WeArePhotogs Blog

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2014 Sony World Photography Awards Open for Entries

WPO Website
The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, organized by the World Photography Organization, is now open for entries. Professional, amateur, youth and student photographers from across the world can enter their best work for free at www.worldphoto.org. Photographers will compete for a range of cash prizes and the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony. Overall winners will be announced in London on 30 April 2014.
Coinciding with the opening of the awards, the World Photography Organization (WPO) has also launched a new online magazine. Available to read for free at worldphoto.org/magazine each month the WPO magazine will center on one key topic affecting the photography industry. It will include interviews, discussions and interactive webinars on this topic and will feature experts drawn from the World Photographic Academy and the wider photography industry.
The theme of the inaugural June edition is photographic awards: features include the importance of editing your work, a round-up of the top awards to enter and the culture of entering awards. The magazine will also feature interviews with the winning and shortlisted photographers of the Sony World Photography Awards; the June edition opens with 2013 L’Iris d’Or/ Photographer of the Year, Andrea Gjestvang.
Future themes include collecting photography, how technology is changing photography and photojournalism. The magazine will also include video interviews, edited versions of which can also be seen on WPO’s new dedicated YouTube channel at youtube.com/worldphotoorg
2014 Sony World Photography Awards
Since its launch in 2007, over 555,000 images from 230 countries have been submitted to the Sony World Photography Awards. Seeking the very best in international contemporary photography, the awards have established themselves as one of the world’s leading photography competitions. The most recent winner of the L’Iris d’Or/ Photographer of the Year title is Norwegian photographer Andrea Gjestvang for a powerful series of portraits of children and youths who survived the July 2011 massacre on the island of Utøya, outside Oslo.
The winner of the 2014 L’Iris d’Or/Photographer of the Year title will be presented with $25,000 (USD) and the Open Photographer of the Year will receive $5,000 (USD). All category winners will receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony and the Student Focus winner will receive a range of new, cutting edge Sony equipment for their university. Winning and shortlisted photographs will also be published in the 2014 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book and exhibited at Somerset House, London.
The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards include the following competitions:
• Professional – 15 categories judged on a series of work
• Open – 10 categories judged on a single image
• Youth – three categories for photographers under 20
• Student Focus – for higher education photography students aged 18-30
The Open and Youth competition will close for entries at 23.59 GMT on Monday 6 January 2014 with the exception of the Professional competition, which will close at 23.59 GMT on Thursday 9 January 2014. A list of categories can be found in the notes to editors.
The brief for the Student Focus competition is to shoot a single image for the front page of a newspaper. The image can be sensationalist or low-key but it must make the viewer want to learn more and draw attention to an issue that has meaning for the photographer. Entries to the Student Focus competition close on 6 December 2013.
The key dates for the 2014 awards are:
• 6 December – Student Focus competition closes
• 6 January – Open and Youth competition close
• 9 January – Professional competition closes
• 4 February – shortlist for Professional, Open and Youth competitions revealed
• 18 February – Student Focus shortlist announced
• 18 March – Open and Youth winners revealed
• 31 March – Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipient announced
• 30 April – L’Iris d’Or/Photographer of the Year plus Professional category winners and Open, Youth and Student Focus Photographers of the Year revealed at gala awards ceremony held in London
• 1-18 May– 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London
Further details about the Sony World Photography Awards and the World Photography Organization can be found at www.worldphoto.org
For all press enquiries please contact:
Jill Cotton at World Photography Organization
+44 (0) 20 7886 3049/ + 44 (0)7557 261 537 / jill@worldphoto.org

Gauntlet: For the Love of Photography

by Gary Fong
Photographer: Skippy Sanchez, www.skippysanchez.com

What does a well-seasoned professional photographer do on his European vacation? Take Pictures! 
Skippy Sanchez is a 29 year veteran of practically every assignment a newspaper can throw at him, news, politics, sports (both professional and collegiate), features, portraits, fashions, picture stories, weddings, children, studio setups, pictorials, video, audio, commercial, architecture, aerials, and humanitarian. 
He’s in love with photography. Everyday, it’s a new adventure, meeting someone interesting, having an opportunity to walk in their shoes for a moment, and seeing what the world would bring before his lens.
On his latest tour of Vienna, Prague, and Budapest, he did what he has done everyday at his job…but he shoots personal pictures for fun and to continue honing his skills. Personal pictures are for his pleasure, not the daily demands of the editor. There’s a certain air of liberation coming back to the pleasure of photograph.
His personal slideshow view of Europe is a delightful look at people unaware their photos are being made. Some people call it candid cameras, while others call it street photography. Whatever it’s called, it’s an unabashed, voyeuristic look at the world through his lens.
Play slideshow

                                                     Click the above photo for slideshow


Often Skippy will literally shoot from the hip with his Lecia. His choice of camera is as much a choice of his style. Lecia cameras have traditionally been uses for clandestine coverage, where its shutter sound is almost imperceptible when the exposure is made. It’s as if the camera is invisible.
Now for the nit picking. Flattery is not a word his subjects would use in a friendly way. Many out of focus grab shots wouldn’t score high in the sharpness department. If one would examine a single image, the composition would feel out of balance, the lighting would be in he wrong place, and the attention to the background context would leave the viewer with an assortment of questions. But it’s this raw style that is intriguing, as it catches a frozen moment of the everyday. 
As I gaze over Skippy’s vacation set, it leaves me with a feeling of a world I’ve never seen before, yet I see every time I walk down the street.


Blog: Three Tips for More Exciting Portraits


By Lee Varis, www.varis.com
Figure 1
I was asked to make a presentation for the Big Photo Show here in Los Angeles recently. The idea was to provide something very basic for an amateur photo-enthusiast audience. I usually do presentations, seminars, and workshops for more advanced or professional audiences, but I thought well, why not, and the result is this short presentation.
There are some very simple things you can do to improve your portrait photography without resorting to extra lighting, or exotic Photoshop enhancements. Simply by paying attention to the existing lighting, directing your subject to be in the best light, observing the relationship of the subject to the background, where they are in the frame, and the position of the camera relative to the subject, you can improve your portrait photography immensely.
I just spent a little more time with my grandson, and shot some more photos that illustrate the 3 areas of concern examined in the video. The main challenge with capturing good images of kids is just keeping up with them. I really got down on his level, and scrambled around in and around the playground equipments, to end up with these few shots here. I think it was well worth it, don’t you? Only available, natural light, and simple Lightroom adjustments – no pixels were harmed in the process!
Under the jungle gym (above) – light is coming straight in from the opening just behind my right shoulder and bouncing off the ground just behind & camera right of him – this is providing a beautiful rim light on his hand, legs and subtlety on the side of his face…Rule of thirds placement of subject.
Figure 2
At the little boy’s head level the light can only come straight at him from behind the camera. More intense light is coming from the rear, giving and interesting rim light effect. He is positioned close to the right third line so the strong diagonal of the left wall leads right into him.
Figure 3
What can I say – some shots are just lucky! I did pre-focus on the edge of the porthole and waited for him to stick his head into it…
Figure 4
Here, the beautiful rim light on his face is bouncing off the green tube slide – he is looking at his grandmother, who is peeking in through one of the porthole windows at camera right – his placement follows the rule of thirds, mostly achieved through cropping in Lightroom!