Photography

Sony World Photography Awards finalists embrace the weirdness of 2020

Sony World Photography Awards ...
'Moon Revisited - Conspirator'
'Moon Revisited - Conspirator'
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'Gas Chamber Delhi'. New Delhi is one of the world’s most polluted cities. In winter especially, smoke and smog create a toxic mantle from which it is impossible to escape.
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'Gas Chamber Delhi'. New Delhi is one of the world’s most polluted cities. In winter especially, smoke and smog create a toxic mantle from which it is impossible to escape.
'Hamnoy under Stars'. The Lofoten Islands are stunning and unique in winter: the freezing cold sea, steep mountains and colourful houses.
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'Hamnoy under Stars'. The Lofoten Islands are stunning and unique in winter: the freezing cold sea, steep mountains and colourful houses.
'Munich Underground'
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'Munich Underground'
'Munich Underground'
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'Munich Underground'
'Seracs'. This body of work is a portrait of this majestic but fragile and ephemeral world of ice
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'Seracs'. This body of work is a portrait of this majestic but fragile and ephemeral world of ice
'Fjord on the Edge'. The Lofoten Islands in winter
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'Fjord on the Edge'. The Lofoten Islands in winter
'Frozen Plant Life'. Exploring frozen puddles of water
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'Frozen Plant Life'. Exploring frozen puddles of water
'Lose The Roots'. Europe is close to losing its last virgin forests. Two thirds of these remaining areas are in Romania, and are critically threatened by illegal logging
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'Lose The Roots'. Europe is close to losing its last virgin forests. Two thirds of these remaining areas are in Romania, and are critically threatened by illegal logging
'Nap in the Dark'. These images document professional freediver Arthur Guerin Boeri's training in the Côte d'Azur
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'Nap in the Dark'. These images document professional freediver Arthur Guerin Boeri's training in the Côte d'Azur
'Starlit Leopard'
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'Starlit Leopard'
'Nature Silence'. The dried-up areas of Lake Urmia
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'Nature Silence'. The dried-up areas of Lake Urmia
'Ourense, a Burned Land'. Taken in Ourense, in the region of Galicia
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'Ourense, a Burned Land'. Taken in Ourense, in the region of Galicia
'Alpine Barns: A Piece of History Coming to an End'. Alpine barns, referred to as Stadel, Schüpfen or Maiensäss, are a common sight in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. They were used as shelter for animals in the summer and for storing farming equipment and hay in the winter
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'Alpine Barns: A Piece of History Coming to an End'. Alpine barns, referred to as Stadel, Schüpfen or Maiensäss, are a common sight in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. They were used as shelter for animals in the summer and for storing farming equipment and hay in the winter
'Voids Diary'. Life in Poland during the pandemic
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'Voids Diary'. Life in Poland during the pandemic
'Artifacts Beyond the Whiteout'. Hokkaido is often depicted as the land of ice and snow, and is commonly photographed in black & white
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'Artifacts Beyond the Whiteout'. Hokkaido is often depicted as the land of ice and snow, and is commonly photographed in black & white
'peace series'. The photographs here form part of a larger series of between 20 and 150 images
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'peace series'. The photographs here form part of a larger series of between 20 and 150 images
'Facade'. The images shown here are facades; it’s uncertain what purpose they serve. Are they a film set or a training camp for special forces?
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'Facade'. The images shown here are facades; it’s uncertain what purpose they serve. Are they a film set or a training camp for special forces?
'Ice Towers'
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'Ice Towers'
'Dakar Lights'. Shot from a helicopter early in the morning during stage 11 of the 2020 Dakar Rally, which took entrants from Shubaytah to Harad
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'Dakar Lights'. Shot from a helicopter early in the morning during stage 11 of the 2020 Dakar Rally, which took entrants from Shubaytah to Harad
'somethingsneverchange'
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'somethingsneverchange'
'Hymn of the building site'. A building site in Ninghai County, Zhejiang Province, China
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'Hymn of the building site'. A building site in Ninghai County, Zhejiang Province, China
'Hymn of the building site'. Ninghai County, Zhejiang Province, China
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'Hymn of the building site'. Ninghai County, Zhejiang Province, China
'Protezione Civile'. The Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR), a major repair workshop for rail vehicles, opened in 1895. During the first wave of Covid-19, the OGR temporarily became a hospital
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'Protezione Civile'. The Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR), a major repair workshop for rail vehicles, opened in 1895. During the first wave of Covid-19, the OGR temporarily became a hospital
'Rooftop'. During lockdown athletes in Iran took to training on the rooftops of their homes
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'Rooftop'. During lockdown athletes in Iran took to training on the rooftops of their homes
'Portfolio'
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'Portfolio'
'Facade'
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'Facade'
'Silent Neighborhoods'
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'Silent Neighborhoods'
'Attitude'. This series of images was taken using wide angle lenses and wireless triggers
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'Attitude'. This series of images was taken using wide angle lenses and wireless triggers
'Artifacts Beyond the Whiteout'
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'Artifacts Beyond the Whiteout'
'Eternal Hunting Grounds'. The former Drnov military complex has been abandoned for 17 years when two friends bought the dilapidated facility in order to realize their dream of building a final resting place for pets
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'Eternal Hunting Grounds'. The former Drnov military complex has been abandoned for 17 years when two friends bought the dilapidated facility in order to realize their dream of building a final resting place for pets
'The beds'
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'The beds'
'Black Leopard Under the Stars'. One of the leopards in this area is a very rare melanistic individual – a black panther. Prior to this project, a black leopard had not been scientifically documented in Africa for more than 100 years
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'Black Leopard Under the Stars'. One of the leopards in this area is a very rare melanistic individual – a black panther. Prior to this project, a black leopard had not been scientifically documented in Africa for more than 100 years
'Dakar Lights'
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'Dakar Lights'
'Zaim'. Tripoli is the second largest city in Lebanon by population and size, and is considered by the UN to be the poorest city on the Mediterranean coast
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'Zaim'. Tripoli is the second largest city in Lebanon by population and size, and is considered by the UN to be the poorest city on the Mediterranean coast
'Moon Revisited, BBQ'. This body of work is made up of previously unprocessed images from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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'Moon Revisited, BBQ'. This body of work is made up of previously unprocessed images from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
'Moon Revisited - Conspirator'
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'Moon Revisited - Conspirator'
'Net-zero Transition'. Iceland
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'Net-zero Transition'. Iceland
'Silent Neighborhoods'
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'Silent Neighborhoods'
View gallery - 38 images

