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Judging Panel Announced for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

- 7 years ago

The panel of judges for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards has been announced this morning by the World Photography Organisation

The photo-industry experts making up the juries are:

  • Professional competition jury:  Chair: Mike Trow, Picture Editor, British Vogue, UK/ Naomi Cass, Director, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Australia / Sue Davies OBE, Founder, The Photographers’ Gallery, UK / Gareth Harris, Chief Contributing Editor, The Art Newspaper, UK / Dewi Lewis, publisher, Dewi Lewis Publishing / Philip Tinari, Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), China
  • OpenYouth and National Awards competition: Chair, Zelda Cheatle, curator
  • Student FocusReiner Opoku, international art agent and Co-Founder Parley for the Oceans

Top row: Mike Trow, Sue Davies OBE, Philip Tinari, Dewi Lewis Bottom row: Gareth Harris, Naomi Cass, Zelda Cheatle, Reiner Opoku

For those, not familiar with the basics of the judging procedure within the Sony World Photography Awards, see below:

  • Professional category: Judged on a body of work.

Categories: Architecture / Contemporary Issues / Creative / Current Affairs & News / Discovery / Landscape / Natural World & Wildlife / Portraiture / Sport / Still Life

  • Open: Judged on a single shot.

Categories: Architecture / Culture / Enhanced / Motion / Landscape & Nature / Portraiture / Still Life / Street Photography / Travel / Wildlife.

  • Youth: For photographers aged 12-19, judged on a single image responding to the brief of “My Environment”.
  • National Awards: Rewarding the best single photograph taken by a local photographer in more than 50 countries.

Riyas Muhammed. I captured this photo during the flyboard performance show at Dubai Marina, UAE.

To mark the announcement, a selection of judges from the panel have offered advice to those thinking about submitting entries for the 2018 Awards:

Mike Trow, Chair, Professional competition:

“Pick your stories carefully, see how they fit with your belief structures.  Research the story, and other people’s work in the area, and then shoot it. Be ruthless in your editing and quality control, and be consistent in the presentation of images. And always get the opinion of others – how they see things is not necessarily how you see it and will help give objectivity to the sense of whether your pictures work or not.”

 Sue Davies OBE, Juror, Professional competition:

“Enter something you believe in and that you think we would appreciate and believe in too.”

Dewi Lewis, Juror, Professional competition:

“For me, the most important thing is that a photographer develops their own voice – that their individual qualities and personality comes through. This ultimately means finding a theme / a subject that they really believe in and that they really care about.”

 Gareth Harris, Juror, Professional competition:

“Don’t replicate anyone else’s style [too much].”

Zelda Cheatle, Chair, Open, Youth & National Awards competitions:

“Be sincere, think about the message within your work, keep it simple and work from the heart.”

F. Dilek Uyar. This photo was taken in a village called Hörmetçi in Kayseri, Turkey. In the village, there are people who take care of the horses and their needs. These horses are often used for riding purposes by men of the village. They sometimes catch “Yılkı horses” [a kind of wild horse] to domesticate.

Global recognition and grant opportunities for all winners

Now in its 11th year, the Sony World Photography Awards celebrates the finest contemporary photography from the past 12 months.  All competitions; Professional, Open, Youth, Student Focus and National Awards; are free to enter at

The Awards’ winning and shortlisted photographers can enjoy worldwide recognition and exposure, in addition to cash prizes, the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony and inclusion in global exhibitions.

New for 2018, award-winners can also secure a grant to fund future photographic projects form Sony.  Multiple grants of $7,000 [USD] will be awarded to selected winners of the Professional competition and $3,500 [USD] will be given to chosen shortlisted Student Focus photographers to work together on a new photographic commission set by Sony and the World Photography Organisation.

Scuba diving in Cenote Tajma-Ha, Yucatan, Mexico. The yellowish colour is obtained from the high levels of tannic acid in the water. I’m a PADI instructor and a certified full cave diver and these pictures were taken during a fun dive in the Cenotes.

Deadlines and announcements

The closing dates for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards are as follows:

  • December 4, 2017: Student Focus
  • January 4, 2018: Open, Youth and National Award competitions
  • January 11, 2018: Professional competition

The shortlist for all competitions of the Awards will be announced on February 27, 2018.

The Open and National Awards winners will be announced March 20, 2018.

The Photographer of the Year and the Professional category winners will be announced April 19, 2018.

See all 2018 category descriptions here.

About the author

Read Judging Panel Announced for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.