The Photographer of the Year title and accompanying $25,000 (USD) cash prize and a range of Sony’s digital imaging kit has awarded to Craig Easton from the United Kingdom for his series ‘Bank Top’.
The ten category winners have also been revealed alongside with the 2nd and 3rd place of the in the professional competition and the overall winners of the Open, Student and Youth competitions.
A virtual exhibition of winning and finalists’ work; A Year in Photos from the Sony World Photography Awards 2021, a specially commissioned documentary feature hosted by art historian Jacky Klein and entertainer Nish Kumar; and a free digital copy of the Sony World Photography 2021 book have also been announced and are available to view and download by following this link.
Sony World Photography Awards 2021 Winners
PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY WINNERS
Winning photographers in the Professional competition have been selected by a panel of expert judges for submitting an outstanding body of work of five to ten images, ranging from stories of local importance to issues of global significance, quiet moments of resilience to creative brilliance and playfulness. All category winners receive Sony’s digital imaging kit. This year’s winners are:
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
WINNER: Tomáš Vocelka (Czech Republic) for his series Eternal Hunting Grounds
Finalists: 2nd place Frank Machalowski (Germany); 3rd place Gu Guanghui (China Mainland)
WINNER: Mark Hamilton Gruchy (United Kingdom) for his series The Moon Revisited
Finalists: 2nd place Luigi Bussolati (Italy); 3rd place Sasha Bauer (Russian Federation)
WINNER: Vito Fusco (Italy) for his series The Killing Daisy
Finalists: 2nd place Craig Easton (United Kingdom); 3rd place Lorenzo Tugnoli (Italy)
WINNER: Simone Tramonte (Italy) for his series Net-zero Transition
Finalists: 2nd place Mohammad Madadi (Islamic Republic of Iran); 3rd place Antonio Pérez (Spain)
WINNER: Majid Hojjati (Islamic Republic of Iran) for his series Silent Neighborhoods
Finalists: 2nd place Andrea Ferro (Italy); 3rd place Fyodor Savintsev (Russian Federation)
WINNER: Laura Pannack (United Kingdom) for her submission Portfolio Overview
Finalists: 2nd place Brais Lorenzo (Spain); 3rd place Loli Laboureau (Argentina)
WINNER: Craig Easton (United Kingdom) for his series Bank Top
Finalists: 2nd place Julia Fullerton-Batten (United Kingdom); 3rd place Jane Hilton (United Kingdom)
WINNER: Anas Alkharboutli (Syrian Arab Republic) for his series Sport and Fun Instead of War and Fear
Finalists: 2nd place Patrick Meinhardt (Spain); 3rd place Farzam Saleh (Islamic Republic Of Iran)
WINNER: Peter Eleveld (Netherlands) for his series Still Life Composition, Shot on Wet Plate
Finalists: 2nd place Alessandro Pollio (Italy); 3rd place Paloma Rincon (Spain)
WILDLIFE & NATURE:
WINNER: Luis Tato (Spain) for his series Locust Invasion in East Africa
Finalists: 2nd place Graeme Purdy (United Kingdom); 3rd place Angel Fitor (Spain)
OPEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
The Open competition celebrates the power of single images. Winning photographs are selected for their ability to communicate a remarkable visual narrative combined with technical excellence. Chosen from ten Open category winners, Tamary Kudita (Zimbabwe) is Open Photographer of the Year 2021 and the recipient of the $5,000 (USD) cash prize, Sony’s digital imaging equipment and global exposure.
Kudita won for her outstanding portrait African Victorian (above) submitted to the Creative category. The photograph depicts a young black woman dressed in a Victorian dress and holding traditional Shona cooking utensils. The image probes at stereotypical contextualising of the black female body and offers an alternative visual language through which a multifaceted African identity is presented.
Speaking of her win Kudita says: ‘African Victorian pays tribute to the contemporary being who is also rooted in history. I am deeply honoured to have been chosen as the winner of the Open competition. This award is a testament to the role we play as creators in shaping visual culture. A central notion in my work is the importance of African representation and I am thankful to have received the opportunity to put Zimbabwean art on the map.’
STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Coenraad Heinz Torlage (South Africa) of the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography has been awarded Student Photographer of the Year 2021, winning €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for his institution. Torlage was chosen for his series Young Farmers, created in response to the brief Our Time which asked students to depict the way they and their contemporaries see the world and how they plan to change it for the better. In Young Farmers Torlage, who grew up on a farm himself, set out to photograph the next generation of farmers as they face challenges concerning severe droughts, safety and debates around land ownership alongside their contributions towards a fairer and more equitable future of sustainability and food security.
Commenting on his win Torlage says: “I have been through an experience that is almost impossible to describe. I often dreamt of winning and prayed that I could share my country and the amazing people in it with the world. I believe in the young farmers of South Africa which this country needs in terms of food sustainability and ecological awareness. Winning is a dream made possible by the amazing people that I photographed and everyone who helped and supported me. I believe in hard work, family and most of all the grace of God. I am truly humbled that my images could even be considered for such a prestigious competition.”
YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Selected from six category winners, Pubarun Basu (India, 19 years-old) has won Youth Photographer of the Year 2021for his image No Escape from Reality. In the photograph the shadows of railings projected onto curtains create the illusion of cage bars from behind which a pair of hands is seen as if trying to break through. The illusion of shadows and hands gesture convey a sense of entrapment shared by so many across the world this past year. For his win Basu receives Sony’s digital imaging kit and global exposure.
Commenting on his win Basu says: “I am incredibly humbled to have been announced as the Youth Photographer of the Year. Participating in this competition has given me a fresh perspective on my art. I have seen some extraordinary photographs by my fellow youth photographers from around the world, and I take immense pride in the fact that my generation has such brilliant minds. I aspire to improve myself as an artist and would like to express my gratitude to my friends and family for always encouraging me to go the extra mile.”
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO PHOTOGRAPHY
This year’s Outstanding Contribution to Photography has been awarded to the acclaimed Mexican photographic artist Graciela Iturbide. Widely recognised as Latin America’s greatest living photographer, Iturbide’s work offers a photographic account of Mexico since the late 1970s and is celebrated for its defining contribution to the country’s visual identity. In images of everyday life and its culture alongside those of ritual and religion, Iturbide’s work explores her country’s many complexities and contradictions, questioning its inequalities and highlighting the tensions between the urban and rural, modern and indigenous. Her photographs go beyond straight documentary narratives and aim to provide a poetic vision of their subjects informed by the photographer’s personal experiences and journey.