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Martin Parr, Italy, Sorrento, 2014 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, Italy, Sorrento, 2014 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
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These Are the Most Amazing Photographs from Around the World You'll See Today

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 22 December 2017
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the prestigious Sony World Photography Award (SWPA) exhibition showcases stunning images from around the globe by professional photographers and emerging talent.

Known as the largest photography competition in the world, SWPA celebrates the very best contemporary photography taken over the last year. The award exhibition will showcase the winning and shortlisted images from the four competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus.

Images covering a breadth of photographic genres from Architecture and Daily Life to Portraiture and Street Photography will be presented alongside a unique display of legendary documentary photographer Martin Parr, recipient of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Photography.

Jianguo Gong, Tai Chi, 2017 | © Jianguo Gong, China, 1st Place, Open, Culture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Jianguo Gong, ‘Tai Chi’, 2017 | © Jianguo Gong, China, 1st Place, Open, Culture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

In April, SWPA announced the winners of the Open categories. Selected from over 105,000 entries, the ten winning photographs are exceptional examples of how photography can capture an array of moments, from the extraordinary to the contemplative.

Tim Cornbill, Oculus, 2017 | © Tim Cornbill, United Kingdom, 1st Place, Open, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Tim Cornbill, ‘Oculus’, 2017 | © Tim Cornbill, United Kingdom, 1st Place, Open, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Tim Cornbill won the Architecture section with his photograph of a couple and cyclist against a ginormous concrete building in Berlin. Both the composition of the figures and the intensity of the architectures scale make for a stunning image that brilliantly captures a fleeting moment in the urban environment.

Camilo Diaz, Submerged field, 2017 | © Camilo Diaz, Colombia, 1st Place, Open, Motion, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Camilo Diaz, ‘Submerged Field’, 2017 | © Camilo Diaz, Colombia, 1st Place, Open, Motion, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

From Alessandra Meniconzi’s beautiful shot of flamingos in Walvia Bay, Namibia and Camilo Diaz‘s brilliant image of a crucial moment in an underwater rugby match to Constantinos Sofikitis’s striking black and white shot of a reveller on Halloween and Jianguo Gong’s stunning photograph of over 1300 people practising Tai-Chi in China, the Open section distills the different photographic trends being explored today.

Constantinos Sofikitis, Halloween Protagonists, 2017 | © Constantinos Sofikitis, Greece, 1st Place, Open, Street Photography, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Constantinos Sofikitis, ‘Halloween Protagonists’, 2017 | © Constantinos Sofikitis, Greece, 1st Place, Open, Street Photography, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Alessandra Meniconzi, Flamingo's Soul, 2017 | © Alessandra Meniconzi, Switzerland, 1st Place, Open, Wildlife, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Alessandra Meniconzi, ‘Flamingo’s Soul’, 2017 | © Alessandra Meniconzi, Switzerland, 1st Place, Open, Wildlife, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

‘It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to be exposed to such a volume of great work’, said Damien Demolder, Chair of the Open competition, of the winning Open images. ‘And a privilege too that I could share in the personal moments, the joys, tears, life and losses of photographers from all around the globe who recorded their experiences through their pictures.’ Each photographer now competes to be crowned Open Photographer of the year, with the overall winner being announced at the awards ceremony on April 20.

Ralph Gräf, Gasing Up At Roy's, 2017 | © Ralph Gräf, Germany, 1st Place, Open, Travel, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Ralph Gräf, ‘Gasing Up At Roy’s’, 2017 | © Ralph Gräf, Germany, 1st Place, Open, Travel, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Coinciding with awards exhibition at Somerset House in London, is a specially curated display of celebrated photographer Martin Parr. For over 40 years, Parr has been documenting the drama of the everyday. He has the ability to capture the most banal of activities and make them extraordinary. Including rarely seen black and white photographs from Parr’s early career and his more famous images, the exhibition celebrates the photographer’s unique approach to documentary photography.

Martin Parr, Italy, Sorrento, 2014 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, ‘Italy, Sorrento’, 2014 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery

‘Martin Parr’s work has transcended all the usual boundaries of photography, and shown that the medium is a hugely powerful means of communication,’ commented Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation.

Here is just a small selection of some of Parr’s photographic gems that will be on display.

Martin Parr, Italy, Venice, 2005 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, ‘Italy, Venice’, 2005 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, Italy, Pisa, The Leaning Tower of Pisa from 'Small World' series, 1990 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, ‘Italy, Pisa, The Leaning Tower of Pisa from ‘Small World” series, 1990 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, Hungary, Budapest, Szechenyi thermal baths, 1997 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, ‘Hungary, Budapest, Szechenyi thermal baths’, 1997 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, Ireland, County Sligo, Glencar, Abandoned Morris Minors, from 'A Fair Day' series, 1980-1983 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, ‘Ireland, County Sligo, Glencar, Abandoned Morris Minors’, from ‘A Fair Day’ series, 1980-1983 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, USA, Arizona, The Grand Canyon, 1994 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, ‘USA, Arizona, The Grand Canyon’, 1994 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, Greece, Athens, Acropolis from 'Small World' series, 1991 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery
Martin Parr, ‘Greece, Athens, Acropolis’ from ‘Small World’ series, 1991 | © Martin Parr, Magnum Photos, Rocket Gallery

We’ve got an exclusive 20% discount* on exhibition tickets to offer our readers for the exhibition at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA (April 21-May 7 2017). Just use code CULTURE20 when you book tickets here.

* Limited offer only – expires 20 April 11:45pm GMT

Sony World Photography Awards exhibition is currently at Willy Brandt Haus, Berlin until January 28, 2018.