Categories: Special

Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open: Winners Analysis

The Sony World Photography Awards 2020, especially for the Open category which collects the shots of all non-professional photographers, is one of the most important and widely participated competitions in the world. And finally the winners of the Open category have been announced that we will analyze with you

This year, the squad selected in the Open category of the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards includes over 100 photographers and the ten winners (one for each category) will receive Sony’s latest generation digital photographic equipment as a prize to develop their vision and will compete for the prestigious final award: the title of Open Photographer of the Year and a cash prize of $ 5,000. The overall winner of the Open competition will be announced next June 9 on the online platforms of the World Photography Organization and Sony.

Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open: all winners

ARCHITETTURA | Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open

Image Name: Emotional Geometry

Photographer Name: Rosaria Sabrina Pantano

Year: 2020

Image Description: Having returned to Sicily for the holidays, myself and a group of friends visited Fiumara d’Arte, an open museum showcasing sculptures made by contemporary artists, located along the banks of the Tusa River. Among these works is 38° Parallelo by Mauro Staccioli – a pyramid that stands at the exact point where the geographical coordinates touch the 38th parallel.

Copyright: © Rosaria Sabrina Pantano, Italy, Winner, Open, Architecture, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

Rosaria Sabrina Pantano (Italy) for Emotional Geography, a black and white photograph of the 38th parallel, a pyramidal sculpture by Mauro Staccioli, which rises exactly at the geographical coordinates of the 38th parallel. The black and white of this shot tends to highlight the texture of the bare ground and above all the geometry of the sculpture. The perspective lines begin in the street and are taken up by the huge pyramid until they converge at the vertex in the middle of the sky; the effect is to bring the gaze to travel the image from bottom to top, a bit as if we were travelers climbing the mountain to reach the work of art.

CREATIVITÀ | Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open

Image Name: Knot

Photographer Name: Suxing Zhang

Year: 2020

Image Description: This picture is from my series ‘Hua’, which means flower in Chinese. Flowers are often used as metaphors for life and eroticism in art. Hua explores the commonalities and connections between flowers and the feminine – in particular, emotional vulnerability and sensitivity. Qualities such as calmness, and emotions such as uncertainty, fear, anxiety and loneliness are translated into conceptual and artistic forms. In Knot, I use a combination of light and texture to create strong visuals that heighten the senses. I like to use symbolic and metaphoric ingredients in my work, which I hope allows the audience to blend their own subjectivity with the objectivity of the photograph, leading to different interpretations and emotions.

Copyright: © Suxing Zhang, China, Winner, Open, Creative, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

Suxing Zhang (Mainland China) for Knot, a portrait of a young woman with a collage of symbolic elements. The image, again in black and white, is part of the Hua series (“flower” in Chinese), which interprets flowers as metaphors of femininity. We certainly have a work that is a bit different from what we are used to, from classic photography. Very often we have said that the purpose of a photograph must be to tell a story, but not only that. A beautiful photograph is emotion, pure and raw, without frills. The aim is to evoke sensations in the observer. And what do you feel looking at this shot? There is a girl who tries to hide behind a rough cloth, but what is she really hiding?

CULTURA | Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open

Image Name: Mark 5:28

Photographer Name: Antoine Veling

Year: 2020

Image Description: When audience members were invited on stage to dance at an Iggy Pop concert in Sydney Opera House, Australia, on 17 April 2019, it showed the warm welcome Aussies extend to overseas artists who travel long distances to reach them. A woman’s outstretched arm lunges to touch Iggy. He seems unaware of her approach as the crowd presses around him. One of Iggy’s assistants, Jos (in the grey checked shirt) tries to make some space around Iggy. The scene is reminiscent of a passage from the Bible: ‘Because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”’ (Mark 5:25-34, line 28). The image has been likened to religious paintings by Caravaggio, and his chiaroscuro technique. It went crazy on social media, making 40,000 people, including Iggy Pop, very happy.

Copyright: © Antoine Veling, Australia, Winner, Open, Culture, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

Antoine Veling (Australia) per Mark 5:28, a photo of April 17, 2019, which immortalizes the moment when a part of the audience was invited to dance on stage, on the occasion of the Iggy Pop concert at the Sydney Opera House. The shot shows Iggy Pop surrounded by a crowd of fans on the move, focusing in particular on the singer, a woman trying to touch him and a stage assistant trying to keep order. The scene, almost comparable to a painting by Caravaggio, recalls a passage from the Bible: «Because he said:“ If I can at least touch his clothes, I will be safe ”» (Mark 5, 25-34, verse 28).

The light in this shot is used in a “divine” way. The main subject is well lit and immediately attracts attention, while the light slowly fades on the dancers. The gaze is immediately brought to the light point and then tends to wander in the image to look for the details hidden in the shadows: a face, a gesture, an emotion. The simple composition, based on the rule of thirds, gives stability to the shot while the dynamism is given by the myriad of subjects included in the shot.

