The Overall winners of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Winners of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Photographer of the Year – Alys Tomlinson, British. World’s best series of work.  Chosen from the 10 Professional category winners.
Winning photograph:
Ex-Voto, 2018
© Alys Tomlinson, United Kingdom, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Discovery, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

A handwritten note neatly folded and hidden in the crevice of a rock, crosses etched onto stone, ribbon carefully wrapped around piles of twigs. These are all offerings of religious devotion, known as ‘Ex-Votos’ and found at Christian pilgrimage sites worldwide. Often placed anonymously and hidden from view, pilgrims leave ex-votos as expressions of hope and gratitude, creating a tangible narrative between faith, person and the landscape. Taken at the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland), the project encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-lifes of the objects and markers left behind. Shot on 5×4, large format film, the images evoke a distinct stillness and reflect the mysterious, timeless quality present at these sites of great spiritual contemplation. People and landscape merge as a place, memory and history entwine. NB all images untitled and taken in 2016/2017

Open Photographer of the Year – Veselin Atanasov, Bulgarian. World’s best single image.  Chosen from the 10 Open category winners.
Winning photograph:
Early autumn, 2018
© Veselin Atanasov, Bulgaria, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

The autumn has begun to decorate with its colors the woods of the Balkans. National Park – Central Balkan, Bulgaria


Youth Photographer of the Year – Megan Johnson, American.  World’s best single image taken by any photographer aged 12-19.
Winning photograph:
Still, 2018
© Megan Johnson, United States of America, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth,
Your Environment (2018 Youth competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

This image was shot on October 22, 2017 on the cliffs right near my house. It was taken on an iPhone 7 for the following: life, to me, has more detail in black and white. This image represents my current state at home and school. Despite having a social group and a caring family, I often find myself alone, left to watch what goes on around me, all the while being caught up in the very center of it. This glimpse through the trees of the figure on the cliff represents the courage it takes to be one’s self in today’s society, and how even when you’re on the inside, you can be pushed out.


Student Photographer of the Year – Samuel Buldoc, Canadian. World’s best series of work taken by any student aged 30 and under.
Winning photographs:
Fragmentation, 2018
© Samuel Bolduc, Canada, Student Photogragher of the Year, Student Focus, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

My photography is a poetic work. It puts in relation the beauty of our bodies of water and the devastation caused by man. Tearing the paper creates a direct link with the waves of the Saint-Laurent river. It can also be read as a sign which emphasises damages caused by man.

The Burden, 2018
© Samuel Bolduc, Canada, Student Photographer of the Year, Student Focus, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

My photographic series for this second brief are staged poetic photographs illustrating people bearing the burden of plastic wastes in the environment. With these images, I want to show the actions we have to take regardless if pollution continues at this speed or not. Through commitment of my characters, I also want to evoke the hope of changes about the accumulation of plastic wastes in the environment. The vast winterly territories reveal the contrast between their magnitude and the small place humankind has. My creative process was guided by the three guidelines of AIR strategy: Avoid by the awareness of what should be done to counter this pollution, Intercept by the involvement of human in a realistic and durable solution and Redesign by the characters’ collaboration in the production of the staged photographs. These images were created in the Lower Saint-Lawrence region in Quebec, Canada, in February 2018. The characters represented in the photographs are friends, acquaintances and people from the recycling milieu who agreed to collaborate to this project. At each encounter, I explained the issues of the project and the impacts plastic wastes have on the environment.