Press Releases

2012 Sony World Photography Awards: Open and Youth Category Winners

© Giovanni Frescura, Italy. Open Category Winner, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards 2012

© Giovanni Frescura, Italy. Open Category Winner, Nature & Wildlife, Sony World Photography Awards 2012

Press Release

20 MARCH 2012

Sony World Photography Awards 2012

Open & Youth Category Winners announced

Today, Tuesday 20 March, the World Photography Organisation announces the Open and Youth category winners in the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards.

Billed as the global photographic event of the year, the Sony World Photography Awards celebrate the very best in photography from around the world, from the next generation of emerging photographers through to the established masters of the art.

The Open Competition is for anyone with an interest in photography and photographers are judged on a single image.  The category winners are:

  • Architecture: Filippo Di Rosa (Italy)
  • Arts & Culture: Sanket K (India)
  • Enhanced: Victor Vargas Villafuerte (Mexico)
  • Low Light: Natalia Belentsova (Russian Federation)
  • Nature & Wildlife: Giovanni Frescura (Italy)
  • Panoramic: Denise Worden (United States)
  • People: Ana Gregorič (Slovenia)
  • Smile: Piotr Stasiuk (Poland)
  • Split Second: Tobias Bräuning (Germany)
  • Travel: Krzysztof Browko (Poland)

New for the 2012 Awards, the Youth Competition is open to anyone under the age of 20.  The category winners are:

  • Culture: Kolyaskin Sergey (Russian Federation)
  • Environment: Bernard Pieterse (South Africa)
  • Portraits: Karina Sembe (Ukraine)

The overall Open and Youth competition winners will be announced at the annual Sony World Photography Awards ceremony and gala dinner on 26 April at the Hilton Hotel in London’s Park Lane, hosted by the esteemed photographic consultant and 2012 Chair of Judges W.M. Hunt.

The awards take place alongside World Photo, London, a month long event that offers an eclectic mix of photographic events for all to enjoy.  Held at Somerset House, the opening weekend (27 – 30 April) will feature selected events such as portfolio reviews, workshops and symposiums, many led by the Honorary Judges for the 2012 Awards and other international industry experts.  The Sony World Photography Awards winners’ exhibitions, curated by Michael Benson and the Candlestar team, will continue through to 20 May 2012.

In addition, WPO also announced today the shortlists for the 3D and Moving Image Award and winners for the Save The Children Photo Competition and Young Tate Award.  For more information please visit


  • The 2012 competition has garnered increased worldwide interest with over 112,000 entries from 171 countries.
  • The overall Open Competition winner will receive a prize of $5,000. All category winners will  be presented with Sony’s latest digital imaging products.
  • Created by the World Photography Organisation (WPO), the World Photography Awards, sponsored by Sony, launched in 2007.  WPO supports professional, amateur and student photography, lending a global platform for the photographic industry to communicate, converge and showcase current trends in Photojournalism, Fine Art and Commercial photography.   Delivering various initiatives and programmes across this global community, these programmes involve the photographer in commercial, cultural and educational activities within the many industry sectors, whilst also creating cultural activities for the public to participate in.  Currently included within the WPO portfolio are the World Photography Student Focus Competition; the World Photo international festivals and events, and the World Photography Focus Programme.
  • Each year WPO collaborates with an international charity, dedicated to using photography in order to raise awareness on a particular global issue. This year they are partnered with Save The Children in order to raise the profile of under reported emergencies, and the importance of the Children’s Emergency Fund in responding immediately to disasters to save more children’s lives.  WPO ran a global competition from 17 January to 17 February 2012 inviting photographers from across the world to answer the theme of ‘potential’.  The winners work will be exhibited at Somerset House as part of the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition.
  • W.M. Hunt, Chair of Judges and Master of Ceremonies for Sony World Photography Awards Ceremony 2012
    W.M. (Bill) Hunt is a New York-based champion of photography: collector, curator and consultant. His collection of photographs is the subject of “The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious” published by Thames & Hudson in the UK, Aperture in the US and as “L’Oeil Invisible” by Actes Sud in France. Highlights of the collection have been exhibited at the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY and at the Rencontres d’Arles, Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne and FOAM_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. Previously, Hunt has been a judge or nominator for World Press Photo, SONY WPO, Prix Pictet, Getty Images, amongst others.
  • About Sony
    Sony is a leading global innovator of audio, video, communications and information technology products for both the consumer and professional markets. Sony is renowned for its audio-visual products, such as the BRAVIA™ LCD high-definition (HD) television, Cyber-shot™ digital camera, Handycam®, camcorder, “α” (pronounced Alpha) digital SLR camera, and Walkman® MP3 player as well as its VAIO™ personal computers and 3D HD professional broadcast equipment. Offering a complete end-to-end 3D value chain and with its electronics, music, pictures, game and online businesses, Sony is one of the world’s leading digital entertainment brands, employing approximately 170,000 people worldwide.