Feb 7, 2013

The 2013 Sony World Photography Awards [35 pics]


The World Photography Organisation just revealed the shortlists for the Professional, Open and Youth categories of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. In a year that saw over 122,000 entries from 170 countries – the highest number of submissions to date – the judges have selected a shortlist of photographs that stood out beyond all others for their impressive high quality, originality and modern appeal.

Bringing together the very best international contemporary photography, the shortlist offers a unique insight into 2012 through the eyes of some of the world’s best emerging and established photography talents. The work of all the shortlisted photographers will be exhibited at Somerset House, London, from 26 April – 12 May as part of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. The images will also be published in the 2013 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.

Professional category winners and the coveted L’Iris D’Or/ Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year title will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on 25 April. The L’Iris D’Or winner will receive $25,000 (USD) and the Open Photographer of the Year will receive $5,000 (USD). All winners, including category winners, will receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony.

Below is a curated selection of some of the Sifter’s favourites from the shortlist and finalist galleries. To view all shortlisted entries, please visit the official WPO site at: http://www.worldphoto.org/about-the-sony-world-photography-awards/


Professional Competition:
Shortlist and Finalists



White-handed Tree Frog by Hudson Garcia


© Hudson Garcia, Brazil, Finalist, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards


Series made with two species of tree frogs in southern Brazil. These amazing animals jump to escape predators and catch their prey. For these images Hudson used a high-speed laser sensor positioned immediately in front of the plant where the tree frogs were.


Journey to Jerusalem of Africa by Gali Tibbon


© Gali Tibbon, Israel, Finalist, Travel, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards


Every year, just before Christmas day (Julian calendar) thousands of pious Christian orthodox worshipers make pilgrimage to Lalibela, a small town in Ethiopia’s highlands, known as ‘Jerusalem of Africa’ or ‘Black Jerusalem’. Lalibela is famous for its 13th century monolithic churches, carved out of the living rock and one of the world’s great wonders.


Personality and society. Reality vs illusions. by Ilya Pitalev


© Ilya Pitalev, Finalist, Current Affairs, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards


These are the photos taken during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang in April 2012.


Machine Gun Americana by Pete Muller


© Pete Muller, United States, Finalist, People, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards


A kindergarten teacher from Greenwood, AK, fires an M1919 Browning .30 caliber machine gun on the first night of the Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show. “It is such an adrenaline rush” – she explained after stepping back from the weapon. She had traveled to OFASTS for the first time with her husband and eight-year-old son. “I grew up hunting with my Dad so guns are nothing unusual for me” – she said.


Faster than the Speed of Sound by Balazs Gardi


© Balazs Gardi, Hungary, Finalist, People, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards


Felix Baumgartner contemplates in the stratospheric capsule during an egress training in Lancaster, California, USA on February 22, 2012. On October 14, 2012 Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner broke the world record for balloon and free-fall height and became the first person to break the sound barrier without propulsion. After jumping from a helium balloon over 39 kilometers into the stratosphere his free fall reached a speed of 1,342 kilometers per hour.


Dubai Aerials by Johannes Heuckeroth


© Johannes Heuckeroth, Germany, Finalist, Travel, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards



Eye to Eye by Rob Van Thienen


© Rob Van Thienen, Belgium, Shortlist, Sport, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards


A greyhound ends first in his race, and although the lure is right in front of him, he’s looks straight into the eyes of the photographer (me) and continues his run. I had to jump for my life taking this picture.


On the Shore of a Vanishing Island by Daesung Lee


© Daesung Lee, Korea, Finalist, Contemporary Issues, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards/SIPA Press


I focused on showing the tragic situation rather than on a story of their lives. I did not want to follow the general style of photojournalism, because the eroding shore tells the story about the situation where villagers live in. Ghoramara Island is located in West Bengal. Due to the dramatic increase in sea level, resulting from global warming since the 1960’s, the shores of this island are being perpetually washed away. As a result two-thirds of the population have moved away from the island. Many of the people still living on the island are farmers and fishermen who depend on the island’s resources for their livelihoods.


The Last Days of Obama’s Campaign by Brooks Kraft


© Brooks Kraft, US, Shortlist, Campaign, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards/Corbis Contributors


Photojournalist Brooks Kraft followed Barack Obama during his last campaign producing an intimate look at the President fighting for re-election.


