Sony National & Regional Photography Awards Announces Its Winners And They’re Pretty Impressive Interview With Artist
Established in 2007, the World Photography Organisation set out to raise awareness and level of conversation around photography worldwide. Each year, they provide a platform to Sony, which celebrates photographers’ works in over 50 countries and awards the Sony National & Regional prize. So far, the program has rewarded more than 500 photographers and is still counting. The prestigious and influential program is now in its ninth year and hand-picks the best single images from each of the countries entered and the winners are given Sony digital imaging equipment as well as plenty of global and local exposure. The initiative helps to support the artists working in the medium of photography and showcases their work. The World Photography Organisation arranges international exhibition tours and competitions, as well as contributes to collaborations and prestigious awards. Bored Panda is celebrating the photographers and their exquisite work and have connected with some of the winners. You can read about it below, as well as vote for your favorites on this list and let us know your impressions.
Myanmar Winner: 'Foggy Morning Fishing', By Min Min Zaw
This scene shows a father and son catching fish early one winter morning. In Myanmar, children work with their parents to bring in an income for the whole family.
Kamila J. Gruss, author of "The Moon Girl", spent 10 years in Berlin, and after getting her masters in literature studies, returned to her home in Poland to work for her family business. “Photography is my passion, obsession, way of catching my breath. It is a part of me, which I love to get lost in, be surprised by, a part where I get to create versions of realities that resonate with my sensitivity, most of all. It is precisely when I enter this sphere, that I rest the most. It’s always the photos that I am in the process of creating that are the last thing on my mind just before I fall asleep,” shared the mother of two.
Kamila also revealed that she was struggling with depression and photography was sort of a therapy for her. She was among the 100 winners of 2018 National Geographic’s photo community YOUR SHOT and this year, she won the Sony National & Regional award.
Italy Winner: 'Fox Portrait', By Davide Giannetti
Following a hard rainfall in the National Park of Abruzzo, I spotted this wild red fox looking for food.
27-year-old Janis Palulis, the winner for the whole of Latvia, told Bored Panda that he participates in Sony National & Regional Awards as he has a great collection of photographs of the country’s nature. Although Janis is a nature and wildlife photographer, he sometimes covers commercial assignments and even weddings. He shared that being among the winners will help him to improve his visual content. “This is for my future inspiration!” declared Janis, who has over 10 years' experience as a freelance photographer.
Latvia Winner: 'Glowing Mushroom', By Janis Palulis
Light painting one evening in a Latvian forest
Japan 2nd Place: 'Autumn Snake', By Hiroki Nose
This is an aerial photograph of a mountain road in Hakone, Japan. The path, when seen from the sky, looked like a snake. Photographed in autumn, the leaves of the coloured trees were extremely beautiful.
The Qatar winner Abdulla Al Mushaifri told Bored Panda that it’s tough to describe the category that his photography falls into. He believes that every single shot can be transformed into a piece of art if it’s captured perfectly. Originally from Oman, he resides in Qatar, having started his journey in photography in 2012 when he took a leap away from filming. “I attended a lot of workshops in order to shape my skills and knowledge; however, the real fact is that none of these workshops will help you if you can’t admire the arts around you and the most important thing is how you can translate a vision into reality." Abdulla, who took the winning shot of the Museum Of Islamic Art, pointed out that these contests keep him motivated by showing his love for the art of photography.
“I still believe that one day, I will reach my dream to be a well-known name in the photography community and my artworks will be interesting subjects to inspire the next generation.”
Austria Winner: 'Horse Against Black Background', By Michaela Steiner
I photographed this beautiful horse in the entrance to its stable, using only natural light and a black background.
Indonesia Winner: 'Poems For Sisters', By Hardijanto Budyman
You are angels in disguise
Side by side or miles apart
Sisters will always be connected by the heart
Barcelona-born self-taught photographer Mireia Vilaplana started experimenting with analog photography and then moved to digital camera. The winner for the UAE entry has lived and worked in Dubai since 2016 with her husband and their 9-year-old twins. She specializes in black and white photography and creative portraiture and mostly works with natural light and creative lenses. “2020 was a challenging year for many people at many different levels. The uncertainties and the new normalities made me feel compelled to explore the symbolism of face masks and the way in which we reveal ourselves to others. My twins collaborated with me and and the photo series ‘Masquerade’ came to life in our very own garden."
Mireia also shared that winning the National Award for Sony World Photography Awards 2021 is a tremendous honor and an encouragement to keep working hard and to keep using the photographic art to express herself and the world around her.
Finland Winner: 'Night', By Matti Virtanen
I may not have managed to capture any meteors during the Perseids of 2020, but I did get this night shot, which is full of wonder. The exposure was 30 seconds long, and shot at ISO 4000, using a tripod.
Greece Winner: 'Foggy Farming', By Thoedoros Apeiranthitis
At 1,003m, Mount Zas (or Zeus) dominates the Greek island of Naxos. One day in early April, I decided to make my way to the top. By the time I was halfway up, the fog had become so dense it completely obscured the base of the mountain, making me feel as if I was flying. I noticed a small herd of sheep grazing peacefully in this strange environment. I took a shot before moving on and becoming lost in the fog.
