Indian photographers continue their dominance, as six photographers have been shortlisted for the world’s biggest photography competition – the Sony World Photography Awards. Out of the six talented photographers, one has been nominated in the awards’ Professional competition, judged on a series of images, and the remaining five photographers have been nominated for the Open competition, which is being judged on a single shot.
A phenomenal increase was seen in terms of entries from India this time, witnessing an astonishing rise by 123% in 2015. To secure their place in the shortlisted category, the photographers were selected from a record breaking 230,102 entries from 186 countries. The total number of entries received by the Sony World Photography Awards since its launch in 2007 has now surpassed 1 million images, reinforcing the awards’ position as one of the most respected and influential photography competitions in the world.
Selected by an expert panel of judges (full list here) the shortlisted photographers are:
- Abhijit Banerjee, Open Travel category
- Jaydip Bhattacharya, Open Smile category
- Anasuya Mandal, Open Travel category
- Nikunj Rathod, Open People category
- Sanghamitra Sarkar, Open Low Light category
- Prakash Singh, Professional Landscape category
The shortlisted participants also include two international photographers who are long term residents of India – Daniel Berehulak and Jordi Pizarro – both in the Professional People category.
The photographers are now competing to win in their respective categories. They will also eye the coveted L’Iris d’Or Photographer of the Year and Open Photographer of the Year titles, with an additional grand prize of $30,000 (USD) grand prize. The winners will be announced at a Gala Ceremony in London 21st April. The photographers work will be showcased in London as part of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition in April and May and be published in the 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.
Prakash Singh, Professional Landscape category
Singh found photography as a young boy but began a career in the industry in 2012. He currently lives in Dubai which is where his shortlisted series ‘Landscape was shot.
Abhijit Banerjee, Open Travel category
Banerjee, based in Kolkata, has been shortlisted for ‘Gangasagar Fair’, a stunning portrait of India’s second largest fair which takes place every year in the month of January. The image captures devotees while they worship sun just after their bath.
Jaydip Bhattacharya, Open Smile category
Bhattacharya is a high school teacher in Kolkata and a photography enthusiast who loves to photograph faces, people, children and festivals. His shortlisted image shows the ‘Joys of learning’ for a brother and sister.
Anasuya Mandal, Open Travel category
Mandal grew up in Chandigarh and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She began travel photography three years ago as a hobby and her shortlisted image captures the Bryce Amphitheater in Utah, the United States glistening in the rays of the sun.
Nikunj Rathod, Open People category
Rathod, age 28, is a film director and photographer living in Mumbai who is most interested in capturing life on streets – its raw emotions and civilization. His shortlisted image ‘Bird hunter’ was taken in Mumbai and shows a young the uncondensed energy of a child aiming for birds in the sky using a sling-shot.
Sanghamitra Sarkar, Open Low Light category
Sarkar, a neurosurgeon from Kalyani, West Bengal is a passionate amateur photographer who first picked up a camera in 2011. He is interested in the documentation of different festivals both in India and abroad. The shortlisted image ‘All souls day’ was shot in the village of Puruliya, West Bengal while village children were burning Diwali firecrackers in front of colourfully painted mud houses.
Daniel Berehulak, Professional People
Represented by Reportage by Getty Images, Berehulak was born in Sydney, Australia but is based in New Delhi. Having photographed in over 50 countries around the world, Berehulak’s shortlisted series was shot in Mexico and documents the Mennonite farmers struggle with water shortage.
Jordi Pizarro, Professional People
Born in Barcelona, 1985, Pizarro is a freelance documentary photographer who lives in New Delhi, India. His shortlisted series ‘Good things come together’ is a stunning vintage-style collection of images of about the twins population and its annual celebration in Kodinhi, a small town in southern India, with the highest rate of twin birth in the world.
The Sony World Photography Awards rewards and recognises the world’s best contemporary photography from the last year. Attracting photographers of all abilities, the awards incorporate four competitions: Professional; Open; Youth and Student. More information about the awards can be found at www.worldphoto.org
Speaking about all the photographers who have been shortlisted this year Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards said: “We are extremely pleased with our jurors’ choices this year. Despite the increase in the number of photographers, and the amount of imagery that required judging, this year above all others we have witnessed a wealth of powerful imagery in the traditionally strong social documentary categories as well as the art and conceptual work. It is wonderful for the medium that it can offer such rich diversity.”
- Images from the shortlist are available to download at press.worldphoto.org
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