Overall Winners Revealed For Sony World Photography Awards 2016

The Photographer of the Year and overall winners in professional photographer categories have been announced for the Sony World Photography Awards.

From 230,103 entries from 183 countries these photographs have been selected as the best in their categories.

Current Affairs

In search of the European Dream by Angelos Tzortzinis.

“An Afghan refugee carries his child as he arrives along with other refugees on a beach on the Greek island of Kos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, on May 27, 2015.”


Angelos Tzortzinis, Greece, Winner, Professional, Current Affairs, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards/ AFP.

“Doctors and paramedics try to recover a baby after a boat with refugees and migrants sunk while attempting to reach the Greek island of Lesbos from Turkey, on October 28, 2015. At least five migrants including three children, died on October 28, 2015.”


Angelos Tzortzinis, Greece, Winner, Professional, Current Affairs, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards/ AFP.


TransBrasil by Jetmir Idrizi.

“TransBrasil is an ongoing project, which aims to deepen gender identities issues from a documentary photography perspective. It proposes to approach different social and cultural expressions that question the binary schemes masculine/feminine to understand the gender and identity process. Also, this project pursuit thinks about the possibility of multiples identities. For that reason, the proposal adopt the transgender concept, understanding the trans as a dynamic space without fix tags; as a border with an identity traffic which enable plurality and freedom to choose who each person wants to be, creating a gender hybridity. Transgender people express their gender identities in many different ways.”


Jetmir Idrizi, Kosovo, Winner, Professional, Campaign, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.


Swoon or Scoliosis by Kirstin Schmitt.

“The series Waiting for the Candymen is study of Cuban idiosyncrasy; an allegory of waiting: Waiting the right moment, waiting for tomorrow, waiting for something or someone who brings redemption maybe.”


Kirstin Schmitt, Germany, Winner, Professional,Candid, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.


Greetings From Mars by Julien Mauve.

“This project is about space exploration and discovery, but it’s also about our behaviour in front of landscapes and how we create pictures that will share our personal story with the world. In every spots, carefully chosen for their similarities with the red planet, the photographer imitated stereotypical tourist poses. It’s interesting to observe the way we act in front of the camera, how we include ourselves in the landscapes, how those landscapes trigger the desire to affirm our presence. And how the way we take pictures exposes the vanity involved in our endless pursuit of self-definition.”


Julien Mauve, France, Winner, Professional, Conceptual, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.


The Curse of Coal by Espen Rasmussen.

“Outside Mullens in West Virginia, 32 miners work are changing after their work shift. Some months later they lost their job when the mine closed.”


Espen Rasmussen, Norway, Winner, Professional, Daily Life, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards/ VG / Panos Pictures.

“Chelse (21) together with her boyfriend Eric and Alvin in her mother’s trailer close to Beckley, West Virginia. They smoke OxyContin painkiller’s before going out for a party on Halloween. With 1,8 million people and more than 500 dying of overdose every year, West Virginia is pill state number one in the US.”


Espen Rasmussen, Norway, Winner, Professional, Daily Life, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards/ VG / Panos Pictures.


Empire of Dust by AmÈlie Labourdette.

“AmÈlie Labourdette interrogates the invisible landscape, the blurred zone of concern located below the visible landscape. The Empire of Dust series of photographs was taken in the south of Italy, where financial crises and embezzlement have created an architectural aesthetic of incompleteness. Using an ‘archaeology of the present’ she both reflects contemporary history by the yardstick of these unfinished architectures, and involves the viewer’s imagination so that a new view of the world unfolds. In front of these images, we become archaeologists of our time, able to look back at our present and see our future too.”


AmÈlie Labourdette, France, Winner, Professional, Architecture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards. Empire of dust # 18, Palerme, Sicile (Top). Empire of dust # 04, Giare, Sicilie (Bottom).


Second Best by Nikolai Linares.

“Portraits of the silver medal winners just after loosing their final at the Zealand boxing Championships held in Copenhagen in March.”


Nikolai Linares, Denmark, Winner, Professional , Sport, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards/

Contemporary Issues

Fire of Hatred by Asghar Khamseh.

These images depict the violence of acid throwing in Iran. Asghar Khamseh is the winner of Photographer of the Year. To learn more about these photographs, click here.


Asghar Khamseh, Iran, Winner, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.


Eagle Hunters of Western China by Kevin Frayer.

“The Eagle Hunting festival, organised by the local hunting community, is part of an effort to promote and grow traditional hunting practices for new generations in the mountainous region of western China that borders Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. The training and handling of the large birds of prey follows a strict set of ancient rules that Kazakh eagle hunters are preserving for future generations.”


Kevin Frayer, Canada, Winner, Professional, Environment, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.


Land of Nothingness by Maroesjka Lavigne.

“Named for its desert, Namibia is one of the least densely populated places on earth, visually defined by rich colours in a barren, yet constantly changing landscape; the vast brown plain of scorched earth, the white surface of the saltpans, the gold tones of the sand dunes. Patience is required to discover Namibiaís subtle scenery. Hours of driving reveal more emptiness; the sight of other people rare and only the strategically located gas stations a reminder of the world beyond.”


Maroesjka Lavigne, Belgium, Winner, Professional, Landscape, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.


Nomadic Life Threatened on the Tibetan Plateau by Kevin Frayer.

“Tibetan nomads face many challenges to their traditional way of life including political pressures, forced resettlement by China’s governmet, climate change and rapid modernisation. The Tibetan Plateau, often called “the Roof of the World,” is the world’s highest and largest plateau.”


Kevin Frayer, Canada, Winner, Professional, People, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards


Ebola Survivors by Marcello Bonfanti.

“The most widespread epidemic of Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone ended the 7th October 2015 with 14,122 cases and 3,955 deaths. That required the complex and brave intervention of international NGOs in the attempt to fight the virus. The Italian NGO Emergency ran an Ebola treatment centre built by DFEED. Thanks to the medical care of Emergency, were able to start a new life. They returned to life finding their families partly or totally killed by the virus.”


Marcello Bonfanti, Italy, Winner, Professional, Portraiture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.


Iconic B by Alberto Alicata.

“In this project, Alberto Alicata, traces the history of photography, image iconic realised by the great masters, resorting to the use of a symbol of contemporary Western culture: Barbie. Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin, David Lachapelle, Mario Testino are some of the names which Alicata honors, studying carefully chosen shots and recreating a set to measure Barbie rebuilt in detail the limits of the obsessive precision, the original that inspired it, in order to strengthen the authenticity and strength of timeless images, now become part of our visual memory and intended to be timeless. Intuition playful operate this simulation, using one of the most imitated, idolised, collected and studied which is renewed in every historical period, this production puts in a dimension in the making, is intended to be enriched with new images, and more opportunity to quote unexpected suggestions.”


Alberto Alicata, Italy, Winner, Professional, Staged, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards/ Sie Photography.


Migrant Tomatoes by Francesco Amorosino

“Once a year Italian families make tomato sauce at home, cooking and canning a huge amount of vegetables. Tons of tomatoes are grown in the fields of the South of the Country and harvested by about 19,000 labourers, paid 1 or 2 euro for each filled box. Only in 2015 there were 13 deaths at work in the fields because of high temperatures. Many of those involved in the harvest are immigrants. On the tomatoes, still dirty with soil, bought by my family to make the sauce, I saw the fingerprints of those who had harvested them, I imagined their stories, the hours spent in the sun, the hope, the desire to work. Since then, I haven’t watched the sauce with the same eyes.”


Francesco Amorosino, Italy, Winner, Professional , Still Life, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards/Luz Photo Agency.