Sony World Photography Awards 2021: The National Awards Winners

The Sony National National Awards supports photographers of all abilities worldwide and celebrates their achievements. Selected from entries to the Open competition, the National Award winners are given Sony digital imaging kit plus global and local exposure, the programme has rewarded more than 500 photographers and currently operates in 51 countries.

We show a selection of 64 images that won a Sony National Award. A total of 190,000 images were submitted by photographers from 63 countries for this year's. Sony World Photography Awards 2021.

The World Photography Organisation was established in 2007 by Founder and CEO Scott Gray. The purpose is to raise the level of conversation around photography worldwide, through a year-round programme of exhibitions, awards and competitions.

The mission is to support photographers around the world, to celebrate and show their work, as well as nurture the medium of photography on a global scale. 

The value lies in the integrity of our expertise, the years of experience and the strength of the relationships with both individual photographers as well as the industry-leading partners around the world.

The World Photography Organisation is a global platform for photography which activates initiatives, in over 50 countries each year, that help support artists working in the medium of photography. From international exhibition tours, online competitions, and prestigious awards to collaborative projects and high-end art fairs, we embrace photography in all its forms, and are dedicated to the success of our community of artists and photographers.

Cover Photo: Copyright: © Esteban Toro, Colombia, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards. „Mundari Kids“: Mundari is one of the last nomadic tribes that have been away from the modern world. Nevertheless, they have access to different kind of weapons that come from the city. They use their weapons to protect their cattle, who mean their entire life among their relatives and friends.

Argentina

Luciano

Dante Mogni

2021

A man rests naked in a Buenos Aires hotel room, serving his quarantine. They were difficult weeks of loss, but he was in such a state of peace... as if it were all just a bad dream.

Copyright: © Dante Mogni, Argentina, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Argentina

Urquiza Railway Line

Melisa Reymundi

2021

March, 2020. Urquiza Railway Line, Buenos Aires, Argentina. You may find it tedious and almost impossible to travel during rush hours, because of the crowd and how everyone desires to reach their destination. The daily routine could lead us to resent the train which comes along with us every day. Thus, an afternoon at the train station, I kept waiting for an empty train to arrive. I stood in the middle of a wagon and I rendered the train the relevance it deserves. My goal was to capture it from inside, from the an aesthetic point of view, showing off the variation of its colors and its characteristic features, those which make it unique, but they are not always appreciated.

Copyright: © Melisa Reymundi, Argentina, 2nd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Argentina

New Reality

Sebastian Carreras

2021

2020 found us locked in a crossroads, the loss of freedom at the hand of a diminishing enemy.

Copyright: © Sebastian Carreras, Argentina, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Austria

Horse Against Black Background

Michaela Steiner

2021

I photographed this beautiful horse in the entrance to its stable, using only natural light and a black background.

Copyright: © Michaela Steiner, Austria, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Belgium

Frozen Forest

Mathis Vandermeeren

2021

This picture was taken in the Hautes Fagnes region of Belgium in December 2020. I thought the light and the freshly fallen snow made the forest look very mysterious.

Copyright: © Mathis Vandermeeren, Belgium, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Bulgaria

Extraterrestrial Earth - Mars

Eniz Karadzha

2021

This dam is usually full, but had dried up. Scenes such as this show the effects of climate change are becoming more obvious. After a couple of weeks spent studying the angle of the sun, not to mention a bit of luck, I managed to take the image I’d hoped for.

Copyright: © Eniz Karadzha, Bulgaria, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Cambodia

I Miss You

Sean Channal

2021

This used to be the place where an audience would relieve their stresses and share their excitement, but since the Covid-19 outbreak, everything has changed. The theatre is now silent and lonely. One day, I hope, things will return to normality.

Copyright: © Sean Channal, Cambodia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Chile

Sanhattan

Ramón Rodriguez

2021

Santiago’s financial district is known as Sanhattan – a term coined in 1995 by the editor of newspaper La Nación, when he compared the high-rise developments in the neighbourhood of El Golf with those of Manhattan. Over time, the term made its way into common parlance.

Copyright: © Ramón Rodriguez, Chile, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Chile

Coqueta

Francisca Roura

Dancer

Copyright: © Francisca Roura, Chile, 2nd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Chile

Plátano

Esteban Del Solar

2021

A simple banana with beautifull dots over some paper. I took this picture because its a beautifull fruit and we don't really appreciate how amazing something as simple as a banana can be.

Copyright: © Esteban Del Solar, Chile, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Colombia

Untitled

Luis Salazar

2021

Esta fotografía fue realizada con técnica bokeh, un esquema de iluminación butterfly, quise representar la inclusión mostrando un ser androgino, resaltando la pureza y suavidad de su cuerpo, fue capturada en un balcón con vista a la ciudad, a las 19:00 hrs.

Copyright: © Luis Salazar, Colombia, 2nd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Colombia

Mundari Kids

Esteban Toro

2021

Mundari is one of the last nomadic tribes that have been away from the modern world. Nevertheless, they have access to different kind of weapons that come from the city. They use their weapons to protect their cattle, who mean their entire life among their relatives and friends.

Copyright: © Esteban Toro, Colombia, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Croatia

Driving Through the Ice Forest

Tomislav Veic

2021

After the first snowfall towards the end of 2020, I took my camera to the largest old-growth forest in Croatia. This road runs through it.

Copyright: © Tomislav Veic, Croatia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Denmark

The Dance

Sussi Charlotte Alminde

2021

I will not have you without the darkness that hides within you. I will not let you have me without the madness that makes me. If our demons cannot dance, neither can we. Poem by Nikita Gill.

Copyright: © Sussi Charlotte Alminde, Denmark, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Ecuador

Luna Rucu

Oscar Calderón

2021

El amanecer en el Rucu Pichincha.

Copyright: © Oscar Calderón, Ecuador, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Ecuador

Sangay's Active Volcano

Roberto Valdez

2021

Photo taken on January 2020, from Macas city on Ecuador. Macas is a cloudy city with almost everyday rain. Ill wait almost a year for a good weather to take this picture and see the volcanic activity.

Copyright: © Roberto Valdez, Ecuador, 2nd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Ecuador

Cotopaxi Volcano

Miguel Saenz de Viteri

2021

Milky way over Cotopaxi Volcano. I tooked in September 21, 2020. I was trying for a hole year to take this picture, because for us, Ecuadorians, Cotopaxi it´s a very important place.

Copyright: © Miguel Saenz de Viteri, Ecuador, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Egypt

The Mevlevi Dancer

Abdelhamid Fawzy Tahoun

2021

Tanoura is an Egyptian dance, performed in circular motions, which has its spiritual origins in Sufism. Its performers believe that all movement in the universe starts and ends at the same point, so this is reflected in the dance, with the continuous spinning making them appear like planets moving in space.

Copyright: © Abdelhamid Fawzy Tahoun, Egypt, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Finland

Night

Matti Virtanen

2021

I may not have managed to capture any meteors during the Perseids of 2020, but I did get this night shot, which is full of wonder. The exposure was 30 seconds long, and shot at ISO 4000, using a tripod.

Copyright: © Matti Virtanen, Finland, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

France

Post-Lockdown Cigarette, in the Cold Rain of June

Lauriane Bieber

2021

This photograph is a story of first times. The first time I shot my dear friend Léo, that I only had met once in my life about ten years ago. The first time I went outside after three months. The first friend I met after the lockdown. The first time I worked with a model so brave and so dedicated to art and creation. The first time I felt how much photography was important to me.

Copyright: © Lauriane Bieber, France, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Germany

Moving Portrait

Astrid Susanna Schulz

2021

This image is part of my series, ‘Moving Portraits’, in which I experiment with long exposures of between one and two seconds, and flash. I love these surreal portraits that capture different emotions. They are lightly edited in post-production.

Copyright: © Astrid Susanna Schulz, Germany, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Hungary

Street Workout

Krisztina Kovács

2021

A well deserved rest on a colourful street workout field after a couple of activ hours taken from the air.

Copyright: © Krisztina Kovács, Hungary, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Iceland

Vestrahorn

Viktor Einar Vilhelmsson

2021

Vestrahorn is a beautiful mountain that appears almost to rise out of the sea. The scenery that blends in with it makes an impressive sight.

