Sony World Photography Awards 2012 - Professional Competition
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Are you a serious photographer with a true passion for the job? Do you understand the craft of taking pictures, documenting a story, conceptualising an idea, capturing emotions and evoking a response from those who view the finished product?
Submit your best work for the chance to become the next Sony World Photography Awards, Professional Photographer of the Year and win our most coveted prize, the L’Iris d’Or, along with prize money of $25,000.
Important points to note:
- Submissions must be based on a body of work.
- Photographs submitted in to a category must be from the same body of work and will be judged as such.
- Images entered in to the Professional Competition must have been completed or first published in 2012.
- First published in 2012, means that the photographs entered may have been taken before 2012 but due to having been commissioned by a client to be published in 2012, have not been publicly exhibited or published in any online or print media before 2012. For more details see the rules below.
- Basic, Advanced and Premium Members can enter a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 images into each category. You may enter as many categories as you wish; however you cannot enter the same series or images into more than one category. You may highlight a single “signature image” from each series.
- The order you upload the images in will be the order they appear, you cannot reorder them once they are uploaded.
Please note once you enter this competition you will not be able to enter the Open Competition or Youth Award.
Photography that has primarily been commissioned for commercial intent, the purpose of which is to sell products or services.
A ‘campaign’ series can be for the purpose of advertising, promotion o...
Fashion photography in a commercial sense needs to be submitted as a s...
Lifestyle photography entails re-creating "real" life situations in a ...
Travel photography involves the documentation of the landscape, people...
Photographs that are created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as an artist.
Architecture offers rich, exotic and diverse photographic possibilitie...
Set-up photographs can be literal, abstract or conceptual, and unlike ...
Aerial shots of vast sandy dunes, panoramic shots of rice terraces on ...
Traditionally, portraiture typically involves the subject in eye conta...
In fine art photography, the still life field demands a highly refined...
Photojournalism & Documentary
The creation of imagery to tell a story; from capturing current news and global issues, to chronicling historical worldwide events and popular culture.
Arts and Culture covers a broad range of subjects – from theatre and m...
Not to be confused with Current Affairs, photographs in this category ...
Headline stories in newspapers and on international TV channels are of...
Venture off in to the great outdoors, do some exploration and put your...
Photographs of people most often fall into two categories: portraits o...
This category invites much more than just front-page action shots; it ...
Entering & Judging
- Step 1 - Your images will go through critical selection rounds conducted by the official 2013 Honorary Judging Committee, made up of members of the World Photography Academy.
- Step 2 - A shortlist of photographers in each of the 15 categories will be selected and announced prior to the Gala Ceremony. This will include details of the 3 finalists in each category.
- Step 3 - For the final stage of judging, one single photographer will be chosen by the Honorary Judging Committee from the 15 category winners. This photographer will be announced and awarded at the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in April 2013 as the L’Iris d’Or / Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year winner.
- Step 4 - All 45 category finalists will be showcased as part of the official 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London, published in the winners book and announced to the worldwide press. These finalists will also be part of international Sony World Photography Awards winners exhibitions, have the opportunity to be represented by the World Photography Collection, showcased on the World Photography Organisation website and much more.
The Sony World Photography Award 2013 Honorary Jury will be announced later in the year.
Following the category selection, the judges come together to select one overall winner, who will be named L’Iris d’Or/ Sony World Photography Awards Professional Photographer of the Year at a ceremony in London, April 2013.
Commercial Category Details
© Tong Meng, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
A ‘campaign’ series can be for the purpose of advertising, promotion or raising awareness. All photographic series submitted should clearly show the champion theme or critical message, fulfilling the original brief. The campaign could cover subjects as varied as an advertising campaign for a new product or brand, a political campaign, a health awareness campaign or an environmental campaign.
© Dejan Kutic and Romano Decker
Fashion photography in a commercial sense needs to be submitted as a series of photographs with an editorial style or as a fashion campaign with a clear branding message. The essence of good fashion photography is the collaboration between the photographer, his choice of model, stylist, hair and make-up to achieve a clear statement or story. Fashion is all about what goes on in front of the camera.
© Fabrizio Cestari, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Lifestyle photography entails re-creating "real" life situations in a controlled setting. The art of capturing good quality ‘lifestyle’ images is to make them appear natural, and even if using professional models, make the scene look as though it could be one captured in every day life. The key is that there is a brand or product to sell. Lifestyle photography is one of the most popular and consistent types of photography in the commercial market today.
