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In pictures: The 2015 Sony World Photography Awards finalists



February 24, 2015 /Photography News/ The 2015 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards today announces the shortlists for its Professional, Open and Youth categories.

Recognising and rewarding the world’s best contemporary photography from the last year, the 2015 competition received the highest number of entries in its eight year history – 173,444 images from 171 countries – and a 24% increase on 2014.

Speaking about the shortlisted images, Astrid Merget Motsenigos, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards said: 

“The sole purpose of the Sony World Photography Awards is to celebrate and appreciate the talented artists working in the photographic industry.  Once again, the shortlist demonstrates the vibrancy, diversity and skill of both today’s established photographers and, as importantly, the growing army of citizen photographers for whom the awards offer unpreceded exposure and opportunity.

“The record number of entries gave our expert panel of judges a monumental task but we are incredibly proud to present to you a shortlist which truly showcases some of the world’s best photography.” 

The shortlisted photographers for all categories are listed below and names included are both new and familiar to the competition.  Those recognised again by the awards include: Peter Franck (Germany); Donald Webber (Canada); Amit Madheshiya (India); Brent Stirton (South Africa); Simon Norfolk (UK), Fan Li (China) and Massimo Siragusa (Italy).  New names include Julia Fullerton-Batten (UK) and Sebastian Gil Miranda (France).  

Those in the awards’ Professional categories will now compete for a $25,000 prize and the coveted L’Iris d’Or/ Photographer of the Year title.  The recipient, along with the winners of the Professional categories, overall Youth and Student winners plus the Open Photographer of the Year, who receives a $5,000 prize, will all be announced at the Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony on Thursday 23 April.  All winners will receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony.

The winning and shortlisted images will go on show at Somerset House, London from 24 April – 10 May and published in the 2015 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.  The images will be printed by theprintspace, WPO's Official Exhibition Printer.  The exhibition will also include an intimate display of still images, books and films by Elliott Erwitt, recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award.

Here is a selection of the best shortlisted images:


Copyright: ©Adrian Jaszczak, Poland, Shortlist, Arts&Culture, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: Headless. Image Description: Photo taken during Artistic Gymnastics Tournament in Poland. Girls that participated were aged 8-12.
Copyright: ©Adrian Jaszczak, Poland, Shortlist, Arts&Culture, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: Headless. Image Description: Photo taken during Artistic Gymnastics Tournament in Poland. Girls that participated were aged 8-12.
Copyright: ©Daesung Lee, Republic of Korea, Shortlist, Conceptual, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Series Name: Futuristic Archaeology. Series Description: Still 35% of Mongolians are living a nomadic life and depend on their land for survival. This is increasingly difficult due to serious changes: 25% of the Mongolianland has turned into desert in the past 30 years. Potentially 75 % of Mongolian territory is at risk of desertification. These environmental changes directly threaten the Mongolian nomadic way of life, which has been passed from generation to generation. This project attempts at recreating the museum diorama with actual people and their livestock in a real place where decertifying in Mongolia. It is based on an imagination that these people try to go into museum diorama for survival in the future. This is accomplished with printed images on a billboard placed in conjunction with the actual landscape horizon. I hope to accomplish a sense that the lives of these nomadic people occur between this reality and a virtual space of a museum. Mongolian traditional nomadic lifestyle might be existed only in museum in the future.
Copyright: ©Daesung Lee, Republic of Korea, Shortlist, Conceptual, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Series Name: Futuristic Archaeology. Series Description: Still 35% of Mongolians are living a nomadic life and depend on their land for survival. This is increasingly difficult due to serious changes: 25% of the Mongolianland has turned into desert in the past 30 years. Potentially 75 % of Mongolian territory is at risk of desertification. These environmental changes directly threaten the Mongolian nomadic way of life, which has been passed from generation to generation. This project attempts at recreating the museum diorama with actual people and their livestock in a real place where decertifying in Mongolia. It is based on an imagination that these people try to go into museum diorama for survival in the future. This is accomplished with printed images on a billboard placed in conjunction with the actual landscape horizon. I hope to accomplish a sense that the lives of these nomadic people occur between this reality and a virtual space of a museum. Mongolian traditional nomadic lifestyle might be existed only in museum in the future.

Copyright: ©Gili Yaari, Israel, Shortlist, Arts & Culture, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image name: Purim Holiday in Jerusalem. Description: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men of the Toldot Aharon Sect celebrate the Purim holiday in the ultra-orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem on March 17, 2014. The festival of Purim commemorates the rescue of Jews from a genocide in ancient Persia.
Copyright: ©Gili Yaari, Israel, Shortlist, Arts & Culture, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image name: Purim Holiday in Jerusalem. Description: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men of the Toldot Aharon Sect celebrate the Purim holiday in the ultra-orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem on March 17, 2014. The festival of Purim commemorates the rescue of Jews from a genocide in ancient Persia.

