The 2017 first-place winner of the Canada National Awards is Harley Yang for his image, W for Walk. Part of the Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA), organized by the World Photo Organisation, the Canada National Awards competition recognizes the best single images from each country that are entered in the Open category of the SWPA. Yang said, “This was taken in downtown Toronto near a high-end shopping area in the middle of summer. There was only one shot taken as I spotted the man walking across the street. I spent the whole summer on street photography, often dwelling on the sharp contrast between light and shadow.”
The second-place winner is Elzbieta Kurowska for Segamenis. Kurowska explained, “Segamenis looks like a mysterious otherworldly life form; it comes complete with a proper Latin name. The composition has been created in my workshop/studio from translucent organic gels, and it measures about 3-4 cm in diameter. The glow effect has been achieved because the organic gel of the ‘petals’ has photoelastic properties; it shows material stress in cross-polarized light. The colors have been added to the gel and allowed to diffuse.”
This year’s third-place winner is Roel Olay for Extraterrestrial Sunset. Olay shared, “The family had just arrived in Chicago for an end of summer trip. It was a long travel day so upon checking in into our hotel, I took a moment and looked out the window to see our surroundings. The workday was over; it was a beautiful day for a walk and commuters were taking advantage of it. The sun was setting and light was bouncing off the reflective exterior of the adjacent building. I suppose that this is what the evening rush hour on an earth-like planet in a binary solar system would be like.”
The ten Open category winners are:
• Architecture – Tim Cornbill (UK)
• Culture – Jianguo Gong (China)
• Enhanced – Lise Johansson (Denmark)
• Motion – Camilo Diaz (Colombia)
• Nature – Hiroshi Tanita (Japan)
• Portraits – Alexander Vinogradov (Russia)
• Still Life – Sergey Dibtsev (Russia)
• Street Photography – Constantinos Sofikitis (Greece)
• Travel – Ralph Gräf (Germany)
• Wildlife – Alessandra Meniconzi (Switzerland)
These ten Open category winners will receive a Sony α7 II with lens kit and one will be named Open Photographer of the Year. This will be announced on April 20, along with the Photographer of the Year, Professional category winners, and Youth and Student Focus Photographers of the Year. From April 21 through May 7, the SWPA winning images will be exhibited at Somerset House in London, U.K., along with an exhibition of Martin Parr’s work. Parr recently received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize.
Other 2017 shortlisted Canadian photographers include: Amber Bracken (Professional Contemporary Issues category), Stéphane Couture (Open Travel category), and Rob Wilson (Open Travel category). Three more Canadians were recognized among the top 50 worldwide for their categories in the Open competition: Sylvie Pinsonneault (Open Nature category), Philippe Doucet (Open Still Life category), and Kirsten Quist (Open Travel category). To see the images of the shortlisted images and the National Award winners from 66 countries, visit the WPO winners’ galleries.