The prestigious competition, now in its ninth year, aims to recognize the most deserving photos from 50 participating countries.
More than 330,000 images from 220 territories were submitted to the 10 categories of the Sony World Photography Awards 2021 and over 165,000 were entered to the Open competition from which the National Awards photos were selected.
Worldwide initiative to support local photographers
The National & Regional Awards is an initiative of the World Photography Organization and Sony both to support local photographers of all abilities around the world and to honor their achievements.
Expert judges chose the best single image from each of the countries entered into the National & Regional Awards. The winners are given Sony digital imaging equipment as well as benefiting from global and local exposure.
The program has awarded more than 500 photographers and currently operates in 51 countries.
No touring for now
“While many of us have been confined to our local postcode these past 12 months, the digital world still gives us the ability to discover and marvel at the wonders of our planet,” the organizers said. “The earth’s beauty and diversity is strongly embraced in the winning images for 2021: From striking aerial shots to compelling portraits, they demonstrate a vast array of styles, subject matter and technique.”
In ‘normal’ times, the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition tours globally to Europe, Asia and the Americas during the year. Exhibitions in the past have been held in New York, Milan, Paris, Berlin, Liverpool, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro, among others.
Due to the latest U.K. government guidance, the London exhibition of the Sony World Photography Awards 2021, which was scheduled to go on display in Somerset House from April 16 to May 3, has been cancelled.
The awards ceremony, which was to take place in London, also has been cancelled. Overall winners of this year’s competitions will be announced on April 15 via digital and video platforms. Category winners, finalists and shortlists across the awards’ four competitions will be announced in the months leading up to the April announcement.
The 2022 registration for the different competitions will open this summer.
Best aerial images
To celebrate the diversity of styles, subject matter and technique, the competition is launching a series of images centered around a different technique, starting with the best aerial shots.
The technique was first used in 1858 by the French photographer and balloonist Gaspard-Félix Tournachon in Paris. Aerial photography was largely employed for military purposes through the use of hot-air balloons, helicopters and planes for most of the 20th century.
It wasn’t until about seven years ago, when the first camera-equipped drones were released to the commercial market, that drone photography took flight. Now it’s one of the most popular genres in photography, with many photographers using the technique to highlight environmental concerns.
“So, let’s leave lockdown life behind us for a few moments and enjoy some of the photographers who scaled the skies for the best views from above,” the organizers said.