Global exposure for photography student

Southampton Solent University student Tom Parker is one of ten photographers and the only UK finalist to be shortlisted for the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus Programme. 

Recognised as the world’s largest photography competition, the awards give young, emerging photographers a global platform from which to launch their careers. Tom will compete against photographers from the USA, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong, France, Spain and Argentina for the big prize.

Tom, aged 21 from Billericay, Essex, secured his place in the final with a stunning shot of a mountain of scrap metal at Southampton Docks, in response to the brief asking for a single image symbolizing contemporary consumer culture.

Passionate about highlighting the negative consequences of consumer culture and the issues with abundance of consumer waste, final-year BA (Hons) Photography student says, “The reality of the exposure and how much this means hasn’t quite settled in yet, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to display my imagery to a wider audience.”

Speaking about his photograph titled ‘Contemporary culture is not just characterised by consumerism, but also about obsolescence and waste’, Tom says:  “My work aims to introduce striking imagery while working with scale to produce large, frame-filled prints that are full of vibrancy and colour. Despite the truck moving, I managed to capture it at a point in which the sheer scale of this ‘mountain’ of scrap metal are revealed.

The shortlisted photographers - selected from 230 educational institutions worldwide - will now compete for the Student Focus Photographer of the Year title, and €35,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for their university.

To decide the overall winner, all ten shortlisted photographers have been asked to shoot a series of images to the brief ‘The edges of our cities’.  Judges are looking for between six and ten images which capture the unseen and undocumented outskirts of our cities.

The work must be shot using the latest full frame camera from Sony – the a7 with the 28-70mm kit lens – given to each shortlisted student as part of their prize.

All ten finalists will then be flown to London with their tutor to attend the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in London on 23 April 2015.

In addition, each of the shortlisted photographers’ series of images will be shown as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 24 April-10 May and have their work published in the 2015 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

Proud of his student’s success, Photography Lecturer Tom Slevin says, “Tom has articulated a concept and research driven approach through his control of technical skills allowing him to produce a layered, relevant and visually striking image.

“His work reflects our philosophy towards photography – a medium through which we can express ideas, address issues, and tell stories in a visually engaging way.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT THE MEDIA OFFICE ON 023 8031 9040 or press.office@solent.ac.uk

Photo credit should read: (c) Tom Parker, Southampton Solent, UK, Shortlist, Student Focus, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

About Southampton Solent University  

Southampton Solent University offers more than 23,000 students over 200 qualifications ranging from HND to PhD, in subjects such as maritime education and training, fashion and design, media and television, music, health, sport and leisure, business, IT and technology. The University was awarded the 2013 Quality Assurance kitemark for quality and standards of teaching and learning. Solent was voted one of the most creative universities in the UK in a Which? University 2014 poll of students. Solent Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award, which is supported by the Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and ‘gold approval’ by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

More information about the Student Focus programme here

Images are available to download here :

For further information please contact: Kristine Bjørge, PR Manager, World Photography Organisation on +44 (0) 20 7886 3146/ kristine@worldphoto.org

The shortlist were chosen by a panel of photography experts including: Tom Hind, UK, Senior Director, Content Development, Getty Image; Jacqueline Hassink, Netherlands, Photographer, and Krishna Sheth, UK, Photography Editor

Judges were required to select one shortlisted student per continent (six in total) plus a further four student’s work from anywhere in the world.  Students who entered the competition were  judged on a single image

•        The shortlisted photographers are:

•        Argentina - Lucia Moron, Al Aire

•        Australia - James Farley, Charles Sturt University

•        France - Yannick Délen, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie

•        Hong Kong - Ngai Man Yan Katherine, PolyU Hong Kong Community College

•        Russia - Nadezhda  Aleksandrova, St Petersburg State University of Culture & Arts

•        Russia - Svetlana Blagodareva, St.Petersburg State Polytechnic University

•        South Africa – Jannah Ruthven, Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography

•        Spain - Angela Silva Cerna, Institut D’Estudis Fotografics de Catalunya (IEFC)

•        United Kingdom - Tom Parker, Southampton Solent

•        United States - Iris Xing, School of Visual Arts

About World Photography Organisation (WPO)

WPO is a home where photography is celebrated and the art of the photographer is recognised.  Working with professional , enthusiast and student photographers alike, the World Photography Organisation provides a global network across the photographic industry to not only to raise the level of conversation around the subject, but to increase awareness and appreciation of this artform.  WPO hosts a year-round portfolio of industry and public events including: Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition and accompanying global exhibition; the World Photography Student Focus Programme, inspiring and working with the next generation of photographers, and Photo Shanghai, Asia Pacific’s premier art fair dedicated to photography.  In addition, WPO has a thriving online presence via its website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and addresses the industry’s latest issues in its monthly online publication, The Magazine.  For more information please visit www.worldphoto.org

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world.  Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $75 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.  Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net/


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Home to around 11,000 students studying everything from HNDs to PhDs, Southampton Solent University is dedicated to enabling learners of all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders, while also promoting economic and social prosperity. Winner of the Times Higher Education ‘Most Improved Student Experience’ Award 2015, Solent is a dynamic university with strong local links and a growing network of global connections – and a reputation for developing grounded, well-prepared graduates with the skills and experience employers want. Holder of the small business charter, home to one of the world’s leading maritime training academies and voted one of the UK’s most creative universities in the 2013 and 2014 Which? University student polls, Solent applies passion and innovative practice to all its courses. Spanning business and law, the creative industries, engineering and technology, maritime, media, sport and tourism, those courses deliver a practical blend of career-focused tuition and real-world experience – giving our students the tools they need to shape their own success.

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The reality of the exposure and how much this means hasn’t quite settled in yet, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to display my imagery to a wider audience.
Tom Parker, Southampton Solent University photography student
My work aims to introduce striking imagery while working with scale to produce large, frame-filled prints that are full of vibrancy and colour. Despite the truck moving, I managed to capture it at a point in which the sheer scale of this ‘mountain’ of scrap metal are revealed.
Tom Parker, Southampton Solent University photography student
Tom's work reflects our philosophy towards photography – a medium through which we can express ideas, address issues, and tell stories in a visually engaging way.
Tom Slevin, Photography Lecturer at Southampton Solent University