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2013 Sony World Photography Awards L’Iris d’Or and competition winners revealed

Press release   •   Apr 26, 2013 00:00 CEST

Thirty-two year-old Norwegian photographer Andrea Gjestvang is tonight announced as the L’Iris d’Or/Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year. Beating over 122,000 entries from 170 countries, the photographer collected her award plus Sony digital imaging equipment and $25,000 (USD) prize money at a gala ceremony held in London.

The judges voted unanimously for Gjestvang’s powerful series of portraits of children and youths who survived the July 2011 massacre on the island of Utoeya, outside Oslo. Titled ‘One day in history’ the series captures the young survivors with immense sensitivity and honesty and are an enduring testament to the resolve of these young people in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.

Upon receiving her award Gjestvang commented: “I feel so honoured, grateful and proud to receive this fantastic recognition and prize. I am grateful the important stories of these young people are reaching out and moving people the way they move me.”

Chair of the Honorary Jury, Catherine Chermayeff, Director of Special Projects at Magnum Photos, adds: “As the Jury Chairman I am delighted that Andrea Gjestvang has won the L'Iris d'Or prize. The entire jury was unanimous in selecting this body of work. "One Day in History" is a quiet, thoughtful and ultimately powerful voice for the children and survivors of the massacre in Norway. We were all moved by the dignity and beauty of these images.”

In just a few years, Andrea Gjestvang has established herself as one of the world’s most exciting young photographers. Her work has been published in Newsweek, M Le Monde, Stern and D Republica, and exhibited worldwide. In 2010 she participated in the Joop Swart Masterclass, and in 2012 she was named one of PDN's 30 New and Emerging photographers to watch. Most recently she was awarded the Photo of the Year prize at the 2012 Norwegian Picture of the Year competition for her portrait of Utøya survivor Ylva Helen Schwenke. Gjestvang winning series ‘One Day in History’ was published as a book in Norway in 2012. She is represented by Moment Agency.

The L’Iris d’Or winning series of work, alongside those of the other winners announced tonight at the awards, will be displayed as part of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House from 26 April – 12 May. The images will also be published in the 2013 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book, available to buy from

Open Photographer of the Year - Hoang Hiep Nguyen, Vietnam

Also at the awards, a twenty-one year old amateur photographer from Hanoi, Vietnam, who incredibly only bought his first digital camera one year ago, was announced as the Open Photographer of the Year.

Hoang Hiep Nguyen was presented with a Sony α77 camera plus $5,000 (USD) for his winning image of a young girl in a storm. The photograph beat entries from around the world in a competition that sought to find the world’s single best image taken by an amateur photographer or photography enthusiast.

Presiding Chair of Judges for the Open competition, Damien Demolder, Editor of Amateur Photographer magazine in the UK, comments: “Nguyen's picture is the standout image of the Open competition with its intense romantic atmosphere and its sense of mystical fantasy. It is a delightful image that really sums up the amazing level of creativity and skill that today's amateur photographers are capable of, and a supremely worthy winner of this globally prestigious competition.”

Professional category winners and finalists

The winners plus the 2nd and 3rd placed photographers of the Professional competition were also revealed at the awards ceremony. All 15 Professional winners – from Australia to Peru - were flown to London to collect their award and received a Sony α99 camera.

The wining series of works showcase the very best in international contemporary photography, from stunning black and white portraits of the Matterhorn mountain to a witty set shot in the back of an Argentinian limousine to a wry look at the secret life of the people of North Korea. The winners are:

  • Architecture - Fabrice Fouillet, France
  • Arts and Culture - Myriam Meloni, Italy
  • Campaign - Christian Åslund, Sweden
  • Conceptual - Roman Pyatkovka, Ukraine
  • Contemporary Issues - Valerio Bispuri, Italy
  • Current Affairs - Ilya Pitalev, Russia
  • Fashion - Klaus Thymann, Denmark
  • Landscape - Nenad Saljic, Croatia
  • Lifestyle - Alice Caputo, Italy
  • Nature & Wildlife - Satoru Kondo, Japan
  • People - Andrea Gjestvang, Norway
  • Portraiture - Jens Juul, Denmark
  • Sport - Adam Pretty, Australia
  • Still Life - Vanessa Colareta, Peru
  • Travel - Gali Tibbon, Israel

The full list of winning, 2nd and 3rd place photographers are in the notes to editors.

