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2021 Sony World Photography Awards Open Competition Winners & Shortlist Announced

The World Photography Organization has announced this year’s category winners and shortlist in the Open competition for the Sony World Photography Awards 2021. Over 100 photographers were shortlisted in the 2021 competition alongside ten category winners. Each winner receives the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony to develop their vision and will go on to compete for the prestigious Open Photographer of the Year title and a $5,000 reward. Learn more about the photographers below and stay tuned for future announcements, with the final winners announcement occurring via livestream on April 15.

See the winners and shortlisted photographers in the Open competition for the Sony World Photography Awards 2021.


Klaus Lenzen (Germany) for The Blue Window, depicting a ramp of stairs at the Hyatt hotel in Düsseldorf ascending towards a window from which a view of clear blue skies is reflected. Seemingly floating in space, the stairs and window are framed in dark shadows that highlight the design while also adding an element of surrealism.


Copyright: © Klaus Lenzen, Germany, Category Winner, Open, Architecture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Farshid Ahmadpour, Islamic Republic of Iran Abdulla Al-Mushaifri; Oman Steffen Ebert, Germany; Simone Hutsch, Germany; Vytenis Jankūnas, United States; Klaus Lenzen, Germany; Kunkun Liu, China Mainland; Aleksandr Lefler, Russian Federation; Jordan McChesney, Canada; Vitaly Medvedev, Russian Federation; Da Miane, Georgia; Jose Pessoa Neto, Portugal; Holger Ostwald, Germany; Ashwani Sarda, India.


Tamary Kudita (Zimbabwe) for African Victorian, a portrait of a young black woman dressed in Victorian dress and holding traditional Shona cooking utensils. The image probes at stereotypical contextualising of the black female body and offers an alternative visual language through which a multifaceted African identity is presented.


Copyright: © Tamary Kudita, Zimbabwe, Category Winner, Open, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Edita Bízová, Czech Republic; Tatenda Chidora, Zimbabwe Maximilien Diaz, France; Vyacheslav Ivanov, Russian Federation; Ali Jamshidi,, Islamic Republic of Iran; Joosep Kivimäe, Estonia; Angiolo Manetti, Italy; Jarod Mauws, Belgium; Alireza Movahedi, Islamic Republic of Iran; Hoije Nuuter, Estonia; Nara O'Neil, Australia; Jing Shen, China Mainland; Georgе Shpuntov, Russian Federation; Kylli Sparre, Estonia.


Juan López Ruiz (Spain) for Electric Storm on Lavender, a dramatic photograph capturing the moment lightning strikes a flowering field of lavender with a solitary tree at its centre, set against a dusky evening sky. Taken in the province of Guadalajara, Spain.


Copyright: © Juan López Ruiz, Spain, Category Winner, Open, Landscape, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Luca Donegani, Italy; Kevin Frank, Switzerland, Jinjing Lyu, China Mainland; Joaquin Marco, Spain; Andrea Ortiz Diaz, Colombia; Mehdi Parsaeian Islamic Republic of Iran; Lorenzo Poli, Italy; Scott Portelli, Australia; James Rushforth, United Kingdom; Hans Kristian Strand, Norway; Markus Wiedmann, Germany; Parker Yost, United States.


Mariano Belmar (Spain) for Dias de playa, a softly focused picture of two women enjoying a morning walk on the beach in Alicante, Spain.


Copyright: © Mariano Belmar , Spain, Category Winner, Open, Lifestyle, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Antonino Barone, Italy; Isabela Teresa Basilio Neri, Brazil; Gemma Brunton, United Kingdom; Holger Bücker, Germany; Stefano Butturini, Italy; Aimee Glucina, New Zealand; Michail Karagiannis, Greece; Hamed Rahmati, Islamic Republic of Iran; Alexey Tsiler, Russian Federation; Brad Walls, Australia.


Marijo Maduna (Croatia) for Girl Power, a black & white photograph recording the moment when a woman dives off a cliff on the island of Lokrum near Dubrovnik, Croatia, while her friends stand-by and watch.


