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Wednesday 4 March 2015

Student becomes finalist in 2015 Sony World Photography Student Focus Programme

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.”