The Sony World Photography Awards has revealed an incredible selection of finalists and shortlisted shots in its prestigious annual professional competition. This year’s shortlist highlights how unusual the last 12 months have been, with many images depicting the pandemic using strange and creative perspectives.

The contest is composed of four separate competitions: Professional, Youth, Student, and Open. The Professional competition focuses on a body or portfolio of work, across 10 separate categories.

'The beds'
'The beds'

This year, a record 145,000 shots were entered into the Professional competition. Mike Trow, chair of the jury, says the challenges photographers may have faced over the past year led to a notable increase in iconoclastic projects.

“The integrity, intentionality and considered edits presented in this year’s projects stirred up debate and genuine appreciation among the jury,” says Trow. “Photographers rose up to the challenges of 2020 using the time to delve deeper into personal projects and explore the stories unfolding in their local communities. Their efforts have truly paid off with shortlisted and finalists’ works presenting a noticeable step up in quality, which made the competition feel special this year.”

'Facade'. The images shown here are facades; it’s uncertain what purpose they serve. Are they a film set or a training camp for special forces?
'Facade'. The images shown here are facades; it’s uncertain what purpose they serve. Are they a film set or a training camp for special forces?

Lockdowns and travel restrictions certainly may have limited many photographers movements but these shortlisted images demonstrate profoundly creative depictions of a unique year in human history. UK photographer Mark Hamilton Gruchy offered perhaps the most radically creative series in the shortlist, incorporating coronavirus imagery into real NASA shots from the Moon.

'Portfolio'
'Portfolio'

Luca Locatelli’s shots of a century-old rail workshop being repurposed as a hospital for COVID-19 patients present a novel take on architecture and design. Unable to travel, landscape photographer Carol Graham, on the other hand, looked down at frozen puddles of water, turning close-up photos into something that resemble massive aerial panoramas.

The overall winners of the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards will be revealed in mid-April.

Take a look at our gallery for more spectacular shots from this year’s shortlist.

Source: World Photography Organization

View gallery - 38 images
2 comments
2 comments
ljaques
Starlit Leopard. Beauty, simplicity, and clarity.
Tord Eriksson
I love that shot of the facade, weird and perfectly executed!