The Honorary Jury of the world’s largest photography competition named American photographer John Moore as the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards’ L’Iris d’Or/ Professional Photographer of the Year. Fellow American Aristide Economopoulos is also awarded the Professional Arts & Culture Photographer of the Year title.
Chosen from the winners of the awards’ thirteen professional categories, John Moore’s winning work “Ebola Crisis Overwhelms Liberian Capital” is a hard-hitting series of images that cut to the heart of this human tragedy. Moore, a Senior Staff Photographer and Special Correspondent for Getty Images, and the winning photographs have been universally credited for the early exposure of the scale of the Ebola epidemic in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia and the epicenter of the deadly disease.
Moore is based in New York and has photographed in more than 70 countries. He is a past recipient of the Robert Capa Gold Medal, been named Photographer of the Year by both Pictures of the Year International and the National Press Photographers Association and has been recognised four times by World Press Photo.
The photographer was presented his award along with a $25,000 (USD) cash prize and the latest Sony digital imaging equipment at a gala ceremony held in London attended by photography’s industry leaders.
In a collective statement, judges Xingxin Guo, Xinhua News Agency Image Centre, China; Jocelyn Bain Hogg, photographer, UK; and Oliver Schmitt, Spiegel Online, Germany, said of the work: “John Moore’s photographs of this crisis show in full the brutality of people’s daily lives torn apart by this invisible enemy. However, it is his spirit in the face of such horror that garners praise. His images are intimate and respectful, moving us with their bravery and journalistic integrity. It is a fine and difficult line between images that exploit such a situation, and those that convey the same with heart, compassion and understanding, which this photographer has achieved with unerring skill. Combine this with an eye for powerful composition and cogent visual narrative, and good documentary photography becomes great.”
Aristide Economopoulos, a staff photographer with NJ Advance Media from New Jersey, was selected as the Arts & Culture winner of the Professional competition. His series, titled “Prom Night”, documents the art and culture of a rite of passage for American teenagers.
Economopoulos has won numerous awards including the New York Press Association’s Photographer of The Year title on five occasions. He was a member of the team awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for Breaking News Reporting and honored for his work covering 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Photo District News magazine named one of his photos from that day to be one of the 10 best documentary photos of the decade.
Describing the work Economopoulos says: “Across New Jersey and the rest of America, every spring high school seniors go through the rite of passage of their high school prom. An event where everyone looks their best wearing elaborate gowns and tuxedos where one cannot differentiate their social or economic background.”
He continues “This is quite an honour to receive a Sony World Photography Award considering the quality of work that is entered and to have your work received well by such an esteemed panel of judges. It was a fun project to work on as you could feel the joy, energy and excitement of the teenagers on their special night.”
Now in its eighth year, the Sony World Photography Awards annually presents the world’s best contemporary photography across a range of genres and is the world’s largest photography competition. Free to enter and open to photographers of all abilities, it is an authoritative voice in the photographic world and attracts both emerging talent and established artists.
The awards’ international judging juries are comprised of esteemed industry experts and the competition offers incredible exposure, credibility and recognition not only to its winners, but also those on its shortlist. The 2015 awards attracted recording breaking entries, with 173,444 images submitted from 171 countries, confirming its position as the world’s biggest photography competition.
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Source: World Photography Organisation