Experiencing its most sweeping changes since it launched in 2007, the Sony World Photography Awards contest, which are now open for entries for its 2011 edition, will leave France and move to Mexico City, San Francisco, Shanghai and London.
For the past three years, the Sony World Photography Awards and the World Photography Festival has been organised in Cannes in the south of France. In 2011, the contest will bypass the French city and host its prestigious awards ceremony in London after touring other cities.
The World Photography Festival will first be held in San Francisco in October, followed by Shanghai and Mexico City in November and December respectively. The tour will finish in London in April when the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony will be held. "Each festival will showcase the Sony World Photography Awards winners and will feature practical workshops, exhibitions, talks, portfolio reviews and a photography symposium presented by leading international industry figures," say the organisers.
The contest, which is now open for entries, is also experiencing changes with a new Open competition that replaces the amateur contest. The contest has nine categories and is judged on a single image.
However, professional photographers and "serious enthusiasts" are invited to join the Professional competition, which will be judged on a body of work. There are 14 categories open for entries: Travel; Lifestyle; Still Life; Fashion; Architecture; Portraiture; Landscape; Still Life; Conceptual; Current Affairs; Contemporary Issues; People; Arts and Culture; and Sport.
Winners in each category will receive a trophy on 27 April in London, while the overall winner will receive the Iris d'Or / Sony World Photographer of the Year award, which comes with a $25,000 cash prize.
The organisers will also, for the second year running, present the Student Focus competition, which is open to all universities across the world that hold a photography programme. For this edition, the Student Focus will run in exclusive partnership with the Tate modern's new photography exhibition - Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera.
Ten shortlisted students, with their turors, will be flown to London in April 2011 to conduct their final assignment as part of the World Photography Festival.
For more details and to enter the competition, visit www.worldphoto.org.
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