Royal Photographic Society exhibition winners

Beach by David Baker Image copyright Beach by David Baker

The winners of this year's Royal Photographic Society (RPS) International Print Exhibition have been announced and include work by both professional and amateur photographers.

The RPS exhibition has been held 156 times since it began in 1854 and this year attracted nearly 5,000 entries from 1,285 photographers, spread across nearly 60 countries. It truly is a global competition.

That said, the top three spots went to three photographers from Italy. Antonio Busiello won a gold award, Mattia Vacca a silver and the under-30s award was won by Michele Palazzi.

The pictures are judged anonymously by the selectors who this year were commercial and fine art photographer Ray Spence FRPS; Sophie Batterbury, picture editor of The Independent on Sunday; Anthony Holland Parkin, director of editorial content at Getty Images; contemporary portrait photographer Kate Peters; and fine art photographer Bill Jackson.

Here are the winners and a selection of other pictures that were chosen.

Image copyright Antonio Busiello
Image caption Antonio Busiello, The Cullatore, winner of the Gold Award. The "cullatori" are men who have large calluses on their shoulders from bearing the weight of large wooden structures at the annual Festival of the Lillies in Nola, southern Italy. Busiello said: "I was impressed by how proudly they wear their huge calluses as symbols of their sacrifice and devotion to Saint Paulinus."
Image copyright Mattia Vacca
Image caption The Silver Award went to Mattia Vacca for this image entitled S'Ardia - Introduction to family life in Barbagia. This boy is being taught how to fire the gun in the air as part of an initiation rite at the end of a race run by 100 horse riders.
Image copyright Michele Palazzi
Image caption Michele Palazzi was working on a story in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia when he captured this picture during a sandstorm.
Image copyright Benjamin Fox
Image caption Untitled by Benjamin Fox ARPS
Image copyright Harry Borden
Image caption Gillian Anderson by Harry Borden
Image copyright Sergey Anisimov
Image caption Home from a Maternity Hospital by Sergey Anisimov
Image copyright Steve Smith
Image caption Master by Steve Smith FRPS
Image copyright Carlotta Cardana
Image caption Matt & Fay by Carlotta Cardana
Image copyright Guy Brown
Image caption Katie by Guy Brown FRPS
Image copyright Paul Wenham-Clarke
Image caption The Urban Gypsies of the Westway by Paul Wenham-Clarke
Image copyright Emma Powell
Image caption Against the Storm by Emma Powell

The exhibition opens at Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford on 20 July 2013 before moving on to venues around the country. All the selected images can be seen online.