Opening: June 1, 2018 Deadline: Professional — Recognising outstanding bodies of work (closes January 11, 2019)
Open — Rewarding the world’s best single images (closes January 4, 2019)
Youth — Best single images by photographers aged 12-19 (closes January 4, 2019)
Student — For photography students worldwide (closes November 30, 2018) Entry fee: Free Prizes: $5,000, total prize fund of $30,000, valuable prizes
We aim to showcase the best photography in the world from the past year.
Free to enter and open to all photographers, the awards’ are an authoritative voice in the photographic industry, with the power to shape the careers of its winning, shortlisted and commended photographers.
Each Spring, the hugely popular Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, featuring a selection of winning, shortlisted and commended images, is curated at the landmark Somerset House, London.
Current Affairs & News
Youth Competition A passion for photography often starts at a young age. The Youth competition, for all photographers aged 12-19, recognises this next generation of talented young photographers.
National Awards An expert panel of judges is tasked with uncovering and honoring the best single image taken by a photographer from each National Awards country, entered into any of the ten Open categories of the Sony World Photography Awards.
Student Focus Each year all registered universities are given a unique 1st challenge, with a time frame given for their students to respond and submit a single image per university. A shortlist of 10 students are then selected and given a 2nd and final challenge.
A handwritten note neatly folded and hidden in the crevice of a rock, crosses etched onto stone, ribbon carefully wrapped around piles of twigs. These are all offerings of religious devotion, known as ‘Ex-Voto’ and found at Christian pilgrimage sites worldwide. Often placed anonymously and hidden from view, pilgrims leave ex-votos as expressions of hope and gratitude, creating a tangible narrative between faith, person and the landscape. Taken at the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes, France, Ballyvourney, Ireland, and Grabarka, Poland, the project images encompass formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-life images of the objects and markers left behind. Shot on 5×4, large format film, the images evoke a distinct stillness and reflect the mysterious, timeless quality present at these sites of great spiritual contemplation. People and landscape merge as place, memory and history entwine.
The ‘Buildings’ project researches archetypal forms of architecture. When functional elements have been removed, constructions appear as pure geometrical solid shapes, seemingly uninhabitable. These buildings raise questions about the function and accessibility of architecture in both the public and private space.
In the snowy landscapes of the heights of Fukushima, I have captured the invisible pain of radiation. Inspired by Japanese engravings, I hoped to capture the fleeting moments, the ever-shifting perceptions of nature, where radiation accumulates the most. Using a Geiger counter, I measured the radioactive contamination in becquerels (Bq), a unit that expresses atomic disintegration per second. By a process of staggered super impression, I intended to show the atom’s alteration in my pictures. The transparency effects and broken perspectives give rise to a shape that is in motion, an impermanent world. I then created a vibration, a departure from the reality of the subject that reveals the presence of radiation in the image. The process reinvents and twists the very landscape, leading to a sort of vertigo, a threatening danger hidden behind the purity of the white of the landscapes. With a geiger counter, I measured the radioactive contamination’s presence in becquerels (Bq), a unit that expresses atom disintegration and its mutation’s number per second. By a process of staggered superimpression, I intended to show the atom’s alteration in my pictures. The transparency effects, the broken perspectives give rise to a shape that is in motion, an impermanent world. Then, I created a vibration, a departure from the reality of the subject that reveals the presence of radiation in the image. The process reinvents and twists the very landscape, leading to a sort of vertigo, a threatening danger hidden behind the purity of the white of the landscapes.
Every Wednesday at Spurgeon’s Academy, a school in the heart of Kibera’s maze of narrow streets, students remove the classroom furniture and sweep the floor. School uniforms are exchanged for colourful clothes. When teacher Mike Wamaya enters the classroom, the students take up positions with one hand on the concrete wall as though it were a ballet bar. Classical music plays from a portable speaker, and ballet class begins. The class is organised by the charities Annos Africa and One Fine Day and repeated in slums across Kenya. In Nairobi, they work with two schools in Kibera and one in Mathare. Dance helps the children to express themselves and strengthens their self-confidence and belief that they can achieve greatness. Several children have had their talent spotted and now attend Dance Centre Kenya in a smart area of Nairobi, moving from the harsh conditions of the slum to boarding school nearby.
For ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine state, Myanmar, life has taken a turn for the worse. On August 25th more than 400 houses were set alight, and within two weeks, nearly 125,000 Rohingya refugees had left Myanmar for Bangladesh. International organisations have reported claims of human rights violations and summary executions allegedly carried out by the Myanmar army. Over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have now fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh since violence erupted in Rakhine state. These pictures show their life inside the Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Rarely has a material so inclined to stay put been wrenched so insistently out of place and carried so far from its source. In Italy’s most marble-rich area, known as the Apuan Alps, the abundance is surreal. Hundreds of quarries have operated there since the days of ancient Rome and Michelangelo sculpted most of his statues from this stone. Now the trade is booming due to the demand from Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. The photographs of this area’s majestic quarries reveal an isolated world; beautiful, bizarre and severe. It is a self-contained universe of white; simultaneously industrial and natural.
Beginning in May 2016 I travelled the old Sicilian trails on a mule, starting at Nebrodi, passing through Madonie, Peloritani and all the way to the Sicani Mountains. The mule track is a rural road similar to a trail, but also suitable for the circulation of pack animals. Prior to the development of the modern road network, it was the link and trade route between the towns and the farmland. Until about fifty years ago, mules had a prominent role in Sicilian country life providing employment and assistance to local farmers. Due to the economic crisis, many young people are moving back to the countryside, working the land, planting local crops and breeding livestock, creating a new rural economy. The project has two parts; researching local communities still living in remote areas and creating a new map documenting the remains of the old mule tracks, the first since the 1950’s.
In days gone by, pubs all over London’s East End would feature sharply turned out singers crooning their way through a set of jazz standards at weekends, entertaining audiences and keeping them in the pub. Audiences have fallen over time, and now only the Palm Tree in Bow continues the tradition, having hosted three guest singers each weekend for more than forty years. Despite its rich culture, the Palm Tree is sadly now a lone stalwart. These singers really are The Last of The Crooners. The family-owned Palm Tree is famous for maintaining its original warm East End atmosphere despite the impact of gentrification, council pressures and the changing habits of its clientele. After several years of asking the pub finally allowed me to document the many great characters who still perform here, in a bid to capture this slice of history while it remains.
In Buzkashi, Afghanistan’s violent and ancient national pastime, riders battle for control of an animal corpse that they carry toward a goal. Sixteen years after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban, the sport is dominated by rival warlords who will do anything to maintain power in a turbulent country that once again is up for grabs.
This series was produced at the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in Portugal and depicts forensic evidence such as suicide notes, letters and other objects used in suicides and crimes alongside pathology tools. The images represent individual suicide notes, and explore the tension between revelation and concealment, questioning amongst other things the ethical implications of representing and divulging sensitive material of this nature. The location, meanwhile, addresses the institutionalisation of the representation and analysis of death and the corpse. Introducing a photographic artist into a place defined by scientific method creates epistemological, psychological and semantic questions around what distinguishes a documental image from an image that reproduces the staged creation of a mental image and the effect of these differences on the viewer’s imagination. In doing so, the work highlights the decisive but paradoxical role that photography has played in the perception and intelligibility of both suicide and death.
Open to photographers aged 12-19, Johnson was awarded for her image ‘Still’. Shot on the cliffs near her house in Connecticut, the black and white image captures the complex and intricate solitude the photographer faces in everyday life