Mastering Photography

Photography is ubiquitous. In 1999, the Kyocera VP 201 was the first commercial phone that could take 20 pictures. Years later, the invention of the iPhone in 2007 advanced camera technology further and today nearly everyone has a high spec camera in their pocket. Contemporary creatives are also pushing boundaries within the medium and there are global awards designed to celebrate today’s masters and rising stars, including the Deutsche Börse, Prix Pictet, Taylor Wessing and Portrait of Britain. These international organisations and their outputs take the temperature of contemporary lens-based art.

The World Photography Organisation offers some of the most coveted accolades through a series of annual competitions. Over 395,000 images were submitted this year, with a record number of entries vying for recognition in the Professional category. Now, a selection of shortlisted candidates and finalists are on display at Somerset House. On view is work from Jim Fenwick (b. 1984), whose Wildfires of Palermo (2023) draws attention to environmental disasters across Sicily. Elsewhere, Drew Gardner recreates surviving portraits of Black people from the American Civil War (1861-1865) with their living descendants.

Beautiful Camouflage (2024) is Tijana Morača’s (b. 1987) contribution to the European Regional Shortlist. The roses look like they have been plucked from the subject’s dress. The Serbian fine artist often uses real objects to create scenes that burst to life. Jury chair Monica Allende aptly states that these projects are about “passionate storytelling; capturing the joys and challenges of human existence across the planet.”

Somerset House, World Photography Awards | Until 6 May

Image Credits:

  1. © Raphaël Neal, Destiny (2022), United Kingdom, 2nd Place, Professional competition, Creative, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
  2. © Anna Neubauer, Home to Me (2022), Austria, 3rd Place, Professional competition, Portfolio, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
  3. © Anna Neubauer, Reconnect (2022), Austria, 3rd Place, Professional competition, Portfolio, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
  4. © Tijana Morača, Beautiful Camouflage, (detail), 2024, Serbia, Shortlist, Regional Awards, Sony World Photography Awards 2024
  5. © Marcos Azulay, Fidel (2024), Argentina, Winner, Latin America Regional Awards, Sony World Photography Awards 2024