The livestream, that started at 7am BST (British Summer Time), announced the ten Professional category winners alongside second and third runner ups as well as Open, Student, and Youth competition overall winners.
Host of the virtual award ceremony, Konnie Huq, said: "This is one of the most important photography awards, bringing together photographers across the globe."
Here are the winning images of the Sony World Photography Awards 2021:
Pubarun Basu - Youth competition, Composition and Design, Youth Photographer of the Year, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards.
The youth competition, open to 12-19 year olds had six category winners, with 19 year old Pubarun Basu winning the overall Youth Photographer of the Year award for his image entitled "No Escape From Reality".
The six categories were Street Life, Culture, Show Us Your World, People, Natural World and Wildlife, and Compostion & Design.
In the virtual ceremony, Pubarun said: "I am incredibly humbled to have been announced as the Youth Photographer of the Year. Participating in this competition has given me a fresh perspective on my art. I take immense pride in the fact my generation has such brilliant minds."
Tamary Kudita - Open competition, Creative, Open Photographer of the Year, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards.
From ten category winners, Tamary Kudita from Zimbabwe was awarded the Open Photographer of the Year award for her powerful portrait "African Victorian", which was submitted in the Creative category.
Along with the prestigious award, Tamary will also be awarded $5,000 (USD) as a cash prize, Sony's digital imaging equipment, and global exposure.
In her speech, Tamaray said: "‘African Victorian pays tribute to the contemporary being who is also rooted in history. I am deeply honoured to have been chosen as the winner of the Open competition. This award is a testament to the role we play as creators in shaping visual culture. A central notion in my work is the importance of African representation and I am thankful to have received the opportunity to put Zimbabwean art on the map."
The ten categories for the open competition were: Natural World & Wildlife, Street Photography, Landscape, Motion, Creative, Object, Travel, Architecture, Portraiture, and Lifestyle.
Coenraad Heinz Torlage - Student Competition, Student Photographer of the Year, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards.
South African student, Coenraad Heinz Torlage was awarded the Student Photographer of the Year 2021 award and €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for his school (Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography).
The student competition brief, 'Our Time', challenged students to photograph how they see the world and how they plan to change it for the better. Students were asked to submit a series of five to ten images to portray the brief.
Coenraad's series, titled 'Young Farmers', depicted the next generation of farmers and the challenges they face with severe froughts, safety, and land ownership alongside their contributions to a sustainable future.
In his acceptance speech, Coenraad said: "I have been through an experience that is almost impossible to describe. I often dreamt of winning and prayed that I could share my country and the amazing people in it with the world. I believe in the young farmers of South Africa which this country needs in terms of food sustainability and ecological awareness. Winning is a dream made possible by the amazing people that I photographed and everyone who helped and supported me. I believe in hard work, family and most of all the grace of God. I am truly humbled that my images could even be considered for such a prestigious competition."
For the professional competition, there were ten categories and ten overall winners that received Sony's digital imaging kit.
The photographers for each category were challenged to submit five to ten images that tell a story relating to their chosen category.
Here are the winners of the professional competition.
Craig Easton - Professional competition, Portraiture, Photographer of the Year, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: Bank Top
Tomáš Vocelka - Professional competition, Architecture & Design, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: Eternal Hunting Grounds
Mark Hamilton Gruchy - Professional competition, Creative, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: The Moon Revisited
Luis Tato - Professional competition, Wildlife & Nature, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: Locust Invasion in East Africa
Peter Eleveld - Professional competition, Still Life, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: Still Life Composition, Shot on Wet Plate
Anas Alkharboutli - Professional competition, Sport, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: Sport and Fun Instead of War and Fear
Simone Tramonte - Professional competition, Environment, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: Net-zero Transition
Majid Hojjati - Professional competition, Landscape, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: Silent Neighborhoods
Laura Pannack - Professional competition, Portfolio, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: Portfolio Overview
Vito Fusco - Professional competition, Documentary Projects, Winner, 2021, Sony World Photography Awards
Series entitled: The Killing Daisy
Congratulations to all of the winners, runner ups, and shortlisted photographers!
For the full announcement video, click here.
For the full winner and shortlist gallery of 2021, click here.