Collecting the World

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) once remarked that “to collect photographs is to collect the world.” Each year, the Sony World Photography Awards celebrate images that communicate a powerful visual narrative, inviting audiences into an arena – to share and experience the human condition through technically and conceptually innovative images.

The Open competition – held amongst two other Professional and Youth strands – offers photographers the opportunity to showcase their work, no matter where they are in terms of their careers. The award weaves a rich tapestry of the present moment, calling upon practitioners from across the globe to depict and present the world in all its complexity. The competition contains 10 categories which demonstrate this diversity: Architecture; Culture; Creative, Motion, Landscape; Natural World & Wildlife; Portraiture, Travel, Street Photography; and Still Life.

In the Travel Category, Adrian Guerin is the winning  for Riding a Saharan Freight Train – an image taken on the top of a carriage of an iron-ore train. The carriage was passing through Mauritania, making a 700km long journey from the coastal town of Nouadhibou to the Saharan wilderness of Zouérat. Stretching 2.5km in length, it’s one of the longest trains in the world transporting more than 200 carriages loaded with rocks. Guerin’s composition cuts across the centre, presenting clear borderlines – it is suggestive of the boundaries between countries and the perpetual state of motion and exchange of resources.

 The overall Open winner will be announced on 9 June on the World Photography Organisation and Sony’s online platforms. For more information, or to see the full galleries, click here.

1. © Craig McGowan, Australia, Winner, Open competition, Landscape, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards.

2. © Jonathan Rogers, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Open competition, Travel, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards.
3.Viktor Einar Vilhelmsson, Iceland, Shortlist, Open competition, Landscape, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards.
4. © Adrian Guerin, Australia, Winner, Open competition, Travel, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards