Powerful Student Photos in Sony World Photography Awards

The ten finalists for the Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus were just announced. Students worldwide were asked to submit a single image that encapsulated the phrase “Tomorrow's News.” Here was the brief: “Enter an image for the front page of a newspaper. This image can be sensationalist or low key, from a local cat rescue to an international environmental concern. It can document your family, your friends, your neighbourhood, your people, your country or your world but it must make us want to learn more. Most of today's front-pages are made of pixels rather than paper, but they still have to do the same job they've been doing since 1880. They have to tell us a story in one frame and they have to make us want to read on and ultimately, buy the paper.

“Draw attention to an issue that means something to you. Create tomorrow's news in one image.”

The ten chosen finalists must now submit a series of images under the title “Self-portraits.” You'll be able to see these photos at Somerset House in London as part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition from May 1 to May 18. One overall student winner will be announced in a gala ceremony on April 30. Out of the 10 finalists, here are our favorites. Can't wait to see what these photographers have in store for us with their series.

Heewon, Grade 1, Courtrai Primary School, Paarl, South Africa
South Africa's desegregated top-tier schools still face challenges of diversity and old institutional ideologies.
Photo by Russell Bruns, South Africa, Age 26

The internet has become an almost holy entity in the supreme power that it represents, can religion really be immune to its take over? In truth, the internet is already its own kind of religion.
Photo by Scarlet Evans, UK, Age 22

Rana Plaza Tragedy
More than 1,130 workers died and 2,500 injured in this deadliest garment-factory accident in history.
Photo by Rahul Talukder, Bangladesh, Age 23

“Jens has ADHD”
The story behind the picture is that the Danish government has decided to include special needs children in regular public schools. And they have closed a lot of the schools who took care of special needs children. The idea is that the special needs children should be included in the daily life of kids with “normal” intelligence. But the backside is that the inclusions not always function very well. The teachers are not yet educated to take on this extra responsibility and they lack time to deal with the special needs children.
Photo by Tor Birk Trads, Denmark, Age 27

Self Portrait
I often find it difficult to know where I stand with myself. While I try to hold on to the value and the beauty of this life, I am constantly reminded of the things I have come witness to and I wonder what the point of all this is.
Photo by Jordan VanSise, USA, Age 24

Human Nature at its Best
Don Wessels, age 53 has been disabled and blind for 27 years. In 1987 he was conscripted into the Apartheid era South African army, compulsory at the time. In 1988 he was on a reconnaissance investigation in the Angolan bush where he suffered a near fatal explosion from a misidentified object that was in fact a landmine. The explosion took his sight and both his hands.

Since his accident, Don has obtained a BA Degree at the University of Stellenbosch, an Honors and Masters post graduate degrees in international politics with UNISA. He was nominated as a candidate running for Parliament in 1999.

To Don, his best accomplishment was to marry his wife, Maatje van Wyk in 2001. The couple have had many adventures including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and they have twice completed a four day canoeing trip down the Orange River. Their first born baby, Matteo, was born on the 15th October 2007 and their second, Francois, on 8 June 2009.

The image talks about Don living in two worlds, his own world and his families. Don spends each day with his two-year-old son whom he is holding; he keeps him occupied through out the day because he is too young to go to kindergarten. Don lives in a world were his senses are the most important factor of his life, all this combined with his roles as a father and husband. His reality is different from anyone around him and he has mastered that reality as best as he can.

Sony World Photography Awards website

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