Copyright: ©Harfian Herdi, Indonesia, Shortlist, Nature &Wildlife, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: Frog story. Description: Three cute frog at the morning lights
Copyright: ©Harfian Herdi, Indonesia, Shortlist, Nature &Wildlife, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: Frog story. Description: Three cute frog at the morning lights


Copyright: (c) Kimmo Metsaranta, Finland, Shortlist, Still Life, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Series Name: Animal Behaviour
Copyright: (c) Kimmo Metsaranta, Finland, Shortlist, Still Life, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Series Name: Animal Behaviour

Copyright: ©Lisa Krantz, United States, Shortlisted, Contemporary Issues, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity. Image Description: At almost 600 pounds, Hector Garcia Jr. finds simple daily tasks like bathing a challenge. He struggled to walk across the hall from his bedroom to the bathroom so that his mother, Elena, could wash him after having cut his hair in November 2010. A month before, Hector started dieting after he realized he was close to his highest known weight, 636 pounds.
Copyright: ©Lisa Krantz, United States, Shortlisted, Contemporary Issues, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity. Image Description: At almost 600 pounds, Hector Garcia Jr. finds simple daily tasks like bathing a challenge. He struggled to walk across the hall from his bedroom to the bathroom so that his mother, Elena, could wash him after having cut his hair in November 2010. A month before, Hector started dieting after he realized he was close to his highest known weight, 636 pounds. 

Copyright: (c) Liza Van der Stock, Belgium, Shortlist, People, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: Maurice and Lisa. Image Description: Maurice and Lisa shooting a scene. Series Name: Paradi$e Lu$t. Series Description: In a Flemish village, surrounded by nature, Laura and Maurice live together with their daughter Eva. In the garden, Eva plays with her dog or meets with her classmates. Friends and family come along and fill the house with activity. But when Eva is at school, Maurice and Laura shoot what most people prefer to keep to themselves. The porn they make is not populated by Barbies or muscled superheroes. Ordinary women play with men who are also dad or neighbour. A humanity that not only exists in the porn they make, but also emerges behind the scenes and in their family life. In recent years, Laura has built strong bonds with a number of like-minded people: every one of them confident women who have consciously chosen this lifestyle and only depend on themselves with respect to their work. On a regular basis, they go to erotic fairs, rendez-vous evenings or an erotic night club: to make money or to have fun - or both.
Copyright: (c) Liza Van der Stock, Belgium, Shortlist, People, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: Maurice and Lisa. Image Description: Maurice and Lisa shooting a scene. Series Name: Paradi$e Lu$t. Series Description: In a Flemish village, surrounded by nature, Laura and Maurice live together with their daughter Eva. In the garden, Eva plays with her dog or meets with her classmates. Friends and family come along and fill the house with activity. But when Eva is at school, Maurice and Laura shoot what most people prefer to keep to themselves. The porn they make is not populated by Barbies or muscled superheroes. Ordinary women play with men who are also dad or neighbour. A humanity that not only exists in the porn they make, but also emerges behind the scenes and in their family life. In recent years, Laura has built strong bonds with a number of like-minded people: every one of them confident women who have consciously chosen this lifestyle and only depend on themselves with respect to their work. On a regular basis, they go to erotic fairs, rendez-vous evenings or an erotic night club: to make money or to have fun - or both.


Copyright: ©Saeed Barikani, Iran, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: Old Shepherd. Image Description: An old shepherd that had been surprised by snow storm in Gilan's countryside in the north of Iran
Copyright: ©Saeed Barikani, Iran, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: Old Shepherd. Image Description: An old shepherd that had been surprised by snow storm in Gilan's countryside in the north of Iran


Copyright: Vladyslav Musiienko / UNIAN, Ukraine, Shortlist, Current Affairs, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Description: Ukrainian protester plays piano on a barricade in front of the riot police line during the continuing protest in Kiev, Ukraine 10.02.2014
Copyright: Vladyslav Musiienko / UNIAN, Ukraine, Shortlist, Current Affairs, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Description: Ukrainian protester plays piano on a barricade in front of the riot police line during the continuing protest in Kiev, Ukraine 10.02.2014
Copyright: ©Simon Morris, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: On the Tundra.... Description: A Young Nenets boy plays in -40 degrees on Yamal in the Winter in Siberia.
Copyright: ©Simon Morris, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Image Name: On the Tundra.... Description: A Young Nenets boy plays in -40 degrees on Yamal in the Winter in Siberia.




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