The winners of the Open and Youth sections of the
2016 Sony World Photography Awards have been announced. A record-breaking 230,103 photographs from 186 countries were entered into three sections (Professional, Open and Youth) in the world's biggest photography competition. The 10 Open and three Youth winners were selected from a total of 103,005 entries.
Each winning image was chosen as the single best shot in its category and was judged by an expert panel chaired by Jael Marschner, former picture editor of Time Out London and Sunday Times Travel. Photographers of all abilities can enter the 10 Open categories and young photographers aged 12 to 19 may enter the three Youth categories. Many of the winners are simply photography enthusiasts, not professionals in the industry. The winners come from around the world and the youngest is just 12 years old.
Arts and Culture winner: The Lantern Store by Swee Choo Oh, Malaysia. 'I took this image during my visit to Hoi An, an ancient town located in Vietnam's central Quang Nam Province. While walking along a street in the early morning I was captivated by this wonderful lady starting her day, peacefully waiting for customers. She was perfectly framed by the store with beautiful morning light illuminating the lanterns, souvenirs and her wonderful character. The overall feel was of an old painting' Swee Choo Oh/Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Enhanced winner: Planned Obsolescence by Pedro Diaz Molins, Spain. 'I shot the subject last summer in Torrevieja (Spain). One day I went to take photos at sunrise and when I came back home I saw the first swimmers of the morning. The woman captured my attention because she seemed recently arrived from the 1960s and then I thought the history between them and in the metaphor with planned obsolescence. It is the result of five blended photos and shadows adjustments to get more realism' Pedro Diaz Molins/Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Low Light winner: Enchanted Bamboo Lights by Kei Nomiyama, Japan. 'Fireflies blink in a beautiful bamboo forest. This picture was taken under a little moonlight' Kei Nomiyama/Sony World Photography Awards 2016 People category winner: Cuba Beach by Alexandre Meneghini, Brazil. 'People swim in the sea in Havana on 28 April 2015. On that Sunday, Cuba registered a temperature of 39.7 degrees, which is 0.1 degrees less than the island's historic record' Alexandre Meneghini/Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Panoramic winner: Goðafoss by Markus van Hauten, Germany. 'This is the famous Goðafoss in wintertime where I spent 10 days. Clear blue-green water and ice everywhere. It was cloudy, nearly no wind and so the spray of the waterfall was very low. When there is a lot of spray you cannot do a long-time exposure because the lens will get wet and the picture is not usable. So for this kind of picture the conditions were great. I chose an exposure time of 25s to get the smooth effect on the water' Markus van Hauten/Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Nature and Wildlife winner: Bathing Polar Bear by Michaela Šmídová, Czech Republic. 'When I saw this polar bear swimming in the water, my goal was to capture the joy and also the energy. The image was photographed in February 2015, during one of my trips to Prague' Michaela Šmídová/Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Split Second winner: Splashing Birds by Chaiyot Chanyam, Thailand. 'Two birds were sipping water on the bank, unaware of the coming crashing waves. My category winning image is all about knowing what is going to happen. This is because if we could not see what was coming, one cannot take such an action scene in time no matter how fast your camera is. By using my street photography skill and observing each moving element in the scene, I could roughly see what was coming and was able to prepare my shot and capture the right moment at its peak. This way, the power of the scene and expression of the subjects will be most impactful and can, therefore, connect to audiences' /Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Travel winner: Church on the fields of Sorško Polje by Andrej Tarfila, Slovenia. 'The Sun's rays shining through the morning haze in Sorško polje on a sleepy Monday autumn morning' Andrej Tarfila/Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Architecture winner: Snowy Central Park at 10,000 feet by Filip Wolak, Poland. 'It was one of those brisk wintry days in March 2015. Everyone was already tired of the long and tough winter here in the north-east. Amazed by how clear the day was I took my Cessna above New York's restricted airspace, which gave me a full freedom to roam. The winds were quite strong that day with no haze and unlimited visibility. With a bit of planning (and luck) I was able to capture perfect shadow alignment along the avenues - I had only one chance to capture - they were shifting fast' /Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Smile category winner: Wake Up Call by Alex Ingle, UK. 'It's Easter, and after a large celebratory meal, a moment's peace is an opportunity for a nap. The youngest member of the Nawrot family, having none of it, climbs on to the sofa and prepares to wake Dziadzia Jacek (his grandfather). This brief moment before jumping on his grandfather's legs is one of pure joy' Alex Ingle/Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Youth Competition, Environment winner: Mount Kazbek in frame, Georgia by Anais Stupka (aged 12), Italy. 'My family and I went to Georgia in the last week of October for the half-term break. We were staying at a beautiful hotel and I was just going to catch the elevator when I noticed this beautiful view from the window. I really wanted to take a photograph because in that frame you can see the positives and negatives of Mount Kazbek. For example you can see the amazing church on top of the mountain, but you can also see the poor town' /Sony World Photography Awards 2016 Youth Competition, Culture winner: Salt Cleansing by Sepehr Jamshidi Fard (aged 17), Iran. 'The Orumiyeh lake has always been a place where people cleanse. Cleanse their skin from the penetrating rays of the sun and cleanse their minds and render it like the landscape itself; white, blank, with an indistinguishable horizon' /Sony World Photography Awards 2016
Youth Competition, Portraiture winner: Sarah by Sam Delaware (aged 18), US. 'Sarah, my sister, 28 December 2015. After moving to a university across the country, I understood that I’d miss my family; my mother and father, and especially my sister. Like so many millions of other young adults around me, I left my family and my home this year for the first time, and in an instant, they were no longer a daily part of my life. I wanted to somehow speak to the mixed feelings I was experiencing; excitement, for the life I was about to begin, and nostalgia, for the one I was leaving behind. Travelling back to Maine for a short time allowed me to create this somewhat spontaneous image of my sister, giving me the opportunity to express this change in the best way I knew how' Sam Delaware/Sony World Photography Awards 2016
Each category winner receives the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony and will have their images shown at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House, London from 22 April to 8 May and published in the 2016 edition of the Sony world Photography Awards book. The winners will now compete to win the title of the overall Open or Youth Photographer of the Year, which will be announced at the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in London on 21 April.
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