiling the Five-Year Review Exhibition of the photo contest.