Recognising and rewarding the world’s best contemporary photography from the last year, the 2015 competition received the highest number of entries in its eight year history – 173,444 images from 171 countries – and a 24% increase on 2014.
The judging, which is done anonymously by a panel of experts from the World Photographic Academy, has uncovered inspiring, arresting and thought-provoking work by a wide range of professional photographers and enthusiasts from around the world.
Across the 13 Professional, 10 Open and 3 Youth competitions the judges were refreshed by the bold approach of the shortlisted photographers to familiar topics and the ability of these photographers to surprise the judges with images and stories they have not previously seen.
Those in the awards’ Professional categories will now compete for a $25,000 prize and the coveted L’Iris d’Or/ Photographer of the Year title. The recipient, along with the winners of the Professional categories, overall Youth and Student winners plus the Open Photographer of the Year, who receives a $5,000 prize, will all be announced at the Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony on Thursday 23 April. All winners will receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony.
The winning and shortlisted images will also go on show at Somerset House, London from 24 April – 10 May and published in the 2015 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.
Tickets can be booked at www.worldphoto.org/2015exhibition. The exhibition will also include an intimate display of still images, books and films by Elliott Erwitt, recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award.
In the meantime, here are just a few highlights from all the shortlisted entries.