In Photos

In photos: Tales of war, peace and celebration from Sony World Photography Awards 2018

Five Indian photographers feature in the shortlist.

Photos of civil wars and refugee crises share space with images of stunning landscapes and shots of wild animals and cuddly pets on the shortlist for the Sony World Photography Awards 2018.

The awards, in their 11th year, celebrate diverse styles and subjects. For the 2018 edition, the World Photography Organisation, which holds the competition, received a record 320,000 submissions from more than 200 countries. From these, 200-odd images were shortlisted.

Five photographers of Indian origin made the shortlist, and another 14 received a special mention. The themes of their works were varied, although wildlife and landscape recurred often.

'Vague Dreams', by Kanishka Mukherji. A white horse standing in front of a tall building on a moonlit night. © Kanishka Mukherji, India, Shortlist, Open, Enhanced (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
'Vague Dreams', by Kanishka Mukherji. A white horse standing in front of a tall building on a moonlit night. © Kanishka Mukherji, India, Shortlist, Open, Enhanced (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards
'Predator Alert', by Swapnil Deshpande. A blackbuck sprints after being warned by a deer about a predator lurking in the jungles of Kanha in India. © Swapnil Deshpande, India, Shortlist, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Predator Alert', by Swapnil Deshpande. A blackbuck sprints after being warned by a deer about a predator lurking in the jungles of Kanha in India. © Swapnil Deshpande, India, Shortlist, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Patterns of Glacial River', by Manish Mamtani. An aerial view of glacial river in Iceland. © Manish Mamtani, India, Shortlist, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Patterns of Glacial River', by Manish Mamtani. An aerial view of glacial river in Iceland. © Manish Mamtani, India, Shortlist, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Menace-Foundation of our unstable future', by Anshul Mehrotra. The photographer depicts the cost of human ambition and development on the environment and nature. © Anshul Mehrotra, India, Shortlist, Student Focus, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Menace-Foundation of our unstable future', by Anshul Mehrotra. The photographer depicts the cost of human ambition and development on the environment and nature. © Anshul Mehrotra, India, Shortlist, Student Focus, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Playful hidden messages', from the series 'We Live in a Symmetrical World' by Varun Thota. A town in the outskirts of Hong Kong designed to resemble North American suburbs. A large lake at its centre has an interesting shape, deliberate or otherwise, which can only be gleaned from above. © Varun Thota, India, Shortlist, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Playful hidden messages', from the series 'We Live in a Symmetrical World' by Varun Thota. A town in the outskirts of Hong Kong designed to resemble North American suburbs. A large lake at its centre has an interesting shape, deliberate or otherwise, which can only be gleaned from above. © Varun Thota, India, Shortlist, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.

Submissions for the Sony World Photography Awards are normally sorted into four groups: Professional, Open, Youth (for photographers aged 12 to 19) and Student Focus (submissions from universities). These encompass an array of categories, including architecture, travel, contemporary issues, current affairs or news, nature and wildlife, portraits, still life, culture, street photography. This year, two additional categories were introduced – creative and discovery.

Winners in the many categories will be announced on March 20. And a month later, on April 19, four individuals will be chosen from them as the winners of the four broader competition sections. Additionally, a commended section will make a special mention of the top 50 submissions in each category of the Open competition section.

The winning images will be selected by a panel of experts from the World Photography Organisation, which promotes events for amateurs and professionals through the year. A pick of some images across categories:

