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2022 Sony World Photography Awards: Nature, Wildlife an...

Maverick Life

PHOTOGRAPHY

2022 Sony World Photography Awards: Nature, Wildlife and Still Life

"On the Car Windshield". The fox jumped onto the windshield, observing my camera. I parked in the yard for the first time – it was unusual behaviour for Roxy, she jumped up right away. I wasn't prepared to photograph this scene, but I knew she would be coming back in an hour-and-a-half, I set the lights up and waited in a dark room. I was lucky she jumped up again and watched the camera click inside the car. Over eight months, I spent almost every night sitting at the window of my cottage in the middle of the forest – where wild animals live almost as neighbours of the villagers. The young vixen appears in the village after dusk, circles an hour and a half, and appears in a courtyard several times. I observed her movements and behaviour from the darkened room, and took the exposure remotely. I named her Roxy. I set the lights in advance, like in a studio, and waited for the protagonist to walk into the scenes. She always surprises me, showing a new side, and I have had to solve many technical, theoretical, and physical challenges in the process of photographing her. During lockdown, both sides were forced to adjust: man to the wilds of the forest, animals to the human environment. © Milan Radisics, Hungary, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards

Now in its 15th year, the Sony World Photography Awards returns to celebrate contemporary photography and the ways the arts reflect the world around us. Here is a selection of the images from the winners of this year's national awards in the Nature, Wildlife and Still Life categories.

