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20 Extraordinary Photos That Won The Sony World Photography Award

Here are the powerful winning pictures from the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards in all their photographic glory.

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Photographer of the Year: John Moore, United States

In the summer of 2014, Monrovia, Liberia, became the epicenter of the West African Ebola epidemic, the worst in history. Although previous rural outbreaks were more easily contained, once the virus began spreading in Monrovia's dense urban environment, the results were described by Doctors Without Borders as "catastrophic." As President Sirleaf declared a state of emergency, photographer John Moore was there to document the harrowing sights.

John Moore courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

A Doctors Without Borders health worker in protective clothing carries a child suspected of having Ebola at the MSF treatment center on Oct. 5, 2014, in Paynesville, Liberia. The girl and her mother, both showing symptoms of the virus, survived and were released about a week later.


Open Photographer of the Year: Armin Appel, Germany

"I took this image while paragliding over Räumliches Bildungszentrum, in Biberach an der Riss. 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

Student Focus Photographer of the Year

Winner: Svetlana Blagodareva, Russia


Youth Photographer of the Year

Winner: Yong Lin Tan, Malaysia

“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.” —Yong Lin Tan

The Winners of the 2015 Professional Category

The 2015 Professional category is aimed at professional photographers around the globe and is selected from different genres of photography.

Arts and Culture: Aristide Economopoulos, United States

Aristide Economopoulos courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

A girl tweets during her prom. For many teenagers, social media has become an integral important outlet of who they are.


Travel: Bernhard Lang, United States

Bernhard Lang courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

The colorful umbrellas create amazing geometric patterns which contrast dramatically with the golden sand and azure-colored sea. From the air it is possible to see how almost every inch of sand is used on a busy summer's day on the Adriatic coastline.

Architecture: Cosmin Bumbutz, Romania

Cosmin Bumbutz courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Once Romania joined the European Union in 2007, the whole prison system went through a major revamp, and the biggest reform was to introduce the right to private visits. This means that a prisoner who is married or in a relationship has the right to receive, every three months, a two-hour private visit which takes place in a separate room inside the prison compound. Plus, if a prisoner gets married in detention, they can spend 48 hours with the spouse in the special room and they are allowed visits once a month in the first year of marriage.


Still Life: Donald Weber, Canada

Donald Weber courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Molotov cocktails have been the weapon of choice for the Euromaidan protesters in Kiev. Using fire to their advantage, the protesters were able to defend their barricades, extend their lines, and fortify their positions. In order to set fire to tanks, armored vehicles, buses, and tires in opposition to local cops, Kiev’s protesters used thousands and thousands of Molotov cocktails, inspiring and mobilizing people throughout the city to collect as many bottles as possible.

People: Giovanni Troilo, Italy

Giovanni Troilo courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Philippe passes most of his time in his beautiful house in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Charleroi, Belgium. Troilo's series The Dark Heart of Europe captures the vision of postindustrial Europe and the social unease felt among its citizens.

Current Affairs: John Moore, United States

John Moore courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

A burial team from the Liberian Red Cross sprays disinfectant over the body of a woman suspected to have died of the Ebola virus on Aug. 14, 2014, in Monrovia, Liberia. Teams retrieved dozens of bodies from all over the capital of Monrovia, where the Ebola virus spread quickly last summer.

Lifestyle: Li Fan, China

Sport: Riccardo Bononi, Italy

Riccardo Bononi courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Bolivia is proud of being the Latin American country with the highest number of actively working women. Every Sunday in the poorest neighborhood of La Paz, female farmers from the countryside get in the ring for a public fight. Wearing traditional clothes and bowlers, Bolivian Valkyries deal with even more demanding fights once they get off the ring, raising their children all by themselves and working between the fields and the urban street markets.

Portraiture: Ruben Salgado Escudero, Spain

Conceptual: Rahul Talukder, Bangladesh

Rahul Talukder courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

On April 24, 2013, the world witnessed the biggest garment factory accident to date. Rana Plaza, an eight-story commercial building, collapsed during the morning rush hour in Savar, Bangladesh, and resulted in a death toll of more than 1,100 and over 2,500 injured. While the search goes on for those buried under collapsed walls, another wall gets filled with pictures of the missing. As they get wet with rain and wrinkled by the sun, they stare out at you and me and whisper, "I was somebody. Do not forget me."

Contemporary Issues: Scott Typaldos, Switzerland

Campaign: Sebastian Gil Miranda, France

Sebastian Gil Miranda courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

This picture was taken as part of the social project Uniendo Caminos, in the chapel Our Lady of Lujan in Villa La Carcova, Jose Leon Suarez, Buenos Aires. This is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country.

Landscape: Simon Norfolk, United Kingdom

Simon Norfolk courtesy of 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Mapping with a pyrograph the melting away of the Lewis Glacier on Mount Kenya. The flame line shows the Lewis Glacier's location in 1963.