It feels like no time has passed since we made the final announcement about the Sony World Photo Awards 2023 and already the shortlist for the 2024 Student and Youth award has been announced. Unlike most photography competitions, the Sony World Photography Awards drip feed the winners over a few months, leading to a black-tie awards ceremony held in London where the winners are invited to accept the award.
In the short amount of time between the 2023 competition and this year’s, the photography landscape has changed drastically with discussions around AI at the forefront. After Borris Eldagsen’s controversial win and subsequent non-acceptance, the Sony World Photo rules now specify that generated content cannot be the origin of entry although AI could be used in the editing process.
The Student competition shortlist showcases the impressive work of 10 students hailing from leading higher education institutions. This year's theme, of "Home," prompted participants to submit a series of five to 10 images exploring their perspectives on place, community, identity, and belonging. The selected projects offer a rich tapestry of nuanced stories and conversations, reflecting the diverse experiences of emerging photographers.
Family relationships and personal histories emerged as recurring themes across the shortlisted images. From Horses and Caravans by Frederik Rüegger which documents the nomadic lifestyle of English and Irish tarvellers which is so often subject to discrimination to Yufei Ma’s Intermission which captures everyday traditions such as hanging the laundry to dry.
The Youth competition shortlist showcases the work of another 10 photographers aged 19 and under, each responding to the theme "Through Your Eyes". The young photographers capture their personal experiences of the natural world and environment, exploring questions of identity and individuality. Across the shortlist, their creative approaches to composition are evident as they document their surroundings.
This shortlist represents a global array of talent, with photographers hailing from Belgium, South Africa, Argentina, Bangladesh, and the USA in the student competition and from Australia, Malaysia, the UK, Spain, and the Philippines in the Youth competition. The winner of the Student Photographer of the Year 2024 will be revealed at the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards 2024 ceremony in London on April 18th alongside the winner of the Youth competition. The overall winning student’s university will be awarded €30,000 Sony digital imaging equipment as well as inclusion in the book and exhibition.
Check out the best Sony lenses including a range of primes, telephoto zooms and wide-angles