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Sony World Photography Awards 2018 Winners

The World Photography Organization named the overall winners of the prestigious 2018 Sony World Photography Awards. This year’s 11th edition saw a record-breaking number of entries, with over 320,000 submissions by photographers from more than 200 countries and territories. See just a few of the overall winners below. 

Photographer of the Year – Alys Tomlinson, British

Ex-Voto is a personal project by London-based photographer Tomlinson (age 43). The winning work encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-life images of the ‘ex-votos’ (offerings of religious devotion) found at pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland).

The photographer mainly explores themes of environment, belonging and identity. She recently completed an MA in Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage and has been recognized by a number of photography prizes.

Image Name: Untitled
Photographer Name: Alys Tomlinson
Year: 2018
Image Description: Untitled from the series 'Ex-Voto'
Series Name: Ex-Voto
Series Description: A handwritten note neatly folded and hidden in the crevice of a rock, crosses etched onto stone, ribbon carefully wrapped around piles of twigs. These are all offerings of religious devotion, known as ‘Ex-Votos’ and found at Christian pilgrimage sites worldwide. Often placed anonymously and hidden from view, pilgrims leave ex-votos as expressions of hope and gratitude, creating a tangible narrative between faith, person and the landscape. Taken at the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland), the project encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-lifes of the objects and markers left behind. Shot on 5x4, large format film, the images evoke a distinct stillness and reflect the mysterious, timeless quality present at these sites of great spiritual contemplation. People and landscape merge as place, memory and history entwine. NB all images untitled and taken in 2016/2017.
Copyright: © Alys Tomlinson, United Kingdom, 1st Place, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Open Photographer of the Year – Veselin Atanasov, Bulgarian

Selected from 10 category winners as the best single image in the world, Atanasov is recognized for his work Early Autumn and receives a $5,000 (USD) prize. An IT specialist, Atanasov is a self-taught photographer who began shooting in 2014. The winning photograph captures autumn in the Central Balkan National Park.

Image Name: Early autumn
Photographer Name: Veselin Atanasov
Year: 2018
Image Description: The autumn has begun to decorate with its colors the woods of the Balkans. National Park - Central Balkan, Bulgaria.
Copyright: © Veselin Atanasov, Winner, Open Landscape & Nature and Winner, Bulgaria National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Youth Photographer of the Year – Megan Johnson, American, Age 16

Open to photographers aged 12-19, Johnson was awarded for her image Still. Shot on the cliffs near her house in Connecticut, the black and white image captures the complex and intricate solitude the photographer faces in everyday life.

Image Name: still.
Photographer Name: Megan Johnson
Year: 2018
Image Description: This image was shot on October 22, 2017 on the cliffs right near my house. It was taken on an iPhone 7 for the following: life, to me, has more detail in black and white. This image represents my current state at home and school. Despite having a social group and a caring family, I often find myself alone, left to watch what goes on around me, all the while being caught up in the very center of it. This glimpse through the trees of the figure on the cliff represents the courage it takes to be one’s self in today’s society, and how even when you’re on the inside, you can be pushed out.
Copyright: © Megan Johnson, United States of America, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth, Your Environment (2018 Youth competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Student Photographer of the Year – Samuel Bolduc, Canadian, Age 20

Bolduc was chosen by the judges from students worldwide for his photographic series The Burden. The work beautifully illustrates the physical burden of plastic waste in the environment to highlight the urgent need to halt plastic pollution.

Image Name: Fragmentation
Photographer Name: Samuel Bolduc
Year: 2018
Image Description: My photography is a poetic work. It puts in relation the beauty of our bodies of water and the devastation caused by man. Tearing the paper creates a direct link with the waves of the Saint-Laurent river. It can also be read as a sign which emphasises damages caused by man.
My work is constituted by three photographs. The images were printed with an inkjet printer on matt paper. Afterward, I tore and assembled them to create a 3D model. A photographic reproduction was made to create a shadow under each level of the model.

The 2019 Sony World Photography Awards opens for entries June 1, 2018. All entries are free at www.worldphoto.org.


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