Thursday, 7 February 2013

In Focus: 2013 Sony World Photo Awards

© Ali Asadi, Iran, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards
© Gali Tibbon, Israel, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

In Focus, the wonderful photo blog of The Atlantic has just featured some of the shortlisted images from the 2013 Sony World Photo Awards. The beauty of this particular blog is that it features its images in large sizes; 1024 pix or 1280 pix, which certainly enhances the viewers' enjoyment.

This year's contest attracted more than 122,000 entries from 170 countries. The photographs are being judged in six different competition categories, including Professional, Open, and Student Focus. Winners are scheduled to be announced in March and April.

I thought I'd feature my two favorite photographs out of the 40 that are shown on In Focus, and see if either make it to the winners' circle.

One of my favorite is by Ali Asadi of Iran. It shows an Iranian woman mourner, presumably during Ashoura, marking the death anniversary of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. He is one of the most revered and loved saints of Shi'a Islam. One of the rituals observed during this anniversary is for the mourners to cover themselves with mud.

The other is by Galli Tibbon; one of my favorite photographers/photojournalists. It shows a female worshiper (said to be infertile) being lowered into a baptism pool by a rope held by Ethiopian priests. It is in Bet Maryam, a church dedicated to Mary, and it's deep square pool is said to have miraculous properties, and is where infertile women dip themselves in its algae-covered waters at certain times of the year, particularly at Christmas. Lalibela is famous for its 13th century monolithic churches, carved out of the living rock.