Sony World Photography Awards 2015: Photographic inspiration and style

From landscape to lifestyle, and architecture to travel, the calibre of photos on display was amazing

Richard Curtis,
Adobe Systems

With summer holidays on the horizon, I’ve been thinking about photographic projects and stories that I can create, that make use of my surroundings and allow me to perfect my craft. To help me get inspired, I headed down to the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest international photography competition for both amateur and professional photographers.

This year’s competition received a staggering 173,444 entries from 171 countries worldwide, so I couldn’t wait to take a look at the winning entries at Somerset House in London.

From landscape to lifestyle, and architecture to travel, the calibre of photos on display was amazing. Within the many, there were a few that stood out from the crowd for me:

Jürgen Schrepfer, GermanyOpen Competition: Architecture Shortlist at Sony World Photography Awards 2015

In this image, I like the way that the photographer has used the stairs as leading lines into the photograph. The lone figure on the ground floor reminds me of our own journey’s into creativity, which, although may be challenging at times, are always worth the wait, when we come across inspiring things along the way.

Tobias Theiler, Winner, Switzerland National Award, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

In this winning entry, I admire how the photographer has been able to take two plain objects and change the focus point to create rhythmic tension within the image.

Bomb by Anthony Crossfield, United Kingdom Open Competition: Winner, Enhanced at Sony World Photography Awards 2015

In this image, I think the photographer has produced an amazing piece of work which truly reflects what they set out to achieve. I like how they have questioned the fictional side of photography and created something that feels very natural yet impossible to recreate in the world in which we live.

Fighting, by Ako Salemi Mobile Phone Award: 3rd Place at Sony World Photography Awards 2015

This image really caught my attention. I love the opposing forces and dynamicness about this image. It also leaves us wondering about what’s actually happening, is this a piece of friendly banter or a local custom? What I feel is important about this image is that it’s powerful and captures everything about reactive creative photography. For me, the fact that this was taken with a mobile phone, emphasises that the best camera you have is the one that’s always with you.

With so many different photographic styles on show, it got me thinking about the importance of developing and establishing your own creative style in order to make your images really grab people’s attention. For example, legendary Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt, famed for his black and white images, has established a truly unique and instantly recognisable style that he’s become renowned for. Unsurprisingly, Erwitt was the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award at this year’s Sony World Photography Awards.

Paris, 1989 by Elliot Erwitt Outstanding Contribution to Photography at Sony World Photography Awards 2015

Did you head down to the exhibition? What were your favourite images? Let me know in the comments section below and stay tuned for my second post on how to develop your own photographic style and make your photographs look amazing.