See the Captivating Images From This Year’s Sony World Photography Awards

The World Photography Organization has revealed the shortlisted and finalist photographers for the Sony World Photography Awards 2021.

Now marking its 14th year, the competition rewards professional photographers for an outstanding body of work that demonstrates “technical excellence and a fresh perspective on contemporary subjects.”

Over 330,000 images from 220 territories were submitted to the competition, with subject matter ranging from still life to wildlife. Of these, more than 145,000 made it to the award’s 10 categories, the highest number of entries to date. This year, a new “Portfolio” category has been introduced to allow photographers to submit individual images from different bodies of work, as long as their style and technical skills remain consistent.

Julia Fullerton-Batten, “Jess, Lockdown 3, Tier 3” (2020) from the series Looking Out from Within (2020), which chronicles the lives of British citizens during the country’s repeated COVID lockdowns. (Finalist)

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic dominates this year’s entries. Some shortlisted images capture the suffocation of life under lockdown, while others celebrate people’s resilience in coping with the devastating disease. The escalating effects of climate change are another principal theme, with images of a heavily polluted river in India and a Brazilian town wrecked by rising sea levels. The entries also capture some of last year’s major events, from the devastating Beirut blast to a locust plague of biblical proportions in Kenya. There are also moments of beauty and levity, and arresting images of wildlife doing its thing.

The winners will be selected from the list of finalists and revealed on April 15 in a live-streamed event hosted by British art historian Jacky Klein and stand-up comedian Nish Kumar.

Until then, enjoy this selection of outstanding finalists:

Lorenzo Tugnoli, from Contrasto for the Washington Post. Firefighters work to put out the fires that engulfed the warehouses in the port of Beirut after the explosion on August 4, 2020. (Finalist)
Alessandro Gandolfi, from the series Gas Chamber Delhi. Men fish in the foam of the polluted Yamuna River in the city of Delhi, India. Every day, Delhi dumps hundreds of millions of liters of sewage into its waters, which has made Yamuna one of the world’s most polluted rivers. (Shortlist)
Graeme Purdy, “Attitude” (2021) (Finalist)
Julia Keil, “Girl with the egg earring” (2021) (Shortlist)
Luis Tato for the Washington Post. Herny Lenayasa, a Samburu man and chief of the settlement of Archers Post in Kenya, trying to scare away a massive swarm of locust ravaging the local fields. (Finalist)
Vito Fusco, “The Killing Daisy” (2021). A Kenyan farmer cultivating Pyrethrums, a daisy that was nicknamed the “flower of death” for containing a powder that instantly paralyzes and kills insects. (Finalist)
Justyna Górniak’s series Haytarma (2021) follows Tatars — the indigenous people of Crimea — who were driven out of their homes because of their resistance to the Russian annexation of the peninsula. (Shortlist)
Felipe Fittipaldi, from the series When the Ocean Beats the River (2021). A house in Atafona, Brazil, that has been destroyed by rising seawater; more than 400 homes have been wrecked by the sea in the Brazilian town, producing hundreds of environmental refugees. (Shortlist)
Peter Franck, from the series Peace (2021). A surreal version of Pont del Diable (Devil’s bridge) in Catalonia, Spain. (Shortlist)
Alessandro Gandolfi’s photo of violinist Martina Monti performing without an audience during a recital by the Tasso Middle School in Ferrara, Italy. (Shortlist)
Luca Locatelli, “Protezione Civile” (2021). The Officine Grandi Riparazioni art venue in Torino, Italy, transformed into a coronavirus field hospital. (Shortlist)
Lorenzo Tugnoli, from Contrasto for the Washington Post. An injured man stands inside the wrecked site of the port of Beirut while firefighters work to put out the flames that engulfed the warehouses after the explosion of August 4, 2020. (Finalist)
Richard Ansett, “Taiwo”(2021) from the series Beyond The Brutal Facade. The photographer documented the residents of Aylesbury Estate, a deteriorating housing project in southeast London. (Shortlist)
Graeme Purdy, “After the Battle” (2021) (Finalist)

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