Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx has been named the Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Photographer of the Year. Buyckx is a freelance photographer for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard and will receive the $25,000 prize for his winning series of images entitle ‘Whiteout’, which was shot in the Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Asia, all remote areas where people often live in isolation and in close contact with nature.

“There is a peculiar transformation of nature when winter comes, when snow and ice start to dominate the landscape and when humans and animals have to deal with the extreme weather,” Buyckx says. “The series investigates this struggle against disappearance.”

Chosen from the winners of the Awards’ 10 Professional categories, Chair of Judges Zelda Cheatle said of Buyckx’s images: “I have chosen a series of landscapes so that we may return to the essence of looking at photography. Landscape is often overlooked but it is central to our existence. These are beautiful pictures made by a serious photographer, and they are to be enjoyed."

This year the contest received more 227,000 entries from 183 countries, making it the world’s largest photography competition. An exhibition of all winning and shortlisted images and a selection of rare photographs by British photographer Martin Parr, who is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize, will run at Somerset House in London from now until 7 May. 

The annual Sony World Photography Awards are free to enter and open to all photographers. The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards open for entries on 1 June 2017. You can find the full list of of this year's winners below and see a selection of shortlisted and winning images on the World Photography Organisation website

Professional  Category Winners and Finalists

An expert panel of international judges were challenged to find the best photography series (between 5-10 images) across the ten Professional categories. The winning and finalist photographers are:

Architecture winner: Dongni, China
2nd – Julien Chatelin, France / 3rd – Diego Mayon, Italy

Conceptual winner – Sabine Cattaneo, Switzerland
2nd – Gao Peng, China / 3rd – Alexander Anufriev, Russian Federation

Contemporary Issues winner – Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi Arabia
2nd – Li Sony, China / 3rd – Lorzenzo Maccotta, Italy

Current Affairs & News winner – Alessio Romenzi, Italy
2nd – Joe Raedle, United States / 3rd – Ivor Prickett, Ireland

Daily Life winner: Sandra Hoyn, Germany
2nd – Christina Simons, Iceland / 3rd – Alice Cannara Malan, Italy

Landscape winner: Frederik Buyckx, Belgium
2nd – Kurt Tong, United Kingdom / 3rd – Peter Franck, Landscape

Natural World winner: Will Burrard-Lucas, United Kingdom
2nd – Ami Vitale, United States / 3rd – Christian Vizl, Mexico

Portraiture winner: George Mayer, Russian Federation
2nd – Romina Ressia, Argentina / 3rd – Ren shi Chen, China

Still Life winner: Henry Agudelo , Columbia
2nd – Shinya Masuda, Japan / 3rd – Christoffer Askman, Denmark

Sport winner: Yuan Peng, China
2nd – Eduard Korniyenko, Russian Federation / 3rd – Jason O’Brien, Australia

OPEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Alexander Vinogradov, Russia
STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Michelle Daiana Gentile, Argentina