Stewart Main’s ‘Fort Badass’ makes final of 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Date posted

28 February 2017


Last updated

14 June 2022

An Edinburgh Napier student has been shortlisted for an award in what is the world’s largest photography competition.

Stewart Main has made it through to the final 10 in the Student Focus competition of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards.

His shortlisted image, ‘Fort Badass’, has been selected from entries submitted from over 300 institutions from throughout the world.

Selected by a panel of esteemed judges, his image answered the brief ‘Memories’, with ‘Fort Badass’ reflecting on Stewart’s own childhood memories of having his own private space.

He will now complete a second photography challenge set by the judges, with the winner announced at the Sony World Photography Awards on Thursday, 20 April. The winner will receive €30,000 worth of Sony equipment for his/her university.

As a result of being shortlisted, Stewart’s work will also be shown in London as part of the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr - 2017 Exhibition, and published in the 2017 edition of the awards’ book.

Commenting on being shortlisted, Stewart said: “It’s pretty cool to be shortlisted in such a huge competition. I've seen the works of those who have won it in the past, so I know how high the standard is. To be shortlisted and being able to represent my course and university is a massive achievement in itself.”

Currently working through the third year of his BA (Hons) Photography, Stewart’s work mainly consists of portraiture and creative still life. He draws inspiration from various sources and he is particularly influenced by photographers such as David LaChapelle and Gregory Crewdson.

Speaking about his ‘Fort Badass’ submission, he added: “Forts have always offered an escape from reality, a chance to be all the things you wanted to be. Being a kid you don’t have to worry about school, family or friends, you just enjoy being a kid. Nowadays everyone is stressed about work and family. I think we all need a ‘Fort Badass’ we can crawl into and just escape reality for a while.”

Colin Cavers, Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Photography at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “The School Of Creative Arts & Industries is delighted to learn that one of our photography students, Stewart Main, has been shortlisted for this prestigious award, the ‘Student Focus: Sony World Photography Awards 2017’.”

Scott Gray, World Photography Organisation CEO, said: “The Student Focus competition is an integral part to the Awards programme as it aims to uncover young, fresh photographic talent and works to propel them forward in their career.”

Student Focus judge Andrea Kurland adds: “This year's shortlist helps cement why awards like these are more important than ever. The work submitted was original, thoughtful and brave - a healthy reminder that talent will always win out and rise above the noise.”

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, 2017 sees the 10th anniversary of the Sony World Photography Awards and a decade-long partnership with headline sponsor, Sony.

Each year the awards recognise and reward the very best contemporary photography captured over the last year entered into any of the awards’ four competitions - Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus. With 49 nationalities represented, the 2017 shortlists reinforce the awards’ international appeal and unique ability to present the greatest images taken by photographers from all corners of the world on a truly global scale.