Lonely Planet Writer

2019 Sony World Photography Awards

The Sony World Photography Awards, one of the largest and most prestigious in the photography scene, recently announced its winners at a ceremony held in London on 17 April.

The contest, put together by the World Photography Organisation, is divided into ten professional categories, as well as overall open, youth and student sections. This year the organisation received a record-breaking 326,997 submissions from 195 countries around the world, all “presenting the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year”.

You can see the winners and some of the shortlisted photos in the gallery below.

Federico Borella from Italy was named the Photographer of the Year, winning the entire overall competition with this shot titled Five Degrees, portraying an Indian woman named Rasathi, the wife of a farmer who took his own life. © Federico Borella, Italy, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Documentary (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Federico Borella from Italy was named the Photographer of the Year, winning the entire overall competition with this shot titled Five Degrees, portraying an Indian woman named Rasathi, the wife of a farmer who took his own life. © Federico Borella, Italy, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Documentary (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
In his Five Degrees series, Federico Borella tries to discover the links between the dramatic increase of Indian farmers who take their own life with climate change and rising temperatures. © Federico Borella, Italy, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Documentary (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
In his Five Degrees series, Federico Borella tries to discover the links between the dramatic increase of Indian farmers who take their own life with climate change and rising temperatures. © Federico Borella, Italy, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Documentary (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Student Nur Hidayati Binti Abd took this picture, Untitled, to show the harmony between humans and animals. © Nur Hidayati Binti Abd. Rahim, Malaysia, Shortlist, Student, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Student Nur Hidayati Binti Abd took this picture, Untitled, to show the harmony between humans and animals. © Nur Hidayati Binti Abd. Rahim, Malaysia, Shortlist, Student, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Untitled, by Peter Franck, won third place in the Professional Architecture division of the contest. The photo is part of a series that tells a story of time lapses and jumps into the future, where mankind is long gone but its stories are still alive. © Peter Franck, Germany, 3rd Place , Professional, Architecture (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Untitled, by Peter Franck, won third place in the Professional Architecture division of the contest. The photo is part of a series that tells a story of time lapses and jumps into the future, where mankind is long gone but its stories are still alive. © Peter Franck, Germany, 3rd Place , Professional, Architecture (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Maela Ohana from France took this shot titled Grapefruit as part of her Two Headed Eagle series, a collection of botanical portraits shot during the brief moments of dusk and dawn. © Maela Ohana, France, 3rd Place, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Maela Ohana from France took this shot titled Grapefruit as part of her Two Headed Eagle series, a collection of botanical portraits shot during the brief moments of dusk and dawn. © Maela Ohana, France, 3rd Place, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Another one of Maela Ohana’s works, titled Sunset on the Sierra Madre. All shots are captured during the golden hour, which gives the whole landscape a sense of mystery. © Maela Ohana, France, 3rd Place, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Another one of Maela Ohana’s works, titled Sunset on the Sierra Madre. All shots are captured during the golden hour, which gives the whole landscape a sense of mystery. © Maela Ohana, France, 3rd Place, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Shadow Puppetry is the shot that won photographer Pan Jianhua the first place in the Open National Competition section for his home country, Mainland China. Shadow puppetry is an ancient folk art with a history of more than 2000 years. © Pan Jianhua, National Awards 1st Place, China Mainland, Winner, Open competition, Culture , 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Shadow Puppetry is the shot that won photographer Pan Jianhua the first place in the Open National Competition section for his home country, Mainland China. Shadow puppetry is an ancient folk art with a history of more than 2000 years. © Pan Jianhua, National Awards 1st Place, China Mainland, Winner, Open competition, Culture , 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Edward Thompson took this shot titled Miss Faversham, Margate, Kent, as part of his series The Garden of England, an eighteen-year-long project dedicated to documenting life in the South East of England. © Edward Thompson, United Kingdom, 3rd Place, Professional, Brief (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Edward Thompson took this shot titled Miss Faversham, Margate, Kent, as part of his series The Garden of England, an eighteen-year-long project dedicated to documenting life in the South East of England. © Edward Thompson, United Kingdom, 3rd Place, Professional, Brief (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
The day before the Corban Festival, by Boyaun Zhang, captures a group of people in the province of Xinjiang returning to their hometowns for a family reunion. © Boyuan Zhang , China, 2nd Place, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
The day before the Corban Festival, by Boyaun Zhang, captures a group of people in the province of Xinjiang returning to their hometowns for a family reunion. © Boyuan Zhang , China, 2nd Place, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
At the End of the Day, by Laetitia Vançon, portrays a single mother and her four-year-old son, living in the small island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. © Laetitia Vançon, France, 3rd Place, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
At the End of the Day, by Laetitia Vançon, portrays a single mother and her four-year-old son, living in the small island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. © Laetitia Vançon, France, 3rd Place, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Chirsty Lee Rogers took this image, titled Harmony, underwater in Hawaii. The surface of the pool works as a canvas, and the light effects are all natural, such as the refraction of rays on the water. © Christy Lee Rogers, United States of America, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Motion (Open competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Chirsty Lee Rogers took this image, titled Harmony, underwater in Hawaii. The surface of the pool works as a canvas, and the light effects are all natural, such as the refraction of rays on the water. © Christy Lee Rogers, United States of America, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Motion (Open competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
About, by Zelle Westfall, portrays one of the photographer’s friends from school and is meant to highlight the beauty of dark-skinned women, in a time where colorise is flooding the media. The shot won the title of Youth Photographer of the Year. © Zelle Westfall, United States of America, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth, Diversity (2019 Youth competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
About, by Zelle Westfall, portrays one of the photographer’s friends from school and is meant to highlight the beauty of dark-skinned women, in a time where colorise is flooding the media. The shot won the title of Youth Photographer of the Year. © Zelle Westfall, United States of America, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth, Diversity (2019 Youth competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Brent Stirton took this image, titled Akashinga, in Zimbabwe. It portrays a member of the elite all-female Akashinga conservation ranger force undergoing stealth movement and concealment training. © Brent  Stirton, South Africa, 2nd Place, Professional, Documentary (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Brent Stirton took this image, titled Akashinga, in Zimbabwe. It portrays a member of the elite all-female Akashinga conservation ranger force undergoing stealth movement and concealment training. © Brent Stirton, South Africa, 2nd Place, Professional, Documentary (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Untitled, by Jasper Doest, portrays veterinarian Odette at the end of a long day at her clinic with some of her patients: Bob the Caribbean flamingo and WIlly the macaw, resting on Odette’s shoulder. © Jasper Doest, Netherlands, 1st Place, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards
Untitled, by Jasper Doest, portrays veterinarian Odette at the end of a long day at her clinic with some of her patients: Bob the Caribbean flamingo and WIlly the macaw, resting on Odette’s shoulder. © Jasper Doest, Netherlands, 1st Place, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (Professional), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards