(Pocket-lint) - We've written before about the marvellous images submitted to the Sony World Photography Awards 2021.
Now, the judges have whittled the list down and announced the overall winners for this year's competition.
With Craig Easton from the UK being revealed as the overall winner receiving a $25,000 prize and a range of Sony's digital imaging kit too.
Below are some of the winners, we'd also highly recommend taking a look at some of the other photos in the fantastic galleries from this year.
Overall Winner (Craig Easton)
Craig Easton was chosen as the overall winner for this year's photography awards for his series of images known as Bank Top.
Bank Top was part of a project that came about as a response to reports that the town of Blackburn was seen as "the most segregated in Britain". Creatives were challenged to use their work to "create a robust and authentic representation of their communities."
Craig Easton then set about working with the local community to tell their stories through portraits.
"Bank Top, a collaboration with writer and academic Abdul Aziz Hafiz, examines the representation and misrepresentation of communities in northern England, and focuses on a tight-knit neighbourhood in Blackburn. Craig Easton notes that Blackburn has become synonymous with the use of words such as segregation (BBC Panorama) and integration (The Casey Review) by the media and policy makers – terms which he believes are too simplistic to explain the challenges faced by such neighbourhoods and towns. His aim with Bank Top is to confront what he sees as dominant discourses in the media which fail to acknowledge the historical legacy and social costs of industrial expansion and colonialism. This long-form collaboration uses the stories and experiences in Bank Top to address wider issues around social deprivation, housing, unemployment, immigration and representation, as well as the impact of past and present foreign policy."
Open Photographer of the Year (Tamary Kudita)
This image by Tamary Kudita unsurprisingly won the title of Open Photographer of the Year 2021.
The photo shows an unusual portrait of an African woman in a Victorian-style dress backdropped by wild surroundings.
"With this image, I wanted to portray a hybrid African-Victorian: my way of probing the stereotypical contextualisation of the black female body. I provide an alternative version of reality, where dualities fuse to create a new visual language. Taking a Victorian dress and merging it with traditional shona cooking utensils was my way of showing a multifaceted identity."
Architecture category winner (Tomas Vocelka)
This unusual image is the winner of 2021's Architecture & Design category. Tomas Vocelka's photo was originally selected as a finalist and now has been announced as the winner.
Like many of the other images in this article it shows just part of a thoroughly interesting story:
"The former Drnov military complex has been abandoned for 17 years when two friends, Martin Chlum and Michal Seba, bought the dilapidated facility in order to realise their dream of building a final resting place for pets. Explaining the reason for pursuing this project one of the owners reflects: ‘When my dog died, I found that there weren't any places where I could take him for cremation or burial’. With the help of Czech minimalist architect Petr Hajek they established what is now known as the Eternal Hunting Grounds, a space comprising a mourning hall, a crematorium and approximately 40 hectares of surrounding land where wildlife can thrive."
Creative category winner (Mark Hamilton Gruchy)
This image by Mark Hamilton Gruchy shows that not all the photos from the Sony World Photography Awards are utterly serious. The creative category is naturally full of intriguing images. but this one helped this photographer win this category.
Here NASA's images have been edited to fit into the creative category and tell an interesting story of how the Moon has barely changed since the first Moon landing.
"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."
The winner of Wildlife & Nature category seems to show the battle of man vs beast as a man is surrounded by hundreds of locusts. The collection of images taken by Luis Tato show the sheer scale of the locust invasion and the havoc they wreak.
"Desert locusts are the most destructive migratory pests in the world. Thriving in moist conditions in semi-arid to arid environments, billions of locusts have been feeding throughout East Africa, devouring everything in their path, and posing a huge threat to the food supply and livelihoods of millions of people. Farmers stand by as armies of ravenous insects eat their crops; meanwhile, herders watch the rangelands stripped bare before their livestock can get to them. Extreme rainfall events and severe weather anomalies have created ideal conditions for locust breeding and feeding. Swarms of desert locusts from the Arabian Peninsula began rampaging across East Africa in early 2020, devouring crop and vegetation where they landed. The crisis reached historic proportions, with 10 countries in the Greater Horn of Africa and Yemen experiencing infestations. Some areas of East Africa, such as Kenya, had not seen such severe desert locust outbreaks in more than 70 years. Covid-19 restrictions have significantly slowed efforts to fight the infestation, as crossing borders has become more difficult, creating delays and disrupting the supply chains of pesticides and products needed to prevent these pests from wiping out vegetation across the region and exposing millions of people to high levels of food insecurity."
Youth competition winner (Pubarun Basu)
Pubarun Basu's series of photos entitled No Escape From Reality, were selected as the winners for the Youth competition.
"I created this picture with the idea of representing the feeling of being trapped in a moment, or in one's own reality. I saw the curtains as the fabrics of the space-time continuum, which those two hands fail to break out of. The shadow cast by the parallel railings on to the fabric also gives the impression of a cage, in which the entity is trapped for eternity."
Student competition winner (Coenraad Heinz Torlag)
Coenraad Heinz Torlage won the student competition with this series of images called Young Farmers. The photos show young people striving for a better future, working a job they believe in because of a sense of responsibility.
"I was born on a farm in South Africa, and grew up with cattle, horses, donkeys and chickens, many of which I still own and love to this day. Farming is an intense occupation that requires passion and unwavering dedication. I set out to photograph young people who choose this life because, like me, they believe they have a responsibility. This sits heavily on all of our shoulders. South Africa is an unpredictable land with severe droughts, safety concerns and debates around land ownership. Despite these challenges, young farmers are working toward a fairer and more equitable future of sustainable food security. They are my peers, my friends and my family, and this is our time to feed the nation."
Professional competition Documentary Projects winner (Vito Fusco)
Striking images by Vito Fusco won the Professional competition, Documentary Projects category.
This professional photographer uses stunning photography skills to tell an interesting story about an otherwise innocent-looking flower:
"The pyrethrum is known as the ‘flower of death’ – a nickname that neatly describes this delicate daisy imbued with murderous power. The pyrethrum is cultivated mainly in the hills of Nakuru in Kenya and is the arch foe of the insect world. When insects encounter the substance they are stunned into paralysis and then die. Used for centuries as a natural insecticide, it was only in the mid-20th century that pyrethrum made an impact on the global pesticides market, earning an eminent position among natural insecticides. During the 1980s, the pyrethrum crisis began, instigated by the chemical synthesis of pyrethroids that led to the manufacturing of cheaper but non-organic products. Today, however, this special daisy is being grown once again on the clay hills of Nakuru at an altitude of over 1,500m. The Kenyan government has decided to liberalise the production of pyrethrum, opening it to private companies in an ambitious attempt to revive the sector and help local farmers meet the growing global demand for organic products. Once sown, the plant provides a yield approximately every 15 days, all year round."
In one of the photos a young woman is seen happily picking some flowers and no doubt Vito Fusco was equally pleased to be selected as a finalist for the documentary category.
Professional competition, Environment winner (Simone Tramonte)
Simone Tramonte's striking photos about the environment not only highlight sustainable changes that Iceland has made in the last year, but also the human effort and intrigue that has gone into it.
These images also won the award for the Professional competition, Environment in this year's Sony World Photography Awards.
"The coronavirus pandemic has led to the most severe economic downturn the world has seen in recent years. However, this crisis also presented countries with an unprecedented opportunity to shift towards sustainable living. Iceland is isolated and challenged by a harsh climate and following the financial crisis in 2008 has successfully transformed its economy through the use of renewable energy. In a few decades, the country moved away from fossil fuels to producing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. This transition nurtured an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship that grew profitable businesses aiming to make minimal impact on the environment. Thus Iceland has become a global leader in technologies that foster clean energy and emission reduction. This small nation presents many ways in which the global climate crisis can be tackled and is leading the transition to a net-zero sustainable future."
Professional competition, Landscape winner (Majid Hojjati)
This interesting photo of a lone tent in an empty desert helped Majid Hojjati win the award for the Professional competition, Landscape category.
Majid Hojjati took a collection of images named Silent Neighborhoods. These images saw this professional photographer selected as one of the finalists in the landscape category. The photos also tell a story of human life, gone but not forgotten:
"Everything in life is made up of impressions from the past and whatever befalls us today. The fabric which took one form yesterday takes on a new form now. All creatures still fight for their survival. Nature is the battlefield. The forces of the world are as they have ever been; the waves of the sea, storms, the earth itself. But ultimately it is humanity, marching everywhere, claiming everything, proving to the world that it will endure. We strove to live, to take and to control, before even knowing what to call ourselves. We think we will last forever so we hunt, build, wear clothes and consume, changing our ideas and our tools over the years but never changing our ways. We chased after more and more and something was always left behind. Homes were abandoned, chairs left empty and clothes unworn, even the buttons of a shirt were lost. We have raced to eternity, knowing life is fleeting, leaving the lights on behind us as if to say that once upon a time we were alive. Here are the silent neighbourhoods: those places free of the presence of humanity. The noise of their silence can be heard everywhere – but here in these places we are condemned to hear nothing."
Professional competition, Portfolio, Winner (Laura Pannack)
Laura Pannack won the portfolio category of the Professional competition with these striking images from her personal portfolio. The photographer's images are certainly interesting and varied too.
"These images are from a variety of personal projects. All of my work is driven by research and building a connection with those I photograph, while vulnerability and honesty are at the forefront of my process. Such collaborations enable my imagery to be playful and push the boundaries of portraiture, while ensuring a foundation of trust is consistent. I believe images need to captivate and evoke emotion, and so, with every frame I shoot, I consider the elements within the frame and outside it. Symbolism is an important reference for my choices of composition and content."
Professional competition, Sport, Winner (Anas Alkharboutli)
The winner of the sport category of the professional competition, this year was Anas Alkharboutli. This photographer's images tell an interesting story where in a war-torn country children are seen having fun with sport and taking a break from living in fear.
"In the Syrian village of Aljiina, near the city of Aleppo, Wasim Satot has opened a karate school for children. What makes it special is that girls and boys with and without disabilities are taught together. They’re aged between six and 15 years old. With his school, Satot wants to create a sense of community and overcome any traumas of war in the minds of the children."
Professional competition, Still Life winner (Peter Eleveld)
With a series of visually pleasing images, Peter Eleveld won this year's Still Life category. Simple objects photographed in magnificent ways:
"For this project I used ordinary objects, like glassware, fruits and flowers and applied the wet plate collodion technique to turn them into something extraordinary. Once I found my subject I started imagining how it will look printed. This particular process requires a lot of patience and careful planning of composition, lighting and exposure times. The hard work pays off when finally it all comes together in one unique, magical moment as you watch the photograph slowly develop in front of your eyes. This moment doesn’t happen all the time but when it does you’re left with one of a kind image (plate)."
The rest of the images included here are from the open category and show the work of other superb photographers from around the world.
Khanh Phan from Vietnam won the award for the travel category of the Open competition of the Sony World Photography Awards 2021, with this aerial image of a fish worker.
Hundreds of trays of fish can be seen drying in crates creating wonderful lines for the eye to enjoy.
"A woman dries trays of fish at Long Hai fish market in the Vung Tau province of Vietnam. Thousands of trays of scad are dried on rooftops and in yards by hundreds of workers. I came to Long Hai on a photo trip and was overwhelmed by the scale of the fishing village."
This image by F.Dilek Uyar sees a lone worker disinfecting an otherwise unoccupied train station. It was selected as the category winner for the street photography category. A simple, yet poignant image of someone doing some important work in these troubling times.
"During the coronavirus pandemic, the Health Affairs unit of Ankara Municipality sprays all public transportation, day and night."
Sometimes it's the simplest photos that deserve the most praise.
This one by Lyudmila Sabanina from the Russian Federation shows a young child sitting on a table while gazing into the distance, seemingly lost in contemplation. This image won the portraiture category.
"Another side of childhood: contemplation and calm."
The winner of the object category comes courtesy of Kata Zih and once again shows another photographer using imagery as a commentary about the pandemic.
A simple lone tailor’s mannequin speaks of stillness and loneliness. A familiar feeling for people in lockdown over the last few months.
A nicely simple yet satisfying view of a rabbit has been crowned the winner of the Natural World & Wildlife category. Cristo Pihlamäe from Estonia shared this amusing picture of a hare looking out into the field with its tongue sticking out and it was enough for the judges to deem a winner.
A wonderfully composed photo shows a lone woman jumping off a cliff as her friends watch. This photo by Marijo Maduna from Croatia was chosen as the winner for the motion category and it's easy to see why. Great framing, a sense of danger and a brilliant atmosphere too.
"A young girl shows off her skills, diving from a cliff on the island of Lokrum in Croatia. "
Dias de playa
The winner of the lifestyle category, this image by Mariano Belmar Torrecilla shows a place we'd probably all like to be now - at the beach in the summertime.
"Summer, Mediterranean Sea, Spain, Alicante, beach and morning walk: a way of life."
The Blue Window
Klaus Lenzen's photo called The Blue Window was chosen as the architecture winner. A weirdly framed image that seems to show stairs attached to nothing and stretching off to another world.
"The Blue Window, depicting a ramp of stairs at the Hyatt hotel in Düsseldorf ascending towards a window from which a view of clear blue skies is reflected. Seemingly floating in space, the stairs and window are framed in dark shadows that highlight the design while also adding an element of surrealism."