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Photo by Norman Quinn, UK, winner of Sony World Photography Awards, Panoramic category, Open Competition

Wnning entry of Spain's Jaime Massieu for the Split Second category, Open Competition

Winning entry of Spain’s Jaime Massieu for the Split Second category, Open Competition

Youth Competition Culture Beatriz Mota da Rocha, Portugal, age 15

A “cante Alentejano” photo by Portuguese Beatriz Mota da Rocha, 15 years old, winner of Culture category, Youth Competition


Nick Ng Yeow Kee's winning entry for Low Light category, Open Competition

“Young man bathes in abandoned shophouse,” by Nick Ng Yeow Kee, winner of Low Light category, Open Competition


























By Jack Wright

Photos ©photographers, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards/



Sam Barzilay, Chair of the competition: Judging at the Sony World Photography Awards was a journey of unexpected discoveries. Dozens of hidden gems, playful compositions, subtle commentaries, and fleeting moments caught in time – all speak of the love for photography shared by the participants, and their desire to share the world as they see it.

Astrid Merget Motsenigos, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards: Every year we are astounded by the quality of images we receive at the Open and Youth competitions. These talented photographers capture in a single shot moments of great drama, passion, intrigue and humor, but above all each photograph displays wonderful artistry and skill. We are proud to be able to give recognition to these photographers and provide a platform on which their work can be seen by the world.

Raw Data

>A total of 183,737 images from 171 countries were entered to the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards: 87,505 Professional entries; 79,264 Open entries, 6,675 Youth entries and 10,293 Mobile Phone entries
>Entries for the Open and Youth competitions were open from 1 June 2014 – 5 January 2015
>Entries for the Mobile Phone Award were open from 27 January – 27 February 2015

The Sony World Photography Awards

Winners of the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s biggest photography competition covered in more than 170 countries and, in 2014, generated more than half a million articles in the media, have now been revealed, among them the budding Spanish photographer Jaime Massieu. The awards offer an unparalleled opportunity for photographers to be exposed at all stages of their career to and be known worldwide by industry leaders.

And never mind the incredible yearly cash prizes plus the latest Sony digital imaging equipment.

The youngest of the winners, Stephanie Anjo, funer the Portraits category

The youngest of the winners, Stephanie Anjo, entered this photo of her cousin for the Portraits category of the Youth Competition

The 2015 edition attracted over 173,000 entries from more than 170 countries. The achievement of each of the 14 winners of the Open, Youth, and Mobile Phone competitions is extraordinary not only in terms of the fierce struggle they faced but also the fact that these winners are largely not professional photographers; they are simply individuals who love photography. The youngest winning photographer is 14-year old Stephanie Anjo from the UK.

Photographers of all abilities were invited to submit either their best single shots or series of work. The images were judged by the World Photography Organisation and a specially selected jury from the World Photographic Academy which is made up of the photographic industry’s most esteemed individuals, led by Sam Barzilay, Creative Director of United Photo Industries.

The awards span all genres of photojournalism, fine art and commercial photography classified under categories which include current affairs, nature & wildlife, arts & culture, portraiture, contemporary issues, sport, landscape, still life, lifestyle, and architecture .

The aim of the Awards? It’s quite simple: to recognize and reward the best contemporary photography in the world.

The Competitions

The Sony World Photography Awards has five competitions:

>Professional: 15 categories judged on a series of images by serious photographers
>Open: 10 categories. judged on a single image, open to all
>Youth: 3 categories, for photographers aged 19 and under
>Mobile Phone: for images taken with mobile phones


The Mobile Phone Award

The Mobile Phone Award, which was launched in the 2015, underscores the incredible versatility and corresponding popularity of the mobile phone as a camera. The World Photography Organization says: “The Mobile Phone competition was introduced to the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards in recognition of the ability of mobile phone technology to capture everyday moments in our daily lives which would otherwise go unnoticed.”

Winner of the Mobile Photo Award

Nearly 7000 voters “liked” this photo by Turi Calafato who won the Mobile Phone Competition

The winning image, with 6,718 votes expressed as Facebook “likes”, was chosen by the public via the WPO website. The Mobile Phone competition was open to photographers of all abilities for just four weeks during which time over 10,200 images were received. A shortlist of 20 images were selected by a panel of experts from across the photographic industry and the public had just one week (10 – 17 March) to decide the winner. Over 15,200 votes were cast.

Turi Calafato of Italy, with 6,718 votes, won the contest. The runners-up were Janos M Schmidt from Hungary (2,331 votes) and Ako Salemi, Iran (2,190 votes).

The judges of the Mobile Phone Award selecting the entries shortlist were:
>Anna Dickson, Deputy Director of Photography, Wall Street Journal, USA
>Chris Hudson, Group Art Editor, National Geographic Traveller, UK
>Anthony Lepinay, WPO’s global imaging ambassador, freelance photographer and creative director,  France
>Alvin Soon, Associate Editor, HWM and, Singapore
>Evgeny Tchebotarev, CPO and Co-Founder, 500px, Canada

Exposure and Benefits

Obviously global exposure is enormous not only for the winning but also the shortlisted photographers. These photographers are used across all platforms throughout the year – from offering top tips on shooting in low light on Instagram to a showcase interview seen by millions on the WPO website or tweets about a photographer’s latest show on Twitter. The World Photography Organisation has a thriving online presence and engages with photography enthusiasts and professionals worldwide via its website, Blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Awardee and shortlist photographers can take part in the Exhibition at Somerset House, London, have the potential to be included in international exhibitions and in the Sony World Photography Awards book, and the potential to work with Sony on a variety of digital imaging projects.

Somerset House seen from the Victoria Embankment (Adrian Pingstone, PD)

Somerset House seen from the Victoria Embankment (Adrian Pingstone, PD)

The Annual Awards Gala

The annual awards gala and ceremony will take place in London on 23rd April, with an international attendance of industry leaders to celebrate the recognition of the best in contemporary photography. The yearly gala also pays tribute to one of WPO’s masters with the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award.

Immediately following the 2015 gala, the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition of hundreds of expertly curated photographs by the winners and shortlist will open in Somerset House, London’s historic landmark,  from 24th April – 10th May.


Open Competition

The winners of the single best shot from each of the ten Open categories are

The winning photo for the People Category, by Saleh Rozati, Iran

The winning photo for the People category, Open Competition, by Saleh Rozati, Iran

>Architecture: Armin Appel, Germany
>Arts & Culture: Hector Muñoz Huerta, Mexico
>Enhanced: Antony Crossfield, UK
>Low Light: Nick Ng Yeow Kee, Malaysia
>Nature & Wildlife: Antoine Weis, Switzerland-Luxembourg (dual nationality)
>Panoramic: Norman Quinn, UK
>People: Saleh Rozati, Iran (lives in Austria)
>Smile: Wilson Lee, Hong Kong
>Split Second: Jaime Massieu, Spain
>Travel: Yasen Georgiev, Bulgaria

Youth Competition

For photographers aged 19 and under and judged on a single shot, the three Youth category winners are
>Culture: Beatriz Mota da Rocha, Portugal (age 15)
>Environment: Yong Lin Tan, Malaysia (age 19)
>Portraits: Stephanie Anjo, United Kingdom (age 14)



The Open and Youth category winners will now compete for the overall Open Photographer of the Year and Youth Photographer of the Year titles. The winners of these momentous awards will be revealed at the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony. The overall winners will be selected from the 13 category winners.

The overall Open and Youth winners along with the Mobile Phone winner will be flown to London to attend the ceremony.



"Quetzacoat," by Mexican Hector Muñoz Hurta won the Open Arts & Culture category of the Open Competition

“A graffiti artist works on Quetzalcoatl,” by Mexican Hector Muñoz, which won the Arts & Culture category of the Open Competition

The winner of the Youth Competition's Environment category, by Yong Lin Tan of Malaysia

The winner of the Youth Competition’s Environment category, by 19-year-old Yong Lin Tan of Malaysia

German Armin Appel's "Schoolyard" won the Arechitecture category, Open Competition

German Armin Appel’s “Schoolyard,” made with a Paramotor, won the Architecture category, Open Competition

"Wildlife in the City," Antoine Weis' winning photo for the Opne Nature and Wildlife category, Open Competition

“Wildlife in the City,” Antoine Weis’ winning photo for Nature and Wildlife category, Open Competition

Bulgarian Georgiev's winning photo for Travel category, Open Competition

Bulgarian Yasen Georgiev’s winning photo for Travel category, Open Competition


Anthony Crossfield from UK entered this photo and won the Enhanced catgory, Open Competition

Anthony Crossfield from UK entered this photo and won the Enhanced category, Open Competition

Winning photo by Wison Lee, Hong Kong, for Smile category, Open Competition

Winner of  Smile category, Open Competition, by Wilson Lee, Hong Kong













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