Global Imagination

Global Imagination

The Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr – 2017 Exhibition opens at Somerset House, London. It showcases work by the Grand Prize winners, Open category recipients and this year’s National, Professional, Student and Youth selection, alongside images by the shortlisted and top 50 commended photographers. Drawn from more than 227,000 entries from 183 countries to the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards, these selected images celebrate the discipline’s ability to capture all walks of life in a variety of categories including Architecture, Daily life, Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Sports, Street Photography and Wildlife.

It was announced at a ceremony yesterday evening that Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx has been named Photographer of the Year 2017, winning $25,000 for best photography series. Whiteout captures the isolated habitat of people living in the Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Asia. In the Open competition, Russian artist Alexander Vinogradov’s beautifully simplistic portrait, Mathilda, won the best single shot award and was named Open Photographer of the Year. Alongside the Grand Prize winners, the exhibition will also feature a special dedication to Martin Parr, recipient of the Awards’ Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize.

Category winners from the Open competition include Alessandra Meniconzi’s striking wildlife shot of flamingos in Walvis Bay, Namibia, and Hiroshi Tanita’s documentation of the ice blue and white of winter. Humans and their habitats are rediscovered in Jianguo Gong’s image of 1300 people practicing Tai-Chi in China and Tim Cornbill’s symmetrical shot of architecture in Berlin. A crucial goal-scoring moment in an underwater rugby match is photographed by Camilo Diaz, and a subtle palette of colour is used in images by Lise Johansson and Ralph Gräf. Lastly, Street Photography category winner, Constantinos Sofikitis, captures the urban landscape in black and white.

In the Professional competition, Buyckx won the Landscape category, putting him in the running for Photographer of the Year alongside George Mayer for Portraiture and Yuan Peng for Sport, while the National Awards saw an increase in participating countries with works from newcomers Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. Youth Photographer of the Year went to 16-year old Katelyn Wang and the Student Photographer of the Year was awarded to Michelle Daiana Gentile, aged 21, for her series Only Hope.

The 2017 Exhibition will also host a series of events and talks with Martin Parr and other industry experts, covering a broad range of subjects and discussions. Parr, known internationally as the “chronicler of our age” is one of the best-known documentary photographers of his generation. With over 90 books of his own published, and another 30 edited by Parr, his legacy is firmly established. The artist’s participation in the competition’s programme cements its strong positioning within the professional photographic industry.

This year, the Sony World Photography Awards marks its 10 anniversary. Its winners receive a total prize fund of $30,000 (USD) along with the latest Sony digital imaging equipment, and their images are provided with international exposure on a year-long tour in major cities worldwide.

The Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Exhibition, until 7 May, Somerset House, London.


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1. Lise Johansson, Open Enhanced Category winner, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Sony World Photography Awards.