Grand prize winners announced for the epic 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

The World Photography Organisation has today named Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx as the Sony World Photography Awards’ 2017 Photographer of the Year. The judges were challenged to find the best photographic series and were taken by the beauty, scale and effort involved in Buyckx’s winning work titled "Whiteout".

Born in Antwerp in 1984, Buyckx is a freelance photographer for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard. His images have been published and exhibited internationally and most recently he was shortlisted for the ZEISS Photography Award.

The winning series "Whiteout" was taken in the Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Asia, remote areas where people often live in isolation and in close contact with nature. Buyckx explains: "There is a peculiar transformation of nature when winter comes, when snow and ice start to dominate the landscape and when humans and animals have to deal with the extreme weather. The series investigates this struggle against disappearance."

This year, the Awards received over 227,000 entries from 183 countries – making it the world’s largest photography competition. An exhibition of all the winning and shortlisted work, along with rare images by British photographer Martin Parr, recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize, will run at Somerset House, London from today, 21 April, until 7 May 2017.

Selected from the winners of the Awards' 10 Professional categories, Chair of Judges Zelda Cheatle says of Frederik Buyckx's photographs: "I have chosen a series of landscapes so that we may return to the essence of looking at photography. Landscape is often overlooked but it is central to our existence. These are beautiful pictures made by a serious photographer, and they are to be enjoyed. I hope this award will inspire many more photographers to take pictures that do not simply encompass the terrible aspects of life in these troubled times but also capture some of the joys and loveliness in each and every environment."

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Sony World Photography Awards annually recognise and rewards the finest contemporary photography from the last year. Free to enter and open to all photographers, the awards are an authoritative voice in the photographic industry that has the power to shape the careers of its winning and shortlisted photographers. The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards open for entries on June 1, 2017.

Professional category winners and finalists

Architecture

Winner: Dongni, China
2nd: Julien Chatelin, France
3rd: Diego Mayon, Italy

Copyright: © Dongni -, China, 1st Place, Professional, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Dongni -, China, 1st Place, Professional, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Julien Chatelin, France, 3rd Place, Professional, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Julien Chatelin, France, 3rd Place, Professional, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Diego Mayon, Italy, 3rd Place, Professional, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Diego Mayon, Italy, 3rd Place, Professional, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Conceptual

Winner: Sabine Cattaneo, Switzerland
2nd: Gao Peng, China
3rd: Alexander Anufriev, Russian Federation

Copyright: © Sabine Cattaneo, Switzerland, 1st Place, Professional, Conceptual, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Sabine Cattaneo, Switzerland, 1st Place, Professional, Conceptual, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Alexander Anufriev, Russian Federation, 2nd Place, Professional, Conceptual, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Alexander Anufriev, Russian Federation, 2nd Place, Professional, Conceptual, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Gao Peng, China, 3rd Place, Professional, Conceptual, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Gao Peng, China, 3rd Place, Professional, Conceptual, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Contemporary Issues

Winner: Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi Arabia
2nd: Li Sony, China
3rd: Lorzenzo Maccotta, Italy

Copyright: © Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi Arabia, 1st Place, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi Arabia, 1st Place, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Li Song, China, 2nd Place, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Li Song, China, 2nd Place, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Lorenzo Maccotta, Italy, 3rd Place, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Lorenzo Maccotta, Italy, 3rd Place, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Current Affairs & News

Winner: Alessio Romenzi, Italy
2nd: Joe Raedle, United States
3rd: Ivor Prickett, Ireland

Copyright: © Alessio Romenzi, Italy, 1st Place, Professional, Current Affairs & News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Alessio Romenzi, Italy, 1st Place, Professional, Current Affairs & News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Joe Raedle, United States of America, 2nd Place, Professional, Current Affairs & News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Joe Raedle, United States of America, 2nd Place, Professional, Current Affairs & News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Ivor Prickett, Ireland, 3rd Place, Professional, Current Affairs & News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Ivor Prickett, Ireland, 3rd Place, Professional, Current Affairs & News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Daily Life winner: Sandra Hoyn, Germany

2nd: Christina Simons, Iceland
3rd: Alice Cannara Malan, Italy

Copyright: © Sandra Hoyn, Germany, 1st Place, Professional, Daily Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Sandra Hoyn, Germany, 1st Place, Professional, Daily Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Christina Simons, Iceland, 2nd Place, Professional, Daily Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Christina Simons, Iceland, 2nd Place, Professional, Daily Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Alice Cannara Malan, Italy, 3rd Place, Professional, Daily Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Alice Cannara Malan, Italy, 3rd Place, Professional, Daily Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Landscape

Winner: Frederik Buyckx, Belgium
2nd: Kurt Tong, United Kingdom
3rd: Peter Franck, Landscape