Mexico Winner: 'First Breath', By Brian Mena Laureano
Sunrise on the slopes of the Popocatépetl volcano.
Russian Federation Winner: 'Silently In The Mountains', By Evgeniy Ivanov
A home, immersed in complete silence, and forgotten about until spring.
Thailand Winner: 'Autumn Float', By Saowanee Suntararak
Autumn season at Lake Kawaguchi in Japan.Mount Fuji with autumn leaves is very popular in the photographers, and I love taking photo in this season,too.
United States Winner: 'Hourglass', By Patrick Mueller
A snaking dune in Death Valley meets the saddle of the surrounding mountains.
Philippines Winner: 'Looking For Water', By Donell Gumiran
In Ethiopia's South Omo, the tribes who live in the valley depend on the Omo River for survival. Sixty-two million Ethiopians lack access to safe water. This is everyday life for them.
Bangladesh Winner: 'Her Name Is Chandi ', By Sabbir Hossen
A portrait of a child working in a paddy field. She works alongside her parents as it allows her to continue her studies. Her passion was inspiring.
India Winner: 'Water Buffalo', By Shreejit Borthakur
A beast from the forests of northeastern India.
Bulgaria Winner: 'Extraterrestrial Earth - Mars ' By Eniz Karadzha
This dam is usually full, but had dried up. Scenes such as this show the effects of climate change are becoming more obvious. After a couple of weeks spent studying the angle of the sun, not to mention a bit of luck, I managed to take the image I’d hoped for.
Lithuania Winner: 'Traditional Crafts: Portrait Of A Toymaker', By Simas Bernotas
Ancient crafts are imbued with the wisdom of previous generations, with each nation having its own tales and myths about them. For this series, I captured Lithuanian crafters with a mystical spirit in an attempt to show them as devoted caretakers of declining traditions. This image is one of many from that project.
Taiwan Winner: 'Fluorescent Tiger', By Hui Pin Lai
The tiger is an important symbol in Taiwanese culture. Here, I used fluorescent paint to depict its essence.
Croatia Winner: 'Driving Through The Ice Forest', By Tomislav Veic
After the first snowfall towards the end of 2020, I took my camera to the largest old-growth forest in Croatia. This road runs through it.
Serbia Winner: 'Serbia's Red Gold Pepper Harvest', By Vladimir Zivojinovic
An elderly woman prepares threads of red paprika in Donja Lokosnica, Serbia. In this village in a valley in South Morava, some 250 of the 280 households are involved in the growing of pepper – although depopulation means this number is in decline. Around 500 tons of ground pepper is produced in a 250-hectare area.
Poland Winner: 'The Moon Girl', By Kamila J. Gruss
The dark side of social media where everyone seems to be happy
Japan Winner: 'The Last Winter', By Yukihito Ono
Photographed in Fukushima, Japan, this train – known as Ki-Ha 40 – was retired from the Tadami Line on 11 March, 2020.
Slovakia Winner: 'On His Own Path', By Peter Svoboda
A lone cross-country skier ascends a hill. I wanted to capture a minimal winter image that had symbolism and suggested a parallel with human life.
Viet Nam Winner: 'Waiting', By Tuan Nguyen Quang
This photograph was taken in Ha Giang, Vietnam. I went into a house in the village and asked permission to take pictures there.
Egypt Winner: 'The Mevlevi Dancer', By Abdelhamid Fawzy Tahoun
Tanoura is an Egyptian dance, performed in circular motions, which has its spiritual origins in Sufism. Its performers believe that all movement in the universe starts and ends at the same point, so this is reflected in the dance, with the continuous spinning making them appear like planets moving in space.
New Zealand Winner: 'Wrong Place Wrong Time', By Murray Chant
This piece of ice had rolled around in the shallows until it assumed a worn and organic form. I photographed it at dusk and lit it from below.
Malaysia Winner: 'Long-Tailed Macaque', By Yoganathan Yoke
This photograph of a long-tailed macaque, also known as the crab-eating macaque, was taken in the mangrove forest of Kuala Gula, Perak. I went there one evening, hoping to photograph birds or snakes, when I saw a group of macaques foraging in the mud for their last meal of the day. A ray of light from the sunset fell on this macaque just as it looked up. I felt it looked like a gesture of hope for the future.
Turkey Winner: 'Astroturf', By Mehmet Aslan
The pandemic has affected everyone. Since places of worship are closed, these men pray on the Astroturf pitch, while adhering to social distancing.
Cambodia Winner: 'I Miss You', By Sean Channal
This used to be the place where an audience would relieve their stresses and share their excitement, but since the Covid-19 outbreak, everything has changed. The theatre is now silent and lonely. One day, I hope, things will return to normality.
Sri Lanka Winner: 'Hustle For Survival', By Isira Sooriyaarachchi
On a weekday in August, while I was wandering along Main Street, Colombo, this man caught my attention among the crowds of people and busy traffic. I crossed to the middle of the road and pulled out my phone to capture the life of a worker doing his best to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Note: this post originally had 52 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.