Copyright: © Viktor Einar Vilhelmsson, Iceland, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Indonesia

Poems For Sisters

Hardijanto Budyman

2021

You are angels in disguise
Side by side or miles apart
Sisters will always be connected by the heart

Copyright: © Hardijanto Budyman, Indonesia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Italy

Fox Portrait

Davide Giannetti

2021

Following a hard rainfall in the National Park of Abruzzo, I spotted this wild red fox looking for food.

Copyright: © Davide Giannetti, Italy, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

India

Water Buffalo

Shreejit Borthakur

2021

A beast from the forests of northeastern India.

Copyright: © Shreejit Borthakur, India, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Japan

The Last Winter

Yukihito Ono

2021

Photographed in Fukushima, Japan, this train – known as Ki-Ha 40 – was retired from the Tadami Line on 11 March, 2020.

Copyright: © Yukihito Ono, Japan, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Japan

Fertility

S. Muramatsu

2021

This picture aims to represent fertility, with floating clouds, wheat fields, snow fields and the earth.

Copyright: © S. Muramatsu, Japan, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Japan

Autumn Snake

Hiroki Nose

2021

This is an aerial photograph of a mountain road in Hakone, Japan. The path, when seen from the sky, looked like a snake. Photographed in autumn, the leaves of the coloured trees were extremely beautiful.

Copyright: © Hiroki Nose, Japan, 2nd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Korea (Republic of)

The Fairy of Forest

Hyeonmin Cho

2021

This photo was taken woman in traditional Korean clothes, "Hanbok," with fireflies of a forest in the background. Luciolinae(a kind of firefly) is flashing lights form a brilliant bokeh, like a fairy of forest. Fireflies are insects that live only in clean areas. I aspire to return to a clean world, free of corona-19.

Copyright: © Hyeonmin Cho, Korea (Republic of), Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Korea (Republic of)

Untitled

Chang Jun Lee

2021

Space, light and shadow.

Copyright: © Chang Jun Lee, Korea (Republic of), 2nd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Korea (Republic of)

Bedroom

Yong Byung Chae

2021

A bedroom with moonlight.

Copyright: © Yong Byung Chae, Korea (Republic of), 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Kuwait

The Queen

Naser Alomari

2021

This photo was taken in Kuwait. I use Mavic air 2 for this photo. It is hard to choose motion technique specially with drone, After many shots am happy with this result.

Copyright: © Naser Alomari, Kuwait, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Latvia

Glowing Mushroom

Janis Palulis

2021

Light painting one evening in a Latvian forest.

Copyright: © Janis Palulis, Latvia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Lithuania

Traditional Crafts: Portrait of a Toymaker

Simas Bernotas

2021

Ancient crafts are imbued with the wisdom of previous generations, with each nation having its own tales and myths about them. For this series, I captured Lithuanian crafters with a mystical spirit in an attempt to show them as devoted caretakers of declining traditions. This image is one of many from that project.

Copyright: © Simas Bernotas, Lithuania, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Mexico

Ojos Rojos

Beatriz Salas Buendía

2021

Paloma, la libertad en el confinamiento, este año que vivimos encerrados.

Copyright: © Beatriz Salas Buendía , Mexico, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Mexico

Prayer

Pedro Augusto Meza

2021

Shot on a quiet afternoon at a horse rescue. I sat down with the horses as they finished eating. Nightfall was almost upon us. This ranch is located in Primo Tapia, Baja California, and it's the only place I have actually felt safe this year. Here's what that safety looks and feels like.

Copyright: © Pedro Augusto Meza, Mexico, 2nd Place, National Awards, Natural World & Wildlife, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Nepal

Ramaroshan, Achham, Nepal.

Prajwal Bhattarai

2021

Volleyball is the national sport of Nepal, and is particularly popular in the higher mountains. This entrance through the stone wall leads to a public-school compound where villagers play volleyball once classes have finished. When I made this image, the ground was engulfed with fog, silhouetting the volleyball-playing men.

Copyright: © Prajwal Bhattarai, Nepal, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

New Zealand

Wrong Place Wrong Time

Murray Chant

2021

This piece of ice had rolled around in the shallows until it assumed a worn and organic form. I photographed it at dusk and lit it from below.

Copyright: © Murray Chant, New Zealander, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Norway

Oydis and Gunnar

Emil Wieringa Hildebrand

2021

Last picture from a personal shoot this October. 2020 feels like we're all just bumping our heads against a big wall together.

