Winners of the Sony World Photography Awards 2018

The winners of the 11th annual Sony World Photography Awards were announced last night, with two female photographers Alys Tomlinson and Candida Höfer receiving the highest honour

Last night, the Sony World Photography Organisation announced the winners of its 2018 competition. The coveted Photographer of the Year Award was given to Alys Tomlinson for her personal body of work titled Ex-Voto; a series of images taken at pilgrimage sites in Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland). It’s a contemplative set of large-format black-and-white portraits of pilgrims and their environments, and smaller still lives of the objects associated with their faith.

German photographer Candida Höfer was recognised for her Outstanding Contribution to Photography. Höfer’s practice has focused on the poetic documentation of public buildings and cultural spaces, like opera houses, libraries and theatres.

A rare selection of Höfer’s large-scale colour photographs, images from Tomlinson’s Ex-Voto and all the winning and shortlisted work will be on view at London’s Somerset House till May 6 2018. Together, all the winning work is a reminder of a versatility of the photographic medium. Here’s a selection from the winners:

Untitled from the series ‘Ex-Voto’, photographer Alys Tomlinson
Untitled from the series Ex-Voto
Horsemen fight for a headless calf carcass during a buzkashi match on the day of Nawroz, or Persian New Year, in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan on March 21, 2017 © Balazs Gardi. 1st Place, Professional, Sport
From the series The Last of The Crooners by Tom Oldham © Tom Oldham. 1st Place, Professional, Portraiture
From the series The Twins of Koumassi by Anush Babajanyan. © Anush Babajanyan. 2nd Place, Professional, Portraiture
Perfect Toupee by Wiebke Haas for the series Horsestyle. © Wiebke Haas. 3rd Place, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife
From the Magic of Water series by Behnam Sahvi. © Behnam Sahvi. 3rd Place, Professional, Sport
From series Slum Ballet by Fredrik Lerneryd. © Fredrik Lerneryd. 1st Place, Professional, Contemporary Issues
From the series High Water by Andrew Quilty. © Andrew Quilty. 3rd Place, Professional, Portraiture

Besides recognising the work of professionals, the Sony World Photography Awards recognise the work of hobbyists with an open category, as well as celebrating young talent with two special awards.

Samuel Bolduc from Canada was named Student Photographer of the Year, for a series of staged photographs that highlight the burden of plastic waste on the environment.

Megan Johnson won the Youth Photographer of the Year, which is an award given to a photographer between the ages of 12 and 19. Her winning image was shot in the hills near her home with an iPhone 7.

© Samuel Bolduc. Student Photographer of the Year
© Megan Johnson, Youth Photographer of the Year

The Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition will be on view at London’s Somerset House till May 6 2018. Tickets £6 to £18


Milton Keynes