Sony World Photography Awards 2023 winners revealed
Among the images was a moving shot of a horse and cowgirl barrel racing and an incredible winter landscape photograph of mountains in Greece.
Professional and amateur photographers from more than 200 countries and territories submitted to the open competition, presenting some of the best photography from around the world.
Winners were presented with an over £4,000 cash prize, and a chance for their work to be presented in the award’s exhibition.
The Independent’s picture editors have selected some of our favourites along with the winners in the 10 categories including portraiture, street photography and architecture.
Azim Khan Ronnie’s photograph titled Childhood shows children weaving in and out of scores of giant cones (topas) at a Bangladeshi rice processing plant as they play with a cart used by workers to carry and dry rice. Reacting to his win, Ronnie said: “Really, I am very excited and happy to read this email that my photo wins a category. After five years of continuous participation, I finally heard this wonderful news. It will be a big achievement and milestone in my photography journey.”
Zhenhuan Zhou’s action-packed shot Slam on the Brakes wowed the judges. Remembering the story behind the photograph, Zhou says: “Barrel racing is a competition where cowgirls ride quickly around barrels; the one that does this in the shortest time wins. Every time a horse reaches a barrel it needs to brake sharply, turn around the barrel and then race to the next one. The whole race is exciting, especially at the turns.”
Dinorah Graue Obscura called this winning image Mighty Pair. The black-and-white portrait taken during a trip in South Texas, features two crested caracara birds standing still and looking out beyond the camera in the same direction, as if posing for the photographer.
Mieke Douglas’ photograph Recycled won the object category award. The image is a creative rendition of flowers made from paper and ribbons. Sharing her excitement about the results, Mieke says: “It’s a dream come true to be successful in this competition and in such great company too. Huge thanks to the World Photography Organisation and the judge. I am honoured!”
The winner of the portraiture category was Sukhy Hullait with an image of skateboarder Charlie. Sharing the subject’s story, the UK-based photographer says: “During the Covid-19 pandemic a lot of people found they had time on their hands. With most skateparks closed, Charlie – and many others – helped turn an abandoned pub car park, which had laid derelict for eight years, into a DIY skate park.”
Andreas Mikonauschke is the street photography category winner for Exhausted. Giving us context to this striking image, Mikonauschke explained: “In Andalusia, the traditional Easter processions are a fascinating event to watch. The different brotherhoods (Hermandades) with their uniformed brothers (cofrades) are an everyday sight during the holy week, Semana Santa.”
“Central elements of the processions are the heavy wooden frames (pasos) showing biblical scenes with one or more statues. These are carried through the streets by volunteer paso carriers underneath – usually one only sees their feet, but sometimes during the rare breaks one gets an impression of the tough job they have.”
Ghosts, by Max Vere-Hodge won in the category of travel. The photographer explains: “The Mundari tribe of South Sudan appear like apparitions among the nightly fires they light to keep the tsetse flies and mosquitoes off their beloved Ankole-Watusi cows. Each night, as the cattle return from grazing, the herders tend to them by massaging ash into their skin to prevent bites.”
This striking image by Mark Benham calledThe Silos swiped the architecture prize. Speaking about the image Mark says: “Taken from afar, this photograph of silos and associated buildings at the Port of Brest, France, appears to be a montage composite rather than the group of buildings that it actually is. To enhance this idea I changed the sky to a simple colour vignette that complimented the colours in the composition.”
Giorgos Rousopoulous’ image of a Greek mountain won the landscape category. Thinking back to the moments before he captured the photograph, Rousopoulous says: “I had to stop and gaze at this stunning view during a hike in Pindus National Park, Greece. The peak in the distance is Mount Tymfi, which stands at a height of 2,497 metres.”
The overall winners of the photography awards will be announced on 13 April. The winners and shortlisted entries will also be shown as part of the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House from 14 April – 1 May 2023.