The 9th Sony World Photography Awards were presented yesterday evening in London, 14 awards . The main prize of $25,000 was awarded to Asghar Khamseh.
I was a member in one of the two juries, each giving 7 prizes before getting together for the big award. It had to be selected almost immediately and with near unanimity. I had never been part of such a jury before: between 7,000 to 10,000 photos per day for three days.
Our hosts were amazing, we were in a hip and trendy hotel where I had the impression of being the grandfather of all of the guests, with six female colleagues and one male, all passionate and funny. There was no tension and sometimes, in spite of the high numbers of folios, up to 300 for each category, the choice was relatively quick. That is what stood out, a confirmation: photography replaced the verb, photography became the communication, its creativity was never so great and when the evidence was strong, it had to be made immediately.
We’re devoting today’s edition of the The Eye of Photography to these Sony Awards. They were organised by the World Photography Organisation, directed by Scott Gray. The World Photography Organisation also organises Photo Shanghai and Photo San Francisco.
The exhibition of the 2016 Awards is on show at Somerset House in London until 8th May.
The awards include four competitions
Professional – 14 categories, 7 Documentary and 7 Art categories, judged on a body of work
Open – 10 categories, judged on a single image, open to all. Under the Open competition sits the National Award, awarding the best single image entred into the Open competition by a local photographer from 60 countries.
Youth – 3 categories, for photographers aged 12-19
Student Focus – for those educational institutions with courses in photography
Sony World Photography Awards: 230,103 entries from 186 countries.
A new jury is chosen each year to form a diverse group of distinguished industry experts. These members are faced with the challenging task of sorting through thousands of images and finding those deserving of award commendations.
Honorary Judging Committee
Judging the 14 Professional categories were:
Dominique Green (Chair), Consultant (UK)
Emma Lynch, Picture Editor, BBC Global News website (UK)
Fiona Rogers, Global Business Development Manager, Magnum Photos (UK)
Julien Jourdes, Co-Founder & Coo, Blink.la (US)
Sue Steward (Chair), Writer and Photography Curator (UK)
Karen Knorr, Photographer and Professor University for the Creative Arts (US/UK)
Jean-Jacques, Naudet Editorial Director, L’Oeil de la Photographie (France)
Mariko Takeuchi, Photography Critic, Curator and Associate Professor of Kyoto University of Art and Design (Japan)
Presiding over the selection of the best single image across ten categories was: Jael Marschner (Chair), Former picture editor Time Out London / Sunday Times Travel (UK)
Uncovering emerging photographic talent from over 400 educational institutions worldwide were:
Simon Bainbridge, Editor, British Journal of Photography (UK)
Mark Murrmann, Photo Editor, Mother Jones (US)
Matt Tucker, Picture Editor, BuzzFeedUK (UK)
Sony World Photography Awards 2016
From 22 April to 8 May 2016
Strand, London WC2R 1LA