Here are the Shortlists & Category Winners of Sony World Photography Awards 2020 Open Competition. More than 100 photographers were shortlisted in the 2020 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 (USD) reward. The overall Open winner will be announced on 9th June on the World Photography Organisation and Sony’s online platforms.
#1 Architecture Winner – Rosaria Sabrina Pantano, Italy
Having returned to Sicily for the holidays, myself and a group of friends visited Fiumara d’Arte, an open museum showcasing sculptures made by contemporary artists, located along the banks of the Tusa River. Among these works is 38° Parallelo by Mauro Staccioli – a pyramid that stands at the exact point where the geographical coordinates touch the 38th parallel.
#2 Culture Winner – Antoine Veling, Australia
When audience members were invited on stage to dance at an Iggy Pop concert in Sydney Opera House, Australia, on 17 April 2019, it showed the warm welcome Aussies extend to overseas artists who travel long distances to reach them.
A woman’s outstretched arm lunges to touch Iggy. He seems unaware of her approach as the crowd presses around him. One of Iggy’s assistants, Jos (in the grey checked shirt) tries to make some space around Iggy. The scene is reminiscent of a passage from the Bible: ‘Because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”’ (Mark 5:25-34, line 28). The image has been likened to religious paintings by Caravaggio, and his chiaroscuro technique. It went crazy on social media, making 40,000 people, including Iggy Pop, very happy.
#3 Creative Winner – Suxing Zhang, China
This picture is from my series ‘Hua’, which means flower in Chinese. Flowers are often used as metaphors for life and eroticism in art. Hua explores the commonalities and connections between flowers and the feminine – in particular, emotional vulnerability and sensitivity. Qualities such as calmness, and emotions such as uncertainty, fear, anxiety and loneliness are translated into conceptual and artistic forms.
In Knot, I use a combination of light and texture to create strong visuals that heighten the senses. I like to use symbolic and metaphoric ingredients in my work, which I hope allows the audience to blend their own subjectivity with the objectivity of the photograph, leading to different interpretations and emotions.
#4 Motion Winner – Alec Connah, United Kingdon
Despite measuring 125 metres high, it took the four cooling towers of Ironbridge Power Station in Shropshire, England, just 10 seconds to be demolished on 6 December 2019. The towers had been a feature of the landscape for 50 years, but were brought down as part of a new development on the site. The demolition had been a long time coming – the towers were close to a river, railway line and protected woodland, so their destruction had to be precise. This picture was taken from my garden, which is on the hillside opposite the site.
#5 Landscape Winner – Craig McGowan, Australia
A solitary iceberg, set against the fjord walls in Northeast Greenland National Park.
#6 Portraiture Winner – Tom Oldham, United Kingdon
Photographers for MOJO Magazine enjoy a rare degree of freedom and trust with what is usually an open brief. This allows us to capture our own experience with very high profile musicians. However, when photographing famous singers, we are often painfully aware of how many times the sitter has, well, sat. I like to acknowledge this and asked Charles (aka Black Francis) to show me the level of frustration photoshoots can generate. He offered up this perfect gesture of exasperation, and the image ran as the lead portrait for the feature.
#7 Natural World & Wildlife Winner – Guofei Li, China
These cheetahs had just eaten an antelope, and were licking the bloodstains off each other’s faces. It’s a very rare posture, and one that reminded me of the traditional Chinese. Tai Chi diagram. The picture was taken in Botswana in January 2019.
#8 Still Life Winner – Jorge Reynal, Argentina
Each year, eight million tons of plastic end up in our oceans – equivalent to emptying a garbage truck into the water every minute. This is my protest against pollution.
In my language (Spanish), we use the words ‘Naturaleza Muerta’ to refer to still life, which ironically translates as ‘Dead Nature’.
#9 Street Photography Winner – Santiago Mesa, Colombia
In recent years, a number of protests have broken out across Latin America. Reasons for this unrest range from a proposed end to fuel subsidies in Ecuador to a rise in metro fares in Chile, and feelings of inequality and a general lack of opportunity in Colombia. In Medellín, north-western Colombia, workers and street vendors were taking part in a march when the Medellin riot squad dispersed them.
#10 Travel Winner – Adrian Guerin, Australia
At 2.5km long, the iron-ore train in Mauritania is one of the longest trains in the world. It covers over 700km on its journey from the coastal town of Nouadhibou to the Saharan wilderness of Zouérat. More than 200 carriages are loaded with rocks in Zouérat, before the train begins its long journey back to Nouadhibou. I rode the train in both directions in July 2019. On the first leg of the journey I learnt that in order to photograph the full length of the train I needed to stand on the rocks for height, position myself in a rear carriage to get the full view, and keep the sun behind me. Alas, none of this was possible until the morning of day three, at which point I had almost given up. This shot was taken as I balanced on my toes atop a mountain of rocks, trying to remain steady as the train jolted from side to side.
Some Amazing Short List Entries
Landscape Short List – Or Adar, Israel
Culture Short List – Gil Kreslavsky, Israel
Culture Short List – Satheesh Chandran, India
Culture Short List – Mahesh Lonkar, India
Creative Short List – Marek Juras, Czech Republic
Creative Short List – Julian Fabiolato, United States of America
Motion Short List – Marc Le Cornu, United Kingdom
Motion Short List – Jessica Chappe, United States of America
Creative Short List – Henry Oude Egberink, Netherlands
Motion Short List – Emma Williams, United Kingdom
Motion Short List – Lloyd Lane, United Kingdom
Motion Short List – Jonathan Taylor, United States of America
Motion Short List – Lior Yaakobi, Israel
Motion Short List – Peter Svoboda, Slovakia
Landscape Short List – Kai Hornung, Germany
Natural World & Wildlife Short List – Alex Kydd, Australia
Natural World & Wildlife Short List – Marleen Van Eijk, Netherlands
Natural World & Wildlife Short List – Julia Wimmerlin, Ukraine
Natural World & Wildlife Short List – Caroline Paux, France
Natural World & Wildlife Short List – Domenico Tripodi, Italy
Portraiture Short List – Dmitrii Tulmentev, Russian Federation
Still Life Short List – Simone Bramante, Italy
Still Life Short List – Javier De Benito, Spain
Street Photography Short List – Peter Brooks, United Kingdom
Street Photography Short List – Joaquín Luna, Spain
Street Photography Short List – Shawn Yuan, China
Street Photography Short List – Bülent Suberk, Turkey
Travel Short List – Michael Paramonti, Germany
Travel Short List – Hu Qing, China
Travel Short List – Manfred Voss, Germany
Travel Short List – Trung Pham Huy, Vietnam
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Photo Credits: 121 Clicks granted permission to use photos by Sony World Photography Awards.