The pro­fes­sion­als

Show­cas­ing the best in con­tem­po­rary pho­tog­ra­phy, the Sony World Pho­tog­ra­phy Awards throws up a di­verse mix of im­ages. AP at­tended the Awards cer­e­mony in Lon­don to see the pros get their prizes

Amateur Photographer - - 7 Days -

AP at­tended the Sony World Pho­tog­ra­phy Awards cer­e­mony to see the pros get their prizes

Now in its 12th year, the Sony World Pho­tog­ra­phy Awards high­light the best con­tem­po­rary pho­tog­ra­phy world­wide. The awards com­prise four cat­e­gories: Open, Youth, Stu­dent Fo­cus, and Pro­fes­sional. The Open awards recog­nise out­stand­ing in­di­vid­ual im­ages, while the Pro­fes­sional cat­e­gories cel­e­brate bod­ies of work. There is also an award for Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion to Pho­tog­ra­phy – this year awarded to Can­dida Höfer, known for her large-scale, richly de­tailed pic­tures of empty in­te­ri­ors.

This year 319,561 im­ages were sub­mit­ted from more than 200 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries (a 40% in­crease on 2017).

A to­tal prize fund of $30,000, plus Sony dig­i­tal imag­ing equip­ment, was shared be­tween the win­ning pho­tog­ra­phers.

Aside from the prize money, the or­gan­is­ers aim to pro­vide ex­ten­sive ex­po­sure to the win­ners, short­listed and com­mended en­trants, and sup­port new tal­ent via the Stu­dent, Youth and Open com­pe­ti­tions. Nat­u­rally, the Pro­fes­sional pro­gramme re­wards es­tab­lished artists. Over the next few pages we bring you one, or in Gian­maria’s case two, pic­tures from eight bod­ies of work. Some of th­ese artists will be fea­tured in fu­ture is­sues of AP.

The Sony World Pho­tog­ra­phy Awards ex­hi­bi­tion, fea­tur­ing win­ning, short­listed and com­mended im­ages, is on show at Som­er­set House in Lon­don un­til 6 May. For more de­tails see­ sony-world-pho­tog­ra­phy-awards.

Fredrik Lern­eryd, Swe­den Slum Bal­let Con­tem­po­rary Is­sues, 1st Place

Ev­ery Wed­nes­day at Spur­geon’s Academy in Kib­era, stu­dents re­move the class­room fur­ni­ture and sweep the floor. School uni­forms are ex­changed for colour­ful clothes. When teacher Mike Wa­maya en­ters the room, the stu­dents take up po­si­tions with one hand on the wall as though it were a bal­let barre. Mu­sic plays from a speaker, and bal­let class be­gins.

The class is or­gan­ised by the char­i­ties An­nos Africa and One Fine Day, and re­peated in slums across Kenya. In Nairobi, they work with two schools in Kib­era and one in Mathare. Dance helps the chil­dren to ex­press them­selves and strength­ens their self- con­fi­dence. Sev­eral chil­dren have had their tal­ent spot­ted and now at­tend Dance Cen­tre Kenya in a smart area of Nairobi, mov­ing from the harsh con­di­tions of the slum to board­ing school nearby.

Flo­rian Ruiz, France The White Con­tam­i­na­tion Creative, 1st Place

In the snowy land­scapes of the heights of Fukushima, Ruiz cap­tured the in­vis­i­ble pain of ra­di­a­tion. In­spired by Ja­panese en­grav­ings, he hoped to cap­ture the fleet­ing mo­ments, the ever-shift­ing per­cep­tions of na­ture, where ra­di­a­tion ac­cu­mu­lates the most. Us­ing a Geiger counter, he mea­sured the ra­dioac­tive con­tam­i­na­tion in bec­querels (Bq), a unit that ex­presses atomic dis­in­te­gra­tion per sec­ond. By a process of stag­gered su­per im­pres­sion, Ruiz in­tended to show the atom’s al­ter­ation in his pic­tures.

The trans­parency ef­fects and bro­ken per­spec­tives give rise to a shape that is in mo­tion, an im­per­ma­nent world. He then cre­ated a vi­bra­tion, a de­par­ture from the re­al­ity of the sub­ject that re­veals the pres­ence of ra­di­a­tion in the im­age. The process rein­vents and twists the very land­scape, lead­ing to a sort of ver­tigo – a threat­en­ing dan­ger hid­den be­hind the pu­rity of the white of the land­scapes.

Rose­lena Gio­vanna Ramis­tella, Italy Deep Land Nat­u­ral World & Wildlife, 1st Place

Begin­ning in May 2016 Ramis­tella trav­elled the old Si­cil­ian trails on a mule, start­ing at Ne­brodi, pass­ing through Madonie, Pelori­tani and all the way to the Si­cani Moun­tains. The mule track is a ru­ral road sim­i­lar to a trail, but also suit­able for the cir­cu­la­tion of pack an­i­mals. Prior to the de­vel­op­ment of the mod­ern road net­work, it was the link and trade route be­tween the towns and farm­land.