PAESAGGIO | Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open

Image Name: Ice Reflections

Photographer Name: Craig McGowan

Year: 2020

Image Description: A solitary iceberg, set against the fjord walls in Northeast Greenland National Park.

Copyright: © Craig McGowan, Australia, Winner, Open, Landscape, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

Craig McGowan (Australia) per Ice Reflections, the representation of an iceberg standing alone against the backdrop of the mighty fjords of the Northeast Greenland National Park. The iceberg and the surrounding landscape are perfectly reflected in the clear waters of the river, creating an abstract, almost pictorial photography. Very often in landscape photography there is a risk of falling into banality. But not in this case absolutely not. There is a double dynamism in this shot: the dynamism of the colors and that of the sinuous lines that draw on the ground. The iceberg is a fundamental element, it works as an anchor for the gaze that otherwise would risk getting lost in the very abstract composition.

MOVIMENTO | Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open

Image Name: Going Down!

Photographer Name: Alec Connah

Year: 2020

Image Description: Despite measuring 125 metres high, it took the four cooling towers of Ironbridge Power Station in Shropshire, England, just 10 seconds to be demolished on 6 December 2019. The towers had been a feature of the landscape for 50 years, but were brought down as part of a new development on the site. The demolition had been a long time coming – the towers were close to a river, railway line and protected woodland, so their destruction had to be precise. This picture was taken from my garden, which is on the hillside opposite the site.

Copyright: © Alec Connah, United Kingdom, Winner, Open, Motion, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

Alec Connah (United Kingdom) for Going Down!, which documents the moment when the four cooling towers of the Ironbridge, Shropshire power plant were demolished, on 6 December 2019. When you say “seize the moment”, I imagine a shot like that. The shots where you can freeze the movement, the deformation of such an extreme event are really rare. The elements of interest are distributed longitudinally. This is not a great composition, but simply a one-of-a-kind moment.

NATURAL WORLD & WILDLIFE | Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open

Image Name: Going Down!

Photographer Name: Alec Connah

Year: 2020

Image Description: Despite measuring 125 metres high, it took the four cooling towers of Ironbridge Power Station in Shropshire, England, just 10 seconds to be demolished on 6 December 2019. The towers had been a feature of the landscape for 50 years, but were brought down as part of a new development on the site. The demolition had been a long time coming – the towers were close to a river, railway line and protected woodland, so their destruction had to be precise. This picture was taken from my garden, which is on the hillside opposite the site.

Copyright: © Alec Connah, United Kingdom, Winner, Open, Motion, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

Guofei Li (Mainland China) for Tai Chi Diagram, an image set in Botswana, showing two cheetahs cleaning up each other after a successful hunt. Their position in the frame resembles the yin-yang symbol. A shot as beautiful as it is tender. The composition is based this time on the spiral, two spirals ending on the heads of the animals, the main point of the image. Two words also on the use of color, almost a bichromatism that blends the image, as in a big hug.

RITRATTO | Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open

Image Name: Black Francis

Photographer Name: Tom Oldham

Year: 2020

Image Description: Photographers for MOJO Magazine enjoy a rare degree of freedom and trust with what is usually an open brief. This allows us to capture our own experience with very high profile musicians. However, when photographing famous singers, we are often painfully aware of how many times the sitter has, well, sat. I like to acknowledge this and asked Charles (aka Black Francis) to show me the level of frustration photoshoots can generate. He offered up this perfect gesture of exasperation, and the image ran as the lead portrait for the feature.

Copyright: © Tom Oldham, United Kingdom, Category Winner, Open, Portraiture, 2020 Sony World Photography Awards

Tom Oldham (UK) for Black Francis, a black and white portrait, commissioned by Mojo magazine, which portrays the Pixies frontman, Charles Thompson (aka Black Francis). When he accepted the job, Oldham, a longtime portrait painter, knew his subject was a regular at photo shoots, so he asked him to show his impatience during yet another pose. The final image shows the singer in the eloquent gesture of sinking his hands into his face and was the featured image of the article.

The black background gives a lot of depth to the shot and the high-contrast grayscale representation highlight the hands and the folds of the face, emphasize the gesture of the subject. The two hands and arms tend to draw attention to the face and the glasses. A simple shot that highlights a gesture full of humanity.

NATURA MORTA | Sony World Photography Awards 2020, Open

Image Name: A Plastic Ocean

Photographer Name: Jorge Reynal

Year: 2020

Image Description: Each year, eight million tons of plastic end up in our oceans – equivalent to emptying a garbage truck into the water every minute. This is my protest against pollution.

In my…

Published by
Giuseppe Lumicisi

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