The World Photography Organisation has announced the finalist and shortlisted photographers for the Professional competition of the Sony World Photography Awards 2020. Canadian Sandra Herber is one of three finalists in the Architecture category for her series Ice Fishing, Lake Winnipeg. Ian Willms was shortlisted in the Documentary category. The complete finalist and shortlisted image gallery is available here on the WPO website.
The winners of all ten categories, Photographer of the Year and Student Photographer of the Year will be announced on April 16. From April 17 through May 4, the finalist and winning images, as well as the projects of the 2019 Sony Professional Grant recipients, will be on view in the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London, U.K. Afterward, the exhibition will tour internationally.
Sandra Herber, Ice Fishing, Lake Winnipeg
Winters in Manitoba, Canada, are long and often bitterly cold. When the temperature drops many lakes and rivers in the province play host to some amazing architecture in the form of ice fishing huts. These huts, shacks or permies (as they are called in Manitoba) must be transportable, protect their occupants from the elements and allow access to the ice below for fishing. With these requirements met, the mostly male owners are free to express their personality and creativity as they wish. The huts can be large or small, decorated or plain, luxurious or utilitarian, but they are all wonderfully unique. I captured these pictures on Lake Winnipeg in December 2019. My hope for this series, which is a continuation of work I started in 2018, is to capture the charm of the huts. By displaying them in a typology, I also hope to allow the unique beauty of each one to shine through.
Ian Willms, As Long as the Sun Shines
As Long as the Sun Shines looks at how the world’s largest and most destructive industrial project (Canada’s oil sands development) is impacting Indigenous communities, but it’s also about much more than that. This project zooms in on the daily, intimate destruction taking place in the shadow of an industry large enough to be seen from space. Intense forest fires, driven by climate change, bring challenges never before seen. Rare cancers, birth defects, lupus and other ailments occur in Fort Chipewyan and Fort McKay at alarmingly high rates. In Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, locals describe this process as a “slow-motion cultural genocide.” After decades of advocacy, these communities have yet to receive a comprehensive public health study that’s free of industry influence. Meanwhile, people are dying, slowly, quietly, behind closed doors.
An improvised scarecrow, at a Syncrude oil sands site north of Fort McMurray AB, is meant to deter migratory birds from landing in tailings ponds. Numerous cases of large numbers of birds dying in the ponds have been reported in recent years.