Spectacular Winning Photos From The Sony World Photography Awards 2020
Created by the World Photography Organisation and sponsored by Sony, the Sony World Photography Awards has four competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student. It is one of the world’s largest and prestigious photography competitions, with more than 345,000 images from 203 countries and territories submitted across the four competitions for the 2020 edition. More than 135,000 images were entered into the Professional competition this year – the highest entries to date.
Below you will enjoy winners from all four competitions, plus the Alpha Female Award and Latin America Professional Award winners – both new awards for 2020.
Seeds of Resistance: Pablo Albarenga, Uruguay; 1st place, Creative category and overall winner of photographer of the year.
“Seeds of Resistance is a body of work that pairs photographs of landscapes and territories in danger from mining and agriculture businesses with portraits of the activists fighting to conserve them. Nantu is an indigenous man from the Achuar Nation of Ecuador who leads a project of solar-powered river boats. Indigenous and traditional populations refuse to abandon their land, even when it has been completely destroyed”. (Photo by Pablo Albarenga/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Pangolins in Crisis: Brent Stirton, South Africa; 1st place, Natural world and wildlife.
“Pangolins are the world’s most illegally trafficked mammals, with an estimated one million trafficked to Asia in the last 10 years. Their scales are used in traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medicine, and their meat is sold as a high-priced delicacy. As a result, pangolins are listed as critically endangered and anyone who trades or consumes them is breaking the law. This body of work exposes the trade, while exploring aspects of illegality and celebrating the people who are trying to save these animals”. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Invisible Wounds: Hugh Kinsella Cunningham, UK; 3rd place, Discovery category.
“A health worker at an emergency reception centre for patients suspected of infection with the Ebola virus in Beni, North Kivu. This project aims to capture the invisible wounds of an outbreak of Ebola in an active conflict zone in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hand-printed images were stained in the darkroom, signifying the unseen virus and trauma sweeping across the region and into the lives of communities”. (Photo by Hugh Kinsella Cunningham/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Ice Fishing Huts: Sandra Herber, Canada; 1st place, Architecture category.
“Winters in Manitoba, Canada, are long and often bitterly cold. When the temperature drops, lakes and rivers in the province play host to some amazing folk architecture in the form of ice-fishing huts. These huts, shacks or permies (as they are called in Manitoba) must be transportable, protect their occupants from the elements and allow access to the ice below for fishing”. (Photo by Sandra Herber/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Hanoi Bikes: Jon Enoch, UK; Shortlist, Portraiture.
“Delivery drivers on the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam, use their amazing balance skills to deliver goods to shops and vendors across the city. Some riders sell directly from their bikes. New legislation plans to ban motorbikes from the city by 2030 in a bid to improve air quality and reduce congestion”. (Photo by Jon Enoch/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Immortality, Inc: Alessandro Gandolfi, Italy; 1st place, Still life.
“A closeup of Alter. A small but growing number of scientists and intellectuals have posited that the most important challenge facing modern science is to overcome death and achieve the promise of eternal youth. Some believe that in the future, it will be possible to completely “download” our minds into humanoids similar to this one, and therefore, by overcoming the physical limits imposed by the human body, it will be possible to live forever”. (Photo by Alessandro Gandolfi/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Senegalese Wrestlers: Angel Lopez Soto, Spain; 1st place, Sport.
“Wrestling has become the No 1 national sport in Senegal and parts of the Gambia. It belongs to a larger West African form of traditional wrestling (known as Lutte Traditionnelle) and is more popular than football. The sport has become a means of social ascendance, making some athletes millionaires. These pictures show wrestlers training on a beach in Dakar”. (Photo by Angel Lopez Soto/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Cast Out of Heaven: Hashem Shakeri, Iran; 2nd place, Discovery category.
