Student Focus finalists announced for 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

Take a look at the work of the 10 photography students that have been chosen as Student Focus finalists.


Ten photography students from around the world have been chosen as finalists for the Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus competition.

The shortlisted photographs were revealed today by the World Photography Organisation. Judges were required to pick one finalist per continent and then an additional four photographs from students based anywhere in the world.

Each finalist is now tasked with capturing a series of photographs under the title "Self-portraits". One series will be chosen as the overall winner at the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in London on 30 April, while all 10 finalists will have their series displayed at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House in May, and will see their work published in the 2014 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.

Use the slideshow controls above and right to take a look at the ten photographs that made the shortlist for 2014's Student Focus competition.

Right: Russell Bruns, a student at Rhodes University in South Africa, submitted this photograph titled Heewon, Grade 1, Coutrai Primary School, Paarl, South Africa. "South Africa's desegregated top-tier schools still face challenges of diversity and old institutional ideologies," Russell explains.

Right: Danish School of Media an Journalism student Tor Birk Trads' photograph is titled Jens has ADHD.

Tor's image description reads: "The story behind the picture is that the Danish government has decided to include special needs children in regular public schools. And they have closed a lot of the schools that took care of special needs children. The idea is that the special needs children should be included in the daily life of kids with "normal" intelligence.

"But the downside is that the inclusions don't always function very well. The teachers are not yet educated to take on this extra responsibility and they lack time to deal with the special needs children."


Right: South African student Tara Mette from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography captured this photograph, titled Human Nature at its Best, which shows Don Wessels, who lost his sight and both his hands in 1987 after a landmine exploded while he was serving in the South African army.

"Since his accident, Don has obtained a BA Degree at the University of Stellenbosch, an Honors and Masters post graduate degrees in international politics with UNISA. He was nominated as a candidate running for Parliament in 1999," Tara explains in her description of the photograph.

"To Don, his best accomplishment was to marry his wife, Maatje van Wyk in 2001. The couple have had many adventures including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and they have twice completed a four-day canoeing trip down the Orange River. There first born baby, Matteo, was born on the 15th October 2007 and their second, Francois, on 8 June 2009."

 "The image talks about Don living in two worlds, his own world and his families. Don spends each day with his two-year-old son whom he is holding; he keeps him occupied through out the day because he is too young to go to kindergarten. Don lives in a world were his senses are the most important factor of his life, all this combined with his roles as a father and husband. His reality is different from anyone around him and he has mastered that reality as best as he can."

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Right: Chinese student from the Nanjing University of the Arts, Li Dandan, captured this photograph titled Liu Yuanhuang in September 2013. The caption reads: "I'm not an alien, it's just glaucoma!"


Right: Nadia Navarro from Al Aire in Argentina captured this photograph, titled Men Don't Hide Their Woman Side Anymore. She explains: "Those who are looking for their daily freedom through various ways of resistance, they are tomorrow's rebels. Rebellion is resistance, big revolutions will exist through people who fight against the society prejudices with daily actions which defy the pre-establishment."


Right: Rana Plaza Tragedy by Rahul Talkuder, a student at Pathshala South Asia Media Institute in Bangladesh.

"More than 1,130 workers died and 2,500 were injured in this deadliest garment-factory accident in history," Rahul explains.

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Right: Representing the UK, Central Saint Martins student Scarlet Evans' #ThenewNewTestament scored her a spot in the finalists of this year's Student Focus competition.

"The internet has become an almost holy entity in the supreme power that it represents, can religion really be immune to its take over? In truth, the internet is already its own kind of religion," she writes in the image description.


Right: Jordan VanSise, a student from Marylhurst University in the USA, submitted this photograph titled Self Portrait for the competition.

"I often find it difficult to know where I stand with myself. While I try to hold on to the value and the beauty of this life, I am constantly reminded of the things I have come witness to and I wonder what the point of all this is," Jordan says.


Right: New Zealand-based student Chloe Riddell from the University of Auckland's photograph, titled The Twins shows twins Tayah and James living with their Grandma three months before they are separated.

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Right: Old Man on a Field Where the City Ends is the shortlisted photograph submitted by Romanian student Sebastian Vacariuc from Babes-Bolyai University.

"This photograph was taken in October 2013, on a field at the limit of Cluj-Napoca city in Transilvania," he explains. "At a certain moment, an old man appeared and started walking around. He seemed absorbed by inner thoughts, by a sort of vision or premonition. The contrast between him and the grim ambient rooted in the background block of flats is increased as he seemed to have appeared out of nothing and to have no specific direction or intention of going somewhere."

"He created the impression of being suspended in time and space, just an aged actor passing through an empty stage set. The light coming from behind emphasized this peculiar old character walking in silence at the edge of a noisy city. A subtle connection between these elements composing the image provoked the desire to capture it, to revisit it again, to understand it. The news of tomorrow may be found in transcending images as this one."