The shortlist finalists have been announced for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, and damn the images are phenomenal. Like any competition, the photographs are expected to be both beautiful and expertly crafted. This competition, however, reaches a level of professionalism and quality that ranks among the best in the world. 

What is interesting, on a technical note, is the fact that a good deal of the finalists’ images are photographs taken by drone. Only a few years ago, a shot with a crane or helicopter was expensive and only reserved for artists with a liberal budget. Now, drones have made these professional shots accessible to everyone. That, however, has come with a price: the bird’s eye viewpoint, in its overabundance, has gone from a way to creatively capture a moment or unique perspective (whether in film or photography) to “oh, someone got a new drone for Christmas.” In other words, we see way too much of it.

Photograph by Manish Mamtani

But that is once again changing as photographers are learning to utilize the craft uniquely as they try to find a way to stand out amongst the flood of monotonous footage. The images from this competition reveal that. Drone photography competitions do exist and you can find amazing drone photography everywhere—this is already true. But the fact that it is being regarded as, and competing amongst, all other levels of professional photography creates an interesting route for photographers moving forward.

The competition itself goes much beyond drone photography. The photographs, revealing the true diversity of the world, as showcased by each photographer’s unique vision, is something to behold–the ability to learn and to think differently just from images reminds us that photography is more than just “taking pictures.” 

For those unaware of the competition, this is from the World Photography Organisation website:

“The Sony World Photography Awards celebrates its 11th anniversary this year, a decade-long partnership between Sony and the World Photography Organization, bringing you one of the world’s leading photography competitions. We aim to showcase the best photography in the world from the past year.”

Over 319,561 images are entered from photographers all around the world. The awards consist of four competitions:

  • Professional: 10 categories judging a body of work
  • Open: 10 categories, reward a single image
  • Youth: photographers ages 12 to 19—judged on a single image
  • Student: students studying photography

Photograph by Brendon Cremer

The winners for each competition will be revealed on April 19th. All of the competition’s photos can be seen under one roof at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. This exhibition will have over 600 Photographers on display, featuring the winning images, finalists, and commended images. The exhibition takes place from April 20th to May 6th in Somerset House, London.

Photograph by Pat Kay

You Can See Plenty More Photos HERE! at their website.

But since you are here:

Photograph by Balazs Gardi

Photograph by Daniel Biber

Photograph by Mikkel Beiter

Photograph by Wei Tao


Cover Photo by Leo Wieling