Culture

Sony World Photography Awards 2019: The Best Picture from Each Country

The Sony World Photography Awards is one of the world's biggest and most important photography contests. Produced by the World Photography Organization and now in their 12th year of partnership with Sony, the awards consist of four competitions in total: Professional (for a body of work), Open (for a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19 year olds). The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on April 17.

The 12th edition saw a record-breaking 326,997 submissions by photographers from 195 countries and territories, presenting some of the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year. The judges have sorted through these and have highlighted the work of photographers from 62 countries, promoting them on a global scale. With winners from Myanmar to Peru, Mexico to Vietnam, the National Awards offer a unique opportunity for photographers of all abilities to showcase their work globally. 

Newsweek presents the 62 images chosen to represent their countries (we have listed the countries in reverse alphabetical order). 

Vietnam Vietnam: Untitled by Khanh Phan. "Father and son dressed as ghosts at the festival of gongs in Tay Nguyen, Vietnam." © Khanh Phan, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

United-Kingdom United Kingdom: Underwater Gannets by Tracey Lund. "Whilst on a trip to Shetland, the biggest thing I wanted to do was photograph the gannets as they feed underwater. The photography takes place at sea around some of Shetland’s remotest headlands. Dead bait is used, using fish the Gannets would normally eat, locally sourced around Shetland. To be able to capture what goes on under the water was an unbelievable experience and one I will never forget." © Tracey Lund, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Romania United Arab Emirates: Endless Horizons by Paul-Vlad Epure. "Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia. The last frontier. Never before have I seen such a vast, wild and almost untouched territory." © Paul-Vlad Epure, 2019 Sony World Photography Award

Turkey Turkey: Artisan by Mehmet Aslan. "Soft pillow to ride on donkeys, made by a master." © Mehmet Aslan, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Thailand Thailand: Lady in Red by Patara Mesuwan. "Holi Festival in India." © Patara Mesuwan, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Taiwan Taiwan: Intense by Yung-sen Wu. "These Pacific species of salmon come to the west coast of Canada from the distant sea every autumn, and return to their birthplace in the river many miles inland." © Yung-sen Wu, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Switzerland Switzerland: The Apostle Paul by Samuel Monot. "Project inspired by the Old Masters such as Rembrandt." © Samuel Monot, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Sweden Sweden: Norrköping by Jonas Dahlström. "Norrköping, Sweden, November 2018." © Jonas Dahlström, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Sri-Lanka Sri Lanka: Country Road by Tharinda Jayawardana. "This small road in the countryside cuts through the forest creating two divisions with beautiful distinctive patterns. Captured using a drone. The ability to get these kinds of perspectives opens nature and travel photography to a whole new world." © Tharinda Jayawardana, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Spain Spain: Face to Face by Manuel Enrique González Carmona. "Picture taken in Saltee Islands, Ireland. By means of a double exposure in camera, a single common murre (uria aalge) has been shown in two different positions, creating a minimalist image showing mainly the white lines of the bird." © Manuel Enrique González Carmona, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

South-africa South Africa: Inner Township Blues, Mapaseka Tembe by Alfred Mahlangu. "Outdoor shoot in Rockville, Tsakane, in the far east rand of Johannesburg, using natural light." © Alfred Mahlangu, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Slovenia Slovenia: Agata K by Klemen Razinger. "This portrait is a part of series for a hairdresser team from Slovenia. Every year we create a body of work for their campaign where they illustrate the amazing colors and shapes they have designed. This year we decided to bring back the Renaissance period. When I studied that period for the shoot I was amazed by the strong expressions and emotions shown on their faces. My hometown is strongly connected with that period so it was great to work on a project like this." © Klemen Razinger, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Slovakia Slovakia: Golden Waves by Radoslav  Cernicky. "Photo taken in Moravské Toskánsko (Moravian Tuscany), a very picturesque region in the southern part of Moravia." © Radoslav  Cernicky, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Singapore Singapore: Crucifix Peddler by Albert Tan Chee Hiang Tan. © Albert Tan Chee Hiang Tan, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Serbia Serbia: Sisters by Ranko Djurovic. "Taken in Ivanovo village, Serbia." © Ranko Djurovic, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Australia Saudi Arabia: Riyadh Entrepreneurs by Nyree Cox. © Nyree Cox, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Russia Russia: Some Night by Sergey Shcherbakov. This picture was made from 8 photographs taken from the same angle, but at different focal lengths. Evening on one of the main streets in the Old Town of Gdansk. © Sergey Shcherbakov, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Romania-2 Romania: Vasile by Alex Robciuc. "His whole life lived here, in a traditional wooden house in the picturesque village of Breb, Maramures county, Romania. But he chose a different life than the other people from his community. He is strongly rooted in the ancestral Maramures lifestyle, but he has not given up on the benefits that the 21st century technology has to offer. Beside being a hardworking farmer, he is also a poet, writer and sometimes a journalist and for that he is surrounded by a laptop, a printer, camcorders and digital cameras." © Alex Robciuc, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Oman Qatar: Magical Door by Abdulla Al-Mushaifri. "Playing with light and shadows to create a a cube puzzle figure, with a small door in the center of the cube, making you wonder where it will take you if you open it. This image is real not photoshopped or manipulated. It relies only on the odd perspective." © Abdulla Al-Mushaifri, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Portugal Portugal: The Wedding Day by Rui Caria. © Rui Caria, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Poland Poland: Magic Moment by Piotr Leczkowski. "A magic moment backstage during rehearsal of the Polish National Ballet." © Piotr Leczkowski, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Philippines Philippines: Midnight Surf by Paul Franzchel De Mesa. "I happened to visit the best island in the Philippines, Siargao. One night, the skies opened up revealing the Milky Way. And there's nowhere else worthy of photographing the stars but from the island's most visited spot, Cloud 9." © Paul Franzchel De Mesa, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Peru Peru: Agony & Ecstasy by Pedro Jarque Krebs: "Wide open mouth of a male sea lion." © Pedro Jarque Krebs, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Norway Norway: Frozen Pond by Svein Nordrum. "Aerial view of a small frozen forest lake in Oslo, Norway." © Svein Nordrum, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

