Sony World Photography Open Competition

Deadline: 6 January 2014
Open to: amateur photographers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels
Prize: $5,000, Digital SLR camera equipment and flights to London, two-night accommodation in a hotel and VIP tickets to attend the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in April 2014


The Sony World Photography Awards is widely recognised as the leading global photographic awards programme in existence today. Launched in 2008, the awards are dedicated to supporting and cultivating photographic culture.  Through a range of annual competitions, they hope to discover new talent in the world of photography and moving image. Whether you are just starting out or a fully-fledged professional you can enter whichever competition you believe suit your level and experience.

The annual awards gala and ceremony takes place in London, welcoming an international attendance of industry leaders to celebrate the recognition of the best in contemporary photography and each year also pays tribute to one of our masters with the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award.

If you are an amateur photographer and a keen photography enthusiast, with an eye for capturing that perfect moment, this is the competition for you. The Open Competition offers 10 diverse categories for you to enter, ranging from Action to Travel. As a World Photography Organization Member (you can become a member HERE for free), you can enter up to three photographs for free, submitted into one category or spread across multiple categories.


  1. Architecture: Architecture offers rich, exotic and diverse photographic possibilities; from pencil sketches to 3D virtual models, basic domestic spaces to grand estates, dated office blocks to state of the art sports grounds. Capture buildings from different angles and perspectives to convey their vast scale, the beauty of their geometry, or a minute detail that might otherwise go unnoticed.
  2. Arts & Culture: Arts and Culture covers a broad range of subjects – from theater and musicals, gigs and dance, to film, literature and the visual arts (photography, video, installation). This category invites images of everything from passive consumers as well as performers, to those working behind the scenes, in productions from Bollywood to Broadway. Find your inspiration and explore the many delights of arts and culture to be found across our vast planet.
  3. Enhanced: Digitally enhancing your photographs has never been more accessible, with modern technology providing boundless prospects for stunning post-production effects to be achieved. Apply your technical skills and explore the possibilities of enhancing your photographs.
  4. Split Second: Capture the ultimate high-speed moment that will be gone in split second. Don’t just think sport for this category, think anything that moves and make sure to have your shutter speed adjusted. Capturing high-speed movement and split second action is tricky; it requires technical skill, patience and imagination to find the perfect moment that might otherwise go unnoticed.
  5. Low Light: Pick up your tripod, crank up your ISO settings and make the most of those challenging low light photographic opportunities. Even the most dimly lit scene has got the potential to produce a great photograph, but the trick is to experiment in order to capture that perfect low light moment.
  6. Nature & Wildlife: Venture off in to the great outdoors, do some exploration and put your skills to the test! Nature and Wildlife photography is regarded as being one of the more challenging fields of photography and refers to a wide range of photography taken outdoors and devoted to displaying natural elements such as wildlife, insects, plants, and close-ups of nature’s intricate patterns and textures.
  7. Panoramic: Often referred to as wide format photography, panoramic photography requires technique, patience, skill and the right tools. Some cameras enable you to create a panoramic in just one sweep, but alternatively, to create the ideal panoramic shot you must use special equipment and software to stitch your panoramic image together. Think cityscapes, landscapes and infinite views of stunning scenery to impress the judges in this tricky category.
  8. People: Go beyond the traditional photographic portrait to document one of the most photographed of subjects, people. Photographs of people in different contexts can offer diverse and interesting social, cultural and aesthetic qualities, more so perhaps than other subjects. Observe the world around you and find your inspiration amongst the billions of faces that make up the people of the world today.
  9. Smile: Smile and the world smiles with you. You’ve heard the saying, but capturing the joy in a natural smile at that perfect moment isn’t always easy. Search amongst the smiles around you for a photograph that communicates the valuable emotion of happiness.
  10. Travel: Awaken your curiosity and create exciting images of your adventures, whether close to home or in exotic far away lands. Capture the mood of a city, the tranquility of a countryside, the marvel of natural wonders, the intrigue of abandoned places or the action of cultural traditions and everyday life. Discover the world and share your passion for photography through your travels.


Photographers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels are invited to enter this competition where great imagery is everything, and imagination is the key ingredient.


Winner of the best overall photograph will receive:

  • Title of “Sony World Photography Awards Open Photographer of the Year”
  • $5,000
  • Winning image showcased in the London exhibition and the winners book
  • Global media coverage
  • Flights to London, 2 nights accommodation in a hotel and VIP tickets to attend the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in April 2014
  • Digital SLR camera equipment from Sony

Winners of each individual category will receive:

  • Title of “Sony World Photography Awards (category name) Winner”
  • Winning image showcased in the London exhibition and the winners book
  • International exposure on the WPO website
  • Global media coverage
  • Digital SLR camera equipment from Sony


Entries must be submitted by 11.59:59pm (GMT) on Monday 6 January 2014.

To enter, contestants must upload their image via the entry form HERE following the on-screen instructions carefully. Images must be taken in 2013 and entries should be based on the Categories outlined, information on which can be found on the Website. They should be no smaller than 800KB and no larger than 5MB. Images should be either JPEG or TIFF files. All images must be saved in the RGB colour model and be able to supply a high resolution image suitable for printing in exhibitions should the image be required.

For further information please visit the official website HERE.

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