17 of the most captivating professional photos shortlisted in the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards
- The Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world's most prestigious photo competitions, has announced the shortlisted and finalist entries of its 2020 Professional competition.
- Open to professional photographers over the age of 18, the competition ran from June 2019 to January 2020. More than 135,000 images were submitted.
- The competition recognizes photo series consisting of 5 to 10 images that were taken or commissioned in 2019. Photographers could submit one photo series to each of the 10 categories, which included "Environment" (a new category for 2020) and "Creative" (for digitally altered images).
- From a highway that zigzags like a child's doodle through mountains in China to a bushfire raging through southeast Australia, the shortlisted and finalist images capture some of 2019's most beautiful and dire moments.
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The Sony World Photography Awards is widely regarded as one of the world's most prestigious photography competitions - and today, it announced the finalist and shortlisted images of its 13th annual Professional competition, whittled down from a staggering 135,000 images.
Between its four 2020 competitions - Professional, for photo series; Open, for standalone images; Youth, for standalone images taken by photographers ages 12-19; and Student, for photography students - Sony received a record 345,000 submissions from 203 countries and territories.
The 2020 Professional competition was open to professional photographers over the age of 18 from around the world, ran from June 2019 through January 2020, and accepted bodies of work consisting of 5 to 10 images across 10 categories: Creative, Discovery, Documentary, Environment, Landscape, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture, Sport, and Still Life. Only unpublished images taken in 2019 or images commissioned in 2019 were eligible.
Submissions were evaluated on their technical excellence and for providing a "fresh perspective on contemporary subjects." In total, 60 shortlisted series and 30 finalist series were selected across categories.
From a whimsical portrait of teenagers lounging in a messy bedroom to a bushfire raging through southeast Australia, the shortlisted and finalist images capture 2019 in its lightest and darkest moments.
The Awards will announce ten category winners and a Photographer of Year from among the Professional category finalists on April 16 at the Sony World Photography Awards in London. The Photographer of the Year will receive $25,000, among other prizes.
Here are 17 standout images from the finalist and shortlisted photo series:
*Photographer image descriptions have been lightly edited for clarity.