Events photography

Naomi Osaka Helps a Butterfly at The Open: 2022 Sports Photography of the Year Awards

An image captured by Reuters photojournalist and photographer David Gray at the moment’s Australian Open 2021 won the final sports photography award of the year.

David’s creative capture shows a moment when Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka helped a butterfly onto the court. Rather than photographing the tennis player holding the butterfly, David chose to focus on the shadow of the event. A creative sports shooter, it’s characteristic of David’s approach when he uses light and shadow in a dynamic way.

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There were over 7,000 entries from professional sports photographers to choose from for this year’s award, now in its third year. Faced with so much competition, the judges felt that David’s image revealed a more delicate moment, reflecting the beauty and power of the sport.

“It’s a breathtaking image. Sports photography captures special moments and tells unique stories, but above all, it draws you in and reveals the unexpected,” says Simon Burton, co-founder of the World Sports Photography Award “It forces you to look again and reconsider.

The World Sports Photography Awards are the world’s only awards for sports photography and are presented by some of the best sports photographers in the world. The awards are judged by leading experts from the worlds of sport, media and creative media, including MPB Partners – an online platform for buying and selling photographic equipment who often offer their advice on the best buys sensible. (opens in a new tab).

Sophie Collins, Director of Marketing at MPB, said: “As a judge and as a sponsor of the 2022 World Sports Photography Awards, I have been incredibly impressed with the quality of this year’s entries. The photograph captures a moment in time, the emotion, the ups and downs. It tells a story that has the power to change the way the viewer feels and inspires them. It was great to see new faces in the “Pro” space also shortlisted for the awards! »

David’s image is just one of 24 other winning images in different sports categories, including American football, basketball, cycling, gymnastics and soccer. We’ve selected a few of our favorites below.

World Sports Photography Awards 2022

(Image credit: Joel Marklund)

World Sports Photography Awards 2022

(Image credit: Marian Chytka)

World Sports Photography Awards 2022

(Image credit: Dustin Satloff)

World Sports Photography Awards 2022

(Image credit: Steve Haag)

World Sports Photography Awards 2022

(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

World Sports Photography Awards 2022

(Image credit: Muhammad Arbaz)

Learn more about the World Sports Photography Award (opens in a new tab) and check out all the winning images from this year’s competition.

If you feel inspired by these winning sports images and want to improve your own skills, why not take a look at the best 70-200mm lenses (opens in a new tab) and these 5 tips for becoming a sports photographer (opens in a new tab).