Sony World Photography Awards 2009

The shortlist for the 2009 Sony World Photography Awards is announced today, Tuesday 24 February. The list contains the names of 186 exceptional photographers from 43 different countries, all of them competing in a variety of categories in one of the most prestigious photographic competitions in the world.


The Honorary Judging Committee, comprising world-renowned photographers, curators, representatives from leading international photo agencies, publishers and critics made their selection from 36,546 professional and 25,370 amateur photography submissions.

Zelda Cheatle, Chair of Judges in the fine art genre, comments: “The judging and curating of the Sony World Photography Awards has been a truly rewarding experience, enabling us to see a wide variety of images from all over the world. From the most amateur of photographers to the experienced professional, each image has been put under intense scrutiny by some of the world’s toughest critics. It has been a privilege to work with the entire panel of judges. I believe that we all felt we had achieved an excellent outcome which will make a powerful statement as a collection.”

Astrid Merget, Events Director adds: “The quality and level of photographers this year has risen greatly and we are thrilled to see many top names as well as excellent new talent on the shortlist. Every one of the shortlisted photographers should be very proud to have been recognised by such an esteemed jury.”

In the professional competition, a maximum of ten photographers have been shortlisted in each of the 12 categories within the three subject genres: Photojournalism and Documentary (Current Affairs, Sport, Contemporary Issues and Arts and Entertainment); Commercial (Advertising, Fashion and Music) and Fine Art (Portraiture, Conceptual and Constructed, Natural History, Landscape and Architecture).

A shortlist of ten photographers is also announced in each of the eight amateur categories which are: Architecture, Conceptual and Constructed, Fashion, Landscape, Music, Natural History, Portraiture and Sport. This year, the amateur entries went through various pre-selection rounds by inspectors from iStockphoto, which were the official 2009 Pre-selection Committee, before being judged by the Honorary Judging Committee.

The Sony World Photography Awards is a truly global competition. From Argentina to Zimbabwe, over 60,000 photograph entries were submitted this year from 139 different countries.

The finalists in each of the categories will be announced on Tuesday 17 March, and will be honoured at the Sony World Photography Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on Thursday 16 April. Also on the night, the 2009 winner of the L’Iris D’Or for Sony World Photographer of the Year will be announced and will receive $25,000 and professional Sony camera equipment. The winning amateur photographer will receive a $5,000 cash prize as well as Sony camera equipment. Another major announcement on the night is the winner of the Prince’s Rainforest Project (PRP) Award. The prize for the winning photographer is a fully-funded project to document the rainforests of the world. The final presentation will go to the acclaimed French photographer, Marc Riboud, winner of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The professional category finalists and amateur category winners will be showcased in the Winner’s Exhibition as part of the Festival @ Sony World Photography Awards, the week-long celebration of photography which takes place for this first time this year throughout the city of Cannes from 14th – 19th April 2009. The festival will also feature exhibitions, talks and book signings by leading photographers Elliott Erwitt, Marc Riboud, Vanessa Winship (last year’s L’Iris D’Or winner), Stuart Franklin, Bruce Davidson and Cedric Delsaux, amongst others.

For more information please visit the World Photography Awards website.

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