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The shortlists for the Youth and Student categories of the Sony World Photography Awards have just been announced. As should be expected, there are some cracking images from up-and-coming artists. Here are some of our favorites. 

The Youth World Photography Award

The Youth category of the Sony World Photography Award works a little differently from most competitions. It was free to enter and the winner will get some “top Sony digital imaging equipment”—presumably a mirrorless camera. 

The competition was open to photographers between the age of 12 and 19. Every month between June and December of last year, a theme was announced and young photographers could enter up to three images. A winner (as well as 10 runners up) was picked each month, and it’s those seven winners who make up the shortlist for the overall award.

June: Composition and Design

Elijah Baptiste, United States, Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition - Composition + Design, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards.
Elijah Baptiste, United States, Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition – Composition + Design, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards. © Elijah Baptiste

Elijah Baptiste from the USA won the Competition and Design category for their high-contrast, mysterious, and incredibly composed portrait.

July: Street Photography

Zinuo Shi, China Mainland, Monthy Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition - Street Photography, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Zinuo Shi, China Mainland, Monthy Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition – Street Photography, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards © Zinuo Shi

Zinuo Shi from China won the Street Photography category with this exceptional shot. When I first saw it, I assumed it had been composited. It’s great. 

August: Landscape

Emery Sanderson, Canada, Monthly Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition - Landscape, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Emery Sanderson, Canada, Monthly Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition – Landscape, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards © Emery Sanderson

Emery Sanderson from Canada won the Landscape category with their fantastic wintery shot. I love how the trail pulls my eyes into the scene. 

September: Culture and Travel

Cameron Borg, Australia, Monthly Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition - Culture _ Travel, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Cameron Borg, Australia, Monthly Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition – Culture _ Travel, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards © Cameron Borg

Cameron Borg from Australia won the Culture and Travel category with this (presumably drone) shot of a surfer catching a wave. It’s the color contrast that does it for me with this one. 

October: Wildlife and Nature

Rayhan Mundra
Rayhan Mundra, United States, Monthly Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition – Wildlife _ Nature, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards © Rayhan Mundra

Rayhan Mundra from the USA won the Wildlife and Nature category with this awesome action shot of a bear killing a fish—salmon, maybe? The circles of spray give it so much intensity and action. 

November: Portraiture

Tri Nguyen, Vietnam, Monthly Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition - Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Tri Nguyen, Vietnam, Monthly Winner, Youth competition, 2022 Youth competition – Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards © Tri Nguyen

Tri Nguyen from Vietnam won the Portraiture category with this super interesting shot. I love how the mirror adds another perspective. It’s almost like two portraits in one. 

December: Open Call

Benjamin Joel, United States, Winner, Youth competition, Youth competition - Open Call, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Benjamin Joel, United States, Winner, Youth competition, Youth competition – Open Call, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards © Benjamin Joel

Benjamin Joel from the USA won the Open Call category with his portrait of a fencer. I love how the slightly low angle and center framing give the subject such a sense of strength. 

The Student World Photography Award

Aidan Murgatroyd, South Africa, Finalist, Student competition, Connections, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Aidan Murgatroyd, South Africa, Finalist, Student competition, Connections, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards © Aidan Murgatroyd

Like the Youth award, the Student category of the Sony World Photography Award is a bit different. It’s open to students between the age of 18 and 30 who were studying for an accredited photography diploma, Bachelor of Arts, or Masters of Arts course. As well as personally winning some Sony camera gear, the overall winner will win some camera gear for their institution. 

Sergey Pronin, Russian Federation, Finalist, Student competition, Connections, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Sergey Pronin, Russian Federation, Finalist, Student competition, Connections, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards © Sergey Pronin

Given the somewhat select group eligible to enter, the brief was also a bit more specific. Students were asked to interpret the following in their own way:

Recently we’ve had to think differently about how we connect in more ways than we could have imagined. Around the globe we’ve embraced a modern evolution of communication, giving us a fresh perspective on connecting. It’s also been a time to reflect on making new relationships while sustaining the old ones as well as reconnecting with our surroundings. 

How do you connect with your surroundings or local environment? How do you create bonds with your family, friends, and colleagues? How do you nurture and develop these links to ensure they endure for years to come? 

Be it connecting virtually or in real life, show us in five to 10 images how you, or someone you document, interacts with the world. 

You can view each finalists’ gallery on the World Photography Organisation website.

The Short List

Oriel Naxhielly Martins, Argentina, Finalist, Student competition, Connections, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Oriel Naxhielly Martins, Argentina, Finalist, Student competition, Connections, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards © Oriel Naxhielly Martins

The ten photographers who made the shortlist are:

  • Angela Stoll, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Xu Han, Nanjing University of the Arts, China
  • Ezra Bohm, Nederlandse Acedemie voor Beeldcreatie, Netherlands
  • Dennis Mubanga Kabwe, Open Window University Zambia
  • Alexander Komenda, Aalto University, Finland
  • Chris Rosas Vargas, Parsons, United States
  • Oriel Naxhielly Martins, ENFO Escuela Nacional de Fotografía, Argentina
  • Aidan Murgatroyd, Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography, South Africa
  • Sergey Pronin, Docdocdoc, School of Modern Photography, Russian Federation
  • Sachi Deshmukh, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Italy

How to enter next year’s competition

Alexander Komenda, Canada, Finalist, Student competition, Connections, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Alexander Komenda, Canada, Finalist, Student competition, Connections, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards © Alexander Komenda

As well as the Youth and Student categories, the World Photography Awards also have Professional and Open categories, as well as regional awards based on entrants to those categories. The different categories all have different entrance requirements, briefs, and closing dates, so keep an eye on the World Photography Organization’s website for more information. 

If it’s the same as this year:

  • The Youth competition will run from July to December, 2022.
  • The Student competition will close in November, 2022.
  • The Professional competition will close in January, 2023. 
  • The Open competition will close in January, 2023. 

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