Talented photographers from across the world have been named as winners of diverse open categories at the Sony World Photography Awards – and the champions were judged on just a single image.
Winners were named in ten categories including architecture, portraiture, still life, creative, culture, natural world and wildlife, street photography, travel, landscape and motion.
The photographers were judged on a single exceptional image – with winners in each group chosen from a record-breaking number of entries submitted from 195 countries and territories.
The champion photographers came from a broad range of backgrounds and include full-time professional photographers, hobbyists who have recently converted from other careers, and enthusiasts alike.
The winners of the Sony World Photography Awards’ National Awards have also been revealed today – celebrating local photographic talent across 62 countries.
But the ten open category winners will now go on to compete for the title of Open Photographer of the Year.
This photographer, along with the winners of the Sony’s professional categories, will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on April 17.
Dreamers and Warriors by Martin Stranka, from the Czech Republic was named the winner of the creative Open category. The image depicts a person stood in a white helmet as a trio of small birds flutter around their head. It was described by the photographer as ‘Whether you are physically male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy – all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior’
Shadow Puppetry by Pan Jianhua, from China, was named the winner in the culture Open category. Shadow Puppetry is an ancient folk art with a history of more than 2000 years in China. In the winning image, the village shadow Puppet performers put on a show for the local villagers in the courtyard of a stone house
Underwater Gannets by Tracey Lund, from Britain, was named the winner in the natural world and wildlife Open category. The image was taken when the photographer was on a trip to Shetland. She said: ‘The photography takes place at sea around some of Shetland’s remotest headlands. Dead bait is used, using fish the Gannets would normally eat, locally sourced around Shetland. To be able to capture what goes on under the water was an unbelievable experience and one I will never forget.’
Open-Air Toilet by Carole Pariat, from France, was named the winner in the street photography Open category. In the image, two Indian musicians pose as one well-dressed young Indian urinates on the wall behind them
Woman Wearing a Wedding Dress by Nicolas Boyer, from France, was named the winner in the travel Open category. The image depicts a young woman wearing a shiromuku dress ahead of a traditional Shinto wedding in Tokyo, Japan
Stumps by Hal Gage, from America, was named the winner in the landscape Open category. The image shows tree stumps exposed in a spring when water levels on the man-made Alder lake on the Nisqually River Dam, Washington are low
Peony and Leaves by Rachel Yee Laam Lai, from Hong Kong, was named the winner in the still life Open category. The photographer said: ‘This is a photograph of my resin artwork. Using self-made paint mixed with resin to capture colours in liquefaction and also in petrifaction form. It looks like an abstract flower garden.’
Harmony by Christy Lee Rogers, from America, was named the winner in the motion Open category. The image, shot underwater in Hawaii, was part of a bigger collection called ‘Muses’. It uses colors, cascading bodies and contrasts of light and darkness to create movement and purpose within the scene
Heatwave by Philippe Sarfati, from France, was named the winner of the architecture Open category. The image, taken in Kanazawa, Japan in July 2018 depites staff at the 21st Century Contemporary Art Museum as they water the lawn on a summer afternoon
Grayson Perry – Birth by Richard Ansett, from Britain, was named the winner in the portraiture Open category
Vasile by Alex Robciuc was named the winner of the National Awards in Romania. The image also features on the shortlist for the culture Open category. Of the image, the photographer said: ‘His whole life lived here. In a traditional wooden house from Maramures county, Romania, in the picturesque village of Breb. He chose a different life than the other people from his community.’
The Beauty of Gulf by Mohammed Mirza won the Sony National Photography Competition for Kuwait. The aerial image was taken over the seaside near Kuwait city during a low tide
This untitled image by Simon Bauer was named the winner of the National Awards in Austria. The image depicts the dismantling of the old Anton Bruckner University in Linz, Austria
Fish Eyes by Hardijanto Budyman was named the winner of the National Awards in Indonesia. The image was described by the photographer as a ‘creative experiment of a conceptional portrait’
The Salt of the Sea by Yavor Michev was the winner of the National Awards for Bulgaria in 2019. The photograph was taken over the sea salt mines near Bourgas in Bulgaria
This untitled image by Khanh Phan was named the winner of the National Awards for Vietnam. The image was taken of a father and son ‘dressed as ghosts’ at a festival in Tay Nguyen, Vietnam
The Dogs by Juan Camilo was named the winner of the National Awards for Colombia. The photographer said: ‘I liked the light entering trough the window and the atmosphere surrounding the room. Also there were two dogs sleeping on the couch, so I just took the picture. It was taken at a photographer’s house, that also serves as photography studio, in Envigado, Colombia’
Victory by Toshio Ishido was named the winner of the National Awards for Japan. The image was taken in Shibuya after the end of a Japanese football match during the Football World Cup in 2018
Diver Light by Laura O’Flynn was named the winner of the National Awards for Ireland. The photographer, who took the image during an excursion off the north coast of Grand Cayman, said: I took this photo as I was drawn to how the rays of light illuminate the bubbles as they race to the surface. I also wanted to convey the contrast of the diver in the vast expanse of ocean’
Rubber Identity by Arwe Art was named the winner of the National Awards for the Netherlands. The photographer said: ‘Our hair is deeply connected with our identity. For centuries, hair has had complicated connotations with our inner selves, politics, religion, and social liberation. So what happens to our notions of self when hair is not a factor?’
