The Sony World Photography Awards are prestigious awards that recognise truly great amateur and professional photographers, covering diverse categories ranging from current affairs to the conceptual.
Last year was a particularly strong field and this year doesn’t disappoint with an equally excellent range, displayed across two wings of Somerset House. They include a comedic series of bedraggled dogs captured mid-bath, to victims of acid attacks in Bangladesh showing their scars.
Other highlights include the bizarre juxtaposition of adjacent houses in Belgium built in contrasting styles and the close ups of waves breaking, which gives the water a false sensation of solidity. The conceptual category is particularly strong, featuring shots of artists’ studio floors that could be abstract artworks in their own right, and repeat exposures of the same escalator and piece of train track to sum up how busy the crush of rush hour can be.
The overall and deserving winner of the top prize, the Iris D’Or, is Sara Naomi Lewkowicz for her series on domestic violence in the US. Rather than demonising the aggressor, this series shows genuine moments of tenderness as well as the moments of violence, thus showing that purveyors of violence may seem outwardly normal despite their lack of control within the home.
This is yet another excellent year for the Sony World Photography award and the price of a ticket grants visitors access to a treasure trove of diverse and engaging photographs.
The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition is on at Somerset House until 18 May. Tickets are £7.50 for adults, concessions £5. Somerset House also has a free exhibition of contemporary Iranian photography.
For even more international photography, you can pop next door to the King’s Cultural Institute for photography from Rwanda