It’s time again to celebrate the best of photography, amateur and professional alike. The Sony World Photography Awards 2016 winners have been announced, and we’ve compiled some of our favorite 1st place winners below for you to draw inspiration from.
As a quick refresher, the Sony World Photography Awards are split up into three main categories: Professional, Open, and Youth. The Professional category is then broken down further into 14 categories, 7 of which are considered “art” and 7 of which are considered “documentary.”
According to the SWPA website, this is so, “different photographers and styles can be recognized.” You can see all the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place images here, but below we’re sharing the Photographer of the Year winner, our favorites from the Professional categories, and the Youth and Open 1st Place winners.
Scroll down, enjoy, and be inspired!
L’Iris D’Or Photographer of the Year – Asghar Khamesh
Photographer Asghar Khamesh took home the “L’Iris D’Or” for his striking, shocking portraits of the victims of acid attacks. The full series, dubbed Fire of Hatred, is NOT for the feint of heart.
Professional – Art
Architecture – Amelie Labourdette
The winning architecture series Empire of Dust by Amelie Labourdette was captured in the south of Italy, “where financial crises and embezzlement have created an architectural aesthetic of incompleteness.”
Conceptual – Julien Mauve
Greetings from Mars by Julien Mauve is primarily about exploration and discovery, but it’s also about, “our behaviour in front of landscapes and how we create pictures that will share our personal story with the world.” Do we travel to discover ‘alien’ landscapes, or ourselves?
Landscape – Maroesjka Lavigne
The soul of Namibia does not reveal itself to the impatient. But if you drive far enough and let the landscape woo you well enough, eventually you can capture images like Maroesjka Lavigne’s series Land of Nothingness.
Professional – Documentary
Current Affairs – Angelos Tzortzinis
In his poignant series In Search of the European Dream, photographer Angelos Tzortzinis documents the struggle of the thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing political and social upheaval in the Middle East.
Environment – Kevin Frayer
Each year, in the mountainous region of western China, the Kazakh eagle hunters gather for a festival to promote their way of life and keep the old traditions alive. Photographer Kevin Frayer was fortunate enough to capture the festivities in his series Eagle Hunters of Western China.
People – Kevin Frayer
The only photographer to take home first place in two categories, Kevin Frayer’s series Nomadic Life Threatened on the Tibetan Plateau documents the challenges Tibetan nomads face—from climate changed, to forced resettlement.
Open Photographer of the Year
Each year, at the beginning of the rainy season in Japan, a special species of firefly fills the forests. Each year there are fewer, but photographer Kei Nomiyama captured their magic in the photo above.
Youth Photographer of the Year
Moving away from home for the first time, young photographer Sam Delaware became acutely aware of how much his family meant to him, and how much he missed them while simultaneously enjoying his newfound freedom. During a short trip home, he took the opportunity to capture these conflicting emotions in a portrait of his sister Sarah.
To see all of the winning images and the many incredible photographers who just missed the top spots and landed in 2nd or 3rd place, head over to the World Photography Awards website by clicking here.
Image credits: All photographs used courtesy of the Sony World Photography Awards.