40 UK photographers recognised in the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s most diverse photography awards

As a proud member of The World Photography Organisation, I am delighted to announce the judges of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards today honor the work of 40 British and UK based photographers by shortlisting and commending their photographs as the top 50 in the world in the Awards’ Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions.

Of the 81 nationalities represented in this year’s shortlist and commended lists, the UK has the highest number of shortlisted photographers across the competitions, and the third highest number of honored photographers in the shortlist and commended lists.

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the Sony World Photography Awards is the world’s most diverse photography competition. The 11th edition saw a record breaking 320,000 submissions by photographers from more than 200 countries and territories, presenting some of the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year. The international range of entries display a huge diversity of imagery in terms of genre, style and subject matter across the Awards’ 4 competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus.

In the Professional competition, 11 British photographers have been recognised for strong bodies of work between 5-10 images. The Open competition, which rewards the best single image across 10 categories, features 6 photographers on the shortlist. A further 18 photographers fro m across Britain have be en placed top 50 in the world (commended) across the 10 categories of the Open competition. The Youth competition shortlist features 3 British photographers . Lastly, the Student Focus competition, for those studying photography, features 2 British students and 1 Finnish student at UK universities.

Professional shortlist

In the Professional competition, Tim Fisher captures images of children at Appleby horse fair in Cumbria. Upon hearing of being shortlisted, Fisher said: “An accolade such as this Sony Award is hard-won, it’s the by-product of years of training and effort, and I am genuinely thrilled.” On his shortlisted series Yemen; Victims Of War , Giles Clarke said: “It’s always good to have important work recognisedI think this award is a critical vehicle to get more eyes on Yemen.” Margaret Mitchell offers a moving series which has the lives of her late sister’s children at its centre. On being shortlisted, Mitchell said: “For this work to be selected and recognised is a very emotional experience both on a personal and professional level. I don’t feel like it is just me being shortlisted but that I am carrying my late sister with me, acknowledging her and her family and their experiences”.

●  Giles Clarke, Current Affairs and News (New York)

●  Rick Findler, Sport (London)

●  Tim Fisher, Portraiture (Keswick and Baldock)

●  Paul Hamilton, Still Life (Sheerness)

●  Amanda Harman, Landscape (Bristol)

●  Margaret Mitchell, Portraiture (Glasgow)

●  Tom Oldham, Portraiture (London)

●  Rachael Talibart, Landscape (Weybridge)

●  Alys Tomlinson, Discovery (London)

●  Dan Welldon, Landscape (London)

●  Fiona Yaron-Field, Still Life (London)


“Get off yer’ horse, and drink yer’ milk, pilgrim” – Copyright: © Tim Fisher, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Fisher explains “Taken over two days in June 2017 in the quagmire that was the annual Appleby Horse Fair, Cumbria, NW England”.

Open shortlist

In the Open competition, James Monnington explores freediving in the Cenotes, while Thomas Dymond captures footballers at work and rest. Tom Way and James Gifford both capture the beauty of African elephant s. Upon being shortlisted, Tom Way said: “The Sony Awards is one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world and it is an honour to be awarded amongst so many talented artists.”

●  Will Clark, Wildlife (Somerset)

●  Nick Dolding, Portraiture (London)

●  Thomas Dymond, Portraiture (London)

●  James Monnington, Landscape and Nature and Wildlife (London)

●  John White, Street Photography (Brighton)

●  Tom Way, Wildlife (UK)


‘Cenote II’ Copyright: © James Monnington, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Monnington explains : “This is my friend and freediving instructor Julien Borde descending into a Cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Cenotes form when limestone caves collapse, revealing beneath them groundwater pools that are considered to be sacred gateways to the Mayan underworld “Xibalba”. There are thousands strewn across the Yucatan, each with its own unique shape, size, depth and colour. This was a challenging shot that required a long breath-hold so I could swim away from the light into the inky black cavern and wait for Julien to make his descent through the shards of light spilling in from above”


The judges also commended the images of 18 British photographers in the Awards’ Open competition, honouring them as the top 50 entries in their categories.

