Friday, 3 February 2012

Sony World Photography Awards 2012


On Thursday 2 February, the World Photography Organisation announced the shortlist for the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards.  Billed as the global photographic event of the year, the Sony World Photography Awards celebrate the very best in photography from around the world, from the next generation of emerging photographers through to the established masters of the art.

The 2012 competition has garnered increased worldwide interest with over 112,000 entries from 171 countries, with the shortlisted images depicting the stories of extraordinary lives from around the world. The Professional competition reflects a turbulent year of global events with the war in Libya; the Greek and European economic crisis; the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and the fall of Gaddafi, in the Photojournalism & Documentary categories.  The shortlist for the Fine Art and Commercial categories gets to the very heart of daily life -  a small sheep-farming community in Iceland; the rice harvest in South China; a religious pilgrimage in Poland and gold diggers in Chile.

                     This year the honorary jury found the quality of work exceptionally strong across all categories, discovering many photographers new to the Sony World Photography Awards roster.  Manuel Geerinck (Belgium);  Lee Chee Wai (Malaysia); Alejandro Cartagena (Mexico), Irina Werning (Argentina); Gwenn Dubourthoumieu(Republic of the Congo) and Simon Norfolk (UK), are but a few of the new names to place as finalists and shortlisted photographers. 

                        Returning photographers from previous years, include 2010 Professional Landscape winner, Peter Franck(Germany); who this year is a finalist in three categories; 2011 Professional Contemporary Issues and Current Affairs winner, Javier Arcenillas (Spain); and Chan Kwok Hung (Hong Kong) whose stunningly dramatic image ‘Buffalo Race’ won the  Overall Open Competition in 2011.

                     W M Hunt, Chair of the Honorary Judging Committee, commented: ‘As a judge, you bring an open mind and a passion for photography - its presence and its present, its past and its legacy.  You are hopeful and hungry to see great work that is fresh and full, expecting the exceptional.  The rewards are rich and delightful.  It is a pleasure to present this year's selections.

                     Astrid Merget, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation added: ‘Looking at the vast collection of shortlisted work across the categories, is truly gratifying this year.  Within the Professional awards, the bodies of work are beautifully presented and distinctive, whilst in the Open categories, the single snapshots are diverse and demonstrate excellent skill within the amateur market.  The new Youth competition also delighted us, as we were thrilled to find some exceptional budding talent.’

                      In being shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards, photographers can now look forward to the invaluable support of the World Photography Organisation, which includes having their work exhibited at a major exhibition at London’s Somerset House, to coincide with the award ceremony in April 2012. 

                   The shortlist for the Professional Competition was selected by the Honorary Judging committee which was chaired by esteemed photographic consultant W.M. Hunt.  This year the Open entries were judged by a pre-selection committee of inspectors from Shutterstock, WPO and representatives from Sony.  The Youth Competition was judged by a WPO and Sony selection committee.

                                     The annual Sony World Photography Awards ceremony and gala dinner will take place on 26 April at the Hilton Hotel in London’s Park Lane.  The awards celebration will once again take place alongside World Photo, London, a month-long event which brings an eclectic mix of photographic events for all to enjoy.  The opening weekend of World Photo London will be held at Somerset House from 27 - 30 April with selected events including portfolio reviews, workshops, symposiums and the Sony World Photography Awards winners’ exhibitions, which continue through to 20 May 2012.  Honorary Judges for the 2012 Awards and other international industry experts will be leading many of the festival events.

Honorary judging committee :

Presiding Chair: W. M. Hunt (USA) Photographic Consultant.
Chairs: Michael Benson (UK) Director, Prix Pictet; James Reid (UK) Photography Director of Wallpaper*;Claudia Hinterseer (Netherlands) Managing Director and co-owner of NOOR.
Additional Jury: Jodi Bieber (South Africa) Photographer; Jon Jones (UK) Director of Photography Sunday Times Magazine; Rebecca Lewis (US) Vice-President and Senior Agent for Art+Commerce; Prabuddha Dasgupta (India) Photographer; Shizuka Yokomizo (Japan) Photographer.

Youth Professional shortlisted photographers :


·         Hanne Grannestad, Norway
·         Lam Ka Ho, Hong Kong
·         Sahil Lodha, India
·         Merijn Mulder, Netherlands
·         Carolina Paltrinieri, Italy
·         Adrian Pelegrin  Bonet, Spain
·         Kolyaskin Sergey, Russian Federation
·         Benedek Varga, Hungary 

·         Alla Aliokhina, Ukraine
·         Kolyaskin Sergey, Russian Federation
·         Thamyres Matarozzi, Brazil
·         Adrian Pelegrin Bonet, Spain
·         Bernard Pieterse, South Africa
·         Imanuel Thallinger, Austria
·         Kazi Sudipto, Bangladesh
·         Kseniya Sovenko, United States

·         Tertious Alio, Russian Federation
·         Hadi Asgari, Iran
·         Lidia K, United Kingdom
·         Darya Kasyanova, Russian Federation
·         Samujjwal Sahu, India
·         Karina Sembe, Ukraine
·         Kolyaskin Sergey, Russian Federation
·         Felicia Simion, Romania
·         Marina Tkhorzhevskaya, Russian Federation
·         Berta Vicente, Spain

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