As an art form photography is a funny one. Is it the subject, the tool or the artist that has the greatest effect upon the output? I often found myself pondering this when wandering any exhibition, so much so that it can be quite frustrating. Photo journalism is another complex one – sometimes voyeuristic but always powerful, it is at the many photo journalism exhibitions that take place in London that I really feel I learn something about the world.
Revealing something about the world that I was not aware of, that tell you something about the bigger picture and take the viewer in unexpected directions outside of those in the frame. Located in London’s beautiful Somerset House, this year’s Sony World Photography Award Exhibition houses the best of over 122,000 entries into its 25 categories spanning architecture, arts, conceptual, campaigns, landscape and travel, among many others.
Those most effective were the ones that struck the heart before the head, and seemed to speak to all senses other than just the eyes. Examining hugely sensitive issues with a delicate lens, they were sometimes disturbing but the common thread between the images that they were always strong, captivating scenes loaded with meaning.
The special award for Outstanding Contribution to Photography went to William Eggleston for his consistent delivery of ‘beauty in the everyday’ but the winner of this year’s Awards was Norwegian photographer Andrea Oyestwang and her series One Day In History that captured the horror and complexities of the aftermath of the July 2011 massacre in Utoeya, Oslo.
Images that make you linger longer than necessary are always special, and these are some personal highlights.