Maverick Life

2021 Sony World Photography Professional Competition: Finalists and shortlist (Part Five)

By Sony World Photography Awards 30 March 2021

Minimalistic still life with a cat and chamomile. So often in modern art, and particularly in photography, cats are relegated to a position of comedy. I couldn't help wondering why they shouldn’t instead be portrayed differently. Having worked in both classical and conceptual still life for a long time, I decided to try something unusual – allowing these beautiful animals to interact with objects, backgrounds and light. Yes, my colleagues were right about one thing – it's difficult. But I proved that it is possible. I feel I’ve also shown that cats are not only a source of amusement but that they can act as serious models, too. © Igor Kryukov, Russian Federation, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

The Sony World Photography Organisation recently announced the finalist and shortlisted photographers in the professional competition for 2021. Here is a selection of the images, in the still life and creative categories.

Still life

Mikado. During lockdown, I dug out an old photo album; it brought back childhood memories of foods that made me happy as a kid. In this series, I created minimalist compositions, with old kitchen implements I found in my grandmother’s barn. © Wesley Dombrecht, Belgium, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Pudding. © Wesley Dombrecht, Belgium, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
This series consists of minimalist portraits of extraordinary flora. Apparently out of this world, they serve as a reminder of the beauty that exists in nature’s strangeness and complexity. © Jan Prengel, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
© Jan Prengel, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Still life with the Sphinx and a fish in flight (DREAM). © Igor Kryukov, Russian Federation, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
BIG BLUE OYSTERS. Imagine for a moment that you are in a restaurant, having ordered your favorite seafood dish, and this is what you are served. Ocean pollution is one of the biggest killers of sea life, but for most people, it feels abstract and disconnected from our everyday lives. We use nature’s gifts and in return, we leave behind mountains of trash that end up in the ocean. The ocean that feeds us. With Menu for Tomorrow, I want to send out a reminder that environmental issues affect everyone and are much closer than we think. Each of us is responsible for how we treat the environment: today we litter the Earth with waste, but tomorrow it will be returned to us. What, then, will be our menu for tomorrow? © Maryna Masel, Ukraine, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
HOSOMAKI SUSHI. © Maryna Masel, Ukraine, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Creative

Moon Revisited-Conspirator. This body of work is made up of previously unprocessed images from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I have made my own images to express not only contemporary issues but also some that were relevant at the time of the Apollo missions. These are sourced from copyright-free materials that I have repurposed, processed and composited to create a conversation about the unchanging aspect of the Moon contrasted with the Earth, which continues to be a dynamic place where change cannot be prevented. With thanks to NASA and the JPL. © Mark Hamilton Gruchy, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Moon Revisited, BBQ. With thanks to NASA and the JPL. © Mark Hamilton Gruchy, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
I am interested in the idea of nature as a cultural construct. In my series, the real and the manipulated overlap, resulting in a new landscape. In the foreground is a monochrome scene, and at the rear is a digital ‘backstage’. These images deal with observations such as the perception of colour through its absence, or the flatness of paper through its fold. © Andrea Alkalay, Argentina, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
© Andrea Alkalay, Argentina, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
No Filter. The series is a collection of memories and features Ilka’s mother’s belongings such as her jewellery, her dog Biszko and an uncannily imitation of some of her habits and mannerisms. © Ilka & Franz, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Nylon Knee-Highs. Kippen Kaffee Kuchen (Fags Coffee Cake) is a personal project and an attempt for us to rediscover our creative spirit after the loss of our biggest fan – Ilka’s mother. ‘Kippen Kaffee Kuchen’ is how Ilka, in frustration, described her mother’s diet when she refused to make healthier choices and eat her dinner. The series is a collection of memories and features Ilka’s mother’s belongings such as her jewellery, her dog Biszko and an uncannily imitation of some of her habits and mannerisms. © Ilka & Franz, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
The women of the city of Juchitán – located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca – have for years fuelled a collective imagination that has placed them at the centre of many legends. In this city in southern Mexico, the women are known for their strength and independence, especially economically. It is an astonishing community that some even define as matriarchal. The women of Mexico’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec have achieved world renown for their colorful traditional dress, which was famously adopted by the artist Frida Kahlo. In July 2019, I went to Juchitán, where I met around 30 inhabitants and photographed them in their traditional outfits in an outdoor studio. I then framed each picture with traditional Mexican oil cloths, typical of the region. Their bright colours contrast with the softness of the portraits. © Delphine Blast, France, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
© Delphine Blast, France, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Blue. I started this series of self-portraits at the start of lockdown in Paris. I wanted to explore this surreal world I suddenly found myself in, which seemed to waver between fact and fiction. Each portrait blurs the lines between reality and surreality, drawing attention to the deeper meaning and symbolism that surrounds our daily lives. Each photo has taken me on a journey of exploration and becoming, and has provided not only a structure and a playground to my days in lockdown, but also a way of connecting with those on the other side. For this series I shot digitally, using a tripod, self-timer and props found at home, editing each image in a way that suits the concept. © Julia Keil, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Girl with the egg earring. © Julia Keil, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards.
Funeral Presence. This series is a visual investigation of ceremonial events that bring us together and diversions that threaten to tear us apart. Set against the backdrop of traditional rituals intended for human connection, these images comment on what it means to be present with one another in the context of our increasing addiction to stimulus fuelled by social media and consumerism. © Michelle Watt, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Girl with the Red Herring. © Michelle Watt, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Woman with a body in Washington Square. I studied photography in the faculty of fine arts at the University of Tehran, Iran. As Iranians, we are still forced to accept the beliefs that drove the Islamic Revolution of 1979. This includes the censorship of pictures of women’s bodies in photography books that were published between 1979 and 2009 – something that makes studying and understanding pictures much harder than it should be. So I decided to make some changes and show the reality that hides beneath the censorship, and that it isn’t wrong to look at a woman’s body. © Niloofar Mahmoudian, Iran, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards.
The Flamingo. © Niloofar Mahmoudian, Iran, Shortlist, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
Fish Fingers. Our work blurs the lines between disciplines, and we apply our aesthetic and humour to still life, portraiture and film. While our unmistakable use of colour is vibrant and bold, our conceptual undertones are often subtle and of child-like naivety. We draw our inspiration from pop culture, kitsch and surrealism, putting a playful spin on the ordinary. © Ilka & Franz, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Portfolio, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards
For Observer Magazine. © Ilka & Franz, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Portfolio, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards. DM/ ML
Gallery

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