Sony World Photography Awards 2020 Winners Announced

The World Photography Organisation has announced the overall winners in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards 2020. The Photographer of the Year title and accompanying $25,000 prize is awarded to Pablo Albarenga (Uruguay) for his series Seeds of Resistance. Also announced are the ten category winners of the Professional competition alongside 2nd and 3rd place as well as overall winners of the Open, Student and Youth competitions.

See also: Images by Female Photographers Spotlighted in CEWE Award

Seeds of Resistance is a body of work which pairs photographs of landscapes and territories in danger from mining and agribusinesses with portraits of the activists fighting to conserve them. In 2017, at least 207 leaders and environmentalists were killed while protecting their communities from projects threatening their territories. According to a 2018 report by Global Witness, most of these cases occurred in Brazil with 57 assassinations being recorded, of which 80% were against people defending the Amazon.

See also: June Newton, the Photographer ‘Alice Springs’, Dies at 97

Albarenga’s series explores the bond between the defenders and their lands – a sacred area in which hundreds of generations of their ancestors rest. In the photographs, the main characters in the stories are seen from above, as though they are laying down their lives for their territory.

See also: Deadline for Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Extended


The Open competition celebrates the power of single images. Winning photographs are selected for their ability to communicate a remarkable visual narrative combined with technical excellence. Selected from ten Open category winners Tom Oldham (UK) is named Open Photographer of the Year 2020 and receives the $5,000 prize for Black Francis.

See also: Winners of the Association of Photographers Awards are Announced

The photograph is a black-and-white portrait of Pixies frontman Charles Thompson (aka Black Francis), originally taken for MOJO magazine. Asked by Oldham to acknowledge his frustration with photoshoots, Francis offered a perfect gesture of exasperation by digging his hands into his face. The result was an expressive photograph which ran as the lead image for the article.

See also: CEWE Photo Award Releases Stunning Animal Images

Black Francis
Black Francis, by Tom Oldham; Copyright: © Tom Oldham, United Kingdom, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Portraiture, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

See also: Pierre et Gilles Present Motionless Wanderings at Galerie Templon

Winning photographers in the Professional competition have been selected by a panel of expert judges for submitting an outstanding body of work of five to ten images, ranging from personal subjects and observations to headline news and little known but critical issues. This year’s winners are:

WINNER: Sandra Herber (Canada), Ice Fishing Huts, Lake Winnipeg
2nd place Jonathan Walland (UK)
3rd place José De Rocco (Argentina)

WINNER: Pablo Albarenga (Uruguay), Seeds of Resistance
2nd place Dione Roach (Italy)
3rd place Luke Watson (UK)

See also: Helmut Newton, Photographer of the Erotic and Glamorous, Celebrated by Zebra One Gallery

WINNER: Maria Kokunova (Russian Federation), The Cave
2nd place Hashem Shakeri (Islamic Republic of Iran)
3rd place Hugh Kinsella Cunningham (UK)

WINNER: Chung Ming Ko (Hong Kong SAR), Wounds of Hong Kong
2nd place Didier Bizet (France)
3rd place Youqiong Zhang (Mainland China)

WINNER: Robin Hinsch (Germany), Wahala
2nd place Álvaro Laiz (Spain)
3rd place Luca Locatelli (Italy)

See also: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020 Winners Announced

WINNER: Ronny Behnert (Germany), Torii
2nd place Florian Ruiz (France)
3rd place Chang Kyun Kim (South Korea)

WINNER: Brent Stirton (South Africa), Pangolins in Crisis
2nd place Masahiro Hiroike (Japan)
3rd place Adalbert Mojrzisch (Germany)

WINNER: Cesar Dezfuli (Spain), Passengers
2nd place Denis Rouvre (France)
3rd place Sasha Maslov (Ukraine)

WINNER: Ángel López Soto (Spain), Senegalese Wrestlers
2nd place Lucas Barioulet (France)
3rd place Andrea Staccioli (Italy)

See also: David Bowie’s Birthday Marked by Release of Rare 1995 Photos

WINNER: Alessandro Gandolfi (Italy), Immortality, Inc (seen top of page).
2nd place Elena Helfrecht (Germany)
3rd place Chen Fangbin (Mainland China)

Aeiforia, by Ioanna Sakellaraki, Greece, Student Photographer of the Year, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

To find out more about this year’s winning and finalist projects visit the online winners galleries here.

Unique in its broad international coverage of both arts and cultural events, Arts & Collections covers fine art from antiquity to modern times, auction records, a special sale preview by Sotheby’s, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world’s finest items.

© 2024 Arts & Collections - All Rights Reserved