Each year, the Sony World Photography Awards reveal a truly stunning array of photographic styles and subjects: from elegantly composed landscapes to surreal street photography. These awards are a wonderful opportunity to see the skills of photographers whether they consider themselves amateurs, professionals, or hobbyists.
There’s a huge variety of themes and locations in this year’s selection. The awards are represented by 61 countries and images that include a hauntingly beautiful shot of a night eruption of the Etna volcano taken from San Teodoro in Italy and a mystical photograph from Bukhansan Mountain in Seoul, South Korea showcasing a rare sight of the city covered in clouds as the sun rises. The Sony World Photography Awards spans four separate competitions: Professional, Youth, Student, and Open. Perhaps the biggest competition is Open, which looks for the best single image across 10 general categories
Out of 170,000 images entered, 100 photographers from around the world were shortlisted. That’s in addition to ten category winners. The overall winner of the open competition will be announced on April 12. Select work by winners will be exhibited at Somerset House in London from April 13 to May 2.
Unlike the last few years which have been unsurprisingly influenced by the global pandemic, this year’s shortlist is dominated by elegant geometric compositions and uncanny abstractions. Scott Wilson’s Anger Management is a perfect example, winning the Natural World and Wildlife category with an evocative shot of a wild mustang stallion kicking up dust.
“Creativity and originality were very important in choosing a winning image and it was terrific to see the excitement and joy of the photographers when they captured the moment,” said Hideko Kataoka, who spearheaded the judging for this year’s Open competition. “The photographs in this competition each make a coherent visual statement about a situation or particular circumstance in an elegant visual way.”
Other standout images include Thanh Nguyen Phuc’s vibrant photo of a street vendor in Hanoi cycling by a colorful wall. The flowers in the vendor’s basket mirror the artwork on the wall. In fact, the flowers that flow up the wall almost appear to come from the basket, thanks to the strong composition. Hungary’s Edina Csoboth took a striking photo of a woman that earned her a National Award in the Portraiture category. Her beautiful use of light and shadow, as well as the way she used leaves to frame the model’s face, take the image to a new level.
All of the National Award winners will take home Sony imaging equipment. Scroll down to see some of the best entries from this year’s competition and soak up some sensational photography. These winners are a great way to get excited for what’s to come, as the winners of the Student, Youth, Open, and Professional competitions will be announced in April.