Inside Kabul’s Screens by Danish Siddiqui


© Danish Siddiqui, India, Finalist, Arts and Culture, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards/Reuters


Cinema goers watch a Pashto film at Pamir Cinema in Kabul May 4, 2012. Once a treasured luxury for the elite, Afghan cinemas are dilapidated and reflect an industry on the brink of collapse from conflict and financial neglect. Kabul’s cinemas show Pakistani films in Pashto, American action films and Bollywood to rowdy, largely unemployed crowds in pursuit of any distraction from their drab surroundings.


Jim Rickey by Christian Aslund


© Christian Aslund, Sweden, Finalist, Campaign, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards


Project: Honkey Kong – a 2d platform game tribute. Shot on location in Hong Kong. Images were shot from skyscrapers toward the ground, using a telephoto lens to make the image as flat as possible to make it look like a platform game.


The Wealthy Roma of Buzescu by Ivan Kashinsky


© Ivan Kashinsky, United States, Shortlist, People, Sony World Photography Awards


Six-year old twins Gelu and Edi Petrache sit on stairs in a mansion on Easter Sunday in Buzescu, a small town in Romania. Buzescu is known for its ultra-wealthy Roma and their bizarre mansions that line the main street. The Roma of Buzescu are part of the Kalderash clan and are known for being coppersmiths and dealing with metal scraps. After the fall of the communist regime in the late 80s, they stripped old factories of their metals and some made a small fortune re-selling them. They are also known for making cazane, copper stills that produce alcohol such as palinka, a plum brandy.


Afrometals by Daniele Tamagni


© Daniele Tamagni, Italy, Shortlist, Art & Culture, Sony World Photography Awards


In Botswana metal music has landed in the nineties, but the rock came in the seventies by two Italian brothers, Ivo and Renato Sbrana, born and raised in the heart of Africa. The metal complexes are performing in nightclubs, concerts, festivals. The most famous african rock band is now Skinflint. The ranks of their fans has expanded dramatically. These fans wear jackets and black leather pants, studded belts, boots and cowboy hats. On their t-shirts stand out skulls, obscenities, historical covers of hard-rock groups popular in the seventies and eighties of the last century such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, AC / DC. Basically they created their own style look that is inspired by the classic symbolism metal, but also borrows heavily from the iconography of hands-Western film and the traditional rural world of Botswana (ever-present horns of animals concealed beneath the leather jacket).


Urban Darkness by Christof Pluemacher


© Christof Pluemacher, Germany, Finalist, Architecture, Sony World Photography Awards


All images were shot at night-time in Düsseldorf, Germany. The images are less of an architectural story but more about what visual impact of light or better the absence of it has on architecture and on the observer. The images are reflections on the observation about energy being conserved at night-time in German urban spaces. Once lit monoliths, urban structure now more and more become ghostly colossus and an indicator of changing times. Light usually takes away the fears of the night and indicates the wealth and prosperity in the western world. Dark cities and dark structures were once trademark signs of impoverished countries and the communist east. With that era being a thing of the past, the new urban darkness indicates a change of times.


Makro Dunyasi by Mehmet Karaca


© Mehmet Karaca, Turkey, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards



A Portrait of the Matterhorn by Nenad Saljic


© Nenad Saljic, Croatia, Finalist, Landscape, Sony World Photography Awards



Encerrados by Valerio Bispuri


© Valerio Bispuri, Italy, Finalist, Contemporary Issues, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards/Echo Press Agency


Prison inmates Santiago, Chile. I spent 10 years travelling for South-America jails. A different and complex world in which violence and abuse are part of convicts life. I saw how the convicts try to find a space similar to that one they had outside jails. They try to preserve their dignity. The necessity to recreate their space is the only way to defend them. They hardly try to maintain their habits in a human boundary condition and overcrowding status. Violence and power management inside the jails are direct consequences of these conditions. I went around for 74 male and female jails in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia e Venezuela. I got in contact with prisoners and guards, with fear and anger, with hope and diffidence. Some convicts considered me a distraction, others looked at me with envy, others again with contempt because they thought that I was there only for taking pictures to sell of their confined life.


Bolted by Adam Pretty


© Adam Pretty, Australia, Finalist, Sport, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards/Getty Images


LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Usain Bolt of Jamaica races ahead of Ryan Bailey of the United States, Yohan Blake of Jamaica, Justin Gatlin of the United States and Tyson Gay of the United States to win the Men’s 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England.


