Photo of the week: Best in Belgium


Steven Meert of Ghent won the national prize in the Sony World Photography Awards for his shot of riders on the Eddy Merckx velodrome

Exhibition in London

Steven Meert submitted his photo “On Track” to the Sony World Photography Awards a few weeks ago in the category Sport. But Sony had a surprise for him, crowning it the best photo submitted from Belgium for 2019.

The Sony World Photography Awards are open to anyone – professionals, hobbyists and casual photographers – who wants to submit a single photo or a series. There are several categories to choose from, such as Architecture, Landscape, Portraiture and Sport.

Every entry is automatically entered into national and regional competitions. Meert’s shot of cyclists on the velodrome at the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx in Ghent, where he lives, won the Belgium National Award. His photo will be part of the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition in London this spring.

‘A stroke of luck’

“I took the photo in the Eddy Merckx velodrome, named after the most successful athlete in the history of competitive cycling,” Meert told Sony when he sent in his entry. “Cycling here is also a big national sport, so this makes the photo very Belgian.”

Meert is a self-taught photographer and teaches the subject, as well as English, at the Artevelde College in Ghent. He also works as a freelance photographer.

“In this photo, I used a slightly slower shutter speed to try to convey the speed at which they’re moving,” he said. “Your eyes are drawn to the cyclist in the front because of his position in the frame and the shape of the track. He’s a blur, so he also illustrates that sense of speed.”

Aside from his photo being part of Sony’s big exhibition at Somerset House, Meert won a camera for his efforts. “I’d be lying if I said that I specifically chose this deciding moment to take the shot,” he said. “I used the burst mode. So I like to call this a stroke of luck.”

Photo ©Steven Meert/SWPA2020