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
Winner: Dongni, China
2nd: Julien Chatelin, France
3rd: Diego Mayon, Italy
Winner: Sabine Cattaneo, Switzerland
2nd: Gao Peng, China
3rd: Alexander Anufriev, Russian Federation
Winner: Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi Arabia
2nd: Li Sony, China
3rd: Lorzenzo Maccotta, Italy
Current Affairs & News
Winner: Alessio Romenzi, Italy
2nd: Joe Raedle, United States
3rd: Ivor Prickett, Ireland
Daily Life winner: Sandra Hoyn, Germany
2nd: Christina Simons, Iceland
3rd: Alice Cannara Malan, Italy
Winner: Frederik Buyckx, Belgium
2nd: Kurt Tong, United Kingdom
3rd: Peter Franck, Landscape
Winner: Will Burrard-Lucas, United Kingdom
2nd: Ami Vitale, United States
3rd: Christian Vizl, Mexico
Winner: George Mayer, Russian Federation
2nd: Romina Ressia, Argentina
3rd: Ren shi Chen, China
Winner: Henry Agudelo, Columbia
2nd: Shinya Masuda, Japan
3rd: Christoffer Askman, Denmark
Winner: Yuan Peng, China
2nd: Eduard Korniyenko, Russian Federation
3rd: Jason O’Brien, Australia
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.
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.
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.
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.
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