Open Competition:
Shortlist and Finalists



Game of Colors by Anurag Kumar


© Anurag Kumar, India, Arts and Culture, Shortlist, Arts & Culture, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards


Holi – the festival of colors – is undoubtedly the most fun-filled and boisterous of Hindu festivals. It’s an occasion that brings in unadulterated joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance, and, of course, lots of bright colors!


Face to Face by Christian Vizl


© Christian Vizl, Mexico, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards


They explore the underwater world, and its infinite possibilities for generating strong emotions in the human beings. I try to capture sublime moments of our natural environment with images that inspire, make us vibrate through the beauty in every corner of the world that excite and make us dream of a better world, where we value and care for all expressions of life. Because beyond the issue of our survival is the issue of how we experience our life and how we celebrate it. And our experience of life is intrinsically linked to how we communicate and “connect” with everything around us, especially with all life around us. In my case, it is the ocean and its living creature that makes me want to celebrate. So my photography is intended to be a celebration of marine life and the underwater world.


Starry Tree by Elmar Akhmetov


© Elmar Akhmetov, Kazakhstan, Shortlist, Low Light, Sony World Photography Awards


Milky Way, looking like a giant tree atop of the mountain near Ush Konyr plateau.


Waikiki Beach by Flavio D’Aquino


© Flavio D’Aquino, Italy, Shortlist, Architecture, Sony World Photography Awards


This is an alternative point of view of the famous Hawaiian beach. People aren’t disposed in a horizontal plan, as usually on a beach, but caught in a vertical exposure.


Running for Life by Frederick van Heerden


© Frederick van Heerden, South Africa, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards


14 giraffes flee after spotting lions in hunting mode.


Don’t Leave Me Alone by Hoang Hiep Nguyen


© Hoang Hiep Nguyen, Vietnam, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards


The last pollen spore preparing to leave a ladybird trying to hold on, because it didn’t want to be alone.


Untitled by Huu Hung Truong


© Huu Hung Truong, Vietnam, Shortlist, Smile, Sony World Photography Awards


Viet Nam has many ethnic minorities. This is ethnic ‘Mong’, who live in the Central Highlands Dak Nong-Vietnam Two old friends are telling each other jokes.


Wasp by John Matzick


© John Matzick, USA, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards


A huge wasp measuring 2.5 inches in length visiting the banana tree in my front yard.


Sheep River by Maciej Grzegorzek


© Maciej Grzegorzek, Poland, Shortlist, Commended, Travel, Sony World Photography Awards


Bieszczady mountains, Poland. Rain water evaporates from the soaked sheep fur while the shepherd leads animals to the house in the mountain pastures.


Soul of Sir Hitchcock by Maciej Makowski


© Maciej Makowski, Poland, Shortlist, Travel, Sony World Photography Awards


I was hanging around the Jaipur’s suburbia when I noticed a cloud of birds in the air. I’ve just instinctively released the shutter. Soul of Sir Hitchcock lives here I thought :)


Action Inside by Markus Reugels


© Markus Reugels, Germany, Shortlist, Split Second, Sony World Photography Awards


All my high-speed pictures are single shots without any Photoshop manipulation. I only adjust the levels of contrast. Some little sprinkles are cleaned with PS. That’s all the processing.


Yi Peng Lantern Festival 2012 by Ng Chai Hock


© Ng Chai Hock, Singapore, Shortlist, Arts and Culture, Sony World Photography Awards


Monks looked up at the magnificent night sky filled with thousands of lanterns in awe. Yi Peng lantern festival is meant as a time for tham bun to make merit. This was the moment I’ve been waiting for and it lasted very quickly due to strong wind. A very heavy downpour occurred right after we left the place. The lanterns were made of organic materials.


Butterfly Magic by Petar Sabol


© Petar Sabol, Croatia, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards


Two Pieris brassicae resting on plant and waiting for sunshine.


The Godfather by Peter Delaney


© Peter Delaney, South Africa, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards



Youth Competition:
Shortlist and Finalists



Urban Environment by Robert Gifford


© Robert Gifford, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Environment, Sony World Photography Awards



Nature’s Fightback by Jimmy


© Jimmy, Taiwan, Shortlist, Environment, Sony World Photography Awards



Haweswater Calm by Joe Stockdale


© Joe Stockdale, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Environment, Sony World Photography Awards


I took this photo on the road to Ambleside from Keswick, it’s rare you’ll get any of the lakes or waters this still through the day. The Sun was directly above the fell these trees are on, which created this strong golden touch fringing all the woodland.





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