Copyright: © Marijo Maduna, Croatia, Category Winner, Open, Motion, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Sandi Bertoncelj, Slovenia; Hersley-Ven Casero, The Philippines; Serkan Çolak, Turkey; Tadiwanashe Murowe, Zimbabwe; Mary Nhoileen Maypa, The Philippines; Ruud Peters, The Netherlands; Daniel Portch, United Kingdom; Zdeněk Vošický, Czech Republic; Brad Walls, Australia; Xianshe Ye, China Mainland.

Natural World & Wildlife

Cristo Pihlamäe (Estonia) for Little Kiss, an amusing picture of a hare looking out into the field with its tongue sticking out.


Copyright: © Cristo Pihlamäe, Estonia, Category Winner, Open, Natural World & Wildlife, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Hin Man Au, Hong Kong; Amish Chhagan, Zambia; Yuta Doto, Japan; Arturo de Frias, Spain; Tatyana Nemova, Russian Federation; Alex Pansier, The Netherlands; Alexandre Pietra, Switzerland; Mati Puum, Estonia; Inger Rønnenfelt, Denmark; Koki Shinoda, Japan; Andrew Suryono, Indonesia; Iakovos Thoedoros, Greece.


Kata Zih (Hungary) for Memento, depicting a tailor’s mannequin in an empty room. For Zih, the stillness of the scene evokes a feeling of solitude and stirs up memories of lockdown.


Copyright: © Kata Zih, Hungary, Category Winner, Open, Object, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Steve Chandler, United Kingdom; Christian Holz, Argentina; Uwe Langmann, Germany; Klaus Lenzen, Germany; Agata Mroczek, Poland; Paolo Paccagnella, Italy; Stefan Pankow, United Kingdom; Ann Petruckevitch, United Kingdom; Manuel Schmidt, Germany; Masumi Shiohara, Japan.


Lyudmila Sabanina (Russian Federation) for Son, featuring a young child sitting on a table while gazing into space, lost in contemplation. The photograph shows another side to childhood, one of calmness and reflection.


Copyright: © Lyudmila Sabanina, Russian Federation, Category Winner, Open, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Frederic Aranda, United Kingdom; Shirsendu Banerjee, India; Paul Benns, United Kingdom; Bella von Einsiedel, Germany; Reinis Fjodorovs, Latvia; Sabbir Hossen, Bangladesh; Zeng Jinwen, China Mainland; Heun Jung Kim, South Korea; Justin Keene, United Kingdom; King Mtambisi,, Zimbabwe; Rhianna Payne, United Kingdom; Jose Pessoa Neto, Portugal; Elif Öztürk, Turkey; Mireia Vilaplana, Spain.

Street Photography

F. Dilek Uyar (Turkey) for Disinfection, a cinematic image documenting an employee of the Health Affairs unit of Ankara Municipality in protective gear walking along the train platform while spraying it with disinfectant.


Copyright: © F.Dilek Uyar, Turkey, Category Winner, Open, Street Photography, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Dina Alfasi, Israel; Dimpy Bhalotia, India; David Keith Brown, United States; Gary Cummins, Ireland; Ramunas Danisevicius, Lithuania; Basu Deb, India; Tommaso Galli, Italy; Vytenis Jankūnas, United States; Ares Jonekson, Indonesia; Bartlomiej Jurecki, Poland; Tomasz Kowalski, Poland; Francesco Lopazio, Italy; Zhang Weijian, China; Mainland Soemyint Winn, Myanmar.


Khanh Phan (Vietnam) for Drying Fish, a photograph of a lone woman surrounded by hundreds of trays of drying fish in the Long Hai fish market in Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Vietnam. Taken from above the pattern, of the fish in trays resembles a large piece of fabric with the woman seemingly weaving it all together.


Copyright: © Khanh Phan, Vietnam, Category Winner, Open, Travel, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Shortlist: Marios Forsos, Greece; Alexis Guevara, Mexico; Graeme Haunholter, Canada; Martina Lo Casto, Italy; Rune Mattsson, Norway; Hiroki Nose, Japan; Yukihito Ono, Japan; Franz Sußbauer, Germany; F.Dilek Uyar, Turkey; Min Min Zaw, Myanmar.

This year’s Open competition was judged by Gastón Deleau, Director, FOLA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The overall winners of the Open, Professional, Student and Youth competition of the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 will be announced on April 15 via the World Photography Organization’s digital and video platforms. For more information about winners and shortlists please visit worldphoto.org.


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