© Liz Loh Taylor, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Travel photography involves the documentation of the landscape, people, cultures, customs and history of a place. Images could capture the buzz of a city, the tranquility of a country side, the marvel of natural wonders, the intrigue of abandoned places or the action of cultural traditions and everyday life.
Fine Art Category Details
© Frank Meyl, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Architecture offers rich, exotic and diverse photographic possibilities; from pencil sketches to 3D virtual models, basic domestic spaces to grand estates, dated office blocks to state of the art sports grounds. Capture buildings from different angles and perspectives to convey their vast scale, the beauty of their geometry, or a minute detail that might otherwise go unnoticed.
© Nerea Martinez de Lecea, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Set-up photographs can be literal, abstract or conceptual, and unlike other categories in the competition, are judged almost entirely on subjective and aesthetic qualities because of the absence of a hard narrative or figurative information. Evaluating these images draws more heavily on the fundamentals of photography – composition, rhythm, design, and use of and manipulation of colour or light.
© Frank Day, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Aerial shots of vast sandy dunes, panoramic shots of rice terraces on a mountainside, a long view down a village street: the scale of Landscape photography has no limits. Industrial, agricultural, urban and rural landscapes all share the rich benefits of the relationship between the objects in view; buildings, trees, lakes, rolling hills, fields, the sea, and even humans.
© David Kretschmer, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Traditionally, portraiture typically involves the subject in eye contact with the viewer. This said, portraits can reveal a great deal about the subject through different perspectives; down-turned or closed eyes, or a rear view. The context of a portrait can be rich in information; all over the world, people take portraits of family and friends in settings, which remind us of that moment.
© Andrzej Maciejewski, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
In fine art photography, the still life field demands a highly refined sense of lighting, coupled with compositional skills similar to those that painters possess. The still life photographer makes pictures rather than takes them. Such a photograph may depict a classic scene such as a fruit bowl, or composed objects such as a vase with flowers, an empty bed, the torso of a human body, a candle lit dinner table. In essence any object or product can be the subject of a still life photograph.
Photojournalism & Documentary Category Details
© Amit Madheshiya, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Arts & Culture
Arts and Culture covers a broad range of subjects – from theatre and musicals, gigs and dance, to film, literature and the visual arts (photography, video, installation). This category invites images of everything from passive consumers as well as performers, to those working behind the scenes, in productions from Bollywood to Broadway. Find your inspiration and explore the many delights of arts and culture to be found across our vast planet.
© Javier Arcenillas, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Not to be confused with Current Affairs, photographs in this category focus on those issues which form the basis of work by campaigners, NGOs and charities, to rouse support, sympathy, donations and action. Photographs of contemporary issues force us to take note of dramas and tragedies, wars and crises both abroad and close to home, a method of keeping the world’s ‘fortunates’ in tune with those in need of assistance or support.
© Ahmad Masood, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Headline stories in newspapers and on international TV channels are often illustrated by photographs, as they can speak louder than words. Increasingly, images are used instead of words, for this very reason. This category follows the stories – global and on your doorstep – inviting images which freeze moments, capture key personalities and celebrities, mark the news of the day, week or month and document turning-point events.
© Cedric Favero, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Nature & Wildlife
Venture off in to the great outdoors, do some exploration and put your skills to the test! Nature and Wildlife photography is regarded as being one of the more challenging fields of photography and refers to a wide range of photography taken outdoors and devoted to displaying natural elements such as wildlife, insects, plants, and close-ups of natural scenes and textures.
© Lucia Herrero, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
Photographs of people most often fall into two categories: portraits or candid. Within the photojournalism and documentary genre, this category requires the images to be of either current personalities within global current events, or to be documenting personalities which form part of a chosen subject you are documenting, whether you are photographing people from a specific culture, lifestyle or social membership. Street photography is one of the most popular forms of People photography.
© Javier Arcenillas, courtesy Sony World Photography Awards 2011
This category invites much more than just front-page action shots; it is looking for photographs capturing drama and tension, character studies of performers, players and spectators, the skills and physical transformations associated with every sport. There is also great potential for theatricality, and an opportunity to illustrate the inventive improvisations conjured by sports men and women everywhere in the world.