Zeiss World Photography Awards 2019 – Winner and Shortlist Announced

  By Kaitlyn Kerr

Photo by Rory Doyle

The winner of the 2019 Zeiss World Photography Awards has been announced. Congratulations to Rory Doyle for his project “Delta Hill Riders,” following Afro-American cowboys and cowgirls across the Mississippi Delta.

Doyle has been photographing African American cowboys since 2017 in an effort to bring more awareness to this vastly under-represented perspective. After the American Civil War, approximately one in four cowboys was African-American, but the white John Wayne stereotype was prevalent, and to a degree, remains so today. Doyle’s series breaks these stereotypes, with a appreciative warmth and evident connection with his subjects. (Read more about Doyle’s project in an interview with Zeiss here.)

Doyle wins 12,000 Euros in Zeiss lenses and 3000 Euros towards travel costs for a future photography project. His series will also be exhibited in London from April 18th to May 6th as part of the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, held at Somerset House.

There were six series shortlisted for the competition, which had the selected theme “Seeing Beyond” this year. Selections from these series will also be exhibited in London. The series are:

I wish I were British,” a series of self portraits reflecting on personal identity and freedom of movement, by Michela Carmazzi.

Mallakhamba,” a series by Ken Hermann which captures the traditional Indian sport that combines gymnastics, yoga, and wrestling grips, all performed on a stationary pole or hanging ropes.

Land of Ibeji,” by Benedicte Kurzen & Sanne De Wilde, a collaborative project that explores twinhood, particularly in a region called Yoruba-land in south-west Nigeria, which has ten times as many twin births as any other region in the world.

Daily Geometry,” by Petra Leary, highlights the graphic symmetry and shapes of various basketball courts in her home country of New Zealand from an aerial perspective.

Exposed Landscapes” is the result of over eighty people – strangers, essentially – that Lara Wilde photographed in their homes, using light and dark to reveal stories and the souls underneath.

‘Like’ and ‘Companionship’, there is no distinction” by Gangfeng Zhou, a series which explores silicone dolls and the culture surrounding them in China.

This is the fourth year for the Zeiss Photography Awards, a collaboration between Zeiss and the World Photography Organization. This year’s jury was made up of artist, photographer, and filmmaker Simon Frederick; leader of the Photoworks agency Shoair Mavlian; and Dagmar Seeland, who is the German picture editor at STERN magazine.




Kaitlyn is a craft beer enthusiast and self-labelled film nerd. Suitably, she is one of the hosts of Calgary's Beers & Cameras meetup group. She also drinks too much coffee and wants to see too many places. When not helping coordinate events or exploring whatever city, town, or backroad she can, she also works as a freelance photographer and assistant.