Copyright: © Emil Wieringa Hildebrand, Norway, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Malaysia

Long-tailed Macaque

Yoganathan Yoke

2021

This photograph of a long-tailed macaque, also known as the crab-eating macaque, was taken in the mangrove forest of Kuala Gula, Perak. I went there one evening, hoping to photograph birds or snakes, when I saw a group of macaques foraging in the mud for their last meal of the day. A ray of light from the sunset fell on this macaque just as it looked up. I felt it looked like a gesture of hope for the future.

Copyright: © Yoganathan Yoke, Malaysia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Mexico

First Breath

Brian Mena Laureano

2021

Sunrise on the slopes of the Popocatépetl volcano.

Copyright: © Brian Mena Laureano, Mexico, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Peru

Puyas de Raimondi

Edgar Asencios Miranda

Year: 2021

Puyas de Raimondi en el Áreas de Conservación Regional (ACR) Titankayocc. PERÚ Es una imagen panorámica compuesta por 4 fotografías e iluminación puntual con una linterna. Es el bosque de Puyas más grande de Sudamérica que lamentablemente sufre de incendios forestales cada año. Vive en zonas muy altas de la cordillera, vive 100 años y desprende hasta 6 millones de semillas en su vida, es parte de un ecosistema del cual se alimentan algunas aves como el colibrí gigante y murciélagos. Puede llegar a medir 12 metros de altura.

Copyright: © Edgar Asencios Miranda, Peru, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Peru

Man of the Forest

Pedro Jarque Krebs

2021

There are three species of orangutans in the world, and all three are in serious danger of extinction, mainly because of the destruction of their habitats in the jungles of Southeast Asia, which are used for palm oil cultivation. Only 70,000 individuals remain worldwide. Humans and orangutans share 97% of the genome. Along with chimpanzees and gorillas, they are our closest relatives in the animal world.

Copyright: © Pedro Jarque Krebs, Peru, 2nd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Peru

Roscasiri

Uriel Montufar

2021

With the traditional "Roscasiri" ceremony, the lieutenant governors of the Pomata district, Chucuito province, Puno Region, Peru, welcomed the new year, highlighting one of the most deeply rooted customs of the Aymara area. This ceremony consists of covering the new communal authorities (lieutenant governors) with bread as a symbol of abundance and wishing them good omens for the coming year where they will assume their functions, these peculiar outfits are made with the famous Pomata bread, known for its delicious flavor and its thread shape, wood-fired for the occasion and whose cost ranges from four to five for one sol. In this year 2021, 10 lieutenant governors with their respective wives were sworn in in this section, the outfits are made with more than 200 of these breads, (some also put pantheons on it), weighing 30 kilos that each political authority has to carry dancing around the official podium accompanied by his lieutenant. The locals describe the threaded as a preview to see the agricultural campaign. If the lieutenants have a large number of decorations, it means that it will be a good year, and the bread also symbolizes the abundance of products they will have in the coming year.

Copyright: © Uriel Montufar, Peru, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Philippines

Looking for Water

Donell Gumiran

2021

In Ethiopia's South Omo, the tribes who live in the valley depend on the Omo River for survival. Sixty-two million Ethiopians lack access to safe water. This is everyday life for them.

Copyright: © Donell Gumiran, Philippines, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Romania

Solitude

Cristina Venedict

2021

The model in this photograph is a young actress by the name of Cezara Munteanu. The picture was taken in my studio in Botosani, Romania, in 2020, a year full of many emotions and inner uncertainties.

Copyright: © Cristina Venedict, Romania, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Russian Federation

Silently in the Mountains

Evgeniy Ivanov

2021

A home, immersed in complete silence, and forgotten about until spring.

Copyright: © Evgeniy Ivanov, Russian Federation, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Saudi Arabia

Hard Life

Naif Albugami

2021

2020 covid-19 pandemic Saudi Arabia This photo was taken to convey a feeling of despair and everything that we have in life has stopped due to the pandemic.

Copyright: © Naif Albugami, Saudi Arabia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Singapore

Turn 1 2 3 4 5

Wong Chek Poh

2021

A panoramic view of unused taxis parked on the rooftop of this building reveals something of the dire economic situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the success of several vaccine programmes, it will take a long time for lives to return to pre-Covid days.

