The winners of the Sony World Photography Awards were announced last week and winning and shortlisted images are now on show in an exhibition at London’s Somerset House.
Asghar Khamseh, a photojournalist for Iranian news agency Mehr, was named the L’Iris d’Or Photographer of the Year for his powerful portraits of the victims of acid attacks:
Japanese photographer Kei Nomiyama received the Open Photographer of the Year award and a $5000 prize for his image, Enchanted Bamboo Forest, which captures fireflies circling the sky at night:
And artist and photographer duo RongRong & Inri received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize for their influence on visual culture in China:
The awards are free to enter and over 230,000 entries were submitted this year from 186 countries – here’s a look at some of our picks from the winning and shortlisted series…
Angelos Tzortzinis’ In Search of the European Dream is a harrowing portrayal of the experiences faced by refugees crossing the Mediterranean in search of a better life in Europe. Shot in October last year, this image shows doctors and paramedics trying to revive a child who was rescued from a boat which sank on the way to the Greek island of Lesbos.
Maroesjka Lavigne’s Land of Nothingness series documents wildlife in Namibia’s sparse desert:
Nikolai Linares’ Second Best features portraits of the runners-up in Copenhagen’s Zealand boxing championships, moments after coming second place:
Kevin Frayer’s Nomadic Life Threatened on the Tibetan Plateau documents the life of Tibetan nomads, who are facing increased political pressure, forced resettlement, climate change and rapid modernisation.
Kirstin Schmitt’s Waiting for the Candymen, shot in Cuba, is described as “an allegory of waiting – waiting for the right moment, waiting for tomorrow, waiting for something or someone who brings redemption,” she says.
Andre Burton’s Baltimore Uprising series captures protests in Baltimore in the days following the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, a black man who died in police custody after being arrested for possessing a switch blade knife, sparking protests throughout the city. In this image, 17-year-old Daquan Green sits on the curb while riot police stand guard near a pharmacy that was set on fire during a riot the day before.
Alexander Semenov’s Real World Aliens documents the strange creatures found in cold water seas off the coast of Russia:
Kevin Frayer’s Eagle Hunters of Western China documents an eagle hunting festival, part of an effort to promote traditional hunting practices in the mountainous region of western China that borders Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. The training and handling of the large birds of prey follows a strict set of ancient rules that Kazakh eagle hunters are preserving for future generations, says Frayer:
Matthias Hangst’s images captures synchronised swimmers competing at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia:
Ruben Salgado Escudero’s portraits of Balinese cock fighters depict a popular form of entertainment and an ancient custom in Balinese culture dating back to the 10th century (the death of a rooster leads to ‘tabuh rah’, or spilling of blood, which is used as a sacrifice to appease evil spirits).
Francesco Amorosino’s Migrant Tomatoes highlights the dangers of working in Italy’s tomato fields, where 13 people died last year in high temperatures. “Many of those involved in the harvest are immigrants. On the tomatoes, still dirty with soil, bought by my family to make the sauce, I saw the fingerprints of those who had harvested them…. Since then, I haven’t watched the sauce with the same eyes,” he says.
Khairel Anuar Che Ani’s Too Much Practice captures a group of young girls waiting to perform at the Melasti Festival in Bali, held on the ‘day of silence’. ”
Talia Rudofsky’s Nouveau Riche was taken on Promenade de la Croisette, in Cannes:
Filippo Venturi’s Made in Korea depicts a quest for aesthetic perfection and a growing use of plastic surgery in the country:
Jetmir Idrizi’s TransBrasil series is an ongoing project exploring gender issues and identity:
Alex Ingle’s image, winner of the open competition’s Smile category, shows a young boy jumping on his grandfather’s legs after an Easter meal in a moment of pure joy:
Swee Choo Oh’s The Lantern Store was was taken in shop in Hoi An, Vietnam. “I was captivated by this wonderful lady starting her day, peacefully waiting for customers. She was perfectly framed by the store with beautiful morning light illuminating the lanterns, souvenirs and her wonderful character. The overall feel was of an old painting,” explains Choo Oh.
Andrej Tarfila’s Church on the fields of Soröko Polje was captured on a November morning in the Slovenian alps, and shows a mist spreading over fields at sunrise:
And Filip Wolak’s image shows New York’s Central Park from above on a snowy day, and was taken from 10,000 feet. “The winds were quite strong that day with no haze and unlimited visibility. With a bit of planning (and luck) I was able to capture perfect shadow alignment along the avenues – I had only one chance to capture – they were shifting fast,” he explains.
All of this year’s winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited at Somerset House, London until May 8. For details, see somersethouse.org.uk
See more winning and shortlisted works, plus the other images in the series featured above at worldphoto.org