Lonely Planet Writer

Let these travel photos from the Sony World Photography Awards shortlist inspire you

Fields of bright flowers in Italy, rainbow-coloured public housing in Singapore and fireflies that light up the night in China are just some of the incredible images that have made the shortlist in the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards.

I shot this picture with my drone, during a summer vacation. My wife and I spent several days in Montenegro, on the Adriatic Coast, and this shot is from the cove Veslo, located at the eastern part of Luštica peninsula. This is a perfect spot where you get the feelings of coziness, privacy and relaxation, and this is what I wanted to be reflected in my work. Unspoilt and rugged at the same time, but also a beautiful and authentic landscape is what I found here, and I hope this is what transcends through this image.
My wife and I spent several days in Montenegro, on the Adriatic Coast, and this shot is from the cove Veslo, located at the eastern part of Luštica peninsula.
Image by © Placido Faranda, Italy, Shortlist, Open, Travel, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

The contest, which is celebrating its 10th year, is the world’s largest photography competition, recognizing exceptional images from around the world.

On May 5, is China's 24 solar terms in the beginning. Just come in the evening, zhaoqing goldkorn wai village farmers are working in vegetable patch, fireflies have eagerly opened "firefly ball". In recent years, with the unceasing enhancement of environmental consciousness, improve rural ecological environment, once disappear fireflies returned to rural, human and nature in harmony of intoxicating fairy tale scene.
On May 5, is China’s 24 solar terms in the beginning. Just come in the evening, zhaoqing goldkorn wai village farmers are working in vegetable patch, fireflies have eagerly opened “firefly ball”.  Image by Copyright: © Zhu Jianxing, China, Shortlist, Open, Travel, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
The plain of Castelluccio Landscape in flowering. Sibillini Mountains National Park, Italy.
The plain of Castelluccio Landscape in flowering. Sibillini Mountains National Park, Italy. Image by © Francesco Russo, Italy, Shortlist, Open, Nature, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

The images are sure to inspire photographers and travelers alike, showing amazing people and places around the world.

At the highlands of Ethiopia, those amazing creatures live. A few days of hiking in the Semien mountains of Ethiopia takes you to their home. It was on that hike that I taught myself to take pictures with 24mm lens, and those baboons were the best models, I got in as close as they let me and took this picture, looks like they're just sitting there - thinking about life.
At the highlands of Ethiopia, those amazing creatures live. A few days of hiking in the Semien mountains of Ethiopia takes you to their home. Image by © Bar Kaufman, Israel, Shortlist, Open, Wildlife, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
The sun setting over Yosemite Valley as shot from Taft Point while my girlfriend poses on the cliff edge. Shot October 2, 2016 during our road trip across the Americas.
The sun setting over Yosemite Valley as shot from Taft Point while my girlfriend poses on the cliff edge. Image by © Rob Wilson, Canada, Shortlist, Open, Travel, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

The shortlisted and commended images were announced this week in all of the competition’s categories, which include professional, open, youth and student focus. More than 227,000 photos were submitted and there are photographers from 49 countries on the shortlist.

May 16th 2016, a tornado warned high precipitation supercell storm is rolling over the town of Stratford, Texas, USA. Its structures and color seem unreal and belong to the most dramatic I have ever witnessed in many years. I only had a few moments to find a decent spot to capture this amazing view. There was a bigger gap in the traffic along the highway so I had enough time to take a few photos. Image is a panorama of two images, further editing includes primarily color and local contrast enhancements, highlight recovery, foreground brightened up and adding vignette.
May 16th 2016, a tornado warned high precipitation supercell storm is rolling over the town of Stratford, Texas, USA.  Image by © Maximilian Conrad, Germany, Shortlist, Open, Nature, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Rustic Public Housing Singapore at dawn.
Rustic Public Housing Singapore at dawn. Image by © Lester Koh Meng Hua, Singapore, Shortlist, Open, Architecture (open), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

Scott Gray, CEO, World Photography Organisation, said in a statement: “This year, more than any other, the entries to the Sony World Photography Awards have shown great integrity and are characterized by their considered approach. Beautiful works of photographic art, not snapshots, have been presented to the judges and I am delighted to see that our esteemed juries have chosen to reward the pure skill, artistic interpretation and thoughtfulness of the photographer, rather than simply the subject matter the photographer has captured”.

Arizona Pastels Series Description: We - human beings have put this system in place, where stress is present everywhere in our lives. At the workplace, in our social life, ... it's basically omnipresent. Especially in a big and fast city as New York it can be very hard if you don't have a counter balance to battle it and clear your mind of the negativity and anxiety that it brings. My answer to this has always been photography. When it's just me and the wast american unknown. This gives me a meditative feeling of freedom - I like to think it somewhat unshackles me of the system we put in place. No distractions, no stress, no expectations - It is my psychiatrist. It makes me more aware of my surroundings and clears my vision - I see things that are normally overlooked or seen as mundane and I enjoy each and every moment on the road usually not really having a plan on where to go but rather stumbling upon things on the way. The photographs I produce in these circumstances are a reflection of how I feel or a reflection of my state of mind, which is calm, organized, colorful, ... This series is my love letter to that feeling and the the desolate landscape - the desert.
Arizona pastels series description. Image by © Dino Kuznik, Slovenia, Shortlist, Professional, Landscape, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards
Urban Symmetry presents buildings on the banks of the River Danube, which are emphasized out of their surroundings and put into soundproof, homogeneous space cleaned off the whole exterior information. However, the series cannot be considered as a dry study, because it does not depict the raw reality: if you get a closer view of the photographs, you may discover that none of the pictures show the building in its full form, but only its reflected part. After all, these fictitious buildings coming into existence perfectly grab and condense their original character into themselves, as if you could see human faces and different personalities on the building portraits.
Urban Symmetry presents buildings on the banks of the River Danube. Image by © Zsolt Hlinka, Hungary, Shortlist, Professional, Architecture (professional), 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

The photographers on the shortlist are competing for the latest Sony digital imaging equipment, plus US$25,000 for the Photographer of the Year, $5000 for the overall open category winner, and €30,000 (Euros) worth of equipment for the university of the Student Focus winner.

Ploschansky Monastery in the Bryansk region of Russia. August 7, 2016.
Ploschansky Monastery in the Bryansk region of Russia. August 7, 2016. Image by © Vladimir Zhoga, Russian Federation, Shortlist, Open, Travel, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 20 April. The winning and shortlisted images will be on display as part of the Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr – 2017 Exhibition, which will be held at Somerset House in London. The exhibition opens on 21 April and will be in London until 7 May, when it will then go on a world-wide tour.

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