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Believe your eyes: The Sony World Photography Awards 2015

Updated 12:37 PM ET, Fri April 24, 2015
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Getty Images special correspondent John Moore has taken the top prize in Sony World Photography Awards 2015 for his early exposure of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia's capital Monrovia. John Moore/Sony World Photography Awards
The award, billed as the world's largest photography competition, carries a $25,000 cash prize, and judges chose to highlight New York-based Moore's "hard-hitting" series, which won widespread praise for bringing images from the epicenter of the deadly disease. John Moore/Sony World Photography Awards
"John Moore's photographs of this crisis show in full the brutality of people's daily lives torn apart by this invisible enemy," said the judges in a collective statement. "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." John Moore/Sony World Photography Awards
Romanian photographer Cosmin Bumbut took first prize in the architecture category for his series "The Intimate Room." Bumbut spent 4 years visiting penitentiaries across Romania to photograph the cramped rooms built for inmates' conjugal visits from partners on the outside. Cosmin Bumbut/Sony World Photography Awards
New Jersey-based Aristide Economopoulos captured the excitement, disappointments, and elation of suburban America's coming-of-age ritual in his Arts Award-winning series "Prom Night." Aristide Economopoulos/Sony World Photography Awards
Paris-born, Argentina-raised Sebastian Gil Miranda created documentary series "Shoot Ball, Not Gun" with as part of the Buenos Aires education project "Uniendo Caminos." The images depict children who live surrounded by drug-related violence but find calm playing football in a chapel yard on the edge of Buenos Aires. Sebastian Gil Miranda/Sony World Photography Awards
23-year-old Rahul Talukder is a documentary photographer from Bangladesh who has created a chilling reminder of the world's biggest garment factory accident, which took place at Rana Plaza, Bangladesh in 2013. His series "Faded history of the lost" depicts the weather-worn and near-unrecognizable posters of missing persons left near the site of the disaster, where more than 1,100 people died. Rahul Talukder/Sony World Photography Awards
Swiss-born Scott Typaldos has been capturing the unseen millions suffering from mental illnesses, often in inadequate facilities, since 2010 -- first in Ghana, and subsequently across the Balkans. His third series, "Butterflies Chapter 3," is the winner of the Contemporary Issues award and saw Typaldos report from Bosnia. Scott Typaldos/Sony World Photography Awards
In addition to the overall award, John Moore's affecting images from the heart of Liberia's Ebola crisis also earned him the Current Affairs category award. John Moore/Sony World Photography Awards
Nigeria-born landscape photographer Simon Norfolk traced fire across Mount Kenya to show how far the mountain's colossal Lewis Glacier has receded. Norfolk used very long exposures and "a piece of rolled up gasoline-soaked carpet attached to a rake" to mark where the edge of the glacier -- which has already shrunk by 90% -- once stood. Simon Norfolk/Sony World Photography Awards
China's Li Fan has spent 10 years documenting one of the country's most isolated ethnic groups, which comprises some of the nation's poorest people. The Yi people live among the Great Liangshan Mountains in Sichuan, southwest China, often subsistence farming, far removed form the growing wealth in the major eastern cities. Li Fan/Sony World Photography Awards
Giovanni Troilo's controversial "La Ville Noire -- The Dark Heart of Europe" has already been stripped of a World Press Photo award after it emerged the Italian had staged a number of the shots. But he claims the scenes depicted -- of depravity in a "typical" post-recession European town -- are true to life, even if some were recreated for the camera. Giovanni Troilo/Sony World Photography Awards
Myanmar-based Spanish photographer Ruben Salgado Escudero followed NGOs working in rural Myanmar to bring solar electricity to one of its poorest areas. Less than 30% of Burmese have access to the electrical grid and, for many, these photovoltaic cells provide steady nighttime lighting for the first time. Ruben Salgado Escudero/Sony World Photography Awards
Italian visual anthropologist Riccardo Bononi has traveled to Bolivia to capture the little seen world of "Las Valkyrias de Bolivia" -- fierce female fighters from the country's seat of government, La Paz. Riccardo Bononi/Sony World Photography Awards
Canadian Donald Weber frames the crude weapon that created global ripples. The Molotov cocktail has been an icon of popular revolt against well-armed government forces for decades -- recently seen held aloft by Ukraine's EuroMaidan protestors in Kiev. Donald Weber/Sony World Photography Awards
Munich-based aerial photographer Bernhard Lang captured these photographs from the underside of an ultra-light plane. While his winning photos depict the picturesque Adriatic coastline between the Italian towns of Ravenna and Rimini, Lang's other flights have taken him over mines and container ports, capturing beauty even in these industrial tracts, by framing repeated geometric patterns. Bernhard Lang/Sony World Photography Awards
Saint Petersburg-based Svetlana Blagodareva beat students from 230 institutions across six continents to collect the Student Photographer of the Year title. Her prize is €35,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for her school, State Polytechnic University. Svetlana Blagodareva/Sony World Photography Awards
Over 200 images from a dozen photographers will be available at the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House, London until 10 May. All the shortlisted entrants -- including this third-place sports finalist from Singapore's Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong -- are available on the World Photography Organisation website. The following are the fourteen winners of Sony World Photography Awards Open (amateur) sections. Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong/Sony World Photography Awards
"Wildlife in the city" by Antoine Weis
Photographer's description: The image depicts a grey pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) in front of a city skyline element. The shot was taken in January 2014 in Colombo (capital of Sri Lanka) at the end of a three-week trip through the island's national parks and rainforests. The bird stands out with a slight touch of warm color tones against (a) gray city background. The tension in the picture arises from the opposition of the bird's round shapes against the predominantly horizontal and vertical structures of the man-made structures, together with the animal's seemingly lost and seeking gaze and its "weird" posture.
Antoine Weis/Sony World Photography Awards
"Bomb" by Antony Crossfield
Photographer's description: A man performs a "bomb" dive in the ocean. This image was intended to undermine stereotypes of masculine strength and power. The bomb dive -- a metaphor of power and destruction -- is revealed as ineffectual and pointless posturing, a tiny gesture in the face of wider forces. Furthermore, the image comments on the possibilities of fiction in digital photography -- a seemingly believable image is also somehow completely impossible, a perfect reflection permanently fixed on the brink of disruption. The image is a digital composite of multiple photographs. The imagery was created in London and the Sussex coast (of England) in July 2014.
Antony Crossfield/Sony World Photography Awards
"Schoolyard" by Armin Appel
Photographer's description: I took this image while paragliding over Raumliches Bildungszentrum, in Biberach an der Riss (Germany). It was an early morning in May, it had rained all night, and it was perfect conditions to get good contrasts. I took five flights between 2013-2014 trying to get the perfect shot, with perfect contrast and shadows, until I finally got it this morning in May 2014.
Armin Appel/Sony World Photography Awards
"Quetzalcoatl" by Hector Munoz Huerta
Photographer's description: I have been snapping pictures of street performers for a couple of years. On January 31 last year I was heading downtown with my family as I found these graffiti artists working on a large mural, which I have spotted a few days before (in Queretaro, Mexico). I asked my wife to wait for five minutes and I started shooting. These boys are very talented and have been replacing ugly tag-patched walls with murals in the surroundings of the San Gregorio neighborhood for some years. This picture is my favorite image of 2014.
Hector Muñoz Huerta/Sony World Photography Awards
"Early Dawn" by Nick Ng Yeow Kee
Photographer's description: "Early Dawn" was taken while I was walking along Old Kolkata (India). Seeing the locals entering an old abandoned shophouse along a row of old buildings, I decided to venture in, knowing that they were probably preparing themselves for the day. The shophouse was an amazing spectacle, with streams of people taking their turns washing themselves as well as their clothes. After mingling for around five minutes, they accepted me as part of them, and that was when I started to photograph their morning activities. "Early Dawn" was shot on October 26, 2014, at 8:45 a.m. in Old Kolkata.
ick Ng Yeow Kee/Sony World Photography Awards
"Happiness" by Wilson Lee
Photographer's description: Simplicity is happiness. I took this photo at a train station in Jaipur when I was traveling in India last year. Wandering around the platform, I attempted to capture the atmosphere before the train's departure.
Wilson Lee/Sony World Photography Awards
"Suspended animation" by Jaime Massieu Marcos
Photographer's description: It was in September, a few days after my birthday, and I had been working 17 days in a row making a video of the Basketball World Cup in Madrid. I was not doing anything creative, just waiting for people to get into our stand. Suddenly, the stand was absolutely empty. I looked around and saw those amazing Hungarian guys jumping. I only had my wide-angle lens for the video, but luckily I saw a guy I knew with a 70-200 lens. I asked him if I could borrow the lens, and all I had to do was press the button. I had never taken any sport picture before! I haven't seen the guy in the picture again, but if I see him, I'm afraid I will have to invite him (to) dinner.
Jaime Massieu Marcos/Sony World Photography Awards
"Perfect Symmetry" by Norman Quinn
Photographer's description: The two great yellow-painted gantry cranes Samson and Goliath have become icons of Belfast (Northern Ireland), dominating not just Queen's Island but the entire city skyline. Constructed to service the vast new graving dock at Harland and Wolff, Goliath (the smaller at 315 feet) began work in 1969; the 348-foot Samson, five years later. Each of the Krupp-Ardelt-designed cranes can lift loads of up to 840 tons. Harland and Wolff were still one of the world's great shipbuilders at the time, and the building of the two cranes, during a difficult period for shipbuilding in Belfast, was seen as a sign of faith in the future. The image itself was taken during sunrise on a particularly wet day by lying flat in a puddle as low as possible to the ground. It is a series of images stitched together in editing software to create an impressive colorful panoramic.
Norman Quinn/Sony World Photography Awards
"Don Bohlul from Isfahan" by Saleh Rozat
Photographer's description: The photo is taken in front of the old Karls church in downtown Vienna (Austria), and depicts a fictional person: Don Bohlul, the Don Quixote of the Orient. Many people consider him as crazy, but he made philosophical and meaningful statements. This photo is part of my Don Bohlul series, which is based on a satire imaginary story: Once upon a time in the old city of Esfahan, Don Bohlul was going through the Bazar as he saw the picture of a beautiful blond Western woman on a soup box. He fell in love with her, sold his horse and traveled to Vienna in pursuit to find her. In Vienna, he was then amazed and wondered ...
Saleh Rozat/Sony World Photography Awards
"Winter dream" by Yasen Georgiev
Photographer's description: The image was taken in March of 2014. I was on a skiing holiday with friends in Borovets, which is one of the most famous ski resorts in Bulgaria. The last night before we left, I was looking out of my hotel room and dreaming of staying few more days. It was such a calm atmosphere, and I decided to take a final picture before I had to go. I wanted to catch the snow and bring atmosphere to the photo, so I turned the flash on. That's how I made this amazing landscape, which truly illustrates my winter dream.
Yasen Georgiev/Sony World Photography Awards
"Mellow Memorie" by Stephanie Anjo, 14
Photographer's description: This is a candid shot of my little cousin in her happiest state, taken in my grandma's garden in Portugal.
Sony World Photography Awards
"Cante Alentejo" by Beatriz Mota da Rocha, 15
Photographer's description: This photo was taken in 2014 in the theater of Evora (Portugal), Teatro Garcia de Resende. This photo is a part of a photo series of the group of Cante Alentejano of Evora. This photo shoot was specially produced because Cante Alentejano (singing) was listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Beatriz Mota da Rocha/Sony World Photography Awards
"Back alley" by Yong Lin Tan, 19
Photographer's description: This is the back alley of my grandmother's house in Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia. I shot this during Chinese New Year last year when the sky is the clearest and brightest with stars. A flower plant can also be seen flourishing with limited resources and space. There (are) a lot of cats wandering around the back alley usually after dinner time, waiting to be fed by the good people around here.
Yong Lin Tan/Sony World Photography Awards
"A day on the beach" by Turi Calafato
Photographer's description: This image was taken in Sicily (Italy). I am working on a project called "A day on the beach," a documentary project focused on the life on the Sicilian beaches during the crowded months of summer. The project began in 2013, and in 2014 ... I took some photos for this project even with my mobile phone. ... The shot was taken at the end of July 2014. It is usual to see scenes like this because people spend all day along at the beach, and all the usual activities, like playing, eating, sleeping, etc., are done outdoors. All (kinds) of people are seen.
Turi Calafato/Sony World Photography Awards