Smartphone cameras are increasingly being accepted as legitimate photography tools, and now there is a powerful authority to back it up: the World Photo Organisation (WPO) has added a smartphone category to its 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.
The 2015 Mobile Phone Award was created because of “two prominent factors,” the WPO says in a post on why it’s doing this. “There is now more mobile devices in the world than there are human beings,” was the first factor, and “the second factor was that mobile entries to the Sony World Photography Awards have increased steadily year on year. It was time for mobile phone photography to have its own dedicated platform, instead of taking the risk of losing some wonderful photos within the hundreds of thousands of entries we receive to the main awards.” And we must not forget that Sony, a maker of smartphones, sponsors the award.
The WPO acknowledges that there will undoubtedly be a flood of terrible images due to the amount of smartphones being used, and instead of guaranteeing quality it may do “quite the opposite.” But it also hopes something “ground breaking” will come out of it.
If you want to enter, submissions close on February 27. The general public can enter up to three images for free (WPO members get to enter more). Images must be shot with a smartphone, high-resolution enough to be printed for exhibitions (800KB minimum, 5MB maximum), and saved in RGB as JPEG or TIFF formats. The judges will shortlist up to 20 photos, but interestingly the shortlist will be uploaded to the website from March 10-17 for the public to vote and declare who is the winner. If you win, you will go to London to attend the Sony Photography Awards gala ceremony on April 23, along with getting a Sony Mobile product bundle that includes an Xperia smartphone and tablet. Runners-up will be given an Xperia smartphone and their photos will be shown at the exhibition from April 14 to May 10.
Check out the details and list of judges here.