American photographer Mitch Dobrowner has won the Sony World Photographer of the Year 2012 award, with a series of stunning photographs entitled Storms.
Dobrowner’s extraordinary black and white photos of brooding skylines pregnant with impending storms defeated over 112,000 rival images that were submitted from 171 different countries.
Chairman of the judging committee, WM Hunt, said: “There is enormous pleasure in the jury's selection of Mitch Dobrowner because he is the best of what is classic and what is contemporary in photography.
“He brings a sense of its history and enormous skill in his craft while pushing his imagination and, even, physical strength. The work offers a visceral rush while being wonderfully well made. I think he is an exceptional choice.”
Dobrowner, who grew up on Long Island, New York was named winner of the L’Iris d’Or and given a cheque for $25,000 (£15,500), along with Sony’s latest digital imaging camera equipment, at a lavish ceremony at London’s Hilton Hotel on Thursday evening.
A keen photographer in his youth, Dobrowner only resumed taking photographs again properly in 2005 after setting up a design studio with his wife.
Elsewhere Open Photographer of the Year title was awarded to 29-year-old German Tobias Bräuning for his entrancing image Dancing Queen. He walked away with $5,000 (£3,000) for his efforts.
The Youth Award Winner, a new edition to the programme specifically for under 20s, went to Sergey Kolyaskin from Russia, for his image The Last Hero, who was given Digital SLR camera equipment from Sony and a showcase spot at the winner’s exhibition.
This year’s Outstanding Contribution award went to the influential New Yorker William Klein. The 83-year-old, known for ironic and unusual approaches to photography, has been at the cutting edge of the medium for the past 60 years.
Check out some of the shortlisted photographs from this year's awards: