The 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, Shortlist Announced

The 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards announced this week the shortlists for its Professional, Open and Youth competitions. Organised by the World Photography Organisation, it has become one of the world’s largest photography competitions. This year’s shortlist features a spectrum of creatives from across the world and comprises over 270 photographers from nearly 60 countries, including 21 British photographers.

In the Professional competition, international calls for action are highlighted by British photographers in the Campaign and Environment categories – Giles Clarke documents disabled children in Bhopal, India, born to parents contaminated by a water supply wrecked by the 1984 Union Carbide gas tragedy, and Lucy Nicholson’s California Drought From Above shows the effect of the four-year drought on California’s farming community.

Elsewhere, in the Conceptual category, Simon Brann Thorpe investigates the impact and psychological consequences of non-resolution and containment of the conflict in Western Sahara on real soldiers, posed in the series as toy soldiers, and Jason Koxvold examines how war and surveillance became permanently intertwined with contemporary culture, the visual vernacular and political identity in the Current Affairs category.

The Open competition sees Scottish photographer Alex Ingle capture a joyous, fleeting moment between a grandfather and grandchild, and Britain’s natural beauty is portrayed by Grant Ritchie’s panoramic image of Belhaven Bridge, near Dunbar, at high tide. Tino Solomon documents the Milky Way as it ascends over the Darvaza gas crater in the Karakom desert, Turkmenistan.

The annual prize recognises exceptional work by both emerging talent and seasoned photographers. Shortlisted images will be exhibited from 22 April – 8 May at Somerset House, London, and published in the 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book. Photographers selected for the Professional categories will go on to compete for the L’Iris d’Or/ Photographer of the Year title.

To view the full shortlist and more details, visit

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1. © Lucy Nicholson, UK, Shortlist, Professional Environment, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.