February 22, 2022
The World Photography Organisation has revealed the finalists and shortlisted photographers in the 10 categories of the Professional competition for the Sony World Photography Awards 2022.
Now in its 15th year, the Awards’ Professional competition rewards series of works both for technical skill and an original approach to contemporary subjects. The winner of the title ‘Photographer of the Year 2022’ is chosen from the Professional finalists and will be announced on 12 April 2022. They will succeed the 2021 winner, Craig Easton, who told Amateur Photographer the story behind his winning project.
The announcement of the Professional finalists and shortlisted photographers comes just over a month after the Sony World Photography Awards revealed the Student and Youth shortlists.
A selection of images by finalists and shortlisted photographers will be exhibited as part of the Sony World Photography Awards at Somerset House, London, from 13 April to 2 May 2022. Over 340,000 images from 211 territories were submitted to the Sony World Photography Awards 2022, with over 156,000 of those entered to the Professional competition – the highest number of entries in the history of the Awards.
Below you can discover more about the projects of the three finalists in each category of the Professional competition of the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 and find out who were the other photographers shortlisted by the judging panel:
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
In ‘Nur-Sultan’, Javier Arcenillas (Spain) presents a series of photographs of the remarkable and eccentric architecture of the capital of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan renamed its capital Nur-Sultan in honour of its former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned in 2019 after holding power for three decades. Nur-Sultan was designed to befit a country rich in minerals and oil. He recruited the talents of renowned architects, such as Sir Norman Foster, and over time constructed a city full of impressive futuristic buildings. © Javier Arcenillas, Spain, Finalist, Professional, Architecture & Design, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
In ‘Blueprint’, Yun Chi Chen (Taiwan) creates multi-layered images imitating the process of a traditional architectural blueprint or cyanotype using digital post-production techniques.
blueprint #002. © Yun Chi Chen, Taiwan, Finalist, Professional, Architecture & Design, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Dorf’ by Domagoj Burilović (Croatia) uses photo montage to express the irony of how nature has reclaimed the houses of Slavonia, a region which grew rich in the 19th century from the exploitation of the local forest and land.
The photo is a photo montage of a historic village house and local forests and plants taken in the Croatian agricultural region of Slavonia. The photo is part of a broader story about the mass exodus of people from the region. The photo montage was created in 2021 and its parts were shot in 2020 and 2021. © Domagoj Burilović, Croatia, Finalist, Professional, Architecture & Design, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The other shortlisted photographers in the ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN category are: Jason Au (Hong Kong), Serena Dzenis (Australia), Khalid Najib (Palestinian Territory), Rene Cassio Scholz (Germany) and Mark Henley (UK).
‘New Waves’ by Raphaël Neal (UK) juxtaposes scenes of climate change with teenagers’ portraits; the diptychs highlight the devastating consequences experienced by those who will be most affected by them.
A portrait of young climate change activist and poet, Destiny from London (UK), and bushes in Crystal Palace (UK). © Raphaël Neal, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Creative, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Sometimes the Sky Above us is Open’ by Sarah Grethe (Germany) follows the photographer’s journey to her mother’s hometown in southern Germany, where she explores their relationship through staged portraits and still life.
Horse Collar. Nussdorf, 2021. © Sarah Grethe, Germany, Finalist, Professional, Creative, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Mellow Apocalypse’ by Alnis Stakle (Latvia) reprises visuals from open-source collections such as museums, scientific institutions and image banks to create intricately detailed collages in which disparate elements jostle and collide.
An archival pigment ink print, on rag paper. 150 x 150cm. © Alnis Stakle, Latvia, Finalist, Professional, Creative, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the CREATIVE category are: Ioana Moldovan (Romania), Peter Franck (Germany), Hugh Kinsella Cunningham (UK), Julia Ovchinnikova (Russian Federation) Marius Ionut Scarlat (Romania) and Alejandra Aragón, Mexico).
‘The Long Days of Hanau’ by Fabian Ritter (Germany) documents the community in Hanau, Germany in the aftermath of the racist attacks in the city on 19 February 2020.
The funeral of the murdered Ferhat Unvar at Hanau‘s main cemetery on 24 February 2020 is met with a great response. Ferhat was considered a sociable young man who had many friends in the city. © Fabian Ritter, Germany, Finalist, Professional, Documentary Projects, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘The Children of the Financial Collapse in Venezuela’ by Jan Grarup (Denmark) depicts scenes of the desperation and abject poverty of Venezuelans in Colombia.
A young girl being transported home by her dad along the garbage site, on the abandoned airstrip outside Maicao in Colombia. © Jan Grarup, Denmark, Finalist, Professional, Documentary Projects, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Insurrection’ by Win McNamee (United States) captures the dramatic scenes when a mob of Trump supporters descended on the US Capitol and fought their way into the building on 6 January 2021.
A supporter of former US President Donald Trump waves a Trump flag while descending a staircase at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. © Win McNamee, USA, Finalist, Professional, Documentary Projects, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the DOCUMENTARY PROJECTS category are: Alejandro Cegarra (Venezuela), Havard Bjelland (Norway), Kyaw Zay Yar Lin (Myanmar), Andrea Bettancini (Italy) and Moses Omeogo (Germany).
Shunta Kimura’s (Japan) ‘Living in the Transition’ explores the impacts of climate change in Bangladesh, where locals increasingly contend with its effects such as river erosion, landslides, and rising salinity levels.
A woman walking in the water, and catching small fish or shrimps near sandbags soaked in the river, Gabura Union, Bangladesh. © Shunta Kimura, Japan, Finalist, Professional, Environment, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘In Nemo’s Garden’ by Giacomo d’Orlando (Italy) documents the world’s first underwater greenhouse – a possible solution to the desperate need to find alternative and sustainable methods of food cultivation.
The Nemo’s Garden seen from the water surface. The biospheres are located 40 metres off the Noli shore, a small village of the Ligurian coast. This particular distance has been chosen to make the biospheres more accessible for operations which require human intervention. Their depth lies between 6 and 12 metres to enable the plants to draw on the necessary source of light for their development. In the centre stands the tree of life. Under its platform the cables used for connecting the electronic devices are separated and distributed to each biosphere. Figuratively it also represent the core of the experiment: the possibility to grow terrestrial plants underwater. © Giacomo d’Orlando, Italy, Finalist, Professional, Environment, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Portraits in Ashes’ by Gideon Mendel (South Africa) portrays families and individuals within the empty shells of gutted buildings, poignantly capturing the destruction in the wake of wildfires in Greece, Canada and the US.
John Banks at his home in Greenville, destroyed by the Dixie Fire, California’s largest ever wildfire. John is president of the local Rotary Club and has been active in raising and distributing funds to help the many people who lost their homes in this disaster. Taken on 26 October 2021. © Gideon Mendel, South Africa, Finalist, Professional, Environment, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the ENVIRONMENT category are: Lieven Engelen (Belgium), Mehdi Mohebi Puor (Islamic Republic of Iran), J. Henry Fair (US) and Kikoh Matsuura & Kazuki Ide (Japan).
Taken during a winter of unseasonably heavy snowfall caused by climate change, ‘Solar Graphic’ by Andrius Repšys (Lithuania) captures sustainable energy sources such as dams, wind turbines and solar batteries from above, reducing them to graphic abstractions.
In 2021, Lithuania once again experienced a winter of heavy snowfalls – a result of the climate crisis and global warming. Depicted in these photographs are sustainable energy sources such as dams, wind turbines and solar batteries – the very things we need in order to slow down the occurrences of climate disasters. Two of the three main elements of Solar Graphics – seasonality and sustainable energy – organically and purposefully complement each other. Winter’s monochromatic palette helps reveal the graphic elements found in the white snow. As the land is disrupted by dark lines new images appear – a mouth full of dazzling white teeth or a robot with a surprised look on its face. The high vantage point reduces the landscape to abstraction allowing the viewer to find new meanings and interpretations in the photograph. © Andrius Repšys, Lithuania, Finalist, Professional, Landscape, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Life on Earth’ by Lorenzo Poli (Italy) delves into the ethereal magic of nature and the mysterious beauty of an untamed world, depicted through a diverse set of landscapes.
An uninhabitable volcanic desert in the Icelandic Highlands. The climatic conditions here are so harsh that, for the majority of the year, life doesn’t thrive. © Lorenzo Poli, Italy, Finalist, Professional, Landscape, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
When portrait photographer Gareth Iwan Jones (UK) was unable to continue his work during the lockdown he turned his lens to the figures of trees against the dusk sky, creating a series of portrait-like images entitled ‘Tree’.
Beech Tree, Autumn. © Gareth Iwan Jones, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Landscape, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the LANDSCAPE category are: Martin Broen (US), Mihails Ignats (Latvia), Jonas Daley (China Mainland), Manuel Enrique González Carmona (Spain), Majid Hojjati (Islamic Republic Of Iran) and Milan Radisics (Hungary).
‘The Beauty of Humanity’ by Anna Neubauer (Austria) explores the photographer’s desire to move away from traditional stereotypes and celebrate diversity through a series of thoughtful portraits.