Un­til about 50 years ago, mules had a prom­i­nent role in Si­cil­ian coun­try life pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment and as­sis­tance to lo­cal farm­ers. Ow­ing to the eco­nomic cri­sis, many young peo­ple are mov­ing back to the coun­try­side, work­ing the land, plant­ing lo­cal crops and breed­ing live­stock, thus cre­at­ing a new ru­ral econ­omy.

The project has two parts: re­search­ing lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties still liv­ing in re­mote ar­eas and cre­at­ing a new map doc­u­ment­ing the re­mains of the old mule tracks – the first since the 1950s.

Alys Tom­lin­son, UK Ex-Voto Dis­cov­ery, 1st Place, Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year

A hand­writ­ten note folded and hid­den in the crevice of a rock, crosses etched onto stone, rib­bon wrapped around twigs. Th­ese are all of­fer­ings of re­li­gious de­vo­tion, known as ‘Ex-Voto’ and found at Chris­tian pil­grim­age sites world­wide. Of­ten placed anony­mously and hid­den from view, pil­grims leave ex-vo­tos as ex­pres­sions of hope and grat­i­tude, cre­at­ing a tan­gi­ble nar­ra­tive be­tween faith, per­son and the land­scape.

Taken at the pil­grim­age sites of Lour­des in France, Bal­lyvour­ney in Ire­land and Grabarka in Poland, the im­ages en­com­pass por­trai­ture, land­scape and still-life pic­tures of the ob­jects and mark­ers left be­hind. Shot on 5x4 film, the pic­tures evoke a still­ness and re­flect the mys­te­ri­ous, time­less qual­ity present at th­ese sites of spir­i­tual con­tem­pla­tion. Peo­ple and land­scape merge as place, mem­ory and his­tory en­twine.

Luca Lo­catelli, Italy White Gold Land­scape, 1st Place

Rarely has a ma­te­rial so in­clined to stay put been wrenched so in­sis­tently out of place and car­ried so far from its source. In Italy’s most mar­ble-rich area, known as the Apuan Alps, the abun­dance is sur­real. Hun­dreds of quar­ries have op­er­ated there since the days of an­cient Rome, and Michelan­gelo sculpted most of his stat­ues from this stone. Now the trade is boom­ing ow­ing to the de­mand from Saudi Ara­bia and other gulf states. The pho­tographs of this area’s ma­jes­tic quar­ries re­veal an iso­lated world: beau­ti­ful, bizarre and se­vere. It is a self- con­tained uni­verse of white – si­mul­ta­ne­ously in­dus­trial and nat­u­ral.

Gian­maria Gava, Italy Build­ings Ar­chi­tec­ture, 1st Place

The ‘Build­ings’ project re­searches ar­che­typal forms of ar­chi­tec­ture. When func­tional el­e­ments have been re­moved, con­struc­tions ap­pear as pure geo­met­ri­cal solid shapes, seem­ingly un­in­hab­it­able. Th­ese build­ings raise ques­tions about the func­tion and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of ar­chi­tec­ture in both the public and pri­vate space.

Mohd Sam­sul Mohd Said, Malaysia Life In­side the Refugee Camp Cur­rent Af­fairs & News, 1st Place

For eth­nic Ro­hingya in Rakhine state, Myan­mar, life has taken a turn for the worse. On 25 Au­gust 2017, more than 400 houses were set alight, and within two weeks, nearly 125,000 Ro­hingya refugees had left Myan­mar for Bangladesh. In­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions have re­ported claims of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions and sum­mary ex­e­cu­tions al­legedly car­ried out by the Myan­mar army. Over 400,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims have now fled from Myan­mar into Bangladesh since vi­o­lence erupted in Rakhine state. This se­ries shows life in­side the Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh.

Tom Old­ham, UK The Last of The Croon­ers Por­trai­ture, 1st Place

In days gone by, pubs all over Lon­don’s East End would fea­ture sharply turned out singers croon­ing their way through a set of jazz stan­dards at week­ends, en­ter­tain­ing au­di­ences and keep­ing them in the pub. Au­di­ences have fallen over time, and now only the Palm Tree in Bow con­tin­ues the tra­di­tion, hav­ing hosted three guest singers each week­end for more than 40 years.

De­spite its rich cul­ture, the Palm Tree is sadly now a lone stal­wart. Th­ese singers re­ally are ‘ The Last of The Croon­ers’. The fam­ily- owned Palm Tree is fa­mous for main­tain­ing its orig­i­nal warm East End at­mos­phere de­spite the im­pact of gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, coun­cil pres­sures and the chang­ing habits of its clien­tele. Af­ter sev­eral years of ask­ing, the pub finally al­lowed me to doc­u­ment the many great char­ac­ters who still per­form here, in a bid to cap­ture this slice of his­tory while it re­mains.

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