Copyright: © Frederik Buyckx, Belgium, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Frederik Buyckx, Belgium, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Kurt Tong, United Kingdom, 2nd Place, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Kurt Tong, United Kingdom, 2nd Place, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Peter Franck, Germany, 3rd Place, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Peter Franck, Germany, 3rd Place, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Natural World

Winner: Will Burrard-Lucas, United Kingdom
2nd: Ami Vitale, United States
3rd: Christian Vizl, Mexico

Copyright: © Will Burrard-Lucas, United Kingdom, 1st Place, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Will Burrard-Lucas, United Kingdom, 1st Place, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Ami Vitale, United States of America, 2nd Place, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Ami Vitale, United States of America, 2nd Place, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Christian Vizl, Mexico, 3rd Place, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Christian Vizl, Mexico, 3rd Place, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Portraiture

Winner: George Mayer, Russian Federation
2nd: Romina Ressia, Argentina
3rd: Ren shi Chen, China

Copyright: © George Mayer, Russian Federation, 1st Place, Professional, Portraiture (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © George Mayer, Russian Federation, 1st Place, Professional, Portraiture (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Romina Ressia, Argentina, 2nd Place, Professional, Portraiture (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Romina Ressia, Argentina, 2nd Place, Professional, Portraiture (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Ren shi Chen, China, 3rd Place, Professional, Portraiture (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Ren shi Chen, China, 3rd Place, Professional, Portraiture (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Still Life

Winner: Henry Agudelo, Columbia
2nd: Shinya Masuda, Japan
3rd: Christoffer Askman, Denmark

Copyright: © Henry Agudelo, Colombia, 1st Place, Professional, Still Life (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Henry Agudelo, Colombia, 1st Place, Professional, Still Life (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Shinya Masuda, Japan, 2nd Place, Professional, Still Life (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Shinya Masuda, Japan, 2nd Place, Professional, Still Life (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Christoffer Askman, Denmark, 3rd Place, Professional, Still Life (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Christoffer Askman, Denmark, 3rd Place, Professional, Still Life (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Sport

Winner: Yuan Peng, China
2nd: Eduard Korniyenko, Russian Federation
3rd: Jason O’Brien, Australia

Copyright: © Yuan Peng, China, 1st Place, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Yuan Peng, China, 1st Place, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Eduard Korniyenko, Russian Federation, 2nd Place, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Eduard Korniyenko, Russian Federation, 2nd Place, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Jason O'Brien, Australia, 3rd Place, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Jason O'Brien, Australia, 3rd Place, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Open Photographer of the Year

"Mathilda" by Russian photographer Alexander Vinogradov was chosen as the best single photograph in the world, and consequently he scooped the Open Photographer of the Year title.

Vinogradov is an amateur photographer based in Moscow and his winning image is a portrait of a young girl, inspired by the French movie Léon. The photograph was selected from 10 Open category winners announced on 28 March by a panel of judges led by British journalist and photographer Damien Demolder.

Copyright: © Alexander Vinogradov, Russian Federation, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Portraits (Open), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Alexander Vinogradov, Russian Federation, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Portraits (Open), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Youth Photographer of the Year

Elsewhere, sixteen-year-old student Katelyn Wang from Los Angeles, California received the Youth Photographer of the Year title. Open to those aged 12-19, the Youth competition asked photographers worldwide to respond to the brief of "Beauty" with a single image.

Wang’s winning photograph "On Top of the World" was taken while standing above Lake Pehoé in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, and beautifully captures the landscape beneath her.

Copyright: © Katelyn Wang, United States of America, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth, Beauty, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Katelyn Wang, United States of America, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth, Beauty, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Student Photographer of the Year

Michelle Daiana Gentile, aged 21, of Escuela de Fotografía Motivarte, won the Student Photographer of the Year title with a stunning series called "Only Hope". Responding to the brief of "Emotions", Gentile delivered a powerful series shot across 10 days spent with workers of an old paper factory in Argentina.

Copyright: © Michelle Daiana Gentile, Argentina, Student Photographer of the Year, Student Focus, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Copyright: © Michelle Daiana Gentile, Argentina, Student Photographer of the Year, Student Focus, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Outstanding Contribution to Photography

Finally, British photographer Martin Parr was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the awards ceremony. He was recognised for his unique visual language and for pushing the boundaries of the medium.

The Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize has previously been awarded to Mary Ellen Mark, William Eggleston, Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Marc Riboud, William Klein, RongRong & inri, Elliott Erwitt and Phil Stern.

Copyright: © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery

Copyright: © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery

Discover more about the Sony World Photography Awards at www.worldphoto.org.

Main image: Copyright: © Frederik Buyckx, Belgium, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards