PROFESSIONAL, OPEN, STUDENT AND YOUTH WINNERS ANNOUNCED
© Adam Ferguson
The World Photography Organisation is delighted to announce the overall winners in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards 2022. The acclaimed photographer Adam Ferguson (Australia) has won the Photographer of the Year title and accompanying $25,000 (USD) cash prize and a range of Sony digital imaging kit. Also announced are the ten category winners alongside 2nd and 3rd place of the Professional competition as well as overall winners of the Open, Student and Youth competitions.
Winners are revealed in a celebratory announcement video featuring interviews and reactions from winning photographers, available to view via worldphoto.org/ceremony-2022
The Sony World Photography Awards 2022 exhibition opens at Somerset House, London from 13 April – 2 May 2022, featuring over 300 prints and hundreds of additional images in digital displays from winning and shortlisted photographers. Also presented are works by this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Photography, the renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Migrantes is a series of black and white self-portraits of migrants in Mexico, taken as they waited to cross the border into the United States. Photographed in collaboration with the subjects, Ferguson set-up the scene for each image, mounting a medium format camera on a tripod with a cable release and then stepped back, allowing the individuals to choose the moment of capture and participate in the process of documenting their lives.
In February 2021, after a change of presidential administrations in the US, migrants from Central and South America surged on the US-Mexican border. Photographs of fraught migrants carrying their belongings, clinging to loved ones and caught in the flashes of photographers’ strobes were circulating in the media. While Ferguson noted the importance of this photojournalism, he noticed a distinct lack of photography from the Mexican side of the border, especially images that gave the migrants any measure of agency.
With this in mind, Ferguson pitched the project to h is editor at the New York Times and secured the commission to travel to Juarez and Reynosa for 11 days over April and May, 2021. His approach to the project was inspired by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s Ghetto – a visual journey through 12 modern ghettos including the Rene Vallejo Psychiatric Hospital in Cuba in which the former artist duo gave patients control over the release shutter.
Accompanied by Mexican journalists Ernesto Rodríguez, Silvia Cruz, Noe Gea Medina and Laura Monica Cruz Flores, Ferguson approached migrants staying in shelters near the border, recording their often harrowing stories and working with them to stage and capture the image in a relaxed space where they would feel less self-conscious. He chose black and white film as a way of cancelling the chaotic medley of background colours and stripping the image down to its emotional value. The resulting series presents a poignant portrait of people suspended in time while in search of a more prosperous life.
Commenting on Ferguson’s winning project, Mike Trow, Chair of the 2021 Professional competition says: ‘What Adam Ferguson has done on the US / Mexico border with migrant families and individuals is deeply compassionate and moving. This set of portraits speaks volumes about how moral intentionality and respect can help avoid some of that sense of manipulation and invasion of the private which photography is often accused of. By giving his subjects the shutter release Adam hands a certain power to the sitter to make that decision on how to be perceived. These photographs are beautiful, meaningful and kind. There were other stories that we as a jury admired deeply but Adam’s series stood out because it speaks so eloquently and warmly of people under hardship but who hold on to their decency and love regardless of place and wealth.’
Commenting on his win Ferguson says: Through collaborating with migrants, this series of photographs was an attempt to make images that inspired empathy, rather than sympathy. By surrendering the control of capture and giving each migrant agency in the process of their representation, I hoped to subvert the narrative of marginalization and create a story that felt more human, relatable and honest. I’m grateful to the brave and resilient individuals who agreed to work with me, and receive this award on behalf of them also. Winning the Photographer of the Year award gives this story another life. It allows a new audience to connect with the important stories of the individuals who shared their story with me.
PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY WINNERS
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 stories of political and climate crises, to personal meditations on family and loss, and creative approaches to still life and nature photography.
All category winners receive Sony’s digital imaging kit. This year’s winners are:
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
WINNER: Domagoj Burilović (Croatia) for his series Dorf
Finalists: 2nd place Javier Arcenillas (Spain); 3rd place Yun Chi Chen (Taiwan)
WINNER: Alnis Stakle (Latvia) for his series Mellow Apocalypse
Finalists: 2nd place Raphael Neal (United Kingdom); 3rd place Sarah Grethe (Germany)
WINNER: Jan Grarup (Denmark) for his series The Children of the Financial Collapse in Venezuela
Finalists: 2nd place Fabian Ritter (Germany); 3rd place Win McNamee (United States)
WINNER: Shunta Kimura (Japan) for his series Living in the Transition
Finalists: 2nd place Gideon Mendel (South Africa); 3rd place Giacomo d’Orlando (Italy)
WINNER: Lorenzo Poli (Italy) for his series Life on Earth
Finalists: 2nd place Andrius Repšys (Lithuania); 3rd place Gareth Iwan Jones (United Kingdom)
WINNER: Hugh Fox (United Kingdom) for his submission Portfolio
Finalists: 2nd place Julian Anderson (United Kingdom); 3rd place Anna Neubauer (Austria)
WINNER: Adam Ferguson (Australia) for his series Migrantes
Finalists: 2nd place George Tatakis (Greece); 3rd place Brent Stirton (South Africa)
WINNER: Ricardo Teles (Brazil) for his series Kuarup
Finalists: 2nd place Adam Petty (Australia); 3rd place Roman Vondrouš (Czech Republic)
WINNER: Haruna Ogata (Japan) & Jean-Etienne Portail (France) for their series Constellation
Finalists: 2nd place Cletus Nelson Nwadike (Sweden); 3rd place Alessandro Gandolfi (Italy)
WILDLIFE & NATURE:
WINNER: Milan Radisics (Hungary) for his series The Fox’s Tale
Finalists: 2nd place Federico Borella (Italy); 3rd place Oana Baković (Romania)