Dancing by Kyaw Win Hlaing was named the winner in the National Awards for Myanmar. The image was taken near Taunggyi city in the northern Shan state during a performance
Amish Woman and Baby by Todd Henry gained first place in the Sony National Awards for New Zealand. An Amish woman was pictured taking cover from the rain with her young child in central Pennsylvania, US
Crucifix Peddler by Albert Tan Chee Hiang Tan was named the winner of the National Awards for Singapore. This image shows a street vendor as he displays his colourful goods in a unique way
Agony and Ecstasy by Pedro Jarque Krebs was named the winner in the National Awards for Peru. The image shows a male sea lion as he opens his jaws to the sky
Frozen Pond by Svein Nordrum was named the winner in the Sony World National Awards for Norway. This is an aerial view of a small frozen lake in Oslo, Norway surrounded by lush green forest
Dance in the subway of Santiago de Chile by Maria Paz Morales was named the winner of the National Awards for Chile
This image, Garage by Kozjak Boris, won Sony’s National Photography Award for Croatia. This image or a derelict bus next to a shiny red car was taken in Barcs, Hungary in January last year
In Your Eyes by Anamaria Chediak won first place in the National Awards for Ecuador. The photographer said: ‘Karina is a young girl who I had a chance to photograph in a traditional and old house in La Habana. I love the way her eyes talked without saying a word, telling me some many unknown things about her life in Cuba’
Tourism in Helsinki won first place in the National Awards for Finland. The image was captured during a blizzard around Helsinki cathedral when the area was free from tourists and the scene looked ‘naturally black and white’
The Hug by Nicola Vincenzo Rinaldi was named the winner in the National Category for Italy. The photographer described the image as ‘a hugging embrace, only the feet escape the tight embrace’
Red fishing net making by Master Na was named the winner in the National Awards for South Korea. This photo shows a Vietnamese woman wearing a conical hat making red nets by hand in a traditional way
Fire Landscape by Victor Medina Gorosave was the victor of the Sony National Awards for Mexico this year. The picture depicts the heroic work of the firefighters of Mexicali Baja California, Mexico as they attended a gigantic fire at a recycling plant
The Hands by Filippos Alafakis (left) won the National Award for Greece and Midnight Surf (right) by Paul Franzchel De Mesa was the photography champion for the Philippines
The Wedding Day by Rui Caria won the Sony National Awards for Portugal with this stunning image of wedding goers attempting to control a bunch of balloons at a church entrance
Magic Moment by Piotr Leczkowski was named the winner in the National Awards for Poland. The image shows a moment backstage during a rehearsal of the Polish National Ballet
Riyadh Entrepreneurs by Nyree Cox was named the winner in the National Awards for Saudi Arabia. The photographer said: ‘An entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business, taking on financial risk in the hope of profit’
Sisters by Ranko Djurovic was named the winner in the National Awards for Serbia. The image of two ladies looking out of a small window was taken in Ivanovo village in Serbia
Agata by Klemen Razinger (left) was named the winner in the National Awards for Slovenia and Inner Township Blues by Alfred Mahlangu (right) was named the winner in the National Awards for South Africa
This untitled image by Greg Lecoeur was named the winner in the National Awards for France. The photographer said: ‘In the Farne Island archipelago, grey seals are now protected and cohabit with humans, becoming even one of the strong tourist interests of this region’
Face to Face by Manuel Gonzalez was named the winner in the National Awards for Spain. The photograph, taken in the Saltee Islands, Ireland, used double exposure to create a stunning shot
Lady in Red by Patara Mesuwan was named the winner in the National Awards for Thailand. The image depicts a Holy Festival in India – where colors and flowers used to celebrate
Artisan by Mehmet Aslan was named the winner in the National Awards for Turkey. The picture depicts a man as he creates a donkey saddle
Have you been to a Chinese Opera? by Michael Chee Yan Chuan was named the winner in the National Awards for Malaysia. The image was taken at an opera stage in Cheok Beh Kieng Temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Pilar by Gisela Filc (left) was the Sony World National Photography Award winner for Argentina and an untitled image by Marc Stapelberg (right) was Sony’s winner for Australia