Striking images showing the aftermath of wildfires, evocative portraits of bushmeat hunters and some of the most indelible shots of the United States Capitol riot are among the works that will determine the photographer of the year. 2022 Sony World Photography Awards.
The images were chosen from more than 156,000 submissions, the highest number in the history of this prestigious award, now in its 15th year. Entries are part of the professional competition, which judges photographers based on a body of multiple images in one of 10 categories, including environment, landscape, portrait and still life.
Three finalists were selected for each category, with the intention of rewarding both technical skill and an original approach to contemporary subjects, as all images considered were taken in 2021.
“At times we may all have felt that the current Covid crisis meant the world had gone into lockdown, but when looking at these plans, it’s clear that nothing could be further from the truth. “said Mike Trow, president of the judging panel for the competition, in a report. “Having the chance to see so much work from around the world is both humbling and energizing.”
Among the finalists are Yun Chi Chen from Taiwan, who drew inspiration from the process of drawing traditional architectural plans to create multi-layered images of significant buildings, such as Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower, which is set to be demolished this year; Raphael Neal from the UK, who has created diptychs that juxtapose scenes of climate change with portraits of teenagers who will inherit the effects of the climate crisis, each showing a different reaction to danger; and Ricardo Teles from Brazil, who documented the country’s indigenous Xingu tribe and their martial art called Huka-huka, a ritual honoring the dead that last year focused primarily on Covid-19 victims.
Sport category runner-up Ricardo Teles documents Brazil’s indigenous Xingu tribe and their martial art called Huka-huka, a ritual to honor the dead – last year focused primarily on Covid victims. Credit: Ricardo TVs
Also noteworthy are the ethereal images taken by Gareth Iwan Jones, a freelance portrait photographer who found himself unable to work during the UK’s 2021 coronavirus lockdowns. He then turned his lens to the nearby tree figures, taken against the dawn or dusk sky and lit using drones, leading to an otherworldly depiction of nature.
Portrait photographer Gareth Iwan Jones started photographing trees after the coronavirus pandemic made it difficult to meet in person. Credit: Gareth Iwan Jones
Jacob Chansley, photographed by Win McNamee in the ‘Insurrection’ series, screams in the Senate chamber during the 2021 US Capitol riot. Chansley was later sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in the riot. Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images
The winners of all competitions will be announced on April 12, and a selection of images by the finalists and shortlisted photographers will form an exhibition at Somerset House in London which begins the following day and runs until May 2. The professional competition also awards a prize of $25,000 to the winner of Photographer of the Year, who is selected from among the finalists.