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Multiple British photographers recognised in the world’s largest photography competition - 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Press release   •   Feb 28, 2017 00:01 GMT

18 British photographers recognised across the awards’ shortlist, a further 24 British photographers placed top 50 in the world

2017 awards received over 227,000 images from 183 countries

Photographers competing for Sony digital imaging equipment and $30,000 cash prizes

Open category winners announced March 28, Professional category and overall winners revealed April 20

All work to be shown at Somerset House, London from 21 April – 7 May, 2017

Images from across entire shortlist available for publication at

EMABRGOED UNTIL 00.01 GMT ON TUESDAY 28 February 2017: The judges of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards today honour the work of 18 British photographers by shortlisting their work as top ten in the world in the awards’ Professional, Open and Student Focus competitions.

Of the 49 nationalities included on the shortlist, the UK has the second largest number of photographers presented.

Over 227,000 images from 183 countries were submitted to the 10th edition of the Sony World Photography Awards and judges were looking to reward images representing the finest contemporary photography today.

In the Professional competition, 8 British photographers have been recognised for strong bodies of work between 5-10 images. The Open competition, which rewards the best single image across ten categories, features 8 British photographers on the shortlist. A further 24 photographers from across Britain have been placed top 50 in the world (commended) across the ten categories of the Open competition. Lastly, the Student Focus competition, for those studying photography, features 2 students from British universities.

The work of the shortlisted and commended photographers will also be shown alongside the awards’ other shortlisted and winning images at the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr – 2017 Exhibition in London from April 21-May 7. The exhibition will include rarely seen work by Martin Parr, recipient of the 2017 awards’ Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize.

Recognising a huge diversity of work, the judges shortlisted the following British photographers:

Professional competition categories

  • Will Burrard-Lucas, Natural World (from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire)
  • Craig Easton, Portraiture (from Edinburgh)
  • Grant Hegedus, Still Life (from Billingham, Cleveland)
  • Felicity McCabe, Natural World (based in London)
  • Paul Sanders, Still Life (based in London)
  • Kurt Tong, Landscape (born in Hong Kong, based in the UK)
  • Michael Tummings, Daily Life (currently based in Germany)
  • Esther Whyatt, Natural World (based in London)

In the Professional competition, Will Burrard-Lucas offers an insight into the nocturnal lives of African wildlife and Michael Tummings gives a close examination of the practice of hunting, while Grant Hegedus offers witty photographic food puns in the Still Life category. Specimens in London’s Natural History Museum provide perfect colour for Felicity McCabe’s work and flora is the subject of the series’ from Esther Whyatt and Paul Sanders. Kurt Tong looks at Chinese people outside of China struggling with their Chinese identity and Craig Easton has captured the dreams, aspirations and fears of sixteen-year-olds from all walks of like in the UK in a beautiful portrait series.

Open competition categories

  • Harry Botley, Enhanced (from Peterborough, based in Sheffield)
  • Tim Cornbill, Architecture (from Birmingham)
  • Nigel Hodson, Wildlife (from Cardiff)
  • Carl Jeffers, Portraits (from Preston)
  • Jimmy Reid, Motion (from Edinburgh). Jimmy is also commended (top 50) in the Architecture category.
  • Tim Topple, Portraits (from Wellington, Shropshire, based in London)
  • Barry Tweed-Rycroft, Architecture (based in Addingham, Ilkley, Yorkshire)
  • Robert Walker, Architecture (from Manchester)

The shortlisted images across the Open competition are drawn from a range of inspirations. The natural world at feeding time attracted both Nigel Hodson, for a stunning shot of a puffin on Skomer Island, Wales, and Jimmy Reid, for a motion shot of his fish. In the Architecture category Robert Walker showcases the View from Switch House at Tate Modern, London while photographers Tim Cornbill and Barry Tweed-Rycroft use Berlin and Phoenix Arizona for their inspiration. Harry Botley, Enhanced category, seeks to re-contextualize traditional landscape with his image “Verdigris II” and in the Portraits category both Carl Jeffers and Tim Topple offer beautiful examples of this photographic genre.

Student Focus competition

Ruby Gaunt, Nottingham Trent University (from Leeds)

Stewart Main, Edinburgh Napier University (from Glasgow, based in Edinburgh)

Students around the world were asked to respond to a theme of “Memories” with a single image. Ruby Haunt, aged 22 from Leeds and currently at Nottingham Trent University, was shortlisted for her image “The Valley”. Taken in the yard outside of her flat, with her friend as the model, the photograph was created as part of an ongoing project exploring memories of childhood.

Stewart Main’s shortlisted image "Fort Badass", reflects upon childhood memories of owning a very private space. Born in 1981, Main is currently in his 3rd year of his BA (Hons) Photography at Edinburgh Napier University, and his work focuses on portraiture and creative still life.


All shortlisted photographers have been ranked in the top ten of their categories. The photographers will now compete to win their categories and the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards’ Photographer of the Year title. The Open category winners will be announced March 28, and the Professional category winners and overall Student Focus winner revealed at an awards ceremony in London on April 20. Prizes include the latest Sony digital imagery equipment, a trip to the awards ceremony in London and $30,000 US dollars in cash prizes, plus €30,000 for the university of the winning student.

Further commendations

The judges of the Sony World Photography Awards also commended 24 British photographers with 30 images in the awards’ Open competition. The photographers placed top 50 in the world for their images and their categories are:

  • Howard Ashton-Jones, Still Life
  • Will Bailey, Nature
  • Steve Baker, Travel
  • Sebastian Barros, Culture, Portraits & Travel
  • Neil Burnell, Enhanced
  • Leo Cackett, Enhanced & Motion
  • Julien Claxton, Travel
  • Wayne Crichlow, Street Photography
  • Peter Dench, Portraits
  • Ffiôn Fox, Motion
  • Christopher Gunson, Street Photography
  • Alex Inglis, Motion
  • Jack Kimber, Culture
  • Shahbaz Majeed, Nature
  • Matt Mawson, Motion
  • Duncan McNaught, Nature
  • Simon Painer, Motion
  • Denise Rimmer, Travel
  • Andrew Robertson, Enhanced & Nature
  • Christopher Roche, Culture
  • Richard Sharrocks, Still Life
  • Henley Spiers, Nature & Wildlife
  • Yu Kan Denise Tsang, Architecture
  • Andrew Wade, Still Life

Sony World Photography Awards

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, 2017 sees the 10th anniversary of the Sony World Photography Awards and a decade-long partnership with its headline sponsor, Sony.

Each year the awards recognize and reward the very best contemporary photography captured over the last year entered into any of the awards’ four competitions - Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus. With 49 nationalities represented, the 2017 shortlists reinforce the awards’ international appeal and unique ability to present the greatest images taken by photographers from all corners of the world on a truly global scale.

Each of the four competitions are judged anonymously by internationally acclaimed industry professionals, carefully selected by the World Photography Organisation. For full list of 2017 judges, please click here.

Shortlisted and commended images from across all competitions are available for publication at

For further information please contact:

Jill Cotton, Press Department, World Photography Organisation / +44 (0) 20 7886 3043 / 3049


227,596 images were entered into the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards across all competitions

oProfessional competition: 110,270 entries

oOpen competition: 105,692 entries

oYouth: 11,634 entries

Sony World Photography Awards forthcoming announcements

March 28, 2017 – Open and National Award winners announced

April 20, 2017 – Photographer of the Year plus Professional category winners and Open, Youth and Student Focus Photographers of the Year revealed at ceremony held in London

April 21 – May 7, 2017 – Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr - 2017 Exhibition at Somerset House, London

About World Photography Organisation The World Photography Organisation is a global platform for photography initiatives. Working across up to 180 countries, our aim is to raise the level of conversation around photography by celebrating the best imagery and photographers on the planet.We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with both individual photographers and our industry-leading partners around the world. We host a year-round portfolio of events including: the Sony World Photography Awards (the world's largest photography competition, marking its 10th anniversary in 2017), various local meetups/talks throughout the year, and PHOTOFAIRS, International Art Fairs Dedicated to Photography, with destinations in Shanghai and San Francisco.

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, imaging, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $72 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. Sony Global Web Site: