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Highlights Of The 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

The largest photography award in the World hosted its annual award's ceremony last night and ePHOTOzine were invited to find out who would walk away with the overall title and grand prize.

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The Sony World Photography Awards, now in its 8th year, hosted an awards Gala ceremony, with Master of Ceremonies W. M. Hunt last night. The photography award is now the largest in the World with over 173,000 entries from 171 countries.

The award ceremony started with the Student Focus award where Svetlana Blagodareva from Russia was crowned the winner with her series of moody low light shots of light in the environment. She has won €35,000 of Sony photography equipment for her university, Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University.


© Svetlana Blagodareva, Russia, Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University, winner, Student Focus, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards 


Following this was the Youth award for people aged 12-19, in which there were over 6000 entries, with the winner a 19-year-old Yong Lin Tan from Malaysia, winning with the below picture of a starry night sky captured outside his grandmother's house.


© Yong Lin Tan, Malaysia, Winner, Youth Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards


In the Open Competition there were over 79,000 entries and the winner is Armin Appel from Germany winning $5000 for his architecture photography of a school-yard taken while paragliding. The Open Competition has a wide variety of categories including Architecture, Arts and Culture, Enhanced, Low Light, Nature and Wildlife, Panoramic, People, Smile, Split Second and Travel.


Elliot Erwitts Dogs


They went on to announce the winner of the "Outstanding Contribution To Photography Award" which was given to Magnum Photographer Elliot Erwitt. This was presented with a video of stories from Elliot and his friends and family, along with a selection of his iconic images which include a number of amusing, and now famous, dog photographs.

After this, things got serious with the Professional Awards. The categories for this award include: People, Portraiture, Architecture, Travel, Lifestyle, Campaign, Arts and Culture, Sport (although not your typical sport), Conceptual, Current affairs, Contemporary Issues, Still Life and Landscape.

Shoot ball, not gun

© Sebastian Gil Miranda, France, Winner, Campaign, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Of the many categories, there were a number that stood out as outstanding examples of photography including:

The Sports category was a particular highlight with photos including synchronised swimming from Jonathan Yeap, children's ballet from Irina Dainakova and women's wrestling in Bolivia from Riccardo Bononi. Riccardo Bononi was awarded the winner of this category.

Female wrestling

© Riccardo Bononi / IRFOSS, Italy, Winner, Sport, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Lifestyle - This title went to Li Fan from China for his photographs of ethnic Yi People, who live in the Great Liangshan Mountains in southwest China. The series of photographs have been taken over a 10 year period.

Yi People


Conceptual - The winner of this category is Rahul Talukder, from Bangladesh, who has taken photographs of the posters of missing people from the 2013 Bangladesh garment factory disaster, where over 1100 people died. The posters have aged and deteriorated over time due to wind, sun and rain, creating a haunting version of the missing people.

Winter Landscape

© Simon Norfolk/INSTITUTE, United Kingdom, Winner, Landscape, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Landscape - Winning this was Simon Norfolk from the UK, with his impressive photos of glaciers and fire. The fire lives represent the front of the disappearing Lewis Glacier at various times in the past. He was keen to promote, a site that documents the world's glaciers.

Current Affairs - The standout images shortlisted in this category were from John Moore, and were his haunting photographs of the Ebola crisis in Liberia. Of all the images shortlisted these were some of the most visceral and raw, making it difficult to forget the images.

John Moore work

This leads us on to the L'IRIS D'OR, which is the coveted grand prize for the "Professional Photography of the Year", with a prize of $25,000, which was given to John Moore for his images of the Ebola crises.

John Moore

John Moore elected to go to Liberia to photograph the Ebola crisis, for Getty Images, and despite being in a hazmat suit did, at times, fear for his life. John took images where very few other photographers were as the media quickly moved on to the next "hot" story while the crises continued unreported.

The shortlisted photos, and winning photographs, can be seen at Somerset House, London until 10 May 2015 where there are over 400 photographs on display. Entry to next year's competition begins on 1 June 2015.

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