Home To Me. Anna Neubauer revealed, ‘I photographed Bashir and Jade in early 2020 in their apartment in London for a project about intersectional diversity and I loved capturing this intimate moment. When I think about meeting people for the first time, and then getting to know them so intimately in such a short time, I feel like I’m way out of my comfort zone. But looking at this image reminds me of how much I love the process.’ © Anna Neubauer, Austria, Finalist, Professional, Portfolio, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
In ‘Portfolio’ Hugh Fox (UK) captures quiet moments of daily life with family and friends during the pandemic.
Smokey. Hugh Fox explained, ‘During lockdown, I photographed my family a lot – this is our cat, Smokey, who spends a lot of his time doing this. It’s something we all ended up doing a lot of…’ © Hugh Fox, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Portfolio, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Commercial and editorial photographer Julian Anderson (UK) presented a selection of portraiture, landscape and still life images taken for various magazine assignments.
Dr. Roopa Farouki, photographed at Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother hospital in Margate, UK, for the Guardian’s Saturday magazine. Roopa, a novelist, retrained as a doctor after years as a successful writer. © Julian Anderson, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Portfolio, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the PORTFOLIO category are: Luca Locatelli (Italy), Sara Goli (Islamic Republic of Iran), Adrees Latif (US), Mikołaj Marczuk (Poland) and Marlena Waldthausen (Germany).
‘Caryatis 2021’ by George Tatakis (Greece) is a study of Greek women’s traditional costumes deriving from different time periods in Greece’s rich history, with each photograph meticulously researched and staged.
Saronic Gulf, Spetses island. Bouboulina costumes of Spetses. © George Tatakis, Greece, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Migrantes’ by photojournalist Adam Ferguson (Australia) is a series of self-portraits of migrants in Mexico as they wait to cross the border to the US. Using a camera mounted to a tripod with a cable release, Ferguson invited his subjects to choose the moment of capture, thereby giving them agency over their image.
Carlos Soyos, age 34, from Guatemala City, Guatemala, and his son Enderson, age 8, Soyos take a portrait at the El Buen Samaritano migrants shelter in Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico on 28 April 2021. © Adam Ferguson, Australia, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Bushmeat Hunters’ by Brent Stirton (South Africa) is a series of portraits of bushmeat hunters pictured with their kills, framed in a manner which evokes traditional paintings of huntsmen.
Lefondo Viallge, Boende District, Tshupa Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, 25 April 2021: Bushmeat hunter Arthur Bengo, 28, sits for a portrait in the early morning outside his village of Lefondo, about 30kms outside of Boende town. The scars on Arthur’s face are what remains from an attack of monkeypox, a virulent zoonotic disease carried in certain monkeys and rodents that can be devastating when passed to humans. Arthur says he shot a monkey and noticed that it did not seem to be doing well. He ate a third of the primate and took the other two thirds back to his family. By the time he arrived he was not feeling well and advised his family to throw away the remains of the monkey. The next day Arthur started to see the tell-tale lesions that accompany Monkeypox appear on his body. He developed a high temperature, became very sensitive to noise and could not sleep for more than two months. The only relief he could get from the lesions was cool water and that was always very temporary. © Brent Stirton, South Africa, Finalist, Professional, Portraiture, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the PORTRAITURE category are: Vladimir Frumin (Russian Federation), Joan-Ramon Manchado (Spain), Phillip Walter Wellman (US) and Areshina Nadezhda (Russian Federation).
Capturing the drama and excitement of the Olympics, ‘Tokyo Twenty Twenty One’ by sports photographer Adam Pretty (Australia) shows the strength and prowess of the athletes.
Take-Off! Jonas Schomburg of Germany takes off as he dives into the water during the men’s triathlon on 26 July 2021 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. © Adam Pretty, Australia, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Kuarup’ by Ricardo Teles (Brazil) documents a ritual of the Xingu Indigenous Brazilians to honour the dead which includes a martial art called Huka-huka – this year those commemorated were predominantly victims of Covid-19.
Huka-huka’s competitive opening fight. © Ricardo Teles, Brazil, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Loyal Fans’ by Roman Vondrouš (Czech Republic) portrays the zeal and devotion of the fans of the Bohemians Prague 1905 football club, who were not deterred by the pandemic restrictions, bringing their own ladders to watch games over the fence.
Football players of the Bohemians 1905 Prague thanking their fans after a match against FK Pribram on 15 December 2020. © Roman Vondrouš, Czech Republic, Finalist, Professional, Sport, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the SPORT category are: André Pitome Ávila (Brazil), Bradley Kanaris (Australia), Jesús Arvizu (Mexico), Pan Liao (China Mainland) and Luis Tato (Spain).
In his series ‘From Nigeria to Nässjö’ Cletus Nelson Nwadike (Sweden) photographed objects in the snow that particularly remind him of home, a way to grieve his late mother who was unable to gain a visa to come and meet his family.
