The World Photography Organisation is pleased to reveal the finalists and shortlisted photographers in the Professional competition for the Sony World Photography Awards 2022. Now in its 15th year, the Awards’ Professional competition rewards remarkable series of works both for technical skill and an original approach to contemporary subjects.
Kazakhstan renamed its capital Nur-Sultan in honour of its former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned in 2019 after holding power for three decades. Formerly known as Akmola (‘white tomb’) and then later Astana (‘the capital’), the city was first designated as the capital by Nazarbayev in 1997, replacing Almaty. Until then, it was only a remote corner of the former USSR, a region known for its icy climate and for hosting one of Stalin's notorious Gulags. Conceived by Nazarbayev, Nur-Sultan was designed to befit a country rich in minerals and oil. He recruited the talents of renowned architects such as Sir Norman Foster and over time constructed a city of concrete and glass, full of impressive futuristic buildings, huge shopping centres and enviable sports halls. What was once a forgotten and inhospitable territory is today a city of 800,000 inhabitants, as incredible and eccentric as any of its wealthier neighbours.
© Javier Arcenillas, Spain, Finalist, Professional, Architecture & Design,
2022 Sony World Photography Awards
The winner of Photographer of the Year 2022 is chosen from the Professional finalists and announced on 12 April. A selection of images by finalists and shortlisted photographers will be exhibited as part of the Sony World Photography Awards at Somerset House from 13 April-2 May 2022.
Over 340,000 images from 211 territories were submitted to the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 and over 156,000 were entered to the Professional competition – the highest number of entries in the history of the Awards.
The work of finalist and shortlisted photographers in the Professional competition was judged by: Rahaab Allana, Curator and Publisher, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Delhi; Ângela Ferreira, artist, independent photography curator and postdoc researcher at Escola de Belas Artes Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Brazil; Deborah Klochko, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, United States; Richmond Orlando Mensah, Founder and Creative Director, Manju Journal, Ghana; and Mike Trow, Independent Curator and Photo Editor, Chair of the Jury.
Commenting on behalf of the jury, Chair of the Jury, Mike Trow says: ‘The Sony World Photography Awards 2022 finalists and shortlist are as diverse, challenging and, I believe, as powerful as ever. The standard of work in the Professional competition surprised me in its depth and variety. At points we all may have felt that the ongoing Covid crisis meant that the world had shut down but when reviewing these projects it is clear nothing could be further from the truth. To have the chance to see so much work from across the world is both humbling and energising . The importance of photography in interpreting our world, bringing vital humanitarian, environmental and emotional issues to the fore whilst also covering categories as diverse as Sport, Creative and Landscape make it such an exciting competition. Looking at photographs, and challenging oneself to read them openly and honestly is a privilege and with such a thoughtful, academic and global jury on board, I hope we have succeeded in our mission to continue to highlight the vitality and power of photography.’
The overall winners in the Student, Youth, Open and Professional competitions of the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 will be announced on 12 April 2022. For more information about upcoming announcement and winners please visit