Cape Town photographer Justin Sullivan has again been nominated for the prestigious Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, for a striking image of an elephant butchered by poachers.

Moscow - The 2019 Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest launched online voting on the website on Thursday, allowing Internet users to pick their favourite entry.

The online vote for the contest’s best photo will be open until July 31, 11:59 pm Moscow time [20:00 GMT]​​​. Anyone who has an account on VKontakte, Facebook, Twitter or the Chinese platform Weibo is eligible to vote. The results of the vote will be announced on August 1.

The online vote has become a long-standing tradition of the contest, Oksana Oleinik, the curator of the Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest and head of the Visual Projects Service at Rossiya Segodnya, said. For the fourth year in a row, the vote shows the global audience’s growing interest in photography as well as the quality of the contest, she added.

"Modern flow of information is a global world of visual imagery that does not need to be interpreted. The number of people who appreciate photography grows every year, and the audience is becoming more selective. What they want to see is not just a colourful image, but rather a story behind it. The online vote always creates intrigue. Will Internet users make the same choice as a professional jury? In early August, we will find out the audience’s shortlist favourites, while in September, we will see the names of the winners selected by the professional international jury. Of course, we will also reveal the biggest secret of all – the name of the Grand Prix winner," she said.

The winners of the contest will be announced at a special ceremony in Moscow in September. The same month, the photo exhibition will be opened together with the launch of the traditional world tour of the winning entries.

The international photo contest was first organized in December 2014 in memory of Russian photojournalist Andrei Stenin who was killed while on assignment in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine on August 6, 2014, after his car was shot at and burned on a highway.

The contest was launched by Rossiya Segodnya under the aegis of the Russian Commission for UNESCO. The photo contest aims to promote young photographers and attract public attention to photojournalism.

In 2019, the general media partners of the contest include the news website Vesti.Ru and the Russian Rossiya-Kultura TV channel.

The international information partners of the contest include Sputnik International Information Agency and Radio, Askanews Information Agency, Independent Media Holding, Notimex News Agency, ANA News Agency, RT channel and website, Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), China Daily website, PNA news agency, AlYoum AlSabee newspaper and website, The Paper website, Al Mayadeen media network, Prensa Latina Information Agency, The Nation media group and Renminwang website.

The industry partners supporting the contest are the Russian Photo and websites, School of Visual Arts, Academy of Photography, the YOung JOurnalists information portal, National Geographic Russia magazine, the Contrastes magazine, the Fotoargenta magazine, the All About Photo website, Cuartoscuro magazine, Delhi Photography Club, EYE Photo magazine and PhotON festival as an international partner.