New-Zealand New Zealand: Amish Woman and Baby by Todd Henry. "An Amish woman takes cover from the rain with her baby in Central Pennsylvania, USA." © Todd Henry, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Netherlands Netherlands: Rubber Identity by Arwe Art. © Arwe Art, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Nepal Nepal: The Harvest by Dikpal Thapa. "I got stung by one of the largest bees in the world and I had already killed almost 7 or 8 bees by the time I noticed hunters around me calmly picking bees off their bodies and throwing them away. We were here for harvesting the wild honey from the hives of Himalayan bees. The intention was not to kill." © Dikpal Thapa, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Myanmar Myanmar: Dancing by Kyaw Win Hlaing. "This picture was taken near Taunggyi city in the northern Shan State, Myanmar. It shows a performance known as "Gingala"—a kind of dancing that imitates birds." © Kyaw Win Hlaing, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Mexico Mexico: Fire Landscape by Victor Medina Gorosave. "Heroic work by firefighters in Mexicali, Baja California, attending a gigantic fire of a recycling plant fire that took place on July 6, 2018." © Victor Medina Gorosave, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Malaysia Malaysia: Have You Been to a Chinese Opera? by Michael Chee Yen Chuan. "Taken at an opera stage in Cheok Beh Kieng Temple, Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia. Each performer has unique makeup." © Michael Chee Yen Chuan, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Lithumania Lithuania: The Face by Ruslan Bolgov. © Ruslan Bolgov, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Latvia Latvia: Kerlingarfjöll by Arvids Baranovs. "Exploring the otherworldly geothermal area of Kerlingarfjöll, Icelandic Highlands. I had my friend run forward and stand on the clay hill for scale. It was very loud due to numerous geysers spewing water, mud and smoke, so we communicated via radio." © Arvids Baranovs, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Kuwait Kuwait: The Beauty of the Gulf by Mohammad Mirza. "An aerial shot taken with a Mavic 2 Pro dune over the seaside of Kuwait city during the low tide." © Mohammad Mirza, 2019 Sony World Photography Award

Korea Korea (Republic of): Red Fishing Net Making by Master Na. "This photo shows a Vietnamese woman wearing a conical hat making red nets by hand in a traditional way. I took this photo in a fishing village near Nha Trang." © Master Na, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Japan Japan: Victory by Toshio Ishido. "Football World Cup of 2018: A sight of Shibuya just after the Japanese match finished. Honoring Japan who won the game, the crowd of people are filled with delight." © Toshio Ishido, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Italy Italy: The Hug by Nicola Vincenzo Rinaldi. "Only the feet escape the tight embrace." © Nicola Vincenzo Rinaldi, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Ireland Ireland: Diver Light by Laura O'Flynn. "I took this photo as I was drawn to how the rays of light illuminate the bubbles as they race to the surface. I also wanted to convey the contrast of the diver in the vast expanse of ocean. The shot was taken on a shore diving excursion off the north coast of Grand Cayman in September 2018. It was taken with a GoPro Hero 5." © Laura O'Flynn, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Indonesia Indonesia: Fish Eyes by Hardijanto Budyman. "A creative experiment of a conceptual portrait." © Hardijanto Budyman, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

