27 Downright Amazing Photos From The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Now in its 11th year, the Sony World Photography Awards highlight the best images from amateur and professional photographers from around the globe. 

This year’s shortlist images are no exception. Judges pored over nearly 320,000 images to make their selections in categories ranging from Nature & Wildlife to Current News & Affairs. 


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The winning images will be released on April 19. Take a look at this year’s shortlist images below. 


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  • Sport (Professional)
    Balazs Gardi/Sony World Photography Awards
    Horsemen fight for a headless calf carcass during a buzkashi match on the day of Nawroz, or Persian New Year, in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, on March 21, 2017.

  • Discovery (Professional)
    Hanlin Wang/Sony World Photography Awards
    Soldiers in China. 

  • Current Affairs & News (Professional)
    Kevin Frayer/Sony World Photography Awards
    A Rohingya refugee boy desperate for aid cries as he climbs on a truck distributing aid for a local NGO near the Balukali refugee camp on Sept. 20, 2017, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

  • Street Photography (Open)
    Manuel Armenis/Sony World Photography Awards
    The most graceful lady of her neighborhood in Hamburg, Germany — always stylish, colorful, in good spirits, smiling, never complaining, even through everyday struggles. She is never seen without her best friend – her little dog.

  • Contemporary Issues (Professional)
    Fredrik Lerneryd/Sony World Photography Awards
    Every Wednesday at Spurgeons Academy, a school in the middle of the indecipherable maze of Kibera’s narrow streets and alleys, students take the chairs and benches out of a classroom and sweep the floor. The school uniforms are switched to bright-colored clothes.
    When teacher Mike Wamaya enters the classroom, the students get into position and place one hand on the concrete wall as though it were a ballet bar.
    Classical music plays out of a small portable speaker, and the class begins.

  • Natural World & Wildlife (Professional)
    Neil Aldridge/Sony World Photography Awards
    A young white rhino waits in a boma, blindfolded and partially drugged after a long journey from South Africa, before being released into the wild in Botswana as part of efforts to rebuild Botswana’s lost rhino populations.

  • Natural World & Wildlife (Professional)
    Daniel Biber/Sony World Photography Awards
    A very impressive starling murmuration. 

  • Sport (Professional)
    Adam Pretty/Sony World Photography Awards
    Zamira Myrabekova of Kazakstan keeps her eyes on the ball while being held underwater by Russian defense during the Women’s Water Polo Group D preliminary round match between Russia and Kazahstan during the 2017 Budapest FINA World Championships on July 20, 2017, in Budapest, Hungary.

  • Travel (Open)
    Manish Mamtani/Sony World Photography Awards
    Aerial view of Glacial river in Iceland. 

  • Natural World & Wildlife (Professional)
    Wiebke Haas/Sony World Photography Awards
    An image from “Horsestyle” series by Wiebke Haas. 

  • Sport (Professional)
    Behnam Sahvi/Sony World Photography Awards
    Child Disability Swimming Championships at the disability swimming pool in Tehran Province, Iran.

  • Creative (Professional)
    Eduardo Castaldo/Sony World Photography Awards
    Every day, before sunset, thousands of Palestinian workers spend between two and four hours clumped together to cross the so-called “CheckPoint 300,” which divides Bethlehem and Jerusalem, in order to go working in Jerusalem and surrounding areas.

  • Portraiture (Professional)
    Andrew Quilty/Sony World Photography Awards
    Omid, who doesn’t know his age, stands for a portrait with his homemade skis in Aub Bala’s village mosque. 

  • Discovery (Professional)
    Jack Yong/Sony World Photography Awards
    A thermal vacuum test area. 

  • Portraiture (Open)
    Sphiwo Hlatshwayo/Sony World Photography Awards
    A portrait of a woman with freckles.

  • Sport (Professional)
    Norbert Hartyanyi/Sony World Photography Awards
    The high-dive competition at the 17th FINA World Championship. 

  • Natural World & Wildlife (Professional)
    Mark Edward Harris/Sony World Photography Awards
    A 40-year-old orangutan named Azy at the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Contemporary Issues (Professional)
    Lauren Greenfield/Sony World Photography Awards
    Ilona at home with her daughter, Michelle, 4, in Moscow. Ilona’s sweater was produced for her in a custom color by her friend Andrey Artyomov, whose Walk of Shame fashion line is popular among the wives of oligarchs.

  • Portraiture (Professional)
    Anush Babajanyan/Sony World Photography Awards
    Rasidatou and Latifatou, 4, pose for a portrait on a street in the Koumassi district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on July 25, 2017.

  • Landscape (Professional)
    Varun Thota/Sony World Photography Awards
    Taken on the outskirts of Hong Kong, this large residential area is supposed to resemble North American-type suburbs with individual homes and even yellow school buses. However, this large lake in the center of it all may have been designed a particular way, which can only truly be recognized from above.

  • Landscape (Professional)
    Tomasz Padło/Sony World Photography Awards
    An area in Kazakhstan.

  • Natural World & Wildlife (Professional)
    Kaleb White/Sony World Photography Awards
    “The Roar.”

  • Current Affairs & News (Professional)
    Asha Miles/Sony World Photography Awards
    Female genital mutilation is the partial or complete removal of external female genitalia. A series called “Scars,” which this photo belongs to, shares the personal stories of 12 Gambian women who survived the procedure as children.

  • Landscape (Professional)
    Luca Locatelli/Sony World Photography Awards
    A view of Torano’s “marble valley” in the Apuan Alps, one of Italy’s most marble-rich areas. 

  • Culture (Open)
    Xiaoxiao Liu/Sony World Photography Awards
    In China, students have their military training at the beginning of the school term.

  • Current Affairs & News (Professional)
    Rasmus Flindt/Sony World Photography Awards
    An elderly woman is driven through the city on the back of one of Golden Division’s Humvees. The temperature is nearly 50 degrees Celcius, and she’s too weak to get away from the frontline on her own.

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    Portraiture (Professional)


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    Sasha Maslov/Sony World Photography Awards
    “Veterans” is a series of portraits of people who took part in World War II. 
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