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Twenty-one British photographers shortlisted for world’s biggest photography competition - the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Press release   •   Feb 23, 2016 00:01 GMT

  • Record number of entries – 230,103 images from 186 countries
  • 135% increase in entries from the United Kingdom
  • All images to be shown at Somerset House, London from 22 April – 8 May
  • Now competing to win their category and the Photographer of the year titles
  • Overall winners revealed 21st April
  • Images available for publication at

Twenty-one British photographers are today named on the shortlist of the world’s biggest photography competition, the Sony World Photography Awards – twelve photographers in the awards’ Professional competition, judged on a series of images, six in the Open competition, judged on a single shot, and three in the Youth competition, for photographers aged 19 and under.

All the shortlisted images will be shown at Somerset House, London as part of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition from 22nd April – 8th May 2016.

Entries to the awards from the UK were up over 135% on 2015 and the British photographers were selected from a record-breaking 230,103 entries from 186 countries to secure their place on the shortlist. The total number of entries received by the Sony World Photography Awards since its launch in 2007 has now surpassed 1 million images, reinforcing the awards’ position as one of the most respected and influential photography competitions in the world.

Selected by an expert panel of judges (full list here) the shortlisted photographers are:

Simon Brann Thorpe, Professional Conceptual

David Chancellor, Professional Campaign

Giles Clarke, Professional Campaign

Kate Davis, Professional Conceptual

Peter Dench, Professional Daily Life

Denise Felkin, Professional People

Julia Fullerton-Batten, Professional Staged

Lesley Hall, Open Travel

Thomas Hanks, Youth Portraits

Liz Hingley, Professional People

Anna Jolly, Youth Culture

Philip Joyce, Open Split Second

Max Knight, Professional Landscape

Jason Koxvold, Professional Current Affairs

Jack Lawson, Open Smile

Lucy Nicholson, Professional Environment

Lewis Outing, Open People

James Reeve, Professional Landscape

Grant Ritchie, Open Panoramic

Talia Rudofsky, Youth Portraits

Tino Solomon, Open Low Light

All the shortlisted photographers are now competing to win their category and the L'Iris d'Or Photographer of the Year and Open Photographer of the Year titles plus a share of the $30,000 (USD) grand prize, the winners will be announced at a Gala Ceremony in London 21st April. In addition to all being exhibited at Somerset House as part of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition in April and May, the images will also published in the 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.

There is a huge range of techniques and styles from the British photographers on the shortlist but all are characterised by their originality and fresh approach to their chosen category.

In the Professional competition international calls for action are highlighted British photographers in the Campaign and Environment categories – David Chancellor’sclose examination of wildlife trophy hunters is sparked by the death of the beloved Cecil the Lion in late July 2015 and Giles Clarke (based in the US) documents the severely disabled children in Bhopal, India, born to parents contaminated by a water supply wrecked by the 1984 Union Carbide gas tragedy in the area. Lucy Nicholson’s ‘California Drought From Above’ shows the effect of the four-year drought on California’s farming community.

Simon Brann Thorpe investigates the impact and psychological consequences of non-resolution and containment of the conflict in Western Sahara on real soldiers, posed in the series as toy soldiers, in the Conceptual category. Kate Davis also joins this category for ‘Logging on to Love’ an exploration of the development of sex robots and cybersex.

Jason Koxvold examines how war and surveillance became permanently intertwined with contemporary culture, the visual vernacular and political identity in the Current Affairs category while James Reeve has looked to the barren lands of Canada’s Northwest Territories for an abstract landscape study of frozen lake ice for Landscape. Another series in this category, by Max Knight tries to find beauty in a landscape marked by humanity.

Peter Dench, returning to the awards after success in 2010, is shortlisted in Daily Life for ‘The British Abroad’ which Dench describes as “a photo-portrait of one nation, slowly turning pink under a foreign sun.” Also recognised again is Julia Fullerton-Batten, last seen at the awards in 2015 and this year shortlisted for a unique series using the stories of 15 feral children as its basis and to then interpret and duplicate the feelings and actions of each feral child living their experience.

Social and cultural issues are examined by the two remaining Professional competition photographers – Liz Hingley goes behind the doors of the terraced houses in Smethwick, one of England’s most ethnically diverse towns in the People category; for the Staged category Denise Felkin asks ‘Childless or Childfree?’ in portraits of women who do not want to have children positioned as foetus’.

The Open competition sees the sole Scottish photographer on the list, Alex Ingle, capturing a joyous, fleeting moment between a grandfather and grandchild. Sport ties Lewis Outing and Philip Joyce in the People and Split Second categories with Outing on the amateur rugby pitch and Joyce shooting from the floor of a horse show-jumping course. Britain’s natural beauty is portrayed by Grant Ritchie’s panoramic image of Belhaven Bridge, near Dunbar, at high tide, and a serene black and white image is shortlisted for Lesley Hall in the Travel category and Jack Lawson in the Smile. Finally, Tino Solomon captures the Milky Way as it ascends over the Darvaza gas crater in the Karakom desert, Turkmenistan, for a picture he calls ‘The door to hell’.

Colourful portraits of people were shortlisted for the three British photographers in the Youth competition. The youngest photographer, Talia Rudofsky age 15, captured the ‘nouveau riche’ along La Croissette in Cannes, France; Anna Jolly travelled to St Lucia for her shot and University of Exeter student Thomas Hanks climbed to the peak of Barf in the Lake District for his.

The Sony World Photography Awards rewards and recognises the world’s best contemporary photography from the last year. Attracting photographers of all abilities, the awards incorporate four competitions: Professional; Open; Youth and Student. More information about the awards can be found at

Speaking about all the photographers who have been shortlisted this year Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards said: "We are extremely pleased with our jurors’ choices this year. Despite the increase in the number of photographers, and the amount of imagery that required judging, this year above all others we have witnessed a wealth of powerful imagery in the traditionally strong social documentary categories as well as the art and conceptual work. It is wonderful for the medium that it can offer such rich diversity."

  • Images from the shortlist are available to download at
  • If using on social media please #SWPA and tag @WorldPhotoOrg

For more information, please contact the Sony PR team at Hope&Glory PR on / 020 7566 9747


  • 230,103 images were entered in total to the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards:127,098 Professional entries; 95,541 Open entries and 7,464 Youth entries images
  • 173,444 images were entered to the 2015 awards
  • Total number of entries since launch in 2007: 1,097,012

Sony World Photography Awards forthcoming announcements

  • 29th March – Open and Youth category winners announced
  • 21st April – Professional/Open/Student/Youth Photographers of the Year announced plus Professional category winners

About World Photography Organisation
The World Photography Organisation is a home where photography is celebrated and the art of the photographer is recognised. Working with professional, enthusiast and student photographers alike, the World Photography Organisation provides a global platform across the photographic industry to not only to raise the level of conversation around the subject, but to increase awareness and appreciation of this artform. The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of industry and public events including: the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition and accompanying global exhibition; the World Photography Organisation Student Focus Programme, inspiring and working with the next generation of photographers, Photo Shanghai, Asia Pacific’s premier art fair dedicated to photography, and Photo San Francisco, America's new international art fair for contemporary photography. For more information please visit

About Sony Corporation
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 $68 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Sony Global Web Site: