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2020 Sony World Photography Awards: Category winners announced: Professional, Open, Student and Youth

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PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR and LATIN AMERICA PROFESSIONAL AWARD WINNER

Pablo Albarenga, Uruguay

Nantu is an indigenous young man from the Achuar Nation of Ecuador who leads a project of solar-powered river boats for collective transport. By installing solar panels on a specially designed boat’s roof, he is working to end Achuar’s dependence on petrol. Left: On his land, Nantu lies dressed with traditional Achuar clothing. Right: the pristine rainforest from the Achuar territory. Sharamentsa, Pastaza, Ecuador. Photo-composition: Pablo Albarenga
Nantu is an indigenous young man from the Achuar Nation of Ecuador who leads a project of solar-powered river boats for collective transport. By installing solar panels on a specially designed boat’s roof, he is working to end Achuar’s dependence on petrol. Left: On his land, Nantu lies dressed with traditional Achuar clothing. Right: the pristine rainforest from the Achuar territory. Sharamentsa, Pastaza, Ecuador. Photo-composition: Pablo Albarenga

2020 Sony World Photography Awards: Category winners announced: Professional, Open, Student and Youth

© Pablo Albarenga, Uruguay, Photographer of the Year, Sony World Photography Awards 2020

Seeds of Resistance is a body of work that pairs photographs of landscapes and territories in danger from mining and agribusinesses with portraits of the activists fighting to conserve them. Pablo explores the bond between the defenders and their lands – a sacred area in which hundreds of generations of their ancestors rest. In the photographs, the main characters in the stories are seen from above, as though they are laying down their lives for their territory. Pablo wins $25,000 and is the inaugual winner of the Latin America Professional Award. See his full series here. Enjoy Pablo’s full portfolio on his website, here.

PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION CATEGORY WINNERS 

The Professional competition represents the importance of the series and breaking new ground in the photographic medium. Asking artists to submit a body of work interpreting one of the ten thematic categories, each entry is rigorously judged in its narrative excellence, technical skill and ability in exploring creativity in new and exciting ways. Enjoy our ten category winners’ acceptance videos here.

OPEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Tom Oldham, United Kingdom

© Tom Oldham, United Kingdom, Open Photographer of the Year, Sony World Photography Awards 2020

Black Francis is a black & white portrait of Pixies frontman Charles Thompson (aka Black Francis), originally taken for MOJO Magazine. Asked by Tom to acknowledge his frustration with photoshoots, Francis offered a perfect gesture of exasperation by digging his hands into his face. The result was an expressive photograph which ran as the lead image for the article. Tom wins $5,000. Enjoy Tom’s full portfolio on his website here.

STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Ioanna Sakellaraki, Greece

© Ioanna Sakellaraki, Royal College of Art, Student Photographer of the Year, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

Aeiforia presents night-time photographs of solar panels, wind turbines and battery farms used across the small island of Tilos in Greece which is the first in the Mediterranean to run almost entirely on renewable energy. Ioanna wins €30,000 of Sony digital imaging kit for her institution. See Ioanna’s full series here. Enjoy Ioanna’s full portfolio on her website here.

 

ALPHA FEMALE AWARD WINNER 

Lily Dawson-Punshon

01 - © Lily Dawson-Punshon, United Kingdom, None, Open competition, Portraiture, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards
01 – © Lily Dawson-Punshon, United Kingdom, None, Open competition, Portraiture, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards
© Lily Dawson-Punshon, United Kingdom, Alpha Female Award winner, Sony World Photography Awards 2020

Lily’s portrait references historical paintings, particularly Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, but she has brought in an 21st-century twist. Lily explains how her photograph aims to explore the relationship between the past and the present, and how both contrast and support each other.

YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 

Hsien-Pang Hsieh, Taiwan, 19 years old

 YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR  Hsien-Pang Hsieh, Taiwan, 19 years old
YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Hsien-Pang Hsieh, Taiwan, 19 years old
© Hsien-Pang Hsieh, Taiwan, Youth Photographer of the Year,Sony World Photography Awards 2020

Hurry, features a street performer who is seemingly walking in a hurry but is in fact standing still. Inspired by his experience as a newly arrived student in Germany, Hsien-Pang sees the image as his comment on the intensive pace of life and a reminder others to slow down. Enjoy Roger’s Instagram feed here.

The World Photography Organization is pleased to announce the global winners of the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards. The Photographer of the Year award and the accompanying cash prize of $ 25,000 went to Pablo Albarenga (Uruguay) for his Seeds of Resistance series. . The winners of the ten categories of the Professional contest have also been announced along with the winners of the second and third places of each one, as well as the winners of the Open, Student and Youth contests.

Seeds of Resistance is a work that combines photographs of landscapes and territories endangered by mining and agribusiness, with portraits of activists who fight to conserve them. In 2017, at least 207 environmental leaders and defenders were killed while protecting their communities from projects that threatened their territories. According to a report published in 2018 by Global Witness, the majority of these cases occurred in Brazil where 57 murders were recorded, 80% of which were against people who defended the Amazon.

Albarenga’s works explore the link between the defenders and their lands, a sacred area where the remains of hundreds of generations rest. In the photographs, the main characters of the stories are seen from above, as if they were offering their lives for their territory.

Mike Trow, president of the Professional 2020 contest reports: “This year’s winner comes from the Creative category and consists of a brilliant set of images that offers a powerful visual record of how deforestation goes hand in hand with the destruction of communities and towns. . The work of the jury this year has been very complex: There were a number of extraordinary stories and image sets that could have won the grand prize, but Seeds of Resistance really stood out from the crowd. Pablo is from Uruguay and this project is a very personal work for him as a photographer. The effort required to imagine, produce and photograph this series of images is commendable in every way. “

When asked about his award, Albarenga said: “With this important award I achieve two victories: first, to be able to tell the stories of the traditional communities of the Amazon highlighting people who are still fighting not only for their future, but for the future. of all. We need to see beyond the trees, the oxygen and the “undiscovered” species of the rain forest. Second, I get the photographer of the year award to Latin America, a continent historically told through the eyes of foreigners. I hope that many other photographers in our region will continue to spread our own stories, thus strengthening the incredible community of Latin American storytellers. ”

PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY WINNERS

The winning photographers in the Professional contest were chosen by a panel of expert judges after presenting an excellent work of between five and ten images, ranging from personal topics and observations to news headlines and little-known but critical topics. This year’s winners are:

ARCHITECTURE

WINNER: Sandra Herber (Canada) for her Ice Fishing Huts series, Lake Winnipeg

Finalists: 2nd place Jonathan Walland (United Kingdom); 3rd place José De Rocco (Argentina)

CREATIVE

WINNER: Pablo Albarenga (Uruguay) for his Seeds of Resistance series

Finalists: 2nd placeDione Roach (Italy); 3rd place Luke Watson (United Kingdom)

DISCOVERY

WINNER: Maria Kokunova (Russian Federation) for her series The Cave

Finalists: 2nd place Hashem Shakeri (Islamic Republic of Iran); 3rd place Hugh Kinsella Cunningham (United Kingdom)

DOCUMENTARY

WINNER: Chung Ming Ko (Hong Kong SAR) for his Wounds of Hong Kong series

Finalists: 2nd placeDidier Bizet (France); 3rd place Youqiong Zhang (Mainland China)

ENVIRONMENT

WINNER: Robin Hinsch (Germany) for his Wahala series

Finalists: 2nd place Álvaro Laiz (Spain); 3rd place Luca Locatelli (Italy)

LANDSCAPE

WINNER: Ronny Behnert (Germany) for his Torii series

Finalists: 2nd place Florian Ruiz (France); 3rd place Chang Kyun Kim (South Korea)

NATURAL WORLD & WILDLIFE:

WINNER: Brent Stirton (South Africa) for his Pangolins in Crisis series

Finalists: 2nd place Masahiro Hiroike (Japan); 3rd place Adalbert Mojrzisch (Germany)

PORTRAITURE

WINNER: Cesar Dezfuli (Spain) for his series Passengers

Finalists: 2nd place Denis Rouvre (France); 3rd place Sasha Maslov (Ukraine)

SPORT

WINNER: Ángel López Soto (Spain) for his Senegalese Wrestlers series

Finalists: 2nd place Lucas Barioulet (France); 3rd place Andrea Staccioli (Italy)

STILL LIFE

WINNER: Alessandro Gandolfi (Italy) for his series Immortality, Inc.

Finalists: 2nd place Elena Helfrecht (Germany); 3rd place Fangbin Chen (Mainland China)

For more information on this year’s winners and finalists projects, visit our online winners galleries.

OPEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

The Open contest celebrates the strength that a single image can have. The winning photographs have been selected for their ability to communicate great visual narrative combined with technical excellence. Selected among ten winners of the Open category, Tom Oldham (United Kingdom) wins the Open Photographer of the Year 2020 title and receives a prize of $ 5,000 for Black Francis.

The photograph is a black and white portrait of Pixies leader Charles Thompson (aka Black Francis) originally made for MOJO magazine. When asked by Oldham to acknowledge his frustration with the photo shoots, Francis offered him a perfect gesture of exasperation as he put his hands to his face. The result was a very expressive photograph that ended up on the cover of the article.

Commenting on his victory, Oldham stated: ‘It is an incredible compliment to be chosen for this, I am still looking forward to having entered this roster filled with so much talent from all over the world. I never dreamed that I could get anywhere in the Open contest since the bar was so high … it will take me some time to realize what I have accomplished. I want to thank Mojo magazine for the opportunity, my brilliant team and, of course, Charles for offering that special moment. I am amazed and delighted. ’

STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Greek student Ioanna Sakellaraki was chosen as the Student Photographer of the Year 2020 for her Aeiforia series, created in response to the Sustainability Now commission that asked students to produce work related to environmental sustainability. In her series, Sakellaraki features nightly photographs of the solar panels, wind turbines, and battery farms used on the small island of Tilos in Greece, the first in the Mediterranean to run almost exclusively on renewable energy.

Sakellaraki represents the Royal College of Art in the United Kingdom and has won € 30,000 in photographic equipment from Sony for her institution. Commenting on her victory, she said, “I am honored to have been awarded the title of Student Photographer of the Year. My Aeiforia series allowed me to share a good story about sustainability by capturing the landscape as a passage to the nightlife on the Greek island of Tilos. I hope that this great recognition will give me the opportunity to work on many more tasks of this type. I am also very grateful that the Royal College of Art has received all that excellent photographic equipment that Sony offers so generously, because with it other students will be able to carry out new projects. ”

YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Selected among the seven winners in the category, Hsien-Pang Hsieh (Taiwan Region, 19 years old) has won the Youth Photographer of the Year 2020 for his Hurry image, which shows a street artist who apparently walks in a hurry but is actually stopped. Inspired by his experience as a newcomer to Germany, Hsien-Pang sees the image as his insight into the hectic pace of life and a reminder to the rest to slow down.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO PHOTOGRAPHY

The Outstanding Contribution to Photography award has been presented to the printer and publisher Gerhard Steidl. It is the first time in the history of the Awards that Outstanding Contribution to Photography has not been awarded to a photographer. Established in 1968, the Steidl publishing house launched its own photobook program in 1996 and within a few years it became what it is today, the world’s largest list of contemporary photography. Its impressive catalog of photobooks features renowned artists such as Joel Sternfeld, Nan Goldin, Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Berenice Abbott, Robert Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Karl Lagerfeld, and Juergen Teller, to name a few. His publications span the entire history of photography, from the first masters to today’s leading photographers, and represent the diverse spectrum of photographic expression, from art and fashion to documentary and street photography.

All winning images will be promoted on World Photography Organization channels and online platforms using content such as videos, presentations, and live Q&A. A digital sample of this year’s winning projects and finalists is available on the page On Screen.

In response to recent events, the World Photography Organization has also launched the Stay Connected page, which features a diverse program of online initiatives, activities and resources aimed at supporting and inspiring audiences and photographers recognized at this year’s Awards.

Speaking of this year’s awards, Scott Gray, founder and CEO of the World Photography Organization, said: “The Sony World Photography Awards were established to help photographers receive the recognition they deserve, providing them with an important platform to share their I work with new audiences. Due to current restrictions due to the pandemic we were unable to hold this year’s exhibition, but we remain committed to promoting the winning images and projects and ensuring that the Awards recognize and appreciate the work of photographers. We are immensely fortunate to be able to work with Sony on its development. Sony shares our commitment to this medium and to individual photographers, and together we will continue to celebrate their work and raise the bar for photography as art. “

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a creative entertainment company with a strong technology base. Through its divisions, ranging from video games and online services, through music, film, electronics, semiconductors and financial services, Sony’s goal is to feed the illusion thanks to the power of creativity and technology. More information can be found on Sony’s global website:

http://www.sony.net/