“Observing Fox”. Roxy stares at the camera from the base of a moss-covered linden tree. The fox is hiding behind the tree observing my window and trying to decide whether it’s safe. When we first became acquainted, any sudden movement would make the fox rush to a corner of the courtyard to hide behind the bushes. Learning from this, I stayed behind the window to follow Roxy’s undisturbed behaviour. Over eight months, I spent almost every night sitting at the window of my cottage in the middle of the forest – where wild animals live almost as neighbours of the villagers. The young vixen appears in the village after dusk, circles an hour and a half, and appears in a courtyard several times. I observed her movements and behaviour from the darkened room, and took the exposure remotely. I named her Roxy. I set the lights in advance, like in a studio, and waited for the protagonist to walk into the scenes. She always surprises me, showing a new side, and I have had to solve many technical, theoretical, and physical challenges in the process of photographing her. During lockdown, both sides were forced to adjust: man to the wilds of the forest, animals to the human environment. © Milan Radisics, Hungary, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Hardness”. A green-eyed carpenter bee, holding a small blue crystal. A series of macro images that show the beauty of insects’ colours and shapes. © Amin Mezian, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“The Queen’s Cloak”. The backside of a moth, resembling a velvet royal cloak. A series of macro images that show the beauty of insects’ colours and shapes. © Amin Mezian, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Exotic appetite 5”. Pythons in boxes at the exotic animal fair in Vicenza, Italy, in November 2021. It’s common to think that ’wet markets’ only exist in Asian countries, but in Italy there are also fairs at which thousands of exotic animals are displayed and sold, and huge profits are made. At these fairs, exotic animals are considered collectibles. They’re often stressed, kept in plastic trays the same size as the animals they contain, and anyone can touch them. Among the stands it’s not uncommon to find animals who are solitary by nature, forced to live in groups, and animals with a strong social nature isolated in plastic boxes. There is also the question of potential risks to human health. © Federico Borella, Italy, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Exotic appetite 1”. Chameleons in plastic boxes, on display during an exotic animals trade fair in Vicenza, Italy, in November 2021. © Federico Borella, Italy, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Protection”. There are few sights as magical as watching whales while in the ocean with them. This mother protects her calf as they meander past. A few seconds and it’s over. Despite two thirds of the world being covered in seas and oceans, we know so little about this world. Our lack of understanding is partly driven by the remoteness and challenges in experiencing these environments. We are often content with near-shore sea life experiences: coral or rocks can bring some degree of reliable experience. But our deep oceans remain other worldly. I have been driven, and inspired, to photograph these places. To show the beauty that exists in the oceans and seas is our first step in connecting with wildlife that lives there. There are a plethora of conservation issues threatening the seas and oceans, but first we need to understand more: connect and then act. I hope this collection brings the beauty, the challenges of the oceans to the forefront of the viewer’s mind. I hope we do more. © Graeme Purdy, Northern Ireland, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Sea Lion Hunting 2”. Like an Olympic athlete performing a perfectly choreographed routine, the sea lion preys on these sardines. The sardines’ only hope is to dive into the deep dark blue but the sea lion knows this and pins them to the surface waiting for its moment to strike. © Graeme Purdy, Northern Ireland, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Hypericum Calycinum UVIVF.” Photographed with the ultraviolet radiation induced visible fluorescence photography (UVIVF) technique, which captures the fluorescence of flowers and plants hit by UV light – and makes visible what is generally invisible to the naked eye. I started experimenting with this technique in the darkness of my studio during lockdown. These images were created using ultraviolet induced visible fluorescence photography (UVIVF), a technique that captures the fluorescence of flowers and plants hit by UV light – and which makes visible what is generally invisible to the naked eye. Photographing in this way reveals vivid, incandescent colours – a chromatic world not detected by our eyes, but that some animals (such as bees) can perceive. I started experimenting with this technique in the darkness of my studio during the lockdown of March 2020, making it my main outlet in that equally dark period. My experimentation then continued throughout 2021, making improvements and customisations, and this series represents an excerpt. © Debora Lombardi, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Iris UVIVF”. © Debora Lombardi, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Fiesta”. The world of flowers is a magical, happy place. I shot this at Great Dixter House and Gardens, a centre of education and place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world. My art emerges from the need to reconnect with the beautiful nature surrounding us. As a human, I enjoy the wonders of discovery and constant advancement that define us as species, but I am also sad that we overlook the wonders that are so close to us. This feeling set me on a path of exploration that I continue to follow. These photographs document the tragic beauty of disruptions to nature happening before our eyes. The shots, taken in my local area, are meant to draw attention to the esoteric signs that nature gives us at every step. The images were shot using a combination of ambient light and flash, sometimes ND filters. I colour-graded them in Capture One and Lightroom. © Oana Baković, Romania, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Intergalactic”. What a show-off. Purple sensations are great flowers to watch and photograph any time, any place, but imagine my luck finding this infinite treasure at the back of the playground at Kew Gardens, in September 2021. © Oana Baković, Romania, Finalist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Sea Horse”. 