GUEST BLOG / By Jacobo Prisco, CNN--Striking images showing the aftermath of wildfires, evocative portraits of bushmeat hunters and some of the most indelible shots from the US Capitol riot are among the works that will determine the 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year.
The images were chosen from over 156,000 submissions, the highest number in the history of the prestigious SONY award, now in its 15th year. The entries are part of the professional competition, which judges photographers based on a body of work of several images in any of 10 categories, including environment, landscape, portraiture and still life.
Three finalists were selected for each category, with the intent of rewarding both technical skill and an original approach to contemporary subjects, as all of the images under consideration were taken in 2021.
“At points we all may have felt that the ongoing Covid crisis meant that the world had shut down, but when reviewing these projects it is clear nothing could be further from the truth,” said Mike Trow, chair of the panel judging the competition, in a statement. “To have the chance to see so much work from across the world is both humbling and energising.”
The award, run by the World Photography Organisation, has three other competitions: open, which rewards single images rather than bodies of work; a monthly youth contest for young talent ages 12 to 19; and student competition, for photography scholars across the world.
Winners for all competitions will be announced on April 12, and a selection of images by finalists and shortlisted photographers will form an exhibition at London’s Somerset House that starts the next day and lasts until May 2.
The professional competition also awards a prize of $25,000 to the Photographer of the Year winner, who is selected from the finalists. Last year, the award went to British documentarian Craig Easton for “Bank Top,” a series of black-and-white images and text highlighting social deprivation, immigration and unemployment in the town of Blackburn, in northern England.
Among the finalists in the Architecture & Design category is Yun Chi Chen, who in "Blueprint" took inspiration from traditional architectural blueprints to create unique images of buildings using digital post-production. In "The Fox's Tale," Milan Radisics narrates a period of eight months during which he spent almost every night photographing a young fox visiting his back garden. "Dorf," by Domagoj Burilović, shows how nature has reclaimed the houses of Slavonia, a region which grew rich in the 19th century as a result of the exploitation of local forests and land. Another Portraiture finalist, George Tatakis, offers in the series "Caryatis" a study of Greek women's traditional costumes from different periods in the nation's history.