The 2019 Sony World Photography Awards saw record-breaking entries, with over 326,000 submissions across four competitions from 195 countries and territories. Earlier this month, they announced Nadav Kander as the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Contribution To Photography award, and now they’ve released the shortlist for the Professional and Student competitions. See more about them below and stay tuned for when Photographer of the Year, ten Professional category winners, and the overall Open Youth and Student winners are announced at the London Awards ceremony on April 17.
“The 2019 Sony World Photography Awards saw record-breaking entries, with over 326,000 submissions across four competitions from 195 countries and territories.”
LONDON: March 26, 2019: Showcasing exceptional series by the best artists working worldwide in photography, the World Photography Organisation today reveals the shortlisted photographers for the Professional competition of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.
The Awards offer photographers unparalleled opportunity to showcase their art to a global audience, with past winning and shortlisted artists enjoying career-boosting benefits such as gallery representation, exhibitions and publishing deals. The 2019 shortlist presents a vibrant and diverse insight into photography today.
Specially selected by a panel of the world’s leading judges from academia, museums, publishing, festivals and the media, the judges have chosen a powerful range of cutting-edge series across ten diverse categories. Often taken from larger bodies of work, the Professional shortlist contains a series of five to ten exceptional images. Each series demonstrates artistic prowess and expertise in photographic techniques, editing and visual storytelling, providing audiences with captivating stories about humanity and the contemporary world.
Copyright: © Imma Barrera, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Today’s shortlisted artists offer their interpretations of the modern world in all its forms. Many tackle political issues: Daniel Ochoa de Olza’s (Spain) architectural images bring to light border wall prototypes currently in place in San Diego near the Mexico / US border, whereas Toby Binder’s (Germany) photo essay depicts the ubiquity of problems afflicting youth in Belfast, Ireland and the impact Brexit may have on the 1998 Peace Agreement. The beauty of the natural world and man’s effect upon it can be seen in Kieran Dodds’ (UK) aerial imagery of Ethiopia, highlighting the 95% loss of its native forests, and in the work of Leah Schretenthaler (USA), who uses traditional film and silver gelatin to shoot and print images of controversial infrastructure projects in Hawaii, which she then lasered out leaving scar-like blank spaces on the photographs.
Copyright: © Leah Schretenthaler, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Insights into lives and places that might otherwise be unknown are also shared: Alice Mann (South Africa) shows the unique and aspirational subculture surrounding all-female teams of drum majorettes, while Kohei Ueno (Japan) takes the viewer to the underwater world of competitive freediving and stunning portraits of the female boxers of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo are offered by Alessandro Grassani (Italy).
The success of those shortlisted is notable as the 2019 Professional competition received its highest number of entries to date, with submissions by artists from 161 countries as far afield as Gabon, Paraguay, and Cote D’Ivoire. This internationality is continued in the shortlist, with both emerging and established photographers recognised from 30 countries including St Kitts and Nevis, Finland Japan, Colombia and Iran.
Copyright: © Chris Donovan, Canada, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
All Professional shortlisted photographers will now go on to compete to become category winners, with the chance to be selected as Photographer of the Year winning $25,000 (USD). Second and third placings in each category will also be awarded on April 17 and their work will be shown at the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London, before touring globally.
The Student shortlist features bodies of work by ten students at leading higher education institutions from across the world. Responding to the theme of ‘Evolution’, shortlisted photographers come from a range of countries including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Spain, Argentina and Canada.
Nur Hidayati Binti Abd. Rahim, Faculty Of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Malaysia
Carla Meyer-Kleynhans, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Sounak Das, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Bangladesh
Sergi Villanueva, Universidad Jaume I, Spain
Leonie Synott-Bruson, College de Matane, Canada
Sol Leonardi, TFP/Motivarte, Argentina
Tobias Kobborg Kristensen, Danish School of Media and Journalism, Denmark
Sam Delaware, Pacific Union College, USA
Joel Davies, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, UK
Cassidy Power, University of Auckland - Elam, New Zealand
Copyright: © Leonie Synott-Bruson, Canada, Shortlist, Student, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
All ten shortlisted photographers have won Sony Digital Imaging equipment and will be flown to London to attend the Awards ceremony on April 17, where the overall Student winner will be announced and will receive €30,000 (Euros) worth of Sony photography equipment for their institution.
In London, the ten students will take part in an intimate talk with Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipient Nadav Kander and a portfolio review with 2019 Student competition judge Jason Baron (Creative Director of Photography, BBC Creative) and the World Photography Organisation. As well as providing various networking opportunities for the students and their tutors, each student will also be considered for the 2019 Student Sony Grant.
Copyright: © Sam Delaware, United States of America, Shortlist, Student, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards are one of the most important fixtures on the global photographic calendar. The Awards are now in their 12th year of partnership with headline sponsor Sony and consist of four competitions in total: Professional (for a body of works), Open (for a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19-year olds).
All Professional and Student competition shortlisted images are available at worldphoto.org.