Sony World Photography Awards open for 2012

The Hunter 1, part of L'Iris d'Or-winning series, © Alejandro Chaskielberg - courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2011

The World Photography Organisation has just opened the Sony World Photography Awards 2012 for entries. There are some exciting new categories this time around, making for an even bigger and hopefully better competition, which reflect the changes that’re happening in the photographic world right now. As ever, it’s divided into two sections: professional and open (you have to choose between one or the other) and it’s free to make submissions. Whatever you submit, though, it needs to have been shot in 2011.

Building on the success of the inaugural Moving Image award in 2011, which was won by Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas’ Migration (and giving opportunities to everyone who loves using their dSLRs to make films), this category has been expanded and divided into six categories: nature and wildlife, people, extraordinary, commerical, fine art, and documentary. There’s also the brand new Youth competition, with its environment, portrait, and culture categories, which is for photographers under 20 years old. Good to see some encouragement happening there. Don’t worry: the Student Focus competition, for photography students, is still running.

Migration from Will & Matt Burrard-Lucas on Vimeo.

A nature and wildlife category has been added to the professional section. I can’t think why there hasn’t been one before now. In the open section, there are three new categories: low-light, split-second, and enhanced. Again, these seem to be taking into consideration developments in photography and how people are taking their pictures now.

Winner of the Open Award 2011: Buffalo Race, © Chan Kwok Hung courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2011

If you don’t think that you’ve shot anything yet this year that’s suitable for submission, don’t worry. You’ve until 23:59 (GMT) on Wednesday 4 January 2012 to get it in. You can do that over at

The winner of L’Iris d’Or – the over all winner of the professional competition – will walk away with US$25,000 and some Sony photography equipment. The winner of the open competition gets US$5,000 as well as some Sony photography goodies. Those prizes will be presented at a swanky awards ceremony in London in April next year, which is part of the World Photography Festival.

Time to get cracking, then. Everything you need to know to enter is on the World Photography Organisation website.

(Featured image: The Hunter 1, part of L’Iris d’Or-winning series, © Alejandro Chaskielberg – courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2011)