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Flying Fishing Nets, 2018
Flying Fishing Nets, 2018 | © Yen Sin Wong, Malaysia, Shortlist, Open Travel and Winner, Malaysia National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
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These Photographs Have Just Been Revealed as the Best in the World at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 21 March 2018
The 11th edition of the Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA) have announced the winners of the Open competition and National Awards.

From a staggering 230,000 entries from around the world, the 10 winners of the annual photography award’s Open category have been revealed. From a diving athlete leaping from a platform in the new aquatic stadium in Gelora Bung Karno sports complex in Jakarta to the vista of a snow covered Mount Olstinden captured from the small island of Sakrisøy in the Lofoten Archipelago of Norway, the compelling winning imagery were chosen as the world’s very best single photographs in each of the 10 categories.

‘Judging the Open competition and National Awards allowed me to discover high calibre international work of great interest,’ said Zelda Cheatle, Chair of judges. ‘In choosing the winners, the images all had to have something special – whether it be composition, impact, skill, a portrayal of a unique event or informing in a new way. Above all else, each winner had to be an exceptional photograph.’

The winners of the National Awards were also announced with winning imagery hailing from over 60 countries, including Australia, Argentina, Cambodia, China, Kenya and Saudi Arabia.

As with previous years of the world’s largest photography competition, not only do the winning images reflect each photographers unique style, they capture the distinctive and individual character of places and people.

Emile
Emile | © Nick Dolding, United Kingdom, Winner, Open Portraiture and Winner, United Kingdom National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Many of the winners of the Open category also won the National Award for their country. Nick Dolding is one of those lucky photographers, winning both the Portraiture section of the Open category and the UK National Award for his image Emile (2017). The portrait was taken whilst the British advertising photographer was on location in London working on a commercial campaign inspired by The Royal Tenenbaums. ‘Emile’s styling was so fantastic I couldn’t resist shooting a portrait of him,’ said Dolding of his winning shot.

‘In this image I wanted to retain the humour but have him looking aloof and “hoity”. I’m delighted to have won such a prestigious award and it’s all the better that I achieved it with this image because Emile is one of my favourite shots from 2017. I actually have it as the home screen image on my phone. I never tire of picking up my camera and having my image chosen from so many entries across so many countries, really is the best incentive for me to carry on doing what I love.’

The winners of the Open category now all compete to be crowned Open Photographer of the Year, which will be announced with the Professional category winners in London on April 19 ahead of the SWPA exhibition opening at Somerset House.

To give you a feel of what you can expect from the exhibition, to be curated this year by Mike Trow, the former Picture Editor of British Vogue, here you can see all the Open category winners and a few of the phenomenal National Award winners.

Open Category Winners

Architecture: Andreas Pohl (German)

The Man and the Mysterious Tower
The Man and the Mysterious Tower | © Andreas Pohl, Germany, Winner, Open, Architecture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Culture: Panos Skordas (Greek)

Young Minotaur
Young Minotaur | © Panos Skordas, Greece, Winner, Open Culture, and Winner, Greece National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Enhanced: Klaus Lenzen (German)

Every Breath You Take
Every Breath You Take | © Klaus Lenzen, Germany, Winner, Open competition, Enhanced, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Landscape & Nature: Veselin Atanasov (Bulgarian)

Early Autumn
Early Autumn | © Veselin Atanasov, Winner, Open Landscape & Nature and Winner, Bulgaria National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Motion: Fajar Kristianto (Indonesian)

The Highest Platform
The Highest Platform | © Fajar Kristianto, Indonesia, Winner, Open Motion and Winner, Indonesia National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Still Life: Richard Frishman (American)

Sunday Buffet at Jerry Mikeska’s BBQ; Columbus, Texas, 2017
Sunday Buffet at Jerry Mikeska’s BBQ; Columbus, Texas, 2017 | © Richard Frishman, United States, Winner, Open Still Life and Winner, United States National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Street Photography: Manuel Armenis (German)

Old Friends
Old Friends | © Manuel Armenis, Germany, Winner, Open Street Photography and Winner, Germany National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Travel: Mikkel Beiter (Danish)

Shapes of Lofoten
Shapes of Lofoten | © Mikkel Beiter, Denmark, Winner, Open Travel and Denmark National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Wildlife: Justuna Zduńczyk (Polish)

An Unexpected Meeting
An Unexpected Meeting | © Justyna Zdunczyk, Poland, Winner, Open Wildlife and Winner, Poland National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Selection of National Award Winners

Yen Sin Wong (Malaysia)

In the Melaleuca Forest, 2017
In the Melaleuca Forest, 2017 | © Trung Pham Huy, Vietnam, Commended, Open Travel and Winner, Vietnam National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Junghye Lee (Republic of Korea)

Wish
Wish | © Junghye Lee, 2nd Place, South Korea National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.jpg

Sai Aung Main (Myanmar)

Novice-monk-to-be
Novice-monk-to-be | © Sai Aung Main, Winner, Myanmar National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Trung Pham Huy (Vietnam)

Flying Fishing Nets
Flying Fishing Nets | © Yen Sin Wong, Malaysia, Shortlist, Open Travel and Winner, Malaysia National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

We’ve got an exclusive 20% discount on exhibition tickets to offer our readers for the SWPA exhibition at Somerset House (April 20-May 6, 2018). Just use code CULTURE18 when you book tickets here.

2018 Sony World Photography Awards will be at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA from April 20 to May 6, 2018. Ticketed entry.

Want to see more art in London? Here are the best photography exhibitions to see this week.