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Open Competition On Screen

The Open competition rewards striking standalone images highlighting the beauty of our world. Photographers could submit up to three images across ten categories: Architecture, Culture, Creative, Motion, Landscape, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Still Life, Travel and Street Photography. 

The works were chosen for their power to communicate a visual narrative with excellent technical and creative skills. A selection of shortlisted, finalist and category winning images are on show. 

Open Photographer of the Year is awarded $5,000, global exposure and Sony digital imaging kit. 

Gisela Kayser, Managing Director & Artistic Director, Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus (Germany)


For this category, we wanted to see images showcasing the art and science of buildings and structures. Photographers could depict their subject in a realistic light or through a more creative approach.


Photographers were encouraged to embrace their imagination. From cyanotypes to cutting-edge techniques, creativity was rewarded in this category. Subject matter could be varied and technically manipulated images were welcomed.


Photographers could enter the most compelling and freshest images that celebrate the rich cultural diversity of our world. Images relating to people, places, festivities, traditional customs and history could be entered into this category



One of the longest standing categories in the Sony World Photography Awards, Landscape asks photographers to show their view on the physical world. From wide open vistas and large scale aerial shots to close-up shots and intimate abstracts, this category welcomed a variety of interpretations of a traditional subject.


Movement, action, change – this category was all about capturing motion in a single frame. All subject matter, approaches and styles were welcomed.


Natural World & Wildlife

Judges were looking for compelling compositions showing the spirit and behaviour of wildlife around the planet. Macro and close-up photographs of the plants and insects that often go unnoticed were also welcomed in this category.


Throughout time the best portraits have revealed qualities of the sitter. Studio, candid, fine art or conceptual, portraits taken in many different approaches were embraced. Be it beauty, power, confidence – or perhaps a secretive quality – a good portrait invites the viewer to gain a deeper understanding of the person being photographed. Self portraits were also welcomed.

Still Life

Often presenting a group or an arrangement of objects, images in this category typically depict inanimate subject matter. Approaches were varied, with a modern twist on classic tropes as well as the experimental and pioneering. Judges closely considered the interpretation of the subject, paying particular attention to composition, lighting and framing.

Street Photography

One of the most popular genres within the medium today, great street photography is all about framing, imagination and an appreciation for the human condition. Keeping the mantra ‘F/8 and be there’, judges reward single images which capture a chance encounter or a random incident within a public place.


Traveling expands and enriches our understanding of the world and one of the best ways to experience the planet is through the viewfinder. Be it immersing yourself into local culture, marveling at spectacular sights or capturing the spirit of a place, this category welcomed entries showcasing the photographer’s experiences on trips around the world.