Photograph by Ana Amado, from the series 'Down Dance' commissioned by Down Coruña, an association that works with young people with Down Syndrome. © Ana Amado, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Photograph by Ana Amado, from the series 'Down Dance' commissioned by Down Coruña, an association that works with young people with Down Syndrome. © Ana Amado, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Imelda Marcos', by Lauren Greenfield, from the series ‘Generation Wealth’, the photographer’s 25-year visual history of our growing obsession with wealth. Pictured here is Imelda Marcos, 84, in her apartment in Manila, Philippines, 2014, surrounded by expensive artwork. She and her late husband, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, were referred to as a “conjugal dictatorship”. They were accused of stealing up to $10 billion from their country. © Lauren Greenfield, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Imelda Marcos', by Lauren Greenfield, from the series ‘Generation Wealth’, the photographer’s 25-year visual history of our growing obsession with wealth. Pictured here is Imelda Marcos, 84, in her apartment in Manila, Philippines, 2014, surrounded by expensive artwork. She and her late husband, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, were referred to as a “conjugal dictatorship”. They were accused of stealing up to $10 billion from their country. © Lauren Greenfield, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Photograph by Giles Clarke, from the series 'Yemen: Victims of War'. An injured pro-Houthi soldier salutes while being photographed on his hospital bed at the The Al Thawra Hospital, Sana'a, Yemen. Yemen has been crippled by a war between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement. © Giles Clarke, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Photograph by Giles Clarke, from the series 'Yemen: Victims of War'. An injured pro-Houthi soldier salutes while being photographed on his hospital bed at the The Al Thawra Hospital, Sana'a, Yemen. Yemen has been crippled by a war between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement. © Giles Clarke, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'The Toaster' (self-portrait), by Tania Franco Klein, from the series 'Our Life In The Shadows'. © Tania Franco Klein, Mexico, Shortlist, Professional, Creative (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'The Toaster' (self-portrait), by Tania Franco Klein, from the series 'Our Life In The Shadows'. © Tania Franco Klein, Mexico, Shortlist, Professional, Creative (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'A labouring fisherman', by Wei Tao. Sun fish laid out to dry in Negombo beach in Sri Lanka. © Wei Tao, China, Shortlist, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'A labouring fisherman', by Wei Tao. Sun fish laid out to dry in Negombo beach in Sri Lanka. © Wei Tao, China, Shortlist, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Photograph by Asha Miles, from the series 'Scars', the stories of 12 Gambian women who survived female genital mutilation as children. Pictured here is, Fatou Bojang, 52. © Asha Miles, Russian Federation, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Photograph by Asha Miles, from the series 'Scars', the stories of 12 Gambian women who survived female genital mutilation as children. Pictured here is, Fatou Bojang, 52. © Asha Miles, Russian Federation, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Perfect Toupee', by Wiebke Haas, from the series 'Horsestyle'. © Wiebke Haas, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Perfect Toupee', by Wiebke Haas, from the series 'Horsestyle'. © Wiebke Haas, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Photograph by Martyn Aim, from the series 'Near Dark – The Battle for Mosul'. A man suspected of being an Islamic State militant is detained by the Iraqi Army in the Old City district on July 10, 2017 in Mosul, Iraq. © Martyn Aim, New Zealander, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
Photograph by Martyn Aim, from the series 'Near Dark – The Battle for Mosul'. A man suspected of being an Islamic State militant is detained by the Iraqi Army in the Old City district on July 10, 2017 in Mosul, Iraq. © Martyn Aim, New Zealander, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Miggen and Arne', by Krister Sørbø, from the series 'Like Owner, Like Dog'. © Krister Sørbø, Norway, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Miggen and Arne', by Krister Sørbø, from the series 'Like Owner, Like Dog'. © Krister Sørbø, Norway, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Enafrinat', by Antonio Gibotta, from the series 'Els Enfarinat'. Every year, on December 28, the Ibi province of Alicante, Spain, hosts 'the floured's war' festival. Citizens are divided into two groups. The first, the Enfarinat (the floured), simulate a coup d'etat, and the second try to quell the rebellion. The teams play with flour, water, eggs and coloured smoke bombs. © Antonio Gibotta, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Enafrinat', by Antonio Gibotta, from the series 'Els Enfarinat'. Every year, on December 28, the Ibi province of Alicante, Spain, hosts 'the floured's war' festival. Citizens are divided into two groups. The first, the Enfarinat (the floured), simulate a coup d'etat, and the second try to quell the rebellion. The teams play with flour, water, eggs and coloured smoke bombs. © Antonio Gibotta, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Waiting for Freedom', by Neil Aldridge, from the series 'The Return of the Rhino'. A young white rhino, mildly drugged, waits blindfolded in an enclosure after a long journey from South Africa to Botswana, which is trying to rebuild its rhino population lost to poaching over the years. © Neil Aldridge, South Africa, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Waiting for Freedom', by Neil Aldridge, from the series 'The Return of the Rhino'. A young white rhino, mildly drugged, waits blindfolded in an enclosure after a long journey from South Africa to Botswana, which is trying to rebuild its rhino population lost to poaching over the years. © Neil Aldridge, South Africa, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Starling Murmuration 10', by Daniel Biber. © Daniel Biber, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Starling Murmuration 10', by Daniel Biber. © Daniel Biber, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Working in the Wind and Snow', by Jianguang Zhou. Photographed at Pamirs in Nanjiang in 2017. © Jianguang Zhou, China, Shortlist, Open, Enhanced (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Working in the Wind and Snow', by Jianguang Zhou. Photographed at Pamirs in Nanjiang in 2017. © Jianguang Zhou, China, Shortlist, Open, Enhanced (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Shhhh!', by John White. © John White, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Shhhh!', by John White. © John White, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Flying Fishing Nets', by Yen Sin Wong. Fisherman at work on the river during sunset hour in Xiapu county, China. © Yen Sin Wong, Malaysia, Shortlist, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Flying Fishing Nets', by Yen Sin Wong. Fisherman at work on the river during sunset hour in Xiapu county, China. © Yen Sin Wong, Malaysia, Shortlist, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Redivine', by Sphiwo Hlatshwayo. © Sphiwo Hlatshwayo, South Africa, Shortlist, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
'Redivine', by Sphiwo Hlatshwayo. © Sphiwo Hlatshwayo, South Africa, Shortlist, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.
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