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The Selfie Project. Copyright: © Kristoffer Eliassen, Norway, 3rd place, Candid, Professional, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards
The Selfie Project. Copyright: © Kristoffer Eliassen, Norway, 3rd place, Candid, Professional, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Around The World In 17 Phenomenal Photographs

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 22 December 2016
To mark the end to this tumultous year, the World Photography Organisation have selected their favourite, previously unreleased images from the prestigious 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.

Showcasing the best photography from around the world, the annual prize has selected a range of phenomenal photographs from the professional category to mark the end of 2016. These photographs grapple with environmental issues, cultural diversity, social stigmas, political unrest and racial displacement with poignant and dramatic effect.

Tibetan Nomadic Culture Faces Challenges On The Tibetan Plateau, © Kevin Frayer, Canada, Winner, Professional People, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Tibetan Nomadic Culture Faces Challenges On The Tibetan Plateau | © Kevin Frayer, Canada, Winner, Professional People, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Kevin Frayer was named winner of the People category with his stunning photograph of a Tibetan nomad. Taken at the world’s highest and largest plateau, Frayer’s image considers the challenges nomads face, including resettlement by China’s government and rapid modernization. The Tibetan Plateau, often called ‘the Roof of the World,’ is the world’s highest and largest plateau.

 

Lucha Libre Extrema © Annick Donkers, Belgium, 3rd Place, Professional, Sport, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Lucha Libre Extrema | © Annick Donkers, Belgium, 3rd Place, Professional, Sport, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Annick Donkers took this photo whilst she was assisting a Hardcore Wrestling match, which are forbidden in Mexico City but still permitted outside the city. A local carwash in the village where El Santo, Mexico’s most famous wrestler, was born is turned into an arena for the extreme sport. 

POols © Stephan Zirwes, Germany, 3rd Place, Professional Architecture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Pools © Stephan Zirwes, Germany, 3rd Place, Professional Architecture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Stephan Zirwes draws our attention to the importance of water as a public resource and makes us consider how we waste it in recreational frivolities.

 

The Selfie Project. Copyright: © Kristoffer Eliassen, Norway, 3rd place, Candid, Professional, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

The Selfie Project. Copyright: © Kristoffer Eliassen, Norway, 3rd place, Candid, Professional, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

In The Selfie Project, Eliassen wanted to “explore how self portraiture for many people has become an obsession, and how presence in a self portrait situation is absent, or becomes a peculiar part of the ‘selfie’ act.”

 

China's Kazakh Minority Preserve Culture Through Eagle Hunting in Western China. © Kevin Frayer, Canada, Winner Profesional Environment, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

China’s Kazakh Minority Preserve Culture Through Eagle Hunting in Western China | © Kevin Frayer, Canada, Winner Profesional Environment, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Another stunning shot by Frayer that scooped him a winning title in the Environment category was taken at the Eagle Hunting Festival in the mountainous region of western China that borders Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia.

© Alejandro Beltran, Venezuela, 2nd Place, Professional Conceptual, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Beached | © Alejandro Beltran, Venezuela, 2nd Place, Professional Conceptual, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

By taking away the context of location, Beltran transforms a spontaneous shot of a sun worshipper into a statuesque parody.

 

© Andrew Burton, USA, 3rd Place, Professional Current Affairs, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Baltimore Uprising | © Andrew Burton, USA, 3rd Place, Professional Current Affairs, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Andrew Burton’s series explores the days after the funeral of Freddie Gray – a black, 25-year-old resident of Baltimore’s Gilmor Houses housing project who died in police custody.

In Search of the European Dream. © Angelos Tzortzinis, Greece, Winner, Professional, Current Affairs, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

In Search of the European Dream | © Angelos Tzortzinis, Greece, Winner, Professional, Current Affairs, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Thousands of Middle Eastern refugees and migrants make treacherous journeys across the Aegean sea to enter the European union. Angelos Tzortzinis’ photograph of a little girl highlights the hopes of starting a new life and the challenges that that entails.

 

Greetings From Mars. © Julien Mauve, France, Winner, Professional Conceptual, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Greetings From Mars | © Julien Mauve, France, Winner, Professional Conceptual, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Imitating stereotypical tourist poses in extreme landscapes, Julian Mauve’s comical shot about space exploration parodies such vain exploits. 

Trans Brasil. © Jetmir Idrizi, Kosovo, Winner, Professional Campaign, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Trans Brasil | © Jetmir Idrizi, Kosovo, Winner, Professional Campaign, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

From the perspective of documentary photography, Jetmir Idrizi’s ongoing Trans Brasil project looks at the hybrid nature of identity.

Land of Nothingness. © Maroesjka Lavigne, Belgium, Winner, Professional Landscape, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Land of Nothingness | © Maroesjka Lavigne, Belgium, Winner, Professional Landscape, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

The barren Namibia desert is the least densely populated place on earth. Maroesjka Lavigne had to be patient to get this exquisite symmetrical shot of a herd of giraffes.

 

Fire of Hatred. © Asghar Khamseh, Iran, Winner, Professional Contemporary Issues, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Fire of Hatred | © Asghar Khamseh, Iran, Winner, Professional Contemporary Issues, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

The horrendous act of acid throwing is inescapable in Asghar Khamseh’s moving photograph, which won fist place in the Contemporary Issues category. A disturbing and violent reality, these attacks are aimed at women and children due to intolerance, family conflicts, and revenge.

 

Empire of dust © Amelie Labourdette, France, Winner, Profressional, Architecture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Empire of dust | © Amelie Labourdette, France, Winner, Profressional, Architecture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Shot in the south of Italy, Amelie Labourdette’s Empire of Dust series focusing on incomplete architecture echoes the country’s financial crises.

Animals vs. Jewelry © Oliver Schwarzwald, Germany, 2nd Place, Professional Still Life, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Animals vs. Jewelry | © Oliver Schwarzwald, Germany, 2nd Place, Professional Still Life, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Oliver Schwarzwald’s satirical still life composition of bugs and bling was published in an editorial for German Stern magazine.

 

The Curse of Coal © Espen Rasmussen, Norway, Winner, Professional Daily Life,2016 Sony World Photography Awards

The Curse of Coal | © Espen Rasmussen, Norway, Winner, Professional Daily Life,2016 Sony World Photography Awards

West Virginia suffered mass redundancies in the coal industry with the implementation of new environmental regulations. Espen Rasmussen’s photograph captures the impact on towns like Beckley and Mullens, where lack of income means substance abuse and violence dominate struggling communities.

Joy for all ages ... © Andrea Rossato, Italy, 3rd Place, Professional Candid, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Joy for all ages … | © Andrea Rossato, Italy, 3rd Place, Professional Candid, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Andrea Rossato’s candid photograph proves you’re never too old to appreciate summertime pursuits.

Second Best. © Nikolai Linares, Denmark, Winner, Professional Sport, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Second Best | © Nikolai Linares, Denmark, Winner, Professional Sport, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

This striking image comes from a series of portraits Linares took of silver medal winners just after losing their final at the Zealand boxing Championships, in Copenhagen.


You have until January 10, 2017 to enter the ten professional categories of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. More details can be found here.