The world-renowned Sony World Photography Awards announced the winners for the 2018 competition. The photographer of the year award was won by British photographer Alys Tomlinson for her “Ex-Voto” series.
The project was praised by the jury of the competition for “its beautiful production, its technical excellence and its sensitive illustration of the pilgrimage as a journey of discovery and sacrifice to greater power”.
Among her prizes, Tomlinson wins a cash prize of $25,000 . Ex-Voto also won the “Discovery” award, one of 10 categories in this year’s contest.
Alys Tomlinson’s project is attached with the following text:
“A handwritten note neatly folded and hidden in the crevice of a rock, crosses etched onto stone, ribbon carefully wrapped around piles of twigs. These are all offerings of religious devotion, known as ‘Ex-Voto’ and found at Christian pilgrimage sites worldwide. Often placed anonymously and hidden from view, pilgrims leave ex-votos as expressions of hope and gratitude, creating a tangible narrative between faith, person and the landscape.
Taken at the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes, France, Ballyvourney, Ireland, and Grabarka, Poland, the project images encompass formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-life images of the objects and markers left behind. Shot on 5×4, large format film, the images evoke a distinct stillness and reflect the mysterious, timeless quality present at these sites of great spiritual contemplation. People and landscape merge as place, memory and history entwine.”
The Sony World Photography Awards are in their eleventh year, and this year 320,000 photographers based in over 200 countries and territories submitted a record number of photos.
The photos below’s authors have been awarded photo gear, a publication in the winners’ book, and also a place in the Sony exhibition at Somerset House in London.
Youth Photographer of the Year: Megan Johnson, US, 16 Years Old
Contemporary Issues: Fredrik Lerneryd, Sweden