Sony World Photography Awards finalists embrace the weirdness of 2020
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.
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.”
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.
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