●  Joseph Anthony, Landscape and Nature (Kennedy Town, Hong Kong SAR)

●  Sam Auger-Forbes, Wildlife (Rochford)

●  Neil Burnell, Architecture (Brixham) – commended for 2 images in this category

●  Mei Catherall, Architecture (Bristol)

●  Poppy Cornell, Enhanced (UK)

●  Roger Evans, Motion ( Cheshire )

●  Ellie Victoria Gale, Enhanced (West Yorkshire)

●  James Gifford, Wildlife (Botswana)

●  Lucie Goodayle, Still Life (UK)

●  Sean Hayes, Portraiture (Belgium)

●  Nigel Hodson, Wildlife (Cardiff, Wales)

●  Phillip Jenkins, Street Photography (Glasgow)

●  Peter Li, Architecture (London)

●  Anwar Mamon, Wildlife (Bristol) – commended for 2 images in this category

●  Simon McCheung, Portraiture (London)

●  Mark Phillips, Culture (UK)

●  Georgia Spencer, Enhanced

●  Robert Walker, Architecture (Knutsford)


‘Maria’ Copyright: © Sean Hayes, United Kingdom, Commended, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Youth shortlist

This competition saw a diverse range of entries from 12-19 year old photographers who submitted one image on the theme of ‘Your environment’. 3 British students were shortlisted as below. Upon being shortlisted, Mia Wignall said: “T his award not only allows my work and style to be presented to

the world, but also encourages more awareness of anxiety. I am so proud of myself for getting this far and so thankful for the opportunity to participate.”

Name / Age upon entry:

●  Kalifa Etienne, age 18 (London)

●  Jonathan Walland, age 18 (Kent)

●  Mia Wignall, age 16 (Dorset)


Copyright: © Kalifa Etienne, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Youth, Your Environment (2018 Youth competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Etienne explains “The theme ‘Environment’ allowed me to visually express the coexistence of humans and nature. Whilst conceptually submerging my subject, I captured an unusual perspective for this theme, creating a sense of ambiguity and therefore manipulating a viewer’s voyeuristic tendency. My final compositions are realistic depictions of how the human form can imitate shapes, lines and forms apparent in nature, blurring the boundary between reality and surrealism. The use of a milk bath as a literal submerging technique expresses emotion as well as the ironic, metaphorical impact that the environment has on human life to the point of complete submersion – where in reality the human driven destruction of nature, fulfils the opposite. Conclusively, I feel that I have distorted a potential viewer’s perception on the relationship humans have with nature and successfully communicated this visually through my photography”

Student Focus shortlist

This year’s competition saw applications from universities worldwide. 10 shortlisted students will now go on to produce a further body of work, with the chance of winning €30,000 (Euros) of Sony digital imaging equipment for their university. 3 students (2 British, 1 Finnish) at UK universities were shortlisted. Upon being shortlisted, Izzy de Wattripont said: “I was very excited when I received a brief to make a series of images on the theme of plastic pollution, as it is an issue I feel passionate about. I wanted to make a series of portraits depicting young people who are making a difference in protecting the future of marine ecology. I am thrilled that that my pictures will be able to reach a wider audience, and I hope to inspire more people to take action in the movement to save our oceans.”

●  Emma Spencer, UK (North Warwickshire & Hinckley College)

●  Jasmine Farline, Finland (Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity Saint David)

●  Izzy de Wattripont, UK (University of West of England)

The work of the shortlisted and commended photographers will be exhibited at the Sony World Photography Awards 2018 Exhibition in London from April 20 – May 6.

‘Polluted’ Copyright: © Emma Spencer, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Student Focus, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Spencer explains “For this piece I decided to focus on the vast amount of rubbish we clutter our oceans with. The rubbish in this bath was collected from one half an hour walk along a beach in Wales. Putting this in our everyday waters is disgusting yet we expect our sea life to live among it. This image is made to evoke confusion and feelings of discomfort to make the viewer consider this major environmental issue”.

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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]