Sony World Photography Awards Adds ‘Environment’ Category

The Sony World Photography Awards has announced the addition of an all-new ‘Environment’ category in the Professional competition for 2020; the competition is open for submissions. In addition, the 2020 Awards will also hold a new Youth competition, where photographers between the ages of 12 and 19 are encouraged to submit three images per month through June to December of this year.

With climate breakdown, plastic pollution, and a myriad of other environmental disasters hitting the headlines on a daily basis, environmental photography is no longer seen as a small niche by a historically reticent industry. Sony is asking photographers to submit images that “address environmental concerns affecting the world today.”

This is a departure from typical competition categories addressing natural subjects, which tend to focus on the inherent beauty of plants, animals, and landscapes.

With a deadline of January 11th 2020, Sony say that the winning and shortlisted images will be “given a global platform” to highlight the environmental concerns within the images.

In 2019, judges selected Italian artist Federico Borella as the competition’s Photographer of the Year, with a photo essay on Indian farmers affected by drought from climate breakdown.

“Winning the 2019 Photographer of the Year title is one of the most important things for my career and my life. This kind of visibility is amazing because it allows me and my work to reach a global audience,” said Borella. “My phone started ringing straight after the announcement and it hasn’t stopped ringing since! People want to listen to the story I want to tell. How can I ask for more?”

Along with the Professional and Youth competitions, the 2020 Awards also feature the Open competition, for single images across ten individual categories; there is also a Student competition, for photography students worldwide.

Judged anonymously, all those that enter are up for getting a slice of the $60,000 prize fund, plus Sony digital imaging equipment. Some winners will also be flown to London, UK, to attend the awards ceremony. All shortlisted photographers will feature in the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, opening in London before touring internationally.

Sony has also revealed the recipients of its 2019 grants, designed to nurture the development of shortlisted photographers from the Professional and Student competitions. Each Professional recipient receives $7,000, and Sony equipment of their choice, to create a work of their own. The Student recipients receive $3,500 each, and must create a new body of images as a team.

For more information, visit the Sony World Photography Awards website.

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Ed Carr is a Yorkshire-born landscape photographer and nature writer. Having spent his youth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, he takes any opportunity to don his hiking boots and head out, camera in hand. When not out taking pictures or hastily scribbling down his thoughts, Ed’s halfway up a hill out chasing after his dog, Hendrix.

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