“The current US sanctions against Iran, and the subsequent fall in the value of the Iranian currency, are causing house prices in the country to skyrocket. As a result, many Tehraners have been forced to leave the capital and move to satellite towns where accommodation is more affordable. The Mehr Housing Project, initiated in 2007, was the largest state-funded housing project in the history of Iran. What followed was rapid growth in urban population and the construction of new towns”. (Photo by Hashem Shakeri/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Wounds of Hong Kong: Chung Ming Ko; 1st place winner, Documentary.
“Protests in Hong Kong show no signs of abating after months of unrest. What began as an objection to the extradition bill has evolved into a wider protest regarding the future of the city. Due to clashes with police, protesters have suffered a range of injuries, with reports suggesting that since the demonstrations began cases of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have risen among the population”. (Photo by Chung Ming Ko/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Baby Boom: Didier Bizet, France; 2nd place, Documentary.
“A Reborn is a hyper-realistic doll that resembles a newborn baby. Many reborns have birthmarks, veins, hair, visible skin pores, and even saliva. Markets for these dolls range from reborn artists and collectors to hospitals and adoptive mothers and fathers. What motivates a person, or a couple, to “adopt” a reborn – the word “buy” is frowned upon in these circles – varies. For some, there is the attraction of caring for a baby that shares their physical features. For others, a reborn is an antidote to loneliness”. (Photo by Didier Bizet/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Wahala: Robin Hinsch, Germany; 1st place, Environment.
“A natural gas flaring site in Ughelli, Niger delta, Nigeria. The Niger delta was formed primarily by sediment deposition. It used to boast an incredibly rich ecosystem, containing one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet, before the oil industry moved in. Gas flaring is a byproduct of oil extraction. As the gas burns it destroys crops, pollutes water and has a negative impact on human health”. (Photo by Robin Hinsch/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Shadows of Kurdistan: Murat Yazar, Turkey; Shortlist, Discovery. A couple taking a boat tour in Lake Dukan in Iraq before their wedding celebration.
“I was born in a Kurdish village in southeastern Turkey and, like millions of Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, I have encountered problems while trying to express my Kurdish identity. We live in our land like shadows, without colour, which is why I decided to call this project Shadows of Kurdistan. It was also important to me that the vibrancy of Kurdish culture shone through”. (Photo by Murat Yazar/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Composite: Adalbert Mojrzisch, Germany; 3rd Place, Natural world and wildlife.
“Most of my subjects are found dead on windowsills or in zoological gardens – in that sense you could say they are unremarkable. At first glance, the insects appear grey and dirty, but when viewed at high magnifications (usually between 5x and 80x) interesting structures and beautiful colours begin to emerge. Each image is a composite of between 200 and 600 individual pictures stacked and stitched together”. (Photo by Adalbert Mojrzisch/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Ukrainian Railroad Ladies: Sasha Maslov, Ukraine; 3rd place, Portraiture.
“In this series I explore my childhood fascination with railroads and the fairytale houses that stand beside the tracks. As a photographer, I was drawn to the architecture and interiors of these buildings. About 80% of the workers are women. They spend long shifts in small dedicated buildings beside the tracks”. (Photo by Sasha Maslov/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Unsung Heroes: Denis Rouvre, France; 2nd place, Portraiture.
“Unsung Heroes is a project about violence against women around the world. The women agreed to testify, their faces uncovered, in front of my camera. Some subjects had suffered violence linked to displacement following the wars in Syria and in Colombia, others had survived domestic abuse, or the use of collective rape as a weapon in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I wanted to show the suffering experienced by these women, but also their strength and resilience – in short, their ability to get up and fight again”. (Photo by Denis Rouvre/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)
Torii: Ronny Behnert, Germany; 1st place, Landscape.
“Evidence of Shintoism and Buddhism – the most common religions in Japan – can be found in every corner of the country. Shrines and torii (traditional Japanese gates commonly found at the entrance to Shinto shrines, marking the transition from mundane to sacred spaces) can be seen in the remotest of locations, from the middle of the Pacific Ocean to the highest mountains and the deepest forests”. (Photo by Ronny Behnert/Sony World Photography Awards 2020)