Winners of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Open Competition


I love this photo competition! The winners of the Sony World Photography Awards Open, Youth and National Award competitions were just announced. After receiving over 70,000 entries from around the world, the World Photography Organization or WPO chose ten photographers as this year's Open winners. These individuals are not professional photographers themselves but rather photo enthusiasts or amateur photographers. Representing the best single images in one of ten different categories – like Architecture, Smile and Split Second – these talented individuals will now compete for the Sony World Photography Awards Open Photographer of the Year title and the $5,000 prize.

Chosen by a jury, chaired by Nigel Atherton, Group Editor at IPC Photo, these ten will have their work exhibited at London's Somerset House from May 1 to May 18. As Atherton states, “No two of this year's Open category winners are from the same country but all share the ability to visually interpret the world around them in a unique and captivating way.”

Stay tuned for the Professional and Student Focus winners.

Above: Muddy Smile by Alpay Erdem
I was in Fethiye, Turkey last summer for work. She wanted me to take her photo when she was in the air. I took this image on a fast shutter speed to capture her in the air jumping into the lake after coming out of the mud bath. The result was interesting. With the smile on her face and the way she jumped, she seemed to prove how insignificant her age was. She was the hero of the day. Photo taken in Dalyan, Fethiye.



Under the Staircase by Holger Schmidtke
I've seen similar images of staircases and so I try to do it my way. In an office building in Cologne I went down to the zero ground of the staircase. I spread my tripod to get a near bottom position and fixed it in the middle of this motif. With the wide-angle 10-24mm lens I took some raw photos. The image Under the Staircase is one of them developed with Lightroom.


Arts & Culture

Rodeo by Valerie Prudon
This photo was taken in Branxton, Australia in October 2013. After shooting some of the rodeo itself, I decided to go behind the scenes to capture the typical environment of this kind of event. This is when I noticed this group of cowboys having a chat and relaxing. Their specific outfits, their boots, their hats and the horses in the background with the sunset made this photo authentic. This was THE moment and I am glad I took a few seconds to immortalize it.



Rescue Operation by Kylli Sparre
This image took me few months to complete. It started from an idea, a clear vision. It is a daydream about a getaway or rescue, a story with an open ending. I would like to leave the final interpretation to the viewer. Technically I didn't really know how to accomplish an image like this, so I ended up doing some experiments that did not turn out good. After some trial and error I decided to just let this idea wait a bit, I collected the props, found a suitable location. Finally when I was ready, I took all the photos in the same location and then composited them together in Photoshop. Difficult part was the fish bowl. There was a sea near by and my friend helped me to carry it. The fishbowl got rather heavy when we filled it with water and we almost fell with it on the slippery rocks when trying to carry it up from the shore. Luckily no one got hurt and the fishbowl is still in one piece today.


Low Light

First Snow by Vlad Eftenie
First snow in Bucharest; traffic and passers by are taken by surprise at the sudden cold weather.


Nature & Wildlife

The Cold Pony by Gert van den Bosch
It was very cold that day, so the inspiration for the title was easy. I had very cold feet. I came out of my car for a quick shot in the snow. The country lanes were slippery. I walked through the cold snow to get to the pony. When I got there I realized that I had the wrong lens on my camera for the effect that I wanted. So I went back, changed lenses and made the picture, I came closer than I wanted. Normally I have my photo bag on my back. Not this day because I wanted to go for a hit and run shot…. I went back and changed lenses. I came home with this picture. Somehow I can still feel the cold, and the scene is arctic in my imagination. I took advice to size it this way.



Starry Lighthouse by Ivan Pedretti
It's a stitched panorama of 12 horizontal shots, 2 rows, each shot is a long exposure with tripod at 30 seconds shutter speed, f2.8 aperture and ISO 3200 on Canon 50D and Tokina 11-16 2.8. I was about 4am in the night of April 2013 for capturing the Milky Way arch form south to north in the lighthouse in Capo Spartivento, South Sardinia. The main difficulty was the right to overlap the shots, also another problem was the bright rays of the lighthouse, I was about 20m away, and I had to cover the lens at the time of the passage of the beam to avoid excessive overexposure…I was fascinated by the landscape I saw in the south coast of my island, the lighthouse made everything special.



Poor God by Arup Ghosh
I was on Durga Puja Festival vacation, traveling on a local train. A boy was singing devotional song and begging for alms. He was guised as a Hindu God, Lord Shiva. This is a common view in Indian trains. But that boy was charming, bright and had a melodious voice. He could not earn any money from the compartment and was sad. He was singing alone, standing by the door. Our destination was arriving and we approached the door. My camera was ready hanging on my neck, with the 20mm wide lens attached. I took three shots of the boy and got off the train. Before leaving, my daughter gave him an apple and I gave him some money. The boy moved to the next compartment happily. These children are from very poor families. Their parents work as contract workers on a very poor daily wage. They work long days in the field. The children sing and beg for money to earn bread for their families, when their parents cannot manage a contract. Yet, they are cheerful, happy and friendly.


Split Second

Photographer story, Behind the scene by Hairul Azizi Harun
Being a photographer is not easy, people may not know the many challenges that photographers have to face to attain the perfect image. Sometimes the story behind the image is much more interesting than what is seen in the picture. It is our job as a photographer to convey the story and breath life to that image. Captured in a village in Kuantan, Pahang. Malaysia. The image was captured at high shutter speed and using available light only. This photo narrates the pains and gains of being a photographer, the heritage of an old house, forgotten traditional games and the old generations meeting the new which complimented each other very well.



Rain in an Ancient Town by Chen Li
My photo “Rain in Ancient Town” was shot in southern China- Phoenix Town, which shows the scene of people traveling in the rain during the rainy season. Tripod was used for this picture and I used slow shutter on purpose to combine the static and dynamic status of tourists. In the background, there are old residential buildings and an old stone bridge. This combination enabled a more spiritual atmosphere for the photo.

World Photography Organisation website

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