Monday, 7 May 2012

2012 Sony World Photography Awards

Today I read in the Guardian about the winning photographers from the Sony World Photographer Awards 2012. A selection of images can be viewed here. They are an impressive and highly varied set of images, which cover a wide variety of categories.

In terms of creative images, I particularly liked the image by Palmer + Pawel (a team consisting of Sebastian Palmer and Pawel Okol) who won the Sport category with a diptych of a Martial Artist after a fight (tight facial close-up with heavy lighting from above which emphasizes his bruises and cuts) paired with a bloodied sponge (again with heavy lighting from the side which shows the texture and intense red colour). I also note from looking at their website that they are interesting in still life, which I read a bit about it’s resurgence in a recent BJP which I might blog about soon. Their take is again in diptych form, pairing similar objects together with a unifiying theme between them, as with the martial artist in their winning image. I like their clean crisp images with simple lighting and uniform backgrounds. Many of their images are ‘how did they do that’ kind of images which make you look twice (for example their ‘sports science’ set). 
Sport Category winner. Taken from Guardian website for personal study purposes
Palmer + Pawel Sports Science. Taken for personal study purposes

I also thought the image by Fashion category winner; Peter Franck was great, entitled ‘Table stories’. It shows a top down view of a table with flower centerpiece in the foreground, and then a curled up woman (well her lower half) with stilettos and little black dress, seemingly lying on the floor. It is a totally unconventional ‘Fashion’ image, but that seems to be the direction some high-end fashion photography is going (from what I read in the BJP). After navigating to his website, I find that the unconventional is his thing, with many images being slightly crass, with bad lighting (though careful framing) with similar images presented there. The garish colours and tacky looking props are not what you would expect in a ‘fashion’ magazine and I do wonder if they are actually used in that way? The images look like they may have been taken with a polaroid camera, or perhaps have been edited in post processing to look that way. His website certainly contains a large number of images, so he is clearly a prolific and imaginative photographer (though I admit they are not to my taste particularly)!
Fashion category winner. Taken for personal study purposes

Franck, P (2012) Peter Franck [online] Available from [Accessed 7 May 2012) (2012) [online] Available from [Accessed 7 May 2012]

S Palmer and P Okol, (2012) Palmer + Pawel [online] Available from [Accessed 7 May 2012]

S O’Hagan, (2012) Sean O’Hagan On photography blog [online] Available from [Accessed 7 May 2012]

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