Sony, a company that manufactures and sells cameras, among other things, organizes a photography competition every year. Photography has come a long way since 1981 when the company created the first digital camera. Back then, photos were recorded on floppy disks, and cameras had cool features like longer battery life and zoom lenses. These original digital cameras weren’t cheap either—they cost around six hundred dollars each (yep, pricey!).
Photography awards have historically revolved around technical aspects of taking pictures, but with the current popularity of camera phones, which mostly offer just point-and-shoot capabilities, handing out photography awards is definitely more complicated. What exactly do you award photographers for? Well, in Sony’s competition, technical skill is still a factor, but so is the ability to tell a good story. Check out some of the winners below:
Image Name: An unexpected meeting
Photographer Name: Justyna Zduńczyk
Image Description: I was about to leave the Sequoia National Park when from the corner of my eye I saw a beautiful clearing bathed in A fog. Without thinking too much, I ran with the camera to take some pictures. When I reached the clearing, I heard the crack of broken twigs and I can’t say, that I was not afraid since Sequoia National Park is a home for black bears and people are warned about it at every step. When I turned around, fortunately there was not any bear, instead I saw a curious mule deer walking towards me who cheerfully chewed his supper. Soon after other deers joined him and we just stood there together for a while and watched each other. It was one of the most beautiful moments during my trip thru California, this autumn.
Image Name: Chill-out Ice Lounge, Dubai 2016
Photographer Name: Nick Hannes
Image Description: Saudi tourists are having a hot chocolate at the Chillout Ice Lounge, a subzero bar with ice sculptures, situated at Oasis shopping mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on January 6, 2016.
Series Name: Garden of Delight
Image Name: The Burden
Series Description: My photographic series for this second brief are staged poetic photographs illustrating people bearing the burden of plastic wastes in the environment. With these images, I want to show the actions we have to take regardless if pollution continues at this speed or not. Through the commitment of my characters, I also want to evoke the hope of changes about the accumulation of plastic wastes in the environment. The vast winterly territories reveal the contrast between their magnitude and the small place humankind has.
Image Name: Fragmentation
Photographer Name: Photographer Name: Samuel Bolduc
Image Description: My photography is a poetic work. It puts in relation the beauty of our bodies of water and the devastation caused by man. Tearing the paper creates a direct link with the waves of the Saint-Laurent river. It can also be read as a sign which emphasizes damages caused by man.
Image Name: Still
Photographer Name: Megan Johnson
Image Description: This image was shot on October 22, 2017 on the cliffs right near my house. It was taken on an iPhone 7 for the following: life, to me, has more detail in black and white. This image represents my current state at home and school. Despite having a social group and a caring family, I often find myself alone, left to watch what goes on around me, all the while being caught up in the very center of it. This glimpse through the trees of the figure on the cliff represents the courage it takes to be one’s self in today’s society, and how even when you’re on the inside, you can be pushed out.
Image Name: Ballet
Photographer Name: Fredrik Lerneryd
Image Description: The boys and girls is practicing for an upcoming show, following teacher Mikes instruction
Series Name: Slum Ballet
Series Description: Every Wednesday at Spurgeons Academy, a school in the middle of the indecipherable maze of Kibera’s narrow streets and alleys, students take the chairs and benches out of a classroom and sweep the floor. The school uniforms are switched to bright-coloured clothes. When teacher Mike Wamaya enters the classroom, the students get into position and place one hand on the concrete wall as though it were a ballet bar. Classical music plays out of a small portable speaker, and the class begins. The Ballet class is part of Annos Africa and One Fine Days charity activities in slum areas around Kenya. In Nairobi they work together with two schools in Kibera and one school in Mathare, another slum closer to the city centre. The dance is a way for the children to express themselves and it strengthens their confidence in life, and a belief that they can become something great.