2013 Sony World Photography Awards Winners Announced

posted on April 26th 2013 in Photography with 0 Comments

Bringing together the very best international contemporary photography, the Professional Competition winners offer a unique insight into 2012 through the eyes of some of the world’s best emerging and established photography talents.  WPO congratulates the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards L’iris d’Or Andrea Gjestvang (Norway) for her outstanding series, “One day in history”, which intimately captures the young survivors of  Utoeya, Norway July 2011 massacre. A unanimous decision by this year’s Honorary Jury, Gjestvang’s series  shares with immense sensitivity and honest an enduring testament to the resolve of these young people in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.

Thirty-two year-old Norwegian photographer Andrea Gjestvang is tonight announced as the L’Iris d’Or/Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year.  Beating over 122,000 entries from 170 countries, the photographer collected her award plus Sony digital imaging equipment and $25,000 (USD) prize money at a gala ceremony held in London.

The judges voted unanimously for Gjestvang’s powerful series of portraits of children and youths who survived the July 2011 massacre on the island of Utoeya, outside Oslo.  Titled ‘One day in history’ the series captures the young survivors with immense sensitivity and honesty and are an enduring testament to the resolve of these young people in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.

Upon receiving her award Gjestvang commented: Upon receiving her award Gjestvang commented: “I feel so honoured, grateful and proud to receive this fantastic recognition and prize.  I am grateful the important stories of these young people are reaching out and moving people the way they move me.”

Chair of the Honorary Jury, Catherine Chermayeff, Director of Special Projects at Magnum Photos, adds: “As the Jury Chairman I am delighted that Andrea Gjestvang has won the L’Iris d’Or prize. The entire jury was unanimous in selecting this body of work. “One Day in History” is a quiet, thoughtful and ultimately powerful voice for the children and survivors of the massacre in Norway. We were all moved by the dignity and beauty of these images.”

In just a few years, Andrea Gjestvang has established herself as one of the world’s most exciting young photographers.  Her work has been published in Newsweek, M Le Monde, Stern and D Republica, and exhibited worldwide. In 2010 she participated in the Joop Swart Masterclass, and in 2012 she was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging photographers to watch.  Most recently she was awarded the Photo of the Year prize at the 2012 Norwegian Picture of the Year competition for her portrait of Utøya survivor Ylva Helen Schwenke.  Gjestvang winning series ‘One Day in History’ was published as a book in Norway in 2012. She is represented by Moment Agency.

The L’Iris d’Or winning series of work, alongside those of the other winners announced tonight at the awards, will be displayed as part of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House from 26 April – 12 May.  The images will also be published in the 2013 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book, available to buy here.


Open Photographer of the Year – Hoang Hiep Nguyen, Vietnam

low-resHiep-Nguyen-Hoang,-Vietnam,-Winner,-Enhanced,-Open-Competition-2013© Hoang Hiep Nguyen, Vietnam, Open Photographer of the Year, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

Also at the awards, a twenty-one year old amateur photographer from Hanoi, Vietnam, who incredibly only bought his first digital camera one year ago, was announced as the Open Photographer of the Year.

Hoang Hiep Nguyen was presented with a Sony α77 camera plus $5,000 (USD) for his winning image of a young girl in a storm.  The photograph beat entries from around the world in a competition that sought to find the world’s single best image taken by an amateur photographer or photography enthusiast.

Presiding Chair of Judges for the Open competition, Damien Demolder, Editor of Amateur Photographermagazine in the UK, comments:  “Nguyen’s picture is the standout image of the Open competition with its intense romantic atmosphere and its sense of mystical fantasy. It is a delightful image that really sums up the amazing level of creativity and skill that today’s amateur photographers are capable of, and a supremely worthy winner of this globally prestigious competition.”


Professional category winners and finalists
The winners plus the 2nd and 3rd placed photographers of the Professional competition were also revealed at the awards ceremony.  All 15 Professional winners – from Australia to Peru – were flown to London to collect their award and received a Sony α99 camera.

The wining series of works showcase the very best in international contemporary photography, from stunning black and white portraits of the Matterhorn mountain to a witty set shot in the back of an Argentinian limousine to a wry look at the secret life of the people of North Korea.  The winners are:

  • Architecture – Fabrice Fouillet, France
  • Arts and Culture – Myriam Meloni, Italy
  • Campaign – Christian Åslund, Sweden
  • Conceptual – Roman Pyatkovka, Ukraine
  • Contemporary Issues – Valerio Bispuri, Italy
  • Current Affairs – Ilya Pitalev, Russia
  • Fashion – Klaus Thymann, Denmark
  • Landscape – Nenad Saljic, Croatia
  • Lifestyle – Alice Caputo, Italy
  • Nature & Wildlife – Satoru Kondo, Japan
  • People – Andrea Gjestvang, Norway
  • Portraiture – Jens Juul, Denmark
  • Sport – Adam Pretty, Australia
  • Still Life – Vanessa Colareta, Peru
  • Travel – Gali Tibbon, Israel


Outstanding Contribution to Photography – William Eggleston

04.04.2013-07.28.59_Untitled.-1970-fr.-Guide_Glider_20p© Eggleston Artistic Trust. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

 Iconic American photographer William Eggleston was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize.    Collected by Winston Eggleston on behalf of their father, the award was presented to William Eggleston for his influence on colour photography and, in turn, the influence he has on many of today’s most revered working photographers.

To mark the award, rarely-seen images from Eggleston are published in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards book and a further selection at on show at Somerset House from 26 April -12 May.  The Outstanding Contribution Award has previously been given to William Klein, Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Marc Riboud and Phil Stern.


Student Focus Photographer of the Year – Natalia WiernikPoland

Poland_Natalia-Wiernik_Student-Focus-2013-(10)© Natalia Wiernik, Poland, Student Focus Photographer of the Year, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

In a programme that now includes over 230 universities worldwide, the Student Focus award is the largest of its kind.   Polish photographer Natalia Wiernik, who competed for the Student Focus Photographer of the Year title on behalf of her university, the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland, was announced as the winner and presented with €35,000 worth of Sony digital imaging equipment for her university.


Youth Photographer of the Year – Alecsandra Dragoi, Romania

low-resAlecsandra-Dragoi,-Romania,-Winner-Culture,-Youth,-2013© Alecsandra Dragoi, Romania, Youth Photographer of the Year, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

A striking image of a New Year festival in Romania won nineteen year-old Alecsandra Dragoi the title of Youth Photographer of the Year.  From Romania and currently at university in the UK, Dragoi image was chosen as the single best photograph taken by a photographer under the age of 20.


2013 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards winners
The Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards are a proud partner of the Sony World Photography Awards.  Two stunning books share the awards’ £10,000 prize for the best photography and best moving image books of the year.  They are:

  • Best Photography Book Award – War / Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath by Anne Wilkes Tucker, Will Michels and Natalie Zest (Yale University Press)
  • Best Moving Image Book Award – Hollywood Costume by Deborah Nadoolman Landis (V&A Publishing)

The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation also presented Thames and Hudson Chairman Thomas Neurath with their Outstanding Contribution to Publishing award at the ceremony.

Galleries of all the professional winning and finalist images can be seen here.

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