India India: Untitled by Joydeep Mukherjee. "A street fire breathing performance by a local young boy." © Joydeep Mukherjee, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Hungary Hungary: Győr, 23 March 2018, 11:03:39 by Zoltán Nemes 'mettor'. "One of the emblematic memories of the old industry of Győr, the blasting of the last chimney of a former vegetable oil factory." © Zoltán Nemes 'mettor', 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Hong-Kong Hong Kong: Peony and Leaves by Rachel Yee Laam Lai. "This is a photograph of my resin artwork. Using self-made paint mixed with resin to capture colors in liquefaction and also in petrifaction. It looks like a abstract flower garden." © Rachel Yee Laam Lai, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Guatemala Guatemala (and Central American award): Patrono by Juan Herrera Zuluaga. "This picture was taken during Holy Week, the biggest Catholic festival. These men are called "Cucuruchos", and they dress in purple in order to celebrate Christ's death and resurrection." © Juan Herrera Zuluaga, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Greece Greece: The Hands by Filippos Alafakis. "A man has just dived from a trampoline into the sea at a crowded beach on Rhodes island." © Filippos Alafakis, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Germany Germany: Follow Us by Baerbel Brechtel. "It is a stormy day. There are 4 horses on two sites of a little creek. It seems the two horses in the foreground can't make up their minds whether to cross the water. One of the horses in the middleground, already on the other site of the creek, has turned towards the ones in the foreground as if it wanted to say: "Join us. We're going to the ruin. The walls will protect us against the storm." © Baerbel Brechtel, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

France France: Untitled by Greg Lecoeur. "For many years gray seals have been hunted by humans for their fur and fat, particularly in the 19th century, and they have disappeared from many areas of their normal range. They are currently protected by national and international regulations, but continue to suffer from unintentional catches, poaching and pollution. In the Farne Island archipelago, they are now protected and cohabit with humans, becoming one of the main tourist interests of this region." © Greg Lecoeur, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Finland Finland: Tourism in Helsinki by Heikki Kivijärvi. "This was shot after a blizzard at Helsinki cathedral. Usually this place is filled with tourists from all over the world but this time there was only few people and it made the whole scene look like it was naturally black and white." © Heikki Kivijärvi, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Estonia Estonia: Powerful Nature by Hendrik Mändla. "Photo taken on top of the Valahnukur mountain in Thorsmork, Iceland." © Hendrik Mändla, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Ecuador Ecuador: In Your Eyes by Anamaria Chediak. "This picture was taken in Cuba in February 2018 and shows Karina, a girl I had a chance to photograph in a traditional old house in La Habana." © Anamaria  Chediak, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Denmark © Inger Rønnenfelt, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Czech-Republic Czech Republic: Dreamers and Warriors by Martin Stranka. © Martin Stranka, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Croatia Croatia: Garage by Kozjak Boris. Taken in Barcs, Hungary, January 2018. © Kozjak Boris, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Colombia Colombia; The Dogs by Juan Camilo Arias. "I liked the light entering through the window and the atmosphere surrounding the room. Also there were two dogs sleeping on the couch, so I just took the picture. It was taken at a photographer's house, that also serves as a photography studio, in Envigado, Colombia." © Juan Camilo Arias, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

China-2 China: Shadow Puppetry by Pan Jianhua. "Shadow puppetry is an ancient folk art with a history of more than 2,000 years in China. The performers put on a puppet show for the local villagers in the courtyard of a stone house." © Pan Jianhua, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Chile Chile: Dance in the Subway of Santiago de Chile by Maria Paz Morales. "Photograph taken in the subway of Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile, October 2018." © Maria Paz Morales, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Canada Canada: Life is Crushing Me by Jasem Khlef. "A young man who has become homeless after his mother kicked him out into the street." © Jasem Khlef, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Cambodia Cambodia: Untitled by Ketodara Yin. © Ketodara Yin, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Bulgaria Bulgaria: The Salt of the Sea by Yavor Michev. "People bathing in healing salts near Bourgas, Bulgaria." © Yavor Michev, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Belgium Belgium: Canoe in the Dark by Jasper Lefevre. "Shot at Walchenklamm in Germany when it was raining in the middle of the night. My best friend that was helping with the lights even fell in the water. It was only two degrees outside so I gave him my vest, we experimented a lot and this is the result. Good times." © Jasper Lefevre, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Bangladesh Bangladesh: Family Destination by Md. Tofazzal Hossain. © Md. Tofazzal Hossain, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Austria Austria: Untitled by Simon Mag. art. Bauer. "Dismantling the old Anton Bruckner University in Linz, Austria." © Simon Mag. art. Bauer, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Australia2 Australia: Untitled by Marc Stapelberg. "Steven Walker, a local indigenous man from regional Australia who has primarily worked in landcare for the last 15 years." © Marc Stapelberg, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Argentina Argentina: Pilar 3 by Gisela Filc. "Pilar resembles Botticelli's women, with her reddish hair, white skin and melancholy look." © Gisela Filc, 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

Being recognized in the Open and National Awards competitions can change photographers’ lives. Successes from the past year include Pedro Jarque Krebs, a Peruvian photographer who was shortlisted for the 2018 Open competition’s Wildlife category and won Peru’s National Award. He has gone on to win further prestigious international awards and has been published by media worldwide.

All Open category and National Award winners receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony. In addition, the winning works will be published in the 2019 Awards’ book and shown at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London from April 18 to May 6, with works then going on to tour internationally to Italy, Germany and Japan.

See the World Photography Organization website for further details about the Sony World Photography Awards.  

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