Sony announces Photographer of the Year title and other winners in 2013 World Photography Awards

© Andrea Gjestvang, Norway, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards
Norwegian photographer Andrea Gjestvang has captured the coveted Photographer of the Year title in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards. The 32-year-old Gjestvang won out over 122,000 entries from 170 countries, capturing the grand prize of US$25,000 along with Sony photography gear, which were presented to her at a ceremony in London.

Here's how it was described in a news release about the Photographer of the Year award:

"The judges voted unanimously for Gjestvang’s powerful series of portraits of children and youths who survived the July 2011 massacre on the island of Utoeya, outside Oslo. Titled ‘One day in history’ the series captures the young survivors with immense sensitivity and honesty and are an enduring testament to the resolve of these young people in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.

In just a few years, Andrea Gjestvang has established herself as one of the world’s most exciting young photographers. Her work has been published in Newsweek, M Le Monde, Stern and D Republica, and exhibited worldwide. In 2010 she participated in the Joop Swart Masterclass, and in 2012 she was named one of PDN's 30 New and Emerging photographers to watch. Most recently she was awarded the Photo of the Year prize at the 2012 Norwegian Picture of the Year competition for her portrait of Utøya survivor Ylva Helen Schwenke. Gjestvang winning series ‘One Day in History’ was published as a book in Norway in 2012."

© Andrea Gjestvang, Norway, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

© Andrea Gjestvang, Norway, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

The professional category winners in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards were also announced along with several other notable prizes including Open Photographer of the Year, and the student winner. Last month, Sony announced the winners of the Open, Youth and 3D categories.

Galleries of all the winning images can be viewed at www.worldphoto.org. Some of those winners and finalists can also be seen at the bottom of this post

Here's the breakdown on the rest of the Sony World Photography Awards from the news release:

"Open Photographer of the Year - Hoang Hiep Nguyen, Vietnam
Also at the awards, a twenty-one year old amateur photographer from Hanoi, Vietnam, who incredibly only bought his first digital camera one year ago, was announced as the Open Photographer of the Year.

Hoang Hiep Nguyen was presented with a Sony α77 camera plus $5,000 (USD) for his winning image of a young girl in a storm. The photograph beat entries from around the world in a competition that sought to find the world’s single best image taken by an amateur photographer or photography enthusiast.

Presiding Chair of Judges for the Open competition, Damien Demolder, Editor of Amateur Photographer magazine in the UK, comments: “Nguyen's picture is the standout image of the Open competition with its intense romantic atmosphere and its sense of mystical fantasy. It is a delightful image that really sums up the amazing level of creativity and skill that today's amateur photographers are capable of, and a supremely worthy winner of this globally prestigious competition.”

Professional category winners and finalists
The winners plus the 2nd and 3rd placed photographers of the Professional competition were also revealed at the awards ceremony. All 15 Professional winners – from Australia to Peru - were flown to London to collect their award and received a Sony α99 camera.

The wining series of works showcase the very best in international contemporary photography, from stunning black and white portraits of the Matterhorn mountain to a witty set shot in the back of an Argentinian limousine to a wry look at the secret life of the people of North Korea. The winners are:
• Architecture - Fabrice Fouillet, France
• Arts and Culture - Myriam Meloni, Italy
• Campaign - Christian Åslund, Sweden
• Conceptual - Roman Pyatkovka, Ukraine
• Contemporary Issues - Valerio Bispuri, Italy
• Current Affairs - Ilya Pitalev, Russia
• Fashion - Klaus Thymann, Denmark
• Landscape - Nenad Saljic, Croatia
• Lifestyle - Alice Caputo, Italy
• Nature & Wildlife - Satoru Kondo, Japan
• People - Andrea Gjestvang, Norway
• Portraiture - Jens Juul, Denmark
• Sport - Adam Pretty, Australia
• Still Life - Vanessa Colareta, Peru
• Travel - Gali Tibbon, Israel

The full list of winning, 2nd and 3rd place photographers are in the notes to editors.

Outstanding Contribution to Photography – William Eggleston
Iconic American photographer William Eggleston was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize. Collected by Winston Eggleston on behalf of their father, the award was presented to William Eggleston for his influence on colour photography and, in turn, the influence he has on many of today’s most revered working photographers.

To mark the award, rarely-seen images from Eggleston are published in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards book and a further selection at on show at Somerset House from 26 April -12 May. The Outstanding Contribution Award has previously been given to William Klein, Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Marc Riboud and Phil Stern.

Student Focus Photographer of the Year - Natalia Wiernik, Poland
In a programme that now includes over 230 universities worldwide, the Student Focus award is the largest of its kind. Polish photographer Natalia Wiernik, who competed for the Student Focus Photographer of the Year title on behalf of her university, the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland, was announced as the winner and presented with €35,000 worth of Sony digital imaging equipment for her university.

Youth Photographer of the Year - Alecsandra Dragoi, Romania
A striking image of a New Year festival in Romania won nineteen year-old Alecsandra Dragoi the title of Youth Photographer of the Year. From Romania and currently at university in the UK, Dragoi image was chosen as the single best photograph taken by a photographer under the age of 20."

© Valerio Bispuri, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

© Saoru Kondo, Japan, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

© Ilya Pitalev, Russian Federation, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

© Christian Aslund, Sweden, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

© Nenad Saljic, Croatia, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

© Myria Meloni, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

© Klaus Thymann, Denmark, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards