Sony World Photography Awards 2022 winners cover plight of migrants and climate change

Winning works also include expansive landscape shots and wildlife photographs taken in a studio setting

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Adam Ferguson has been named Photographer of the Year at the Sony World Photography Awards.

The Scottish photographer was honoured for Migrantes, a series of black-and-white self-portraits of migrants in Mexico waiting to cross into the US. The series was made in collaboration with its subjects.

Ferguson prepared the equipment, while the individuals in the images took the photographs using a remote shutter release. The photographs also won in the Portraiture category.

"By giving his subjects the shutter release, Adam hands a certain power to the sitter to make that decision on how to be perceived. These photographs are beautiful, meaningful and kind," said Mike Trow, chairman of the competition.

Dorf by Croatian photographer Domagoj Burilovic was chosen the winner in the Architecture & Design category. Dorf, which is the German word for village, showcases historic houses in the Croatian region of Slavonia.

“It was inhabited by people from all nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire,” Burilovic said. "German colonists made the largest cultural impact through language, crafts and architecture. With the extinction of the village, the historic houses that became part of its cultural identity are the first to decay."

Japanese photographer Shunta Kimura’s Living in the Transition won in the Environment category.

The photo essay sheds light on Gabura Union, located on the south-western coast of Bangladesh, which Kimura said “is one of the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change, and many residents often suffer from its effects.”

Mellow Apocalypse, a collage of clustering visuals from open-source collections at art museums, image banks and scientific institutions, by Latvian artist and photographer Alnis Stakle, was chosen as the winner of the Creative prize.

"I am interested in the fate of canonised artistic, scientific and journalistic images and their potential to embody contemporary meanings,” Stakle said.

The Children of the Financial Collapse in Venezuela by Danish photographer Jan Grarup was the winner of the Documentary Projects category. The work depicts the tragic aftermath of the financial collapse in Venezuela, which Grarup said “has left many with no access to emergency aid, shelter, clean drinking water or food.”

“Children pay the highest price."

The Fox's Tale by Milan Radisics was named winner of the Wildlife & Nature category.

The Hungarian photographer spent almost every night for eight months sitting at the window of his cottage to photograph animals. "The young vixen appears in the village after dusk, circles an hour-and-a-half, and appears in a courtyard several times,” he said. "I set the lights in advance, like in a studio, and waited for the protagonist to walk into the scenes."

Meanwhile, Life On Earth by Italian photographer Lorenzo Poli was the winner of the Landscape category.

"Science and religions may all fall short in explaining the incredible miracle of life which, through millennials of evolution, has transformed barren land into a living planet,” Poli said. "There is an untamed world between sacred and magic, where the essence of life is safeguarded by silence, where the outer and the inner world coincide. This is what I am seeking to photograph."

In the Portfolio category, British photographer Hugh Fox was declared winner. The competition honoured a selection of images Fox had taken over the past few years. "For me, this series evokes the quiet, isolated, reflective moments I felt during the pandemic,” he said.

In the Still Life category, Haruna Ogata and Jean-Etienne Portail were named winners for Constellation.

Brazilian photographer Ricardo Teles was the Sports category's winner. His photo series showcases the Kuarup, a ritual of the Xingu indigenous people in Brazil to honour the dead.

“It is the farewell and closing of a mourning period,” he said. "The celebration takes place once a year in different villages, and lasts for three days. The highlight of this celebration is a competition of a martial art called Huka-huka, similar to the Greco-Roman wrestling fight, which has competitive symbolism that shows the strength and virility of the young men."

Scott Wilson was named Open Photographer of the Year. The Open competition of the Sony World Photography Awards honours single images. Wilson’s winning photograph Anger Management shows a wild mustang kicking dust in Colorado, US.

US photographer Tri Nguyen won Youth Photographer of the Year 2022 for Under The Moonlight. The Student Photographer of the Year award, meanwhile, was given to Ezra Bohm of the Nederlandse Academie voor Beeldcreatie. In a photo essay, Bohm featured members of tight-knit communities in the Netherlands who maintain a traditional way of life.

Updated: April 13, 2022, 11:20 AM