Winning 1st Place in The World’s Largest Photo Competition!
By Andrew Suryono
Hello Readers, My name is Andrew Suryono. I won 1st place in this year’s Sony World Photography Award, Indonesia National Award. Below is my winning photo, “Orangutan in The Rain.”
This year 173,444 images was submitted from 171 countries, making Sony’s photography contest the largest in the world. Winning 1st place in this competition means a lot to me. Not only because this is the largest photo competition in the world, but also this is my first ever international award. I’m an avid reader of Steve’s site. I sent an email to Steve asking his permission to share my experience from winning the competition with you and he replied to me with a resounding YES in less than 5 minutes.
I’m super excited to share my experience with you here. Here we go! I’m sure many of you already have a question in mind: “What’s the prize of winning this competition, Andrew?” Did I read your mind correctly? 🙂 Sony gave me a Sony A7s, a Carl Zeiss 24-70mm lens and a flight ticket to London (return). They also took care of my hotel accommodation, meals and transport during my 5 days stay in London. During this trip, Sony organized a photography tour where I can try all kinds of Sony’s new camera and lenses. I tried the Carl Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 lens, the Sony 28mm f/2 lens and the Sony 90mm Macro lens. Sony also did a photo exhibition to showcase of all the winners’ photos and finally end it glamorously with a gala dinner for the awarding ceremony. Here’s a picture of me holding the trophy during the Gala Dinner ceremony.
On top of all that, I got tons of publication requests. My winning photo was featured in big sites such as CNN, National Geographic, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, The Telegraph and many more. I view photography as my hobby and I never thought I could make it this far. Hopefully my winning photo and achievement can inspire you or at least light up your day!
Until then, take care! If you want to learn more about me, feel free to visit me at: My Blog: www.photoseis.com My Photo Gallery: photoseis.smugmug.com
Congratulations! Is there a back story to the photo? Not everyday you see an orangutan use a leaf as an umbrella… brilliant!
Great shot Mas Andrew! Hopefully saya juga bisa menang lomba foto suatu saat hehe. Congratulation!
Congratulations! Well deserved and an inspiring share. Proves humans do not have a monopoly on intelligence or creativity!
Thank you! Exactly. We certainly do not have monopoly on intelligence or creativity!
Congratulations my friend. That is an amazing shot… wow… really well deserved.
Congratulations Andrew ! nice photo.
Hi Andrew, and amazing photo! and a well deserved win. Could you share with us how you managed to take this picture? we could learn a lot from you!
Sure thing Kevin! However, it’s pretty long for a comment. Maybe I’ll contact Steve and do another guest post on how I took that photo. Stay tuned!
How wonderful! Both your story and your awesome image! Inspirational on all levels! Intelligence is not unique to humans! 🙂
Thank you. Precisely. The more you shoot wildlife, the more you realize that intelligence is not unique to humans.
Congratulation Andrew, your winning image is awesome.
Superb. Many congratulations. And just wow, what an experience the Awards ceremony was as well.
Congratulations!!! This is a breathtaking and very beautiful photograph. This really is « nature at its best ». Well done. Beautiful and very original, refreshing and fun. Thanks for sharing!
My pleasure! There are so many things that nature hasn’t shown us and it always make sme excited!
I am very excited for you! What a great experience and accomplishment. You caught a great moment and it portrays to me to use the simple things of life to get out of the rain literally and physically. Love the photo!!
I love this photo. Congratulations!
Congratulations! Your photo says a lot. We are not the only ones on earth who are sometimes not in the mood for being wet. She or he is at least more intelligent than I. If I were, I would try to find an umbrella instead of the leaf in the rainy jungle.
Well done Andrew on your award. This is richly deserved. It is nice to hear a “good news story” about what can be achieved through photography and you sound like a genuine enthusiast. An inspiration for us all.
Thank you! I am a genuine enthusiast and it’s so refreshing to see other people inspired through my photography!
Fantastic achievement! Fantastic photo! Well done and well earned Andrew!!
Funny that Sony lets a Nikon win (according to the metadata)
They don’t look at the camera that you use. You can use any camera for the contest. They judge solely by looking at the photo.
One of the guy from the judging panel told me that they print out the photos and hid all the information including who the photographer is and what camera they use. Then they pick the winners.
Yeah!!! (And also Andrew, what did you think of the 35mm 1.4?) Congrats!
Thanks, Scott. The 35mm 1.4 is a super SHARP lens. Loved it. BUT and this is a big but: it’s big heavy for a prime lens. If it were smaller and lighter, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
Congrats, wish you have a great future in photo business!
Congratulations! Really great shot!
Brilliant shot. I get a wonderful sense of calm when viewing the photo. A very well deserved award. Congrats.
That’s true. Many people who bought the prints of the image from my gallery told me that it’s very calming to look at that image.
Would you mind sharing if you retained the full rights of your photo, and got some licences fees from the feature in the mentioned media?
Yes, I retained full rights to my photo. I also got some license fees from book and greeting cards publications.
It must have been a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes for your photographic future
My pleasure. It was a wonderful experience and one that I will never forget!
Wonderful shot, congradulations!
Congratulations, Andrew. A well deserved award for a great image. Nice to see an “amateur” win a prestigious award. Well done!
Thank you. I don’t think I want to turn professional, I’d stay “amateur” for now 🙂
Very nice shot, congratulations!
Baller shot. Congratulations.
If I were you, I would put that little Orangutang in your Will!! What a fantastic shot. Keep shooting Andrew.
LOL, not sure if I’m legally allowed to do that here in Indonesia. If they do, I’ll make sure he gets plenty of banana trees.
Deserves a first prize and inspires…hope the orangutan gets a free banana…
Just a banana? I’ll give him a tree full of bananas!
LOL!! awesome Pak Andrew, congrats ya! so proud…
Congratulations! Amazing photo demonstrating your clear talent.
Congrats, nice shot!
I’m interested did you (and all other entrants) give away the rights of the photo to Sony on entering, or can you still License it out to publications like the ones mentioned, and others???
No. The competition doesn’t ask you to give away the rights of the photo. All rights still belong to me 100% and I can still license it out to other publications. I would completely avoid photo contest that ask you to give away rights. Stay away from those.
Great question. I was wondering the same thing. Contests are tricky. You enter and often it becomes the right of the brand to use your image royalty free. You get trophies and recognition. They get money from using your photo to promote their brand. Is it an honor or a scam? I am torn.
Hi David, see my previous comment. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before joining any competition. There are plenty of competition out there that lets you retain the rights of your photograph. Generally, the bigger the competition, the more likely they are to let you retain your rights.
That is a great and fun image. Well deserved win, and a very good prize package. Thanks for sharing.
It was fun shooting this image and being able to share it with you. Yes, the prize package was good although I wished I can get the Sony a7R II now… probably they’ll give that this year in the competition 🙂
That is an awesome shot. Congratulations. Well deserved.