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As per the rules of the Sony World Photography Awards, photo manipulation and post editing is allowed in cases where the image is not claiming to be factual and/or documentary. This includes instances in which multiple images are used in composite to create a single image. All images entered into the competitions are checked and ratified with the photographers who in turn provide the warranties that their entry abides by the competition’s rules; including, but not limited to,  copyright ownership which must extend to all images used in a composite. 

Following the announcement of this year’s National Award winners, concerns were raised regarding the provenance of the photographs used in Raphael Barbar’s (Switzerland) composite image Geneva Under Thunder. A further examination of this issue with the photographer confirmed that the necessary copyright permissions for one of the images used in his composite was not complete. 

As a result Raphael Barbar’s image has been disqualified as Switzerland’s National Award winner and a new winner will be announced in the coming days.