Images capturing Indonesian landscapes, everyday life in Vietnam, stars over Switzerland and so much more have all been included on the shortlist for the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s biggest photography competition.
The competition, which is organised by the World Photography Organization, saw a record number of entries this year. More than 230,000 images were submitted, a 33% increase from 2015, according to the organizers.
Entries came from photographers in 186 different countries – the most the competition has ever seen.
Judges have selected the shortlist of images, which is also “defined by its sheer internationality, with over 270 photographers from nearly 60 countries being represented, the most in the awards’ nine-year history”.
There are three categories in the competition: professional, open and youth. The professional competition includes a variety of categories including architecture, candid shots, landscape, portrait, current affairs, people and more.
The judges noted themes among the thousands of images, including “the delicate handling of intimate, private moments by photographers; the capturing of the major public stories dominating the news, from the conflict in the Ukraine to the endless lines of refuges in search of a better life in Europe; and the use of new technology to create work, including drone and underwater photography”.
Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards said they were very pleased with the selections for the shortlist.
“Despite the increase in the number of photographers, and the amount of imagery that required judging, this year above all others we have witnessed a wealth of powerful imagery in the traditionally strong social documentary categories as well as the art and conceptual work. It is wonderful for the medium that it can offer such rich diversity.”
Photographers in the professional category are competing for a $25,000 prize and the title of Photographer of the Year.
The winners will be revealed on 21 April and will be showcased at Somerset House in London from then until 8 May.