125 images were stacked together to create this image using glycerine as the background medium, and with a backlit base LED light source. My pandemic project, Diaphonization, is the art of clearing and staining subjects – a process which can take many months. After ethically sourcing the dead subjects, I dehydrated them in 95% ethanol to harden the bones and cartilages inside. The process then involves using special stains such as alizarin red and alcian blue to stain the bones (red) and cartilages (blue). Later, the subjects were immersed in a soup of trypsin (natural enzyme), which digests most of the tissues and renders them transparent – leaving the stained bone and cartilage behind.. The process is painstakingly long and any minor mistake at any stage can fail the whole process. The final step is to place the subject in glycerine, which provides the right refractive index, taking multiple shots and stacking them to create a single image. © Arun Kuppuswamy Mohanraj, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Puffer Fish”. Tagifuku niphobles – a variety of puffer fish. © Arun Kuppuswamy Mohanraj, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Dead Female Loggerhead Turtle”. Angelo Ruiu, director of the Zooprophylactic Institute of Oristano, contemplates the body of a huge female loggerhead turtle, found dead at sea, before carrying out a necroscopy, to find out more about the cause of her death. These are huge losses for biodiversity, since it takes them 20 to 40 years to reach adulthood and start breeding. © Paola Lai, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Plastic – Full Sea #3”. Plastics found in a sea turtle’s intestines after necroscopy. Plastics, ghost fishing lines and nets represent the main threats. Sea turtles don’t distinguish food from other things, eating anything they find. Plastics get entangled in their guts, causing severe internal wounds which causes them to float on the sea’s surface, unable to dive anymore. It is a painful and slow death, even when rescued there is often nothing vets can do. © Paola Lai, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Silent Voice 6”. ​​I took these pictures in my kitchen in 2021, using only natural light. “Don’t treat food poorly.” “Leaving food uneaten is wasteful.” – These are words that are commonly spoken to children by adults at the dining table, the same that were spoken to this artist as a Japanese child. But are these words actually true? While Japan is among the lowest-ranked developed nations in terms of food self-sufficiency, it is also among the countries that produce the most food waste per person. I wanted to give a voice to the food that was sacrificed to become products that went uneaten and wasted in Japan – having elapsed past their expiration dates, or been discarded because they didn’t have the right colour or shape. This project involves placing toy eyes on the ‘subjects’ (items of food waste) to transform them into characters – an effort to visualise the lives that vanish in the process of discarding food. © Ichio Usui, Japan, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Silent Voice 1”. ​​I took these pictures in my kitchen in 2021, using only natural light. © Ichio Usui, Japan, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Synthetic Fabrics”. Synthetic fabrics make up one third of all microplastics found in the oceans. These fabrics degrade while in use and shed fibres during washing, ending up being flushed down into sewers. Wastewater treatment plants are not always capable of filtering these fibres out, so they end up in the sea. Synthetic fibres are extremely stable and they do not biodegrade. Moreover, microplastics can absorb a number of other harmful substances, thereby creating a dangerous cocktail of chemical compounds. The resulting microplastics become a permanent pollutant of the physical environment and are an unwelcome part of the food chain. We’re surrounded by manmade materials that are very durable. Some of them we only use once, but even materials that we use for many years can lose small particles and become a source of micro plastic pollution. City dust, which accounts for 24% of micro plastics in the oceans, comes from a variety of sources. Micro plastic particles and fibres originate from the abrasion of objects such as synthetic soles of footwear, clothes, car tyres, infrastructure and insulation materials, artificial turfs, packaging and other plastic materials that we use in our households. Micro plastics have been found in the most remote areas of the Baltic Sea, as well as in drinking water, but the real extent and consequences of the problem are unknown. © Reinis Hofmanis, Latvia, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Children’s Toy”. Ninety per cent of all toys are produced using plastic. By some estimates, around 40 tonnes of plastics are needed to produce one million US dollars of profit in the toy manufacturing industry. Most toys are made of a combination of various polymers which are treated with a number of substances to achieve the desired transparency, elasticity and other qualities. A common material for toy manufacturing is polyolefin (polyethylene, polypropylene). When these materials are disposed of, they do not decompose. Rather, they break down into smaller pieces, becoming a significant source of microplastic pollution. © Reinis Hofmanis, Latvia, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Moroccan Breakfast”. Fresh goats cheese, special Moroccan breads, olives, honey and (naturally) the unavoidable mint tea. I am a documentary and street photographer: unstaged was my thing… until confinement. Stuck home, I decided to investigate and create a series of playful, colourful pictures, with the food I enjoy. I wanted to play with the clichés that often appear when we are considering other countries’ food. Needless to say, I indulged myself with a few exquisite breakfasts after shooting. (When it comes to the food photography I shoot, I insist that no food is binned). © Céline Pannetier, France, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Smoked Salmon and Avocado Breakfast”. The first shot that inspired the following ones and the Breakfast series. Minimal composition, playing with colours. © Céline Pannetier, France, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Being”. This image represents my being immersed in motherhood. Produced in September 2021 at my house. The photos in this series were captured using only wood furniture, natural elements and window light. Nurturing another being isn’t just about feeding the body: it takes dedication, presence and affection. It’s a constant challenge – how can you give something of yourself that’s in scarce supply? The only way is to feed yourself first, but time doesn’t wait, and the others need me. This work is inspired by my maternal experience. In everyday life with children, I experiment with myself all the time. Often the taste is bitter. Sweetness suits childhood better, I know. I’m a loving mother who sometimes doesn’t reach the shelf, or doesn’t see the right pot. The shadow gets in the way. Obviously, motherhood is much more than fragments of shadow or light. But in this series I am interested in reflecting a little on frustrations, fears and misunderstandings. It’s an intimate dive, an opportunity for transformation. © Graziella Cerveira Nunes, Brazil, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“Nourish”. This image represents the emotional nourishment I want to provide for my children. It opens the Shadow series, produced in September 2021 at my house. The photos in this series were captured using only wood furniture, natural elements and window light. © Graziella Cerveira Nunes, Brazil, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“2”. Molten plastic, and a distorted spring. After working as a commercial photographer for years, I wanted to re-discover my own voice and visual style. Like learning in school, I wanted to start from the beginning and experiment with primary shapes in the hope that their universality will resemble the basic components of our reality, time and space, thus giving a foundation for my future visual identity. © Bence Kalmar, Hungary, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
“4”. A molten, deformed ball. © Bence Kalmar, Hungary, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards
Gallery
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