The World Photography Organisation today names the overall winners of the prestigious 2018 Sony World Photography Awards at a London ceremony.
The coveted Photographer of the Year title was presented to British artist Alys Tomlinson for her series Ex-Voto, winning the photographer $25,000 (USD). The work was praised by the jury for its beautiful production, technical excellence and sensitive illustration of pilgrimage as a journey of discovery and sacrifice to a greater power.
Tomlinson was selected from the 10 category winners of the Professional competition who was announced today alongside those in 2nd and 3rd place in each Professional category. The overall winners of the Awards’ Open (best single image), Youth and Student Focus competitions were also revealed.
All winners were flown to the London awards ceremony and received Sony digital imaging equipment, publication in the winners’ book and their work will be shown as part of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London.
Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipient Candida Höfer was also at the ceremony to collect her prize.
Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the Sony World Photography Awards is the world’s most diverse photography competition. The 11th edition saw a record-breaking 320,000 submissions by photographers from more than 200 countries and territories, presenting some of the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year. The Awards’ annual London exhibition brings together the best established and emerging talent from around the world, providing winning and shortlisted photographers the opportunity to showcase their work on an international stage.
Photographer of the Year – Alys Tomlinson, British
Ex-Voto is a personal project by London-based photographer Tomlinson (age 43). The winning work encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-life images of the ‘ex-votos’ (offerings of religious devotion) found at pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland).
The photographer mainly explores themes of environment, belonging and identity. She recently completed an MA (Distinction) in Anthropology of Travel, Tourism and Pilgrimage and has been recognised by a number of photography prizes.
Open Photographer of the Year – Veselin Atanasov, Bulgarian
Selected from 10 category winners as the best single image in the world, Atanasov is recognised for his work Early Autumn and receives a $5,000 (USD) prize. An IT specialist, Atanasov is a self-taught photographer who began shooting in 2014. The winning photograph captures autumn in the Central Balkan National Park.
Professional category winners and finalists
From insightful documentation of worldwide cultural and political events to showcasing the natural world, the photographers below were selected by judges as the best series of photographs in the world.
- Architecture: Gianmaria Gava, Italian with Buildings / 2nd Edgar Martins, Portuguese / 3rd Corentin Fohlen, French
- Contemporary Issues: Fredrik Lerneryd, Swedish with Slum Ballet / 2nd Margaret Mitchell, British / 3rd Alfio Tommasini, Swiss
- Creative: Florian Ruiz, French with The White Contamination / 2nd Patricia Kühfuss, German / 3rd Eduardo Castaldo, Italian
- Current Affairs & News: Mohd Samsul Mohd Said, Malaysian with Life Inside the Refugee Camp / 2nd Luis Henry Agudelo Cano, Colombian / 3rd Rasmus Flindt Pedersen, Danish
- Discovery: Alys Tomlinson, British with Ex-Voto / 2nd Antonio Gibotta, Italian / 3rd Maria Petrenko, Ukrainian
- Landscape: Luca Locatelli, Italian with White Gold / 2nd Rohan Reilly, Irish / 3rd Tomasz Padlo, Polish
- Natural World & Wildlife: Roselena Ramistella, Italian with Deep Land / 2nd Mitch Dobrowner, American / 3rd Wiebke Haas, German
- Portraiture: Tom Oldham, British with The Last of The Crooners / 2nd Anush Babajanyan, Armenian / 3rd Andrew Quilty, Australian
- Sport: Balazs Gardi, Hungarian with Buzkashi / 2nd Behnam Sahvi, Iranian/ 3rd Matteo Armellini, Italian
- Still Life: Edgar Martins, Portuguese with Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes / 2nd place Tristan Spinski, American / 3rd Werner Anderson, Norwegian
Youth Photographer of the Year – Megan Johnson, American, Age 16
Open to photographers aged 12-19, Johnson was awarded for her image Still.. Shot on the cliffs near her house in Connecticut, the black and white image captures the complex and intricate solitude the photographer faces in everyday life.
Student Photographer of the Year – Samuel Bolduc, Canadian, Age 20
Bolduc was chosen by the judges from students worldwide for his photographic series The Burden. The work beautifully illustrates the physical burden of plastic waste in the environment to highlight the urgent need to halt plastic pollution. Bolduc represented College de Matane, Quebec and has won €30,000 (Euros) worth of Sony photography equipment for the institution.
Outstanding Contribution to Photography – Candida Höfer
As one of the world’s foremost contemporary photographers, German artist Candida Höfer is renowned for her precise methodology and technique. Her powerful portraits of vast, empty interiors are held in collections around the world. The Awards recognise the artist for her contribution to the medium.
The news of the overall winners joins the March announcement of 2018’s 10 Open competition category winners and 63 National Awards winners, to complete the announcements of 2018’s awards. All winning, shortlisted and commended images can be seen at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from April 20 – May 6 www.worldphoto.org/2018exhibition.
Sony World Photography Awards
The objective of the Sony World Photography Awards is to establish a platform for the continuous development of photographic culture. The Awards do this by recognizing great advancements in photography through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize as well as finding and promoting new talents of the future, whether this be in the Professional, Open, Youth or Student Focus competitions. Sony is committed to supporting global photography. This is demonstrated not only via the Awards, but also by its significant grant program which offers winners of the student competition $3,500 (USD) and professional competition $7,000 (USD) to develop personal projects.
The 2019 Sony World Photography Awards opens for entries 1 June, 2018. All entries are free at www.worldphoto.org