In less than a month, on April 14, 2023, the annual Sony World Photography Awards exhibition, now in its 16th year, will open in London. The project is a collaboration between Sony and the World Photography Organization with the aim of celebrating the best photographers from around the world, from emerging to professional. In anticipation of the inauguration to be held at Somerset House, SWPA announces the winners of the Open Competition category, who will compete for the Open Photographer of the Year 2023 award and the $5,000 prize money.
Open Competition judges received more than 200 thousand images, the highest number of entries received in sixteen years. Ten were selected from the many shots, one from each established category. Nature and Wildlife, Portraiture, Street photography, Travel, Architecture, Lifestyle, Motion, Object, Still Life, Landscape, and Creative were the themes addressed this year.
It must not have been an easy choice for the judges and in particular for Eric Scholsser, artistic director of the Tbilisi Art Fair, judge of the Open competition. The result of the difficult choices made is the presence of a variety of styles, places and colors that characterize each photograph.
Among the international names in the competition is Giorgos Rousopoulous, who wins the prize for Best Landscape, transporting the viewer to Greece, more precisely to Pindus National Park. Azim Khan Ronnie‘s best Lifestyle shot, on the other hand, shows children from a village in Bangladesh, portrayed in a carefree moment. The Architecture category prize, on the other hand, is won by British photographer Mark Benham with his shot The Silos, with its warm colors and metaphysical atmosphere.
Four black-and-white shots won category awards: Max Vere-Hodge with Ghosts (Travel), Dinorah Graue Obscura with Mighty Pair (Nature and Wildlife), Boris Eldagsen with Pseudomnesia (Creative) and Andreas Mikonauschke with the shot Exhausted for the Street Photography category. Black and white is reconfirmed as authentic and reaffirms that “a good image does not need color.”
Instead, the colors of the winning shot in the Motion category, won by Zhenhuan Zhou, in which the photographer portrays a cowgirl riding a running horse, intent on braking abruptly to face the curve, are preponderant and bright. From chromatic harmony on the brown scale is the portrait of Charlie by Sughi Hullait (Portraits), which tells the story of a group of British boys who built a DIY skate park during the pandemic.
The theme of recycling and environmental stewardship is addressed by Mieke Douglas in her shot Recycled, winner of the Object category. The floating and ethereal shot depicts flowers made of paper and ribbons that are probably floating in the depths, highlighting a sensitive and timely issue.
The overall winner of this competition will be announced on April 13, 2023, and will kick off the photo exhibition of the year, which can be visited until May 1.