The 14th annual Sony World Photography Awards were announced this week with winners in professional, open, youth and student categories from around the world.
The overall winner was British documentary photographer Craig Easton for his series Bank Top that examines communities in the Bank Top community in northern England. The project was a commission by the Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery as part of the Kick Down the Barriers initiative after reports of the town being the most segregated in Britain.
Easton, who wins US$25,000 ($34,905) in cash and a range of Sony photographic equipment, said, "I photograph to learn, to try to understand and to document and share stories. It is a privilege to be able to do so and to challenge perceptions and stereotypes ... To have these stories from under-represented or misrepresented communities in northern England where I live recognised and shared worldwide is wonderful. Thank you."
The Sony Awards have garnered a reputation for giving exposure to established and emerging photographers. This year a one-hour film — "A Year In Photos" — has been released celebrating the top winners with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage taking viewers on a journey across the globe to explore contemporary stories and artistic excellence and can be viewed online at www.worldphoto.org/yearinphotos.