Explore the Stunning Winning Images of the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Sony World Photography Awards 2021 Category Winners and Open Shortlist

“Drying Fish” by Khanh Phan, Open Category Winner for Travel. (Photo: © Khanh Phan, Vietnam, Category Winner, Open, Travel, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
A woman dries trays of fish at Long Hai fish market in the Vung Tau province of Vietnam. Thousands of trays of scad are dried on rooftops and in yards by hundreds of workers. I came to Long Hai on a photo trip and was overwhelmed by the scale of the fishing village.

The World Photography Organisation has announced the open shortlist and category winners of the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards. Now in its 14th year, this partnership between Sony and the World Photography Organisation has highlighted the work of some of the world's most talented professional, amateur, and youth photographers. The National Awards for the 2021 competition were released in February; now, you can view the gallery of the winners of the open categories and the open shortlisted images.

For the 2021 awards, 10 photographs have been designated category winners in topics such as architecture, travel, and motion. The winning photographers receive precision Sony equipment to continue their artistic missions. They are also in the running for the Open Photographer of the Year title and a $5,000 cash prize. These winning images—plus the work of over 100 shortlisted photographers from around the world—will be displayed in an online exhibition on the World Photography Organisation website beginning in mid-April. The ultimate title of Open Photographer of the Year will be awarded on April 15, 2021.

Exploring the winning and shortlisted images is a trip around the globe. African Victorian by Tamary Kudita (Zimbabwe) is the stunning winner of the Creative Category. According to a statement, the “image probes at stereotypical contextualizing of the Black female body and offers an alternative visual language through which a multifaceted African identity is presented.” Meanwhile, Disinfection by F. Dilek Uyar (Turkey) is a stark reminder of the past year. The winning shot of the Street Photography Category is a “cinematic image documenting an employee of the Health Affairs unit of Ankara Municipality in protective gear walking along the train platform while spraying it with disinfectant.”

Scroll down for the category winners and continue to the shortlist gallery to explore more stunning images from the Sony World Photography Awards.

The World Photography Organisation has announced the open shortlist and category winners of the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards.

Sony World Photography Awards

“Son” by Lyudmila Sabanina, Open Category Winner for Portraiture. (Photo: © Lyudmila Sabanina, Russian Federation, Category Winner, Open, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
Another side of childhood: contemplation and calm.

Memento Kata Zih

“Memento” by Kata Zih, Open Category Winner for Object. (Photo: © Kata Zih, Hungary, Category Winner, Open, Object, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
Autumn of 2020… Pandemic, lockdown, solitude, memories…

Street Photography Sony

“Disinfection” by F.Dilek Uyar, Open Category Winner for Street Photography. (Photo: © F.Dilek Uyar, Turkey, Category Winner, Open, Street Photography, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Health Affairs unit of Ankara Municipality sprays all public transportation, day and night.

Sony World Photography Awards 2021

“The Blue Window” by Klaus Lenzen, Open Category Winner for Architecture. (Photo: © Klaus Lenzen, Germany, Category Winner, Open, Architecture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
The stairs at the Hyatt hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Electric Storm on Lavender

“Electric Storm on Lavender” by Juan López Ruiz, Open Category Winner for Landscape. (Photo: © Juan López Ruiz, Spain, Category Winner, Open, Landscape, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
Electric storm above a solitary tree in the lavender fields of Brihuega, Guadalajara, Spain.

African Victorian

“African Victorian” by Tamary Kudita, Open Category Winner for Creative. (Photo: © Tamary Kudita, Zimbabwe, Category Winner, Open, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
With this image, I wanted to portray a hybrid African-Victorian: my way of probing the stereotypical contextualisation of the black female body. I provide an alternative version of reality, where dualities fuse to create a new visual language. Taking a Victorian dress and merging it with traditional shona cooking utensils was my way of showing a multifaceted identity.

Little Kiss Cristo Pihlame

“Little Kiss” by Cristo Pihlamäe, Open Category Winner for Natural World & Wildlife. (Photo: © Cristo Pihlamäe, Estonia, Category Winner, Open, Natural World & Wildlife, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
Little kiss?

Días de Playa Winning Category Images

“Días de Playa” by Mariano Belmar, Open Category Winner for Lifestyle. (Photo: © Mariano Belmar, Spain, Category Winner, Open, Lifestyle, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
Summer, Mediterranean Sea, Spain, Alicante, beach and morning walk: a way of life.

Girl Power Marijo Maduna

“Girl Power” by Marijo Maduna, Open Category Winner for Motion. (Photo: © Marijo Maduna, Croatia, Category Winner, Open, Motion, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards)
A young girl shows off her skills, diving from a cliff on the island of Lokrum in Croatia.

World Photography Organisation: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by World Photography Organisation.

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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