2016 Sony World Photography Awards
“The Jury were united in their admiration of the Photographer of the Year’s
work and the light it sheds on the tragic practice it exposes.”
Dominique Green, Chair, Documentary Jury
London, 21st April 2016: The overall winners of the world’s largest photography competition, the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, are named today by the World Photography Organisation. An exhibition of all the winning and shortlisted work will run at Somerset House, London from 22nd April – 8th May.
Following a record-breaking 230,103 submissions to its ninth edition, the awards’ Honorary Judging Committee has selected Iranian photojournalist Asghar Khamseh as the recipient of its most coveted prize, the L’Iris d’Or Photographer of the Year.
Chosen from the winners of the awards’ fourteen Professional categories, the winning work, ‘Fire of Hatred’, is a powerful portrait series tackling the social issues around the violent act of acid throwing. Khamseh was announced as the winner of the $25,000 (USD) prize at an awards ceremony in London in front of industry leaders. The winners and finalists of all fourteen Professional categories were also announced at the ceremony.
At the ceremony, the World Photography Organisation announced Kei Nomiyama, Japan, as the Open Photographer of the Year and recipient of $5,000 (USD). In addition, the organisation announced the winners of the Youth and Student Focus Photographer of the Year titles. All winners of the night received the latest Sony digital imaging equipment.
The Sony World Photography Awards annually recognises the world’s best photography. Free to enter and open to all photographers, the awards are an authoritative voice in the photographic industry that has the power to shape the careers of its winning and shortlisted photographers.
L’IRIS D’OR PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – ASGHAR KHAMSEH
Born in Tehran in 1963, Asghar Khamseh is a photojournalist with Mehr News Agency, Iran, whose work focuses on social issues.
The winning series ‘Fire of Hatred’ is a powerful series of portraits of the victims of acid attacks. This beautiful yet thought-provoking work examines the social issues around this violent crime – looking past the physical and psychological damages suffered, and towards the social stigma and blame the victims, who are mainly women and children, suffer.
PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY WINNERS AND FINALISTS
The winners of the seven Documentary and seven Art categories hail from 10 countries and, for the first time, two Professional categories have been won by one photographer in the same year. Photographers were judged on a body of work.
- Architecture winner: Amélie Labourdette, France, 2nd - Hui Zhang, China / 3rd - Stephan Zirwes, Germany
- Candid winner - Kirstin Schmitt, Germany, 2nd - Nick Ng, Malaysia / 3rd - Andrea Rossato, Italy
- Conceptual winner - Julien Mauve, France, 2nd - Alejandro Beltran, Venezuela / 3rd - Barbaros Kayan, Turkey
- Landscape winner: Maroesjka Lavigne, Belgium, 2nd Maoyuan Cui, China / 3rd Stefan Schlumpf, Switzerland
- Portraiture winner: Marcello Bonfanti, Italy, 2nd Fauzan Ijazah, Indonesia / 3rd Rubén Salgado Escudero, Spain
- Staged winner: Alberto Alicata, Italy, 2nd Cristina Vatielli, Italy / 3rd Kristoffer Eliassen, Norway
- Still Life winner: Francesco Amorosino, Italy, 2nd Oliver Schwarzwald, Germany / 3rd Hiroshi Watanabe, Japan
- Campaign winner: Jetmir Idrizi, Kosovo, 2nd - David Chancellor, UK / 3rd - Antoine Repessé, France
- Contemporary Issues winner - Asghar Khamseh, Iran, 2nd - Kevin Frayer, Canada / 3rd - Simona Ghizzoni, Italy
- Current Affairs winner - Angelos Tzortzinis, Greece, 2nd - Andrea and Magda, Italy & France / 3rd - Andrew Burton, USA
- Daily Life winner: Espen Rasmussen, Norway, 2nd Sandra Hoyn, Germany / 3rd Stephanie Sinclair, USA
- Environment winner: Kevin Frayer, Canada, 2nd Li Feng, China / 3rd Lucy Nicholson, UK
- People winner: Kevin Frayer, Canada, 2nd Filippo Venturi, Italy / 3rd Alessandro D'Angelo, Italy
- Sport winner: Nikolai Linares, Denmark, 2nd Jens Juul, Denmark / 3rd Annick Donkers, Belgium
OPEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – KEI NOMIYAMA, JAPAN
“Enchanted Bamboo Forest” by Kei Nomiyama was selected as the single best image in the world by a panel of judges chaired by Jael Marschner, former picture editor Time Out London / Sunday Times Travel. The photographer was awarded $5,000 (USD) at the London ceremony.
A Ph.D. Associate Professor in Environmental Chemistry at Ehime University, Japan, Nomiyama is keen wildlife and underwater photographer. His photograph was shot in the mountains of Shikoku Island and captures the Luciola parvula firefly at the beginning of the rainy season.
The photograph was selected from 10 Open category winners announced on 29th March. The Open competition asks for a single image and is open to all photographers.
YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – SAM DELAWARE, US
A beautiful portrait of the photographer’s sister won 18 year old student Sam Delaware the Youth Photographer of the Year title. Born in Freeport, Maine and currently attending school in Angwin, California, Delaware is a self-taught photographer who has been shooting since the aged of 12. The photographer was flown to London to attend the awards ceremony as part of his prize.
The winning image was selected from three Youth category winners announced on 29 March, the Youth competition is open to all photographers aged 12-19.
STUDENT FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Sofia Jern, aged 23 of Novia University of Applied Sciences, Finland, secured the Student Focus Photographer of the Year title. She collected €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for her university at the awards ceremony in London. Jern’s winning work follows the lives of ‘glue boys’, young male drug users escaping reality on the streets of Kitale, Kenya.
Student Focus works worldwide with over 400 educational institutions with photography courses and is one of the world’s leading programmes for photography students. It is supported by the British Journal of Photography. www.worldphoto.org/student-focus
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO PHOTOGRAPHY – RONGRONG & INRI
RongRong & inri, the influential photographic husband and wife team who have shaped contemporary photography in China and beyond, collected their Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the London awards ceremony. They were recognised by the World Photography Organisation for both their careers as artists and their significant impact on Asian photography.
RongRong & inri’s photography reflects the intimate world that they have created together and pushes the boundaries of traditional black-and-white darkroom techniques. Together they founded China’s first contemporary art space dedicated to the medium, the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, and the 2015 Jimei x Arles Photo Festival in partnership with Les Recontres d’Arles.
The first major European showing of RongRong & inri’s work, celebrating their careers will be presented at Somerset House as part of the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition.
The Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize has previously been awarded to Mary Ellen Mark, William Eggleston, Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Marc Riboud, William Klein, Elliott Erwitt and Phil Stern.
EXHIBITION AND BOOK
All the winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited at Somerset House, London from 22nd April – 8th May. The exhibition will also include a special dedication to Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipients, RongRong & inri.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the winning and selected shortlisted works, available to buy from www.worldphoto.org