Copyright: © Wong Chek Poh, Singapore, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Serbia

Serbia's Red Gold Pepper Harvest

Vladimir Zivojinovic

2021

An elderly woman prepares threads of red paprika in Donja Lokosnica, Serbia. In this village in a valley in South Morava, some 250 of the 280 households are involved in the growing of pepper – although depopulation means this number is in decline. Around 500 tons of ground pepper is produced in a 250-hectare area.

Copyright: © Vladimir Zivojinovic, Serbia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Slovakia

On His Own Path

Peter Svoboda

2021

A lone cross-country skier ascends a hill. I wanted to capture a minimal winter image that had symbolism and suggested a parallel with human life.

Copyright: © Peter Svoboda, Slovakia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Slovenia

Julian Alps

Aljaž Žnidaršič

2021

My friend and I were on our first climb of the winter. We’d hoped to ascend three mountains on the same ridge, but because of the conditions, we had to turn back before the final peak. This image expresses the struggle we faced in deciding whether to turn round or continue.

Copyright: © Aljaž Žnidaršič, Slovenia, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

South Africa

Colour Theory

Azelda Olivier

2021

This photograph was taken for a project on colour theory; the objective of this photograph was to use a warm colour palette. My aim was to explore colour further by considering its socially constructed meaning. Pink is a colour that is often associated with femininity, and through this image, I aimed to blur the lines between gender stereotypes such as this.

Copyright: © Azelda Olivier, South Africa, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Sri Lanka

Hustle for Survival

Isira Sooriyaarachchi

2021

On a weekday in August, while I was wandering along Main Street, Colombo, this man caught my attention among the crowds of people and busy traffic. I crossed to the middle of the road and pulled out my phone to capture the life of a worker doing his best to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Copyright: © Isira Sooriyaarachchi, Sri Lanka, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Sweden

An Iron Balloon’s Dream

Shai Apeloig

2021

Inspired by the expressionist movement, I tried to convey a subjective experience with this image, rather than an objective reality. The image was created by taking individual shots of an oxidised iron structure and recomposing them later into a balloon-like image. During production, I gradually rediscovered and recreated the composition.

Copyright: © Shai Apeloig, Sweden, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Switzerland

Walk Into the Sunset

Balint Deak

2021

As I was walking with my girlfriend, I noticed this curvy road and the sky behind it. I asked my girldfriend to walk over there and then created the two symmetrical sides using Photoshop.

Copyright: © Balint Deak, Switzerland, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Taiwan

Battlefield

Yu-Liang Chueh

2021

For the people of Taitung in Taiwan, the Bombing of Master Handan is the highlight of the annual Lantern Festival; it’s a cultural ritual I attend every year. While most spectators concentrated on the sedan chair, I noticed the firecracker thrower below, with the scene looking just like a battlefield.

Copyright: © Yu-Liang Chueh, Taiwan, 3rd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Taiwan

Girl in Sunshine

Chia Jung Chou

2021

New Taipei Metropolitan Park.

Copyright: © Chia Jung Chou, Taiwan, 2nd Place, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Taiwan

Fluorescent Tiger

Hui Pin Lai

2021

The tiger is an important symbol in Taiwanese culture. Here, I used fluorescent paint to depict its essence.

Copyright: © Hui Pin Lai, Taiwan, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Thailand

Autumn Float

Saowanee Suntararak

2021

Autumn season at Lake Kawaguchi in Japan.Mount Fuji with autumn leaves is very popular in the photographers, and I love taking photo in this season,too.

Copyright: © Saowanee Suntararak, Thailand, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Turkey

Astroturf

Mehmet Aslan

2021

The pandemic has affected everyone. Since places of worship are closed, these men pray on the Astroturf pitch, while adhering to social distancing.

Copyright: © Mehmet Aslan, Turkey, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

United States of America

Hourglass

Patrick Mueller

2021

A snaking dune in Death Valley meets the saddle of the surrounding mountains.

Copyright: © Patrick Mueller, United States of America, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Vietnam

Waiting

Tuan Nguyen Quang

2021

This photograph was taken in Ha Giang, Vietnam. I went into a house in the village and asked permission to take pictures there.

Copyright: © Tuan Nguyen Quang, Vietnam, Winner, National Awards, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

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