SWPA 2017 winners announced

21 April 2017

Exhibitions

The World Photography Organisation has named Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx as the Sony World Photography Awards’ 2017 Photographer of the Year.  The Awards’ judges were challenged to find the best photographic series and were taken by the beauty, scale and effort involved in Buyckx’s winning work titled “Whiteout”.

The 2017 Awards received over 227,000 entries from 183 countries and is the world’s largest photography competition.  An exhibition of all the winning and shortlisted work, along with rare images by British photographer Martin Parr, recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize, will run at Somerset House, London from 21 April – 7 May.     

Chosen from the winners of the Awards’ ten Professional categories, Chair of Judges Zelda Cheatle says of Frederik Buyckx’s photographs: “I have chosen a series of landscapes so that we may return to the essence of looking at photography. Landscape is often overlooked but it is central to our existence.  These are beautiful pictures made by a serious photographer, and they are to be enjoyed.  I hope this award will inspire many more photographers to take pictures that do not simply encompass the terrible aspects of life in these troubled times but also capture some of the joys and loveliness in each and every environment.” 

Buyckx was revealed as the Photographer of the Year and presented the $25,000 (USD) prize at an awards ceremony in London attended by international industry experts.  At the same ceremony, the category winners of the Professional competition were announced, along with the overall winners of the Open, Youth and Student competitions. 

Scott Gray, CEO, World Photography Organisation comments: I am especially proud of this year’s selection of Photographer of the Year.  I feel that in many cases it is easy to shock but that it can be so tremendously difficult to capture a sophisticated elegance, that really is so beautiful it shows the medium of photography at its best.” 

All winning photographers were flown to the London awards ceremony and received the latest Sony digital imaging equipment as their prize.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Sony World Photography Awards annually recognize and rewards the finest contemporary photography from the last year.  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.  The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards open for entries on June 1, 2017.

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – FREDERIK BUYCKX, BELGIUM

Born in Antwerp in 1984, Frederik Buyckx is a freelance photographer for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard.  Buyckx’s images have been published and exhibited internationally and most recently he was shortlisted for the ZEISS Photography Award.

The winning series “Whiteout” was taken in the Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Asia, remote areas where people often live in isolation and in close contact with nature.  Buyckx explains: “There is a peculiar transformation of nature when winter comes, when snow and ice start to dominate the landscape and when humans and animals have to deal with the extreme weather. The series investigates this struggle against disappearance.”

PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY WINNERS AND FINALISTS

An expert panel of international judges were challenged to find the best photography series (between 5-10 images) across the ten Professional categories.  The winning and finalist photographers are:

  • Architecture winner: Dongni, China

2nd - Julien Chatelin, France / 3rd - Diego Mayon, Italy

  • Conceptual winner - Sabine Cattaneo, Switzerland

2nd - Gao Peng, China / 3rd - Alexander Anufriev, Russian Federation

  • Contemporary Issues winner - Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi Arabia

2nd - Li Sony, China / 3rd - Lorzenzo Maccotta, Italy

  • Current Affairs & News winner - Alessio Romenzi, Italy

2nd - Joe Raedle, United States / 3rd - Ivor Prickett, Ireland

  • Daily Life winner: Sandra Hoyn, Germany

2nd - Christina Simons, Iceland / 3rd - Alice Cannara Malan, Italy

  • Landscape winner: Frederik Buyckx, Belgium

2nd - Kurt Tong, United Kingdom / 3rd - Peter Franck, Landscape

  • Natural World winner: Will Burrard-Lucas, United Kingdom

2nd - Ami Vitale, United States / 3rd - Christian Vizl, Mexico

  • Portraiture winner: George Mayer, Russian Federation

2nd - Romina Ressia, Argentina / 3rd - Ren shi Chen, China

  • Still Life winner: Henry Agudelo               , Columbia

2nd - Shinya Masuda, Japan / 3rd - Christoffer Askman, Denmark

  • Sport winner: Yuan Peng, China

2nd - Eduard Korniyenko, Russian Federation / 3rd - Jason O’Brien, Australia

                                                                                                                                                                 

OPEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – ALEXANDER VINOGRADOV, RUSSIAN FEDERATION

“Mathilda” by Russian photographer Alexander Vinogradov was selected as the best single photograph in the world and awarded the photographer $5,000 (USD) along with the Open Photographer of the Year title.

Vinogradov is an amateur photographer based in Moscow and his winning image is a portrait of a young girl, inspired by the French movie ‘Léon’.  The photograph was selected from ten Open category winners announced on 28 March by a panel of judges led by British journalist and photographer Damien Demolder.

YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – KATELYN WANG, US

Sixteen-year-old student Katelyn Wang from Los Angeles, California received the Youth Photographer of the Year title. Open to those aged 12-19, the Youth competition asked photographers worldwide to respond to the brief of ‘Beauty’ with a single image.

Wang’s winning photograph “On Top of the World” was taken while standing above Lake Pehoé in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, and beautifully captures the landscape beneath her. 

STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – MICHELLE DAIANA GENTILE, ARGENTINA

Michelle Daiana Gentile, aged 21, of Escuela de Fotografía Motivarte, won the Student Photographer of the Year title with a stunning series called “Only Hope”.  Responding to the brief of “Emotions”, Gentile delivered a powerful series shot across ten days spent with workers of an old paper factory in Argentina. 

Gentile received €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for her university at the awards ceremony.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO PHOTOGRAPHY – MARTIN PARR

British photographer Martin Parr was honored with the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the awards ceremony.  He was recognized for his unique visual language and for pushing the boundaries of the medium.

The Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize has previously been awarded to Mary Ellen Mark, William Eggleston, Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Marc Riboud, William Klein, RongRong & inri, Elliott Erwitt and Phil Stern.

SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS & MARTIN PARR – 2017 EXHIBITION AND BOOK

All the winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited at Somerset House, London from 21 April–7 May.  The exhibition will also include a specially curated exhibition of rarely seen black and white images from Martin Parr’s early career alongside some of his most iconic work, books and films. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the winning and selected shortlisted works, available to buy from www.worldphoto.org

Image: © Frederik Buyckx, Belgium, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards