Each year, photographers from around the globe submit their most captivating works to compete in the Sony World Photography Awards. From minutiae in everyday life to rare glimpses into remote subcultures, these images represent the very best in contemporary photography.
For the 2014 awards, the World Photography Organization received a total of 139,544 submission from 166 countries --the highest number of entries in the competition's seven-year history.
All of the shortlisted photographs will be presented at Somerset House in London from May 1 through May 18, and the winners of this year's Sony World Photography Awards will be announced at the Gala Ceremony on April 30 in London.
Take a look at the shortlisted honorees (below), then check out our coverage of last year's winners (here).
YongSheng Zheng / Sony World Photography Awards
China - Finalist Sport Professional Competition:
"This group race cow taken in the city of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia, which has 400 years of history, is the traditional cattle race events, the locals call PacuJawi, usually after rice harvest, choose an open flat paddy fields held two cattle as a group, the rider standing on a wooden shelf control, competitive and exciting game," the artist's description of the image reads.
Kacper Kowalski / Sony World Photography Awards
Poland - Finalist Landscape Professional Competition:
"I take to the skies above Poland to gain a vantage point over a country gripped by harsh winter. Temperatures can drop to ‐ 30 C degrees and stay below zero for months. The few specks of color in these images -‐ a yellow bus on an empty country road, a red tractor in a forest clearing ‐- are the only signs of human activity in this monochrome landscape," Kowalski writes of his work.
Wilfred Berthelsen / Sony World Photography Awards
Norway - Finalist Travel Professional Competition:
"This is a series of images in black & white taken at Svalbard," Berthelsen writes of his work.
Sophie Gamand / Sony World Photography Awards
United States - Finalist Portraiture Competition:
"Wet Dog is a series of portraits of dogs caught mid‐bath. The dogs are photographed at a vulnerable moment, half a second before they shake the water off their fur. Sophie's pictures capture their character and, in some cases, recognizable emotions (like annoyance, misery or vengefulness)," a description of Gamand's photo reads.
Emmanuel Coupe / Sony World Photography Awards
Greece - Shortlist Landscape Professional Competition:
"All images were taken in the southern and central parts of Iceland. These areas were carefully scouted and selected for their particular qualities such as formations and color pallet," Coupe's description says.
Suvra Kanti Das / Sony World Photography Awards
Bangladesh - Shortlist Arts & Culture Professional Competition:
"An old Hindu woman sits with lights (Prodip) and prays to God in front of Shri Shri Lokanath Brahmachar Ashram temple during the Rakher Upobash at Barodi, Narayangonj," Das' image description says.
Nikolai Linares / Sony World Photography Awards
Denmark - Shortlist Sport Professional Competition:
"The Fighter, The Father is the story of Jorge Herrera's life. Fleeting as 9-year-old from an abusive father and a Chilean dictatorship, a youth as troublemaker in Tingbjerg, Copenhagen, smooking hash, violent behavior and being sent to jail. Memory loss and injuries on the hard‐trained body is starting to show after a hard lived life. At the age of 35 years Jorge Herrera has started to recreate his own life [all sic]," the photo's description reads.
Melissa Golden / Sony World Photography Awards
USA - Shortlist Current Affairs Professional Competition:
"For 39 minutes on May 20, 2013, a massive EF5 tornado with winds reaching 210 mph cut a 17‐mile long path that was 1.3 miles wide at its peak. Moore, O.K., bore the brunt of the damage and of the 24 casualties, seven were children at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which had no storm shelter. Indeed, most homes hit lacked shelters which are not legally mandated by the state. ... Destiny Pierman, 13, collects belongings from the damaged bedroom of her home in Moore, O.K. She and her mother feared it leveled and were relieved to find the house damaged, but still standing. Destiny's epilepsy medication, the family's primary concern, was right where they had left it," a description for the image says.
K.M. Asad / Sony World Photography Awards
Bangladesh - Shortlist Current Affairs Professional Competition:
"'This building will stand a hundred years,' owner boasted just a day before collapse. The next morning, it came down.'Aha re,' the people shook their heads and asked sympathetically So sad. 'Shoitaner shoitan,' they cursed the owner of the building. The devil's devil. The number of dead bodies crossed thousand so fast. Thousands of mourners have gathered at the ruins of a garment factory building (Rana Plaza at Savar). Rescue workers take part in the rescue of the eight‐storey building Rana Plaza which collapsed at Savar, outside Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reports state that 1,130 workers died and nearly 2,500 were rescued alive after the eight‐story building Rana Plaza that housed mostly garment factories collapsed on 24 April, 2013," a description of the photograph reads.
Chloe Bartram / Sony World Photography Awards
Australia - Finalist Arts & Culture Professional Competition:
"'Sparkle, baby' explores girl culture in Australia within the phenomena of beauty pageants, particularly those directed at the young. Through documenting child pageants, I seek to understand if participating in these events increases the pressure on young girls to conform to an idealized view of what it means to be female or rather, is it a celebration of girlhood?" Bartram writes of her work.
George Logan / Sony World Photography Awards
U.K. - Shortlist Campaign Professional Competition:
"'Big Cat, Little Cat' is an advertising campaign for Whiskas cat food," a description of the image reads.
Esposito Salvatore / Sony World Photography Awards
Italy - Finalist Current Affairs Professional Competition:
"My story is concentrated specifically on the Forcella neighborhood, Naplese central district in the historic city center, and it also focuses of the criminal power of the Camorra since the late '70s. ... This is the biggest area in Europe of drug selling," Salvatore's description reads.
Alpay Erdem / Sony World Photography Awards
Turkey - Shortlist Smile Open Competition:
"A muddy face from the mud bath going into the lake," a description of the image reads.
Yao Wang Chong / Sony World Photography Awards
Taiwain - Shortlist Split Second Open Competition:
"Emotional outpouring of bride," the image description reads.
Chin Boon Leng / Sony World Photography Awards
Singapore - Shortlist Nature & Wildlife Open Competition:
"A baby Orangutan peeking out from his mother's embrace," the image's description reads.
Simon Morris / Sony World Photography Awards
UK - Shortlist Travel Open Competition:
"A hunter rests in his little house on the plains of Western Mongolia with his Eagle which is hooded," a description of the image reads.
Wolfgang Weinhardt / Sony World Photography Awards
Germany - Shortlist Travel Open:
"All scenes were taken in early 2013. This year I had the pleasure to join the pilgrims and devotees of the Maha Kumbh Mela -- the largest spiritual gathering on the planet, held every 12 years. Furthermore I travelled different parts of Indonesia and South-India to complete my buffalo race-catalogue," Weinhardt writes of his work.
Hasan Baglar / Sony World Photography Awards
Cyprus - Shortlist Nature & Wildlife Open Competition:
"That's Dance, Sunward and Zeybeks," the image description says.