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Sony, the telecoms and high tech giant, has had great success in the camera industry since its first digital camera, the Mavic, was released in 1988. There was a gap of almost ten years until Sony released its second digital camera, the Cyber-shot model, in 1996, however since then many photographers have come to rely on their excellent cameras and accessories to support their work.
Sony have been partnering with the World Photography Organization since 2012 to create an international platform for the Sony Photo Awards. Each year the generous prizes and world wide publicity attract some of the most creative and inventive photographers from all over the globe, and each year, the winners are an eclectic mix of powerful contemporary pieces.
The various competitions that come under the umbrella of the Sony Photo Awards are open to working professional photographers and amateurs, new comers and students, with different categories to reward their respective excellence. The Awards provide an incredible opportunity for the photographers who enter to gain invaluable experience, exposure and potentially, some very good prizes for the winners, including a share of the $60,000 overall prize fund as well as some of the latest Sony cameras and equipment.
There are four main categories in the Awards, each with its own prize.
- The Open Award. This is for a single, stand alone photograph and can be the most exciting and unpredictable of the Awards.
- The Professional Award. This is awarded to working professionals for their entire body of work and is highly prestigious.
- The Student Award. This is an award that goes to students who are currently in an academic institution, such as an art school or photography college, and can be a life changing springboard into their future careers as photographers.
- The Youth Award. This goes to younger photographers between the ages of 12 and 19 years old.
The competition is free to enter and within each main category there are awards for all kinds of photography, including landscape, architectural, portraiture, street, documentary, travel, wildlife and sports photography. There really is something for everyone, which makes these awards one of the biggest annual events in the field of the contemporary arts.
As part of the Sony Photo Awards, each year in the spring season, the shortlisted photographers are exhibited in the famous Somerset House, London, drawing thousands of interested viewers before the winners are announced in June.
After the opening launch in London, the exhibition that contains up to 800 images travels around the globe through Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Sony Photo Awards 2020 – Photographer of the Year – Pablo Albarenga.
Pablo Albarenga’s Seeds of Resistance collection was selected for photographer of the year in Sony Photo Awards in 2020. Pablo Albarenga is a professional documentary photographer who has used his work to explore some of the most contentious issues of contemporary society in South America. His series, the ‘Seeds of Resistance’ documents the beautiful Brazilian landscapes that face the threat of destruction as a result of uncontrolled mining and exploitation by the big-agri businesses that are decimating the Amazon rain forest.
The series contrasts the people who are defending the rain forest landscape with the landscapes themselves which are being destroyed by ruthless multinationals. The people, or ‘defenders’, are lying down in poses that are reminiscent of someone lying in a coffin beside an image of the landscape they are protecting. The juxtaposition in the images creates a powerful sense of pathos and with the Amazon being in the news in recent years audiences are easily able to relate to the narratives involved.
It’s a great series of documentary photography that has managed to incorporate the sense of place that is slipping away from the people who are trying to protect it. The series achieves exactly what it is trying to and the priceless publicity that the Sony Photo Awards will attract to it brings hope to the defenders of the rain forest and new allies from all over the globe.
Sony Photo Awards 2020 – Student Photographer of the Year – ‘Aeiforia’ by Ioanna Sakalleraki.
Ioanna Sakalleraki studies at the London Royal College of Art in the United Kingdom and has won the student photographer of the year for her series about a surprising Greek island named Tipos that has managed to become a completely energy self sustaining using only renewable power sources to fuel their needs. The tiny island that she explores is a microcosm of what could be for the planet, and her slightly eerie pictures capture the fragile beauty of the place.
She sets out to photograph the various renewable energy devices that the islanders use to create the energy they need for their daily lives, from solar panels to the wires that carry the electricity around the Mediterranean island where her photography creates an oddly haunting series that is nonetheless still very elegant in its composition.
Are you Interested in Registering to Enter your Photography for the Sony Photo Awards 2021 and Catapult your work onto the world stage?
If you have been inspired or are interested in entering this prestigious photography competition why not enter the 2021 competition? It’s free to enter and may open some amazing doors in your future photography career. Photography can be entered from July 1st, 2020 for next year’s competition.
To register your interest and receive updates about next year’s Sony Photo Awards, then you can visit here to begin the application process.
The Sony Photo Awards – A Diamond in the Rough World of Professional Photography.
The Sony Photo Awards are one of the world’s excellent initiatives that brings people together to celebrate the work of professional, student and young photographers while highlighting important social issues from around the globe. It provides a wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity for the many people who win awards or are shortlisted for the touring exhibitions, and given that it is free to enter and has so many categories, it truly creates a fantastic platform for photographers everywhere to gain exposure and acclaim.
For more inspiration or just to browse the work on display this year, you can also check out the Sony Photo Awards Online Virtual Gallery or lose yourself exploring the galleries of past winners going back to 2012.
Have you considered submitting your photos for the Sony Photo Awards?