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Top 10 photographs revealed in Sony World Photo Awards 2021

Sony World Photography Awards 2021
(Image credit: Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

The World Photography Organization has revealed the top ten images of the last year in Sony World Photography Awards 2021, as the open category winners are announced. From wildlife to street photography, from epic landscapes to quiet portraits - the shots show the sheer diversity of photography today.

Each winner receives  imaging equipment from Sony to develop their vision and will go on to compete for the overall Open Photographer of the Year title and a US$5,000) reward.  The overall Open winner will be announced on the 15 April. The full gallery of shortlisted images can be seen on the World Photo Org website.

The ten category winners are:

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY F. Dilek Uyar (Turkey) for Disinfection, a cinematic image documenting an employee of the Health Affairs unit of Ankara Municipality in protective gear walking along the train platform while spraying it with disinfectant. (Image credit: F Dilek Uyar/Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

NATURAL WORLD & WILDLIFE Cristo Pihlamäe (Estonia) for Little Kiss, an amusing picture of a hare looking out into the field with its tongue sticking out. (Image credit: Cristo Pihlame/Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

TRAVEL Khanh Phan (Vietnam) for Drying Fish, a photograph of a lone woman surrounded by hundreds of trays of drying fish in the Long Hai fish market in Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Vietnam. Taken from above the pattern, of the fish in trays resembles a large piece of fabric with the woman seemingly weaving it all together. (Image credit: Khanh Phan, Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

LIFESTYLE Mariano Belmar Torrecilla (Spain) for Dias de playa, a softly focused picture of two women enjoying a morning walk on the beach in Alicante, Spain. (Image credit: Mariano Belma / Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

MOTION Marijo Maduna (Croatia) for Girl Power, a black & white photograph recording the moment when a woman dives off a cliff on the island of Lokrum near Dubrovnik, Croatia, while her friends stand-by and watch. (Image credit: Marijo Maduna, Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

ARCHITECTURE Klaus Lenzen (Germany) for The Blue Window, depicting a ramp of stairs at the Hyatt hotel in Düsseldorf ascending towards a window from which a view of clear blue skies is reflected. Seemingly floating in space, the stairs and window are framed in dark shadows that highlight the design while also adding an element of surrealism. (Image credit: Klaus Lenzen/Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

CREATIVE Tamary Kudita (Zimbabwe) for African Victorian, a portrait of a young black woman dressed in Victorian dress and holding traditional Shona cooking utensils. The image probes at stereotypical contextualizing of the black female body and offers an alternative visual language through which a multifaceted African identity is presented. (Image credit: Tamary Kudita/Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

OBJECT Kata Zih (Hungary) for Memento, depicting a tailor’s mannequin in an empty room. For Zih, the stillness of the scene evokes a feeling of solitude and stirs up memories of lockdown. (Image credit: ata Zih/ Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

PORTRAITURE Lyudmila Sabanina (Russian Federation) for Son, featuring a young child sitting on a table while gazing into space, lost in contemplation. The photograph shows another side to childhood, one of calmness and reflection. (Image credit: Lyudmila Sabanina/Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

LANDSCAPE Juan López Ruiz (Spain) for Electric Storm on Lavender, a dramatic photograph capturing the moment lighting strikes a flowering field of lavender with a solitary tree at its centre, set against a dusky evening sky. Taken in the province of Guadalajara, Spain (Image credit: Juan Lopez Ruiz/Sony World Photography Awards 2021)

Read more: 

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 


His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.