Irish photographer Ivor Prickett has reached the final shortlist for this year’s Sony World Photography Awards, with four compatriots falling just short.
As 227,000 images from 183 countries were filed into Sony’s annual world photography awards, one Irish photographer has stayed the course.
The final shortlisted names include Ivor Prickett, a Cork native who has previously reached this stage in both 2012 and 2014 without taking top prize.
Prickett’s other commendations include being shortlisted by the Ian Parry Scholarship, winning the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and being selected to participate in the World Press Photo Masterclass.
Prickett is a documentary photographer that has been based in the Middle East since 2009, and focuses his work on the aftermath of war and its humanitarian consequences.
His shortlisted series ‘Caught in the Crossfire’ captures the intense fight for Mosul, and the thousands of civilians who remain caught between Iraqi and coalition forces on one side, and Islamic State (ISIS) group fighters on the other.
“Over 800,000 people are still reportedly trapped in Mosul, according to estimates by the UN,” said Prickett.
“Tens of thousands are sheltering in neighbourhoods declared liberated by Iraqi forces, and many more remain in parts of the city under ISIS control. Humanitarian organisations continue to fear mass displacement and civilian casualties.
“While other areas of the country were largely devoid of civilians when they were finally rested from ISIS control, the battle for Mosul is different because so many people have been told to remain inside. As a result, progress has been slow and civilian casualties, although lower than expected, are still mounting.”
Some of Prickett’s images feature below, along with four fellow Irish entrants who made the top 50 in their categories, as well as a selection of some of the other shortlisted inclusions.
The other Irish photographers are Dominic Byrne, Jonathan Beamish, Aoife Herrity and Aaron Dickson.
The overall winners will be announced on 20 April.
Iraqi men from the Hawija region of Iraq wait to be questioned by Kurdish security personnel at a base near Kirkuk. Having fled areas still under the control of ISIS militants, men and boys of fighting age are vetted for any links to the group, before being allowed to join their families in camps for displaced people in the Kurdish-controlled region of the country. Image: Ivor Prickett, Ireland, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs and News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Iraqi civilians displaced by fighting in the village of Shora, 25km south of Mosul, reach an Iraqi army checkpoint on the northern outskirts of Qayyarah. Image: Ivor Prickett, Ireland, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs and News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Cayan Tower, Dubai Marina. Image: Dominic Byrne, Ireland, Commended, Open, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Calais getaway. Image: Jonathan Beamish, Ireland, Commended, Open, Portraits, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
“This image was taken on 22 January 2016 during my MFA photography course of study at the Belfast School of Art at Ulster University.” Image: Aaron Dickson, Ireland, Commended, Open, Still Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Yellow chair stack. Image: Aoife Herrity, Ireland, Commended, Open, Still Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Is a panda cub fooled by a panda suit? That’s the hope at Wolong’s Hetaoping centre, where captive-bred bears training for life in the wild are kept relatively sheltered from human contact, even during a rare hands-on check-up. Image: Ami Vitale, USA, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
A cub gets weighed at Bifengxia Panda Base. In the wild, once they’ve grown to adulthood, female pandas may weigh up to 220 pounds, and males up to 250 pounds, and they’ll range from four to six feet long. Image: Ami Vitale, USA, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
This series was taken in a sports school in Jining, in the Shandong province, China. Liu Bingqing and Liu Yujie are twin sisters, who have enjoyed gymnastics since childhood. They have studied, trained and grown up here. Image: Yuan Peng, China, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
“To show hyenas in their element, I wanted to photograph them at night. The stars in Africa are so beautiful that I also wanted to include them in my image … I lit the hyena with two wireless off-camera flashes and used a long shutter speed to expose the stars. Since there was no moon to cause ghosting, it didn’t matter if the hyena moved after the initial flash.” Image: Will Burrard-Lucas, UK, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
“Society constrains the divorcee. What you can or can’t do, remains under the control of others. As an independent single mother, I’ve made peace with the sacrifices I’ve had to make, but also managed to find happiness on my own” – Nassiba, fashion designer, Jeddah. Image: Tasneem Alsultan, Saudi Arabia, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
The combinations of an old Volvo mounted with tyres from a tractor and soaked madrasses on the roof makes Widad, Salma, Katinka and Svea beg for extra tours on the muddy cross-track. Carl-Mar Møller owns a piece of land in the northern part of Zealand in Denmark, where he created a playground with different challenges and obstacles. His work and therapy usually targets men in search of their masculinity. Image: Asger Ladefoged, Denmark, Shortlist, Professional, Daily Life, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
“What I shot are common people and natural views, combined, mixed and happened together in one scene, forging these ‘funny’ or ‘meaningful’ pictures. An artist creates a piece of his or her reflection of the world, which could be the illusion of your heart as well.” Image: Gao Peng, China, Shortlist, Professional, Conceptual, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
“I was in Liuwa Plain at the end of the dry season. When the rains finally arrived, thousands of wildebeest migrated to the area. I positioned a remote flash in front of the herd and drove round so that I could use the flash to backlight the rain.” Image: Will Burrard-Lucas, UK, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Grado (Italy) is home to an annual bowls event. 70 fans from different regions of northern Italy attend. From a simple challenge between a few fans originally, the competition has now grown. Image: Andrea Rossato, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
“I am a conservative that thinks for herself and does not vote based on the party-line stance. I decide to support Trump because I appreciate his brutal candour and honesty – good, bad and the ugly. I hope [for] the return of the American Pride.” – Laura Diaz, San Antonio, Texas. Image: Giulia Piermartiri & Edoardo Delille, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Modena Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Modena, Italy, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saint Geminianus. Consecrated in 1184, it is an important Romanesque building in Europe and a World Heritage Site. Image: Alessandro Piredda, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Architecture, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Taha Sirhan, 11, carrying the Iraqi flag through burned-out oil fields in the city of Qayyarah, south-east of Mosul in Iraq. His dad was killed by ISIS during the occupation because he was working for the Iraqi police. Image: Asger Ladefoged, Denmark, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs and News, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards