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Sony World Photography Awards 2021 Judges and New Competition Categories Announced

The World Photography Organization is pleased to announce the judging panel for the Sony World Photography Awards 2021. Also revealed today are new categories in the Awards’ four competitions, entry deadlines and exhibition dates.

Sony World Photography Awards 2021
Exhibition runs 16 April – 3 May, 2021 at Somerset House, London

Now in its 14th year, the Sony World Photography Awards are an authoritative voice in the industry, celebrating the best contemporary photography from the past year, and giving vast exposure and opportunity to photographers worldwide. Sony supports the Awards to help the continued development of photographic culture by giving a global platform to today’s talent. Entry to the Awards is completely free and photographers are judged anonymously by a panel of industry leading judges.

This year’s internationally diverse jury brings a range of knowledge and expertise from varied photographic backgrounds and includes:

Professional Competition: Mike Trow, Independent Curator and Photo Editor and Chair of the Jury; Natasha Egan, Executive Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago (MoCP); Sunyoung Kim, Curator, Museum of Photography Seoul, South Korea; Azu Nwagbogu, Founder and Director, African Artists Foundation; Lindsay Taylor, Curator, University of Salford Art Collection; and Hannah Watson, Director, Trolley Books and TJ Boulting.

Open and Youth Competition: Gastón Deleau, Director, FOLA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Student Competition: Kate Simpson, Assistant Editor, Aesthetica Magazine.

The 2021 Awards introduces new categories across the Professional, Youth and Open competitions and a refreshed theme for the Student competition. In choosing these new categories, the Awards hopes to continue appealing to a diverse range of contemporary photographers.

In the Professional competition a new category for single images is introduced titled Portfolio in which photographers are requested to submit 5-10 images not related to each other in subject matter or narrative but where the photographer’s quality and technical skills are evident and consistent throughout. The Architecture category has also been expanded to include Design giving photographers the option to showcase exteriors and urban landscapes alongside interiors with an architectural approach.

In the Open competition two new categories have been introduced: Lifestyle and Object. Lifestyle features editorial, fashion or family images of people in situations or events taken in an artistic manner while Object presents images depicting inanimate subject matters. This can include photography for commercial and advertising purposes but must show the photographer’s artistic approach.

In the Youth competition monthly themes have all been updated to include the following:

Composition and Design (July):
creative images from around the home that encapsulate good composition and design.

Culture (August):
images that have enriched and expanded our appreciation of the world and its people. Be it immersing in local culture or capturing a unique travel experience away from home.

Natural World & Wildlife (September):
photographs of the best wildlife, nature and landscape taken in 2020.

Street Life (October):
images of urban landscapes from eye-catching graffiti, architectural details or snapshots that offer a glimpse into everyday life.

People (November):
portrait shots, be it studio, candid or even a self-portrait.

Show Us Your World (December):
Open Call! Entries can be on any topic, style or subject matter.

For the first brief in the Student competition entrants are be asked to submit images under the theme of Building a Better Future which showcases the stories of people who are working towards creating a better future for all.

The Sony World Photography Awards is open to submissions from 1 July 2020. Full competition and categories descriptions can be found at www.worldphoto.org/swpa

Deadlines for submission across the Awards’ four competitions are:

Professional: 14 January 2021

Open: 7 January 2021

Youth: each monthly theme will run from the first day of the month to the last (1 July - 31 December 2021).

Student: 30 November 2020 (first brief)
All category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student competitions receive digital imaging equipment from Sony. In addition, cash prizes of $25,000 (USD) are presented to the Photographer of the Year and $5,000 (USD) to the Open Photographer of the Year. All winning and shortlisted photographers’ works are exhibited at the annual Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London and toured internationally. The winning images are also published in the annual Awards’ book.

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