Outstanding Contribution to Photography – William Eggleston

Iconic American photographer William Eggleston was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize. Collected by Winston Eggleston on behalf of their father, the award was presented to William Eggleston for his influence on colour photography and, in turn, the influence he has on many of today’s most revered working photographers.

To mark the award, rarely-seen images from Eggleston are published in the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards book and a further selection at on show at Somerset House from 26 April -12 May. The Outstanding Contribution Award has previously been given to William Klein, Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Marc Riboud and Phil Stern.

Student Focus Photographer of the Year - Natalia Wiernik, Poland

In a programme that now includes over 230 universities worldwide, the Student Focus award is the largest of its kind. Polish photographer Natalia Wiernik, who competed for the Student Focus Photographer of the Year title on behalf of her university, the Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow, Poland, was announced as the winner and presented with €35,000 worth of Sony digital imaging equipment for her university.

Youth Photographer of the Year - Alecsandra Dragoi, Romania

A striking image of a New Year festival in Romania won nineteen year-old Alecsandra Dragoi the title of Youth Photographer of the Year. From Romania and currently at university in the UK, Dragoi image was chosen as the single best photograph taken by a photographer under the age of 20.

2013 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards winners

The Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards are a proud partner of the Sony World Photography Awards. Two stunning books share the awards’ £10,000 prize for the best photography and best moving image books of the year. They are:

  • Best Photography Book Award - War / Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath by Anne Wilkes Tucker, Will Michels and Natalie Zest (Yale University Press)
  • Best Moving Image Book Award - Hollywood Costume by Deborah Nadoolman Landis (V&A Publishing)

The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation also presented Thames and Hudson Chairman Thomas Neurath with their Outstanding Contribution to Publishing award at the ceremony.

Galleries of all the winning and finalist images can be seen at

Professional competition results


  • Winner: Fabrice Fouillet, France
  • 2nd Reinis Hofmanis, Latvia
  • 3rd Christof Pluemacher, Germany

Arts & Culture

  • Winner Myriam Meloni, Italy
  • 2nd Niccolò Rastrelli and Giorgio Barrera,Italy
  • 3rd Danish Siddiqui/Reuters, India


  • Winner: Christian Åslund, Sweden
  • 2nd Scout Tufankjian, USA
  • 3rd Spencer Murphy, UK


  • Winner: Roman Pyatkovka, Ukraine
  • 2nd Florian Ruiz, France
  • 3rd Edurne Aguinaga, Spain

Current Affairs

  • Winner: Ilya Pitalev/RIA Novosti, Russia
  • 2nd Paolo Pellegrin/ Magnum Photos. For Postcards from America project and ZEIT Magazine, Italy
  • 3rd Fabio Bucciarelli, Italy

Contemporary Issues

  • Winner: Valerio Bispuri/Echo Press, Italy
  • 2nd Samuel James, USA
  • 3rd Daesung Lee/SIPA Press, Republic of Korea

Fashion & Beauty

  • Winner: Klaus Thymann/Adamsky, Denmark
  • 2nd Thierry Bouët, France
  • 3rd Alice Pavesi, Italy


  • Winner: Nenad Saljic, Croatia
  • 2nd Regis Boileau, France
  • 3rd Arjen Schmitz, Netherlands


  • Winner: Alice Caputo, Italy
  • 2nd Kuni Takahashi, Japan
  • 3rd Fausto Podavini, Italy

Nature & Wildlife

  • Winner: Satoru Kondo, Japan
  • 2nd Ernest Goh, Singapore
  • 3rd Hudson Garcia, Brazil


  • Winner: Andrea Gjestvang, Norway
  • 2nd Balazs Gardi, Hungary
  • 3rd Pete Muller, US


  • Winner: Jens Juul, Denmark


  • Winner: Adam Pretty/Getty Images, Australia
  • 2nd Ryan Pierse/Getty Images, Australia
  • 3rd Isabela Pacini, Brazil

Still Life

  • Winner: Vanessa Colareta, Peru


  • Winner: Gali Tibbon, Israel
  • 2nd Daniel Duart, Spain
  • 3rd Johannes Heuckeroth, Germany

  • The Honorary Jury were required to choose a minimum of three and a maximum of 10 photographers per category. Photographers entering the Professional competitions entered a minimum of three and maximum of 10 images per category and were judged on a body of work. All images must have been taken in 2012 or first published in 2012.