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Here's the Shortlist for the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Jaw-dropping Images on the short list for this year’s Sony World Photography Awards include Buddhist homes in China, young Balinese dancers, and "real-world aliens."

by Nathaniel Ainley
01 March 2016, 8:20pm

Untitled, Juliette Blanchard, 2016, Series Name: The Philosopher, As an expression of absurdity in an absurd world, eruption of freedom in skimpy landscapes, anarchic dancing in a shabby architecture, the pictures of "The Philosopher" are the result of improvised events, born out of the search "at the whim of improvised journeysì of places favorable to disruption, to reinvention. Copyright: © Juliette Blanchard, France, Shortlist, Professional , Staged, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards. Images courtesy The World Photography Organization.

The world's biggest photography competition, organized by the World Photography Organization, has finally released shortlists of all the competitors for the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards. This year the WPO received 230,103 entries from 186 countries, a 33% increase from last year. The international competition receives submissions from a diverse body of photographers and imagemakers of all ages and backgrounds. According to their website, the objective of the tournament is simple: “to recognize and reward the best contemporary photography in the world.”

The competition breaks down into 5 different sub sections. Each section is organized based on the qualifications, age, and experience of the applicants. Those subsections are then divided into different subject categories that explore a broad range of themes and techniques, from architecture, to smile portraiture. You can check out this year’s jury roster for each category here.

Larung Gar, Attila Balogh, 2016, Home of 40 thousand Buddhist monks in Sichuan province. Copyright: Attila Balogh, Hungary, Shortlisted, Open Competition, Architecture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

In addition to international praise and recognition, the Organization rewards $30,000 in cash prizes, as well as the latest Sony digital imaging equipment. The winners of each competition will be announced through the month of March and on April 21st, photographer of the year plus overall Open, Youth, and Professional category winners will be revealed. The next day the exhibition of winning and shortlisted images from this year’s competition will once again go up at the Somerset House in London from April 22nd to May 8th.

Check out a few selections from the short lists of the Professional, Open, Youth, and Student Focus competitions:  

Farming the Sea, Tugo Cheng, 2016, A fisherman is farming the sea in between the bamboo rods constructed for aquaculture off the coast in southern China. Copyright: Tugo Cheng, Hong Kong, Shortlisted, Open Competition, Travel, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.

Too much practice, Khairel Anuar Che Ani, 2016, Image was taken in Bali during Melasti Festival. This Festival is conducted once a year in conjunction with Nyepi or Silent Day. These young girls were waiting for their turn to perform. Copyright: Khairel Anuar Che Ani, Malaysia, Shortlisted, Open Competition, Split Second, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

California Drought, Lucy Nicholson, 2016, A worker walks through farm fields in Los Banos, California, United States, May 5, 2015. Copyright: Lucy Nicholson, UK, Shortlist, Professional Environment, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards / Reuters

Untitled, Alexander Semenov, 2016, Series name: Real world aliens. This series represent exploration of the most extreme and far cold-water seas, washing the coasts of Russia, because only few people in the world had chance to dive there. Copyright: © Alexander Semenov, Russia, Shortlist, Professional Environment, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Untitled, Rob Gregory, 2016, Series Name: RIC Hornets, These images were created for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Adaptive Sports Program and the RIC Hornets wheelchair basketball team. Copyright: Rob Gregory, United States, Shortlist, Professional , Campaign, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Untitled, Kristoffer Eliassen, 2016, Series Name: The Selfie Project, I want to explore how self portraiture for many people has become an obsession, and how presence in a self portrait situation is absent, or becomes a peculiar part of the selfie act. This can develop absurd situations, and my project is a play around such situations. Copyright: Kristoffer Eliassen, Norway, Shortlist, Professional, Staged, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Contemporary Portrait of Born Free South Africans, Rochelle de Abreu, 2016, Born Frees are those born from the year 1994 onward, the year of the first democratic elections. What makes them uncomfortable, they make fall to the ground. They question everything and do not allow the danger of a single narrative to haunt their future representation. Copyright: Rochell De Abreu, Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography, South Africa, Student Focus Shortlist, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.

You can book your tickets to the exhibition here, and browse through last year’s winning and shortlisted images here.

To learn more about the competition, head over to the World Photography Organization’s website.

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