Grand Prize Winners Announced For 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Blue Room. John Moore, Current Affairs Photographer of the Year: 2015 ©John Moore/Getty Images, US, Winner, Current Affairs, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

The jury of the world’s largest photography competition recently announced American photographer John Moore as the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards’ L’Iris d’Or/ Professional Photographer of the Year, amongst other awardees.

Chosen from the winners of the award’s 13 pro categories, the winning work “Ebola Crisis Overwhelms Liberian Capital” is a hard-hitting series of images that cut to the heart of this human tragedy. Moore (a senior staff photographer and special correspondent for Getty Images) and the winning photographs have been credited for the early exposure of the scale of the Ebola epidemic in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

Moore is based in New York and has photographed in more than 70 countries. He is a past recipient of the Robert Capa Gold Medal, named Photographer of the Year by both Pictures of the Year International and the National Press Photographers Association and has been recognized by World Press Photo.

The photographer was presented his award along with a $25,000 cash prize and the latest Sony digital imaging equipment at a gala ceremony held in London attended by photography’s industry leaders.

The Sony World Photography Awards annually presents the world’s best contemporary photography across a range of genres. Free to enter and open to photographers of all abilities, it is an authoritative voice in the photographic world and attracts both emerging talent and established artists.

The international judging juries are comprised of industry experts and the competition offers exposure, credibility and recognition not only to its winners, but also those on its shortlist. The 2015 awards attracted record-breaking entries, with 173,444 images submitted from 171 countries, confirming its position as the world’s biggest photography competition.


The winners, plus the 2nd and 3rd placed photographers, of 13 Pro categories were also announced today. The winners are:

Architecture- Winner - Cosmin Bumbuț, Romania

2nd - Massimo Siragusa, Italy

3rd - Vadim Sivak, Ukraine

Arts & Culture- Winner - Aristide Economopoulos, United States

2nd - Alessandra Bello, Italy

3rd - Rich Wiles, United Kingdom (lives in Palestine)

Campaign- Winner - Sebastian Gil Miranda, France (lives in Argentina)

2nd - Jonathan Syer United Kingdom

3rd - Eduardo Leal, Portugal (lives in UK)

Conceptual- Rahul Talukder, Bangladesh

2nd - Daesung Lee, South Korea (lives in France)

3rd - Alejandro Almaraz, Argentina

•   Contemporary Issues - Scott Typaldos, Switzerland

•   2nd - Corentin Fohlen, France

3rd - Annalisa Natali Murri, Italy

Current Affairs- John Moore, United States

2nd - Valery Melnikov, Russia

3rd - Herman Verwey, South Africa

Landscape- Simon Norfolk, United Kingdom

2nd - Peng-Chun Yen, Taiwan

3rd - Giulio di Sturco, Italy

Lifestyle – Li Fan China

2nd - Dovile Dagiene, Lithuania

3rd - Ramil Gilvanov, Russia

People- Giovanni Troilo, Italy

2nd - Johan Bavman, Sweden

3rd - Liza Van der Stock, Belgium

Portraiture- Rubén Salgado Escudero, Spain (lives in Myanmar)

2nd - Dougie Wallace, United Kingdom

3rd - Jens Juul, Denmark

Sport - Riccardo Bononi, Italy

2nd - Irina Dainakova, Belarus

3rd - Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong, Singapore

Still Life- Donald Weber, Canada

2nd - Peter Franck, Germany

3rd - Mong-Yong Sim, Malaysia (lives in Taiwan)

Travel – Bernhard Lang, Germany

2nd – Nadia Dias, India

3rd – Yoko Naito, Japan


Amateur German photographer Armin Appel was named the overall Open Photographer of the Year and received $5,000 for his image “Schoolyard." Chosen from nearly 80,000 entries to the Open competition, the image was taken while Appel was paragliding and shows the vibrant landscape of Biberach an der Riss, Germany.

Schoolyard; Armin Appel, Open Photographer of the Year: 2015; ©Armin Appel, Germany, Winner, Open Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Renowned Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt was honored at the awards with the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize.

The photographer is noted worldwide for his candid and often ironic black and white images capturing everyday life. The prize recognises Erwitt as a modest master who approaches both his commercial and personal work with wry and witty visual brilliance.

Italy, Milan. 1933. ©Elliott Erwitt / MAGNUM PHOTOS, Italy, Milan. 1933. Elliott Erwitt, Age 5.



Nineteen-year-old student Yong Lin Tan from Malaysia was awarded the Youth Photographer of the Year title.  Open to photographers aged 19 and under and judged on a single shot, the atmospheric winning image was taken in the back alley of the photographer’s grandmother’s house in Kedah, Malaysia. 

Back Alley; Yong Lin Tan, Youth Photographer of the Year: 2015. ©Yong Lin Tan, Malaysia, Winner, Youth Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.



Russian photographer Svetlana Blagodareva from Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University beat nine other shortlisted students from around the world to collect the Student Photographer of the Year title. Her prize is Sony photography equipment for her university. The Student Focus program is one of the world’s largest international programs for photography students and works with 230 institutions across six continents.

On the way to the edge; Svetlana Blagodareva, Student Focus Photographer of the Year: 2015. ©Svetlana Blagodareva, Russia, Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University, winner, Student Focus, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.


The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the winning and selected shortlisted work. It is available from