Posted on February 28, 2017

The shortlisted (top 10) and commended (top 50) photographers for all categories of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition, are announced today.  Photographers entered 227,596 images across the awards’ Professional, Open and Youth competitions – shining a spotlight on the medium of photography and the beauty of its art. Produced by the World Photography Organisation, 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the awards and a decade-long partnership with its headline sponsor, Sony.

Among the shortlisted photos this year were Saudi national Tasneem Alsultan’s photographic series “Saudi Tales of Love”; Egyptian Nader Saadallah’s photographic series “Quarries Men”; Iranian Danial Khodaie’s ‘Dust Invasion’ photo; Iranian Saeid Moridi’s ‘Behind the Glass’ portrait; Turkish Paşa İmrek’s ‘War and Migration’ series; Turkish Oktay Subaşi’s ‘Wild Horses’ photo; Turkish Gül Yıldız’s ‘Reflection’ photo; and Turkish Emrah Karakoç’s ‘Mourning Ceremony’ photo. Other photographers who will be commended were Nather AlAsyf, Open Culture category and Khalid Alsabt, Open Travel category, both from Saudi Arabia; Farah Abbas, Open Enhanced category and Mohamed Roushdy El dor, Open Portraits category, both from Egypt; Fahad Al-Enezi, Open Wildlife category from Kuwait; and F. Dilek Uyar, Travel category, Serhan Sevin, Street Photography category, Ozgur Donmaz, Street Photography, and Burak Şenbak, Culture category, all from Turkey.

The Sony World Photography Awards’ shortlist represents the world's finest contemporary photography captured over the last year, and displays a huge diversity of extraordinary images in terms of genres, styles and subject matter. Forty-nine countries are represented on the shortlist, reinforcing the awards’ international appeal and unique ability to present the greatest images taken by photographers from all corners of the world on a truly global scale.  Photographers from a further 11 countries are seen within the commended list.

The shortlisted photographers across the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions impressed the judges with solid narratives and strong visual language complementing the subject matters.  Within the shortlist are stunning architectural images and subtle landscapes alongside extraordinary series depicting the dominating world events of the last year.  Stand out subject matters include a touching insight into the domestic life of women in Saudi Arabia, men quarrying white limestones in Egypt, dust invasion that revealed huge environmental issue in Iran and an intimate series of a private battle with a rare medical condition.

Shortlist revealed for 2017 2 [].jpgKey shortlists facts and stats

  • Strong increase in entries on 2016 from the GCC including; Qatar (96%); UAE (93%); and Saudi Arabia (44%).
  • Youth competition saw a 56 % increase in entries on 2016.
  • Entries to the Open competition increased   11 % on 2016.
  • Professional competition saw a 13 % increase in the number of photographers entering their work.
  • 49 countries are represented on the shortlist, including Saudi Arabia, which was represented for the first time.

Commenting about this year's shortlist, Scott Gray, CEO, World Photography Organisation, notes: “This year, more than any other, the entries to the Sony World Photography Awards have shown great integrity and are characterized by their considered approach.  Beautiful works of photographic art, not snapshots, have been presented to the judges and I am delighted to see that our esteemed juries have chosen to reward the pure skill, artistic interpretation and thoughtfulness of the photographer, rather than simply the subject matter the photographer has captured.

He continues: “The Sony World Photography Awards has celebrated photographers and photography throughout its ten-year history, we now look forward to ensuring that photography has a global platform and is recognised as the dynamic, exciting and accessible medium it is.” The Sony World Photography Awards are judged anonymously by internationally acclaimed industry professionals, carefully selected by the World Photography Organisation.

The 2017 Professional competition was judged by Zelda Cheatle (Chair of the Judges), Curator (UK); Aida Muluneh, Founder/Director, Addis Foto Fest (Ethiopia); Allegra Cordero di Montezemolo, Curator & Head of Exhibitions, Centro de la Imagen (Mexico); Denis Curti, Curator and Journalist (Italy); Russ O'Connell, Picture Editor The Sunday Times Magazine (UK) and Françoise Callier, Program Director at Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops (France). The Open and Youth competitions were chaired by Damien Demolder, Photographer and Journalist (UK), and Student Focus was judged by Andrea Kurland, Editor-in-Chief of Huck (UK); Dan Rubin, Photographer & Artistic Director (UK) and Jennifer Shaw, Founder and Creative Director, PhotoNOLA (USA).

Commenting on the Open and Youth shortlists, Damien Demolder said: “It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to be exposed to such a volume of great work, 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. The Youth competition was a special delight to judge and I was touched on many occasions by the openness and fearless expression of the entries.” Student Focus judge Andrea Kurland adds: "This year's shortlist helps cement why awards like these are more important than ever. The work submitted was original, thoughtful and brave - a healthy reminder that talent will always win out and rise above the noise."

The shortlisted photographers now compete for the latest Sony digital imaging equipment and inclusion in the 2017 awards’ book plus cash prizes of $25,000 (USD) for the Photographer of the Year, $5,000 (USD) for the overall Open winner and €30,000 (Euros) of equipment for the university of the Student Focus winner.  All winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on April 20, 2017.

The winning, shortlisted and commended images will all be exhibited as part of the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr - 2017 Exhibition at Somerset House, London. The large-scale exhibition will open April 21 and will feature rarely seen work by Martin Parr, recipient of the awards’ Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize. The exhibition will run in London until May 7 and will then go on a worldwide tour. Exhibition tickets are available via

To view the commended photographers of the Open competition please go to All shortlisted and commended images are available to download for publication at