Canada 2017

Canadians shine at the World Photography Awards

The world's best photographs were revealed today by the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards, and a number of Canadian photographers were among those celebrated.

Feast your eyes on stunning landscapes, seductive fruit

'Frozen Firepit,' taken in -30 Alberta and commended in the Travel category at the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. (Kirsten Quist)

Prepare your eyeballs for beauty.

The world's largest photography competition announced its first round of winners today in London, England, and a number of Canadian photographers were among those celebrated.

The 2017 Sony World Photography Awards revealed the winners and (still stellar) runners-up in their Open categories that reward the single best images in architecture, portraits, wildlife and more by photographers from around the world. 

Canada's best photographs

Torontonians will recognize a strip of Bloor Street in Harley Yang's sparse and stunning shot W for Walk, which took first place in the Canada National Awards category:

'This was taken at downtown Toronto near a high-end shopping area in the middle of summer 2016. 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.' (Harley Yang)

Earning second place for best single Canadian photograph was the spellbinding Segamenis by Elzbieta Kurowska:

'"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 ... it shows material stress in cross-polarized light.' (Elzbieta Kurowska)

Through our lenses

Of course, Canadian photographers don't just stick to their hometowns and studio spaces. They hit the road.

Three photographers had work showcased in the Travel category, including the short listed (and summer holiday inspiring) Farm House Tuscany by Stéphane Couture:

Beautiful farm house captured with the mesmerizing sunset lighting of Tuscany. Taken just outside of Pienza, Italy on May 21, 2016. (Stéphane Couture)

And Rob Wilson's breathtaking Taft Point, Yosemite National Park:

'The sun setting over Yosemite Valley as shot from Taft Point while my girlfriend poses on the cliff edge. Shot October 2, 2016 during our road trip across the Americas.' (Rob Wilson)

Receiving commendation in Travel was Frozen Firepit by Kirsten Quist who captured fire, ice and every shade of blue in this Alberta scene:

'On one of the coldest days this past winter in Alberta, Canada, I was inspired by this frozen formation to capture the contrast of fire and ice. Although I struggled with the near -30 degree Celsius temperature and the technical difficulties it presented, I was excited when I was finally able to capture the way both blue and ash covered icicles framed my subject.' (Kirsten Quist)

And no photography competition would be complete without Still Life. Commended in the category was Philippe Doucet seductive pear aptly titled Curves:

Poetic imaging of a pear in the reflection of its graceful curves. (Philippe Doucet)

More wins to come

While today revealed the winners in the Open categories, the prestigious awards have more accolades yet to come: on April 20, the winners in the Professional category will be announced. This category honours a photographer's body of work, not just a single image, and there is one Canadian currently short listed — photojournalist Amber Bracken for her series Standing Rock that includes the sunlit Oceti Sakowin:

'Jesse Jaso, 12, enters the Unity Teepee, at the Sacred Stone Camp near Cannonball, ND on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The teepee is signed by camp supporters from all over North America and around the world.' (Amber Bracken)

And the contrasting Two nations:

'Veterans carry an American and a Mohawk Warrior Society flag through the storm. The Mohawk flag came to prominence during the 1990 Canadian Oka Crisis, when the military confronted Indigenous people in a major armed conflict for the first time in modern history. Camp is dedicated to stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) "in a good way" but there is some fear history will repeat itself, again.' (Amber Bracken)

To take in even more beautiful work by Canadian photographers and others from around the world that were honoured at this year's Sony World Photography Awards, check out worldphoto.org.

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