photography awards

William Eggleston: Outstanding Contribution to Photography

Untitled. 1971-1974 from Los Alamos - minnows sign

Regarded as one of the pioneers leading to the acceptance of colour photography as an artistic medium, William Eggleston is this year being recognised for his outstanding contribution to photography at the Sony World Photography Awards.

Born in 1939 in Memphis, Eggleston picked up his first camera, a Canon rangefinder, in 1957. His experiments with colour started in 1965 and his great breakthrough, and that of colour photography, came in 1976 when the Museum of Modern Art, New York, exhibited his first solo collection of colour photographs. Colour photography had moved from the realm of advertising to the world of art.

Astrid Merget, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation says of Eggleston: 'William Eggleston is a without a doubt, one of the great pioneers of our time. His influence on colour photography and subsequently on many of today's most revered working photographers, is one to be admired, respected and awarded.'

The Wilson Centre for Photography has loaned a selection of Eggleston's prints for display at Somerset House as part of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition from 26 April to 12 May 2013. The majority of these prints are from his Los Alamos and Dust Bells series and the 10.D.70.V1 portfolio and were taken between 1965 and 1980.

Mr Eggleston's award will be presented to him on Thursday 25 April at the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony.

Images are copyright Eggleston Artistic Trust and courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.

Photographers of the future: Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus finalists

'Jackpot', by Aimee Turner (UK). Student Focus Finalist, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

The judges of the Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus competition have named their ten finalists. They come from ten different countries, across six continents, and were selected from 230 universities.

The finalists can't sit back and rest on their submitted images to be in with a chance of bagging €35,000-worth of Sony photography equipment for their college or university, though. They've been given a brand new Sony Alpha 65 and the brief of shooting a series of between six and ten images on the theme of family.

All of the finalists will, however, see their final-making photos exhibited at Somerset House as part of the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition between 26 April and 12 May 2013. They'll also be treated to a trip to London for the gala awards ceremony on 25 April.

The final-making images are on the carousel up there. What do you think? Is this a good example of the depth of student photography and how does it make you feel for the future?

And for the record, here are the finalists:

  • Zanele Plaatjie, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa
  • Eugene Soh, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Anshul Mehrotra, Jamia Millia Islamia, Dehli, India
  • Andrea Azema, École nationale supérieure des arts visuels de La Cambre, Brussels, Belgium
  • Natalia Wiernik, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland
  • Sarai Rua Fargues, Institut D’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • Aimee Turner, Coleg Sir Gâr, Carmarthen, Wales
  • Marcelo Sanchez, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
  • Kim Annan, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Maria Candelaria Rivera Gadea, Escuela Motivarte, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photos from the finalists - The Sony World Photography Awards

Bolted. Adam Pretty, Australia, Finalist, Sport (Getty Images)

The Sony World Photography Awards' list of finalists for 2013 was announced this morning. The juries have narrowed down their selections from 122,000 entries from 170 countries. The Youth and Open category winners will be revealed on 19 March; the professional winners, together with the winner of L'Iris d'Or will be unveiled at a ceremony in London 25 April.

I've chosen a selection of my favourite images from the professional category here, but you can browse many more over on the WPO site, and if you're around London between 26 April and 12 May, you can see the winners' exhibition at Somerset House.

All images are copyright their respective photographers and are used by kind permission of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards.

William Klein: Outstanding Contribution to Photography

Antonia Simone Barbershop New York 1961 Vogue. William Klein.

He didn't start out as a photographer. He was an artist who'd studied under Fernard Léger in Paris and happened to be exhibiting in Milan when his photographs of some turning panels inspired him to explore photography as a medium. Then he was spotted by Alexander Liberman and brought back to New York (he was a New Yorker by birth) to work for American Vogue. He worked on films with Fellini and made some himself. He's been exhibited all over the world. He won himself a reputation as an 'anti-photogrpaher's photographer', but still picked up award, after award, after award.

He's William Klein. And this year he's being honoured with the Oustanding Contribution to Photography Award at the Sony World Photography Awards.

Klein is famous for his high-grain film and his wide-angle shots. He has captured New York, Rome, Moscow, and Tokyo in their naked realism. His fashion photography favoured street and location shoots, not carefully controlled studios. His films, including Who are you Polly Maggoo? and The Model Couple were satires. Moving between art, photography, and film, he has always been an uncompromising and frequently controversial commentator on modern life.

So at the age of 83, he has been honoured with this award that recognises 'a body of work of incredible diversity, depth and individuality,' says Simon Baker.

Congratulations, Mr Klein.

There will be an exhibition celebrating his work at Somerset House, London, from 27 April to 20 May 2012.

News in brief: Sony World Photography Awards - now in 3D

Oh hell’s bells. I’ve only read the press release and already my head is aching. Sony and the World Photo Organisation have just announced that they’re adding three new categories to the 2012 World Photography Awards. And the reason for my headache? No, it’s not because the list of categories is already breathtakingly long; it’s because the three new ones are all in, heaven help us, 3D.

There are two 3D photography categories: panoramic and still – the themes of which can be anything that catches the photographer’s imagination. Then there’s a 3D video category. Again, whatever floats your boat can be the subject. Whichever category you enter, though, your submission must’ve been shot in 2011 and on a camera or video camera that uses ‘true 3D technology’.

The deadline for entries is 4 January 2012, and as with the rest of the awards, winners will be announced at a swanky ceremony in London next April.

Lots more detail on the website.

