The Sony World Photo Awards is an annual competition to discover talent across many fields of photography. Awards are in categories stretching from current affairs through to fashion, and there’s even a nod for the best 3D image.
The winners and runners-up for each category are on display at Somerset House. They vary from the aesthetically pleasing, such as the quirky design of the Niemeyer museum in Spain, through to the ghostly images of the town of Odaka, which was evacuated during the Fukushima crisis.
The stories behind the images are almost unbelievable. Who knew that Zambia started a space programme in the 1960s? Although unsuccessful, remnants of the programme remain and are captured here. But tragedy often underlies some of the bizarre photos, such as the car lodged into a third floor classroom window — a reminder of the force of the Japanese tsunami.
This year’s overall winner and recipient of the coveted L’Iris d’Or is Mitch Dobrowner who captured the intensity and power of brewing storms in the American mid-west. His black and white photographs present a truly terrifying sight. He is a deserving winner.
This exhibition proves that a picture can paint a thousand words and that photography captures the images that define our world view.
The Sony World Photography Awards exhibition is on display at Somerset House until 20 May. Tickets are £7.50, £5 for concessions.
If you’re a fan of photographic art, you may also want to check out Out of Focus at the Saatchi Gallery.