Cletus Nelson Nwadike explained, ‘Nigerian art! I had imagined mother showing these to her grandchildren. My mother died on 26 September 2021. She never got to see four of her grandchildren – she was refused a visa to come and visit them. The reason was that I do not make enough money. I am a photographer. This work is to honour my mother. © Cletus Nelson Nwadike, Sweden, Finalist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
For ‘Constellation’ Haruna Ogata (Japan) and Jean-Etienne Portail (France) created colourful abstract sculptures which they then photographed as a series of elegantly graphic compositions.
Construction 0433. These images were taken in a studio in Paris, in September 2020 – for the pure creation of a still life photo. © Haruna Ogata & Jean-Etienne Portail, Japan, Finalist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Concordia’ by Alessandro Gandolfi (Italy) focuses on a series of belongings rescued from the wreck of the Costa Concordia, a cruise ship which sank in 2012 claiming 32 lives.
Manrico Giampedroni was the last man to make it out of the Concordia alive. He was trapped inside the ship for over 30 hours, with a fractured leg and a head injury, before being found. That day he was wearing a winter uniform corresponding to his rank as Chief Purser. He kept the left sleeve as a souvenir, and placed the other as an ex-voto in the sanctuary of Ortonuovo, near Castelnuovo Magra. © Alessandro Gandolfi, Italy, Finalist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the STILL LIFE category are: Bence Kalmar (Hungary), Céline Pannetier (France), Graziella Cerveira Nunes (Brazil), Ichio Usui (Japan) and Reinis Hofmanis (Latvia).
WILDLIFE & NATURE
‘The Fox’s Tale’ by Milan Radisics (Hungary) follows the photographer’s observations over a period of eight months, when he spent almost every night photographing a young fox visiting his back garden.
Observing Fox. Milan Radisics explained, ‘Roxy stares at the camera from the base of a moss-covered linden tree. The fox is hiding behind the tree observing my window and trying to decide whether it’s safe. When we first became acquainted, any sudden movement would make the fox rush to a corner of the courtyard to hide behind the bushes. Learning from this, I stayed behind the window to follow Roxy’s undisturbed behaviour.’ © Milan Radisics, Hungary, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Absolute Beginner’ by Oana Baković (Romania) is a series of images exploring the great variety and beauty of the flora in the photographer’s local area.
Fiesta. Oana Baković revealed, ‘The world of flowers is a magical, happy place. I shot this at Great Dixter House and Gardens, a centre of education and place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.’ © Oana Baković, Romania, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
‘Exotic Appetite – Inside the Italian Exotic Animal Trade’ by photojournalist and winner of the Photographer of the Year 2019 Award, Federico Borella (Italy) looks at the lesser-known trade of live exotic animals in Italy, where they are displayed and sold for huge profits.
Chameleons in plastic boxes, on display during an exotic animals trade fair in Vicenza, Italy, in November 2021. © Federico Borella, Italy, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The shortlisted photographers in the WILDLIFE & NATURE category are: Paola Lai (Italy), Arun Kuppuswamy Mohanraj (UK), Debora Lombardi (Italy), Graeme Purdy (UK) and Amin Mezian (Spain).
The work of finalist and shortlisted photographers in the Professional competition was judged by: Rahaab Allana (curator and publisher, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Delhi); Ângela Ferreira (artist, independent photography curator and postdoc researcher at Escola de Belas Artes Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Deborah Klochko (executive director and chief curator of the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, USA); Richmond Orlando Mensah, Founder and Creative Director, Manju Journal, Ghana) and Mike Trow (independent curator and photo editor, Chair of the Jury).
The Chair of the Jury, Mike Trow, said, ‘The Sony World Photography Awards 2022 finalists and shortlist are as diverse, challenging and as powerful as ever. The standard of work in the Professional competition surprised me in its depth and variety. To have the chance to see so much work from across the world is both humbling and energising. The importance of photography in interpreting our world, bringing vital humanitarian, environmental and emotional issues to the fore whilst also covering categories as diverse as Sport, Creative and Landscape make it such an exciting competition… I hope we have succeeded in our mission to continue to highlight the vitality and power of photography.’
Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award
The Awards additionally recognises the world’s most influential artists working in the medium through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography; the acclaimed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is the 2022 recipient of this award joining a distinguished list of iconic names including Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Candida Hofer, Nadav Kander, Gerhard Steidl and Graciela Iturbide.
The overall winners in the Student, Youth, Open and Professional competitions of the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 will be announced on 12 April 2022 and will go on display as part of the exhibition at Somerset House, London, from 13 April till 2 May 2022. For more information about the winners and shortlists please visit the World Photo website