What is this? - In our NewsFlash section, we share interesting tidbits of news. Think of it as our extended twitter feed: When we find something that get our little hearts racing, we'll share it with you right here! Loving it? Great, we've got lots more News Flash articles - and, of course, we're still on Twitter as well, for even shorter news tidbits.

The Ethiopian Wolf Project


If you’ve never checked out Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas’ photography and film projects before, you totally should. Their film ‘Migration‘ won the moving image award at the Sony World Photography Awards and their other wildlife photos are innovative (Beetlecam, anyone?) and challenging (how about komodo dragons?). Will has an exciting new project in the works, too.

Ever heard of the Ethiopian wolf? Given that there are only about 500 of them left in the wild, in seven populations, maybe not. And at their rate of decline, it’s unlikely that many more people will know about Africa’s only species of wolf. They’re under threat from human influences, diseases introduced by domestic dogs, and their own dwindling gene pool.

This where Will and his cameras come in. He and Rebecca Jakrel, another wildlife photographer, are planning on spending a few weeks in Ethiopia, photographing the wolves and the threats to their survival. When they get back, they want to use these images to form the basis of lectures, articles, and gallery exhibitions to raise awareness of the Ethiopian wolf and its plight.

However, these guys also need your help to fund this project. Things like local guides and permits don’t come for free. If you think that you can help out at all (and there are rewards for donations), why not visit their Kickstarter page?

There’s lots more information on the project on its website. Go take a look!

(All photos courtesy of Rebecca Jackrel.)

Sony World Photography Awards - the winners!

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

Many congratulations to the winners of prizes at last night’s Sony World Photography Awards, in particular Alejandro Chaskielberg who took home the Iris d’Or, Chan Kwok Hung who was named as overall Open winner, and Bruce Davidson for his Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award. It was a very swanky night, and indeed the first time that the awards have been hosted outside of Cannes, with lots of lovely pictures to contemplate.

Chaskielberg won the People award in the Photojournalism category with his ‘High Tide’ series that explored the lives of a community of islanders who live on the Parana River Delta. He then went on to compete against the twelve other winners from the Photojournalism, Commercial, and Fine Art categories. Given the ridiculously high standard of all the entries, it was surprising to hear that the judges found it relatively easy to pick their overall winner: ‘These carefully directed pictures tell solid truths – about toil and communality and marginal economic survival – in a splendidly allusive way.’

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

I thought that all three of the selections in the campaigns section of the commercial category were fabulous. And I did wonder if the judges might have second-guessed themselves when Fabrizio Cestari’s series of Christ-like surfers, which came third in the Lifestyle section of the Commercial category, raised the first spontaneous round of applause of the evening.

Surfism - A New Religion, third in the Lifestyle award, © Fabrizio Cestari - courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011

Amit Madheshiya’s series of images that recorded people attending travelling tented cinemas in India brought a huge smile to my face. That won the Arts and Culture award in the Photojournalism category.

Winner of the Arts and Culture award, © Amit Madheshiya - courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011

Congratulations are also due to Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas for their film ‘Migration‘, which won the Moving Image Award and the Student Focus winner, Louis Boulet of the Ecole Superieure Louis-Lumiere.

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

But the final word should go to Javier Arcenillas, who won both the Current Affairs and Contemporary Issues awards in the Photojournalism category: ‘Photojournalism… it’s very hard.’

Sicarios 10, © Javier Arcenillas - courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011

You can see all the winning images on-line at the World Photography Awards site, or take a look at the exhibition at Somerset House, which runs until 22 May.

Bruce Davidson receives Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award


The World Photography Organisation has just announced the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award. The 2011 honour is going to Bruce Davidson and he’ll collect his gong at the Sony World Photography Awards on 27 April at the Odeon, Leicester Square. (Yes, if you were wondering, it did used to be called the Lifetime Achievement Award.)

Davidson has been shooting for over 50 years; he’s run away with a circus, followed a New York gang, and documented the Civil Rights movement; his work has been exhibited at MOMA in New York, the Foundation Cartier-Bresson in Paris, and the Tate Modern in London, to name just a few; he’s worked for Life magazine and is a member of Magnum Photos; and he’s directed three films. That’s a whole heap of awesome.

The Dwarf, Bruce Davidson, Magnum Photos

Some of Davidson’s favourite pictures, including those from his time with the circus, will be on display in the Terrace Rooms at Somerset House in London from 26 April to 22 May 2011. From 4 – 28 May there’ll be a retrospective of his work at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London, too.

For more information on the Sony World Photography Awards and on Bruce Davidson, check out

(Featured image: USA. Los Angeles. 1964. © Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos)

Sony World Photography Awards

Sony Open_Overall

If you haven’t already entered the Sony World Photography Awards competition, you should probably think about it. Whether you’re a professional or an enthusiastic amateur, there is almost certainly a category that you can enter, and there are some pretty neat prizes on offer, too!

It’s divided into two sections: professional and open. Okay, so the pros do have a substantially larger prize fund available to them: $25,000 compared to $5,000, but if you win the open competition, you’ll be flown to the next Sony World Photography Awards ceremony and World Photography Festival in London. (I wonder if that means they’d fly me out of City Airport and into Heathrow?)

There’s a vast array of categories into which you can submit images, and a fairly awesome judging panel.

You can be any age to enter the open competition, but if you’re under 16 you will require consent from parents or guardians. Closing date is 5 January 2011.

The competition is free to enter and supports the Bill of Rights for Competitions. What are you waiting for? Lots more information is available here for the open competition and here for pros!