Italian artist Federico Borella named Photographer of the Year

Written by Jack Guy, CNN

Italian artist Federico Borella took home the Photographer of the Year prize at the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards 2019, which attracted 327,000 entries from 195 countries.

Borella’s series “Five Degrees” looks at male suicide among farmers in Tamil Nadu, India, an area suffering its worst drought in 140 years.

“As global warming changes the face of life ever more rapidly — particularly in developing and undeveloped nations — the work of artists such as Borella becomes ever more needed,” said Mike Trow, chair of the judges of the Professional section of the competition.

The awards honor a number of photographers across four competitions — Open, Professional, Youth and Student — with the winners announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday night.

There are 10 categories in the Professional competition, covering diverse areas including documentary, still-life and landscape.

An image from Marinka Masséus' "Chosen [not] to be" series, which one first place in the creative category.

An image from Marinka Masséus’ “Chosen [not] to be” series, which one first place in the creative category. Credit: Marinka Masséus

Dutch photographer Marinka Masséus took first place in the Creative category with her series “Chosen [not] to be,” which focuses on the way in which the visual arts have ignored people with Down syndrome.

“With ‘Chosen [not]to be’ I reflect on their reality — the barriers they face, society’s refusal to see their capabilities, the invisibility of their true selves — and translate their experiences visually,” Masséus said in a press statement.

Second place went to US photographer Leah Schretenthaler, whose project “The Invasive Species of the Built Environment” looks at controversial building projects in Hawaii, while Pol Kurucz of France came third with “The Normals,” which looks at the eccentrics who defy societal norms in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the Architecture category, Stephan Zirwes won the top prize for his drone shots of public swimming pools in Germany, known as “Cut Outs – Pools 2018.”

A shot from Stephan Zirwes' award-winning "Cut Outs - Pools 2018" series.

A shot from Stephan Zirwes’ award-winning “Cut Outs – Pools 2018” series. Credit: Stephan Zirwes

Finnish photographer Tuomas Uusheimo shot the Paimio Sanatorium, a former tuberculosis sanatorium in southwestern Finland, for his second-place entry, which captures the 1933 Functionalist edifice built by architects Alvar and Aino Aalto.

In third place is “Back to the Future,” German photographer Peter Franck’s collection of collages that bring architecture and nature together.

Nadav Kander, an Israeli-born photographer based in London, received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize from the World Photography Organisation, which set up the awards.

Shortlisted and winning images will be exhibited at Somerset House in London from April 18 to May 6, 2019.

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