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Shortlists announced for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

I went to a workshop with my car and saw this pigeon was playing with one of the workshop workers. The early morning light and the mini van created fantastic light and shade with the motion © Moin Uddin Ahmed, Bangladesh, Commended, Open, Motion (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Priding itself on its global reach, the competition this year attracted almost 320,000 entries from over 200 countries and territories

“From new approaches to portraiture to creative responses to the landscape in which we live, the images illustrated what a broad and innovative field photography has become,” says Clare Grafik, head of exhibitions at London’s Photographer’s Gallery and one of the judges of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.

“As our way of experiencing photographic images becomes all the more multifarious, the awards offer us the opportunity to focus on new talents and important projects that might otherwise have passed us by.”

The Sony World Photography Awards prides itself on being a truly global competition, and this year it received almost 320,000 entries from over 200 countries and territories. The awards cover four separate competitions – Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus – which are themselves categorised into areas such as Architecture, Contemporary Issues, Landscape, Portraiture, and Travel.

The winners will be revealed on 19 April, and a curated exhibition of the work will take place at Somerset House, London from 20 April-06 May. The full shortlist is available at worldphoto.org/press.

The series was a commission by Down Coruña, an association that works with young people with Down’s Syndrome. They wanted me to take photos of the boys and girls in relation to the building, which is an award-winning piece of architecture. But they also asked me to take pictures that could tell another story about Down’s Syndrome. We are used to thinking about them as limited people, we never consider that they can do a lot of things, esspecially things that everyone likes to do. I asked the people of the Association to tell me something they all love to do, and they said they are always listening to music and dancing. The series shows a group of young people having fun and dancing, like any other teenager © Ana Amado, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

A handwritten note neatly folded and hidden in the crevice of a rock, crosses etched onto stone, ribbon carefully wrapped around piles of twigs. These are all offerings of religious devotion, known as ‘Ex-Votos’ and found at Christian pilgrimage sites worldwide. Shot at the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland) in 2016 and 2017, this project encompasses formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still lifes of the objects and markers left behind © Alys Tomlinson, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Veterans is a series of portraits of people who took part in the Second World War, whether they were a soldier or a general, prisoner or a guard, medical worker or an engineer. This project aims to look behind the emotional drape of each individual photographed, more than 70 years after the war that took millions of lives © Sasha Maslov, Ukraine, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 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. Aub Bala, ‘High Water’, is the farthest village up the Fuladi Valley in central Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Province, so named because it is the closest to the source of the valley’s water, which comes off the mountains in snow-melt and rain, deeper in the valley, beyond where the single road reaches © Andrew Quilty, Australia, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 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 September 20, 2017 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. More than half a million Rohingya refugees have flooded into Bangladesh to flee an offensive by Myanmar’s military that the United Nations has called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” © Kevin Frayer, Canada, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

With this project I want to explore the concept “home” through the inanimate objects that inhabit in each of its corners. Starting from the fragmentation of each scene and a disordered composition, I want to approach the domestic environment in an abstract way, leaving only the most essential of each object visible and looking for each image to form a little narrative open to interpretation © Yurian Quintanas Nobel, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Still Life (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Kazakhstan entered independence with probably the most damaged natural environment of the former federal states of the USSR. The excessive use of water from Syr Darya for irrigation of farmlands affected to the disappearance of the Aral Sea, plowing millions of hectares of chernozem, triggered wind erosion, which led to unprecedented degradation of soils, while the Semipalatinsk area became famous for nuclear tests and related contamination of the region. For years, the authorities have been trying to change the negative image of Kazakhstan, promoting, among other things, its natural attractions. It takes a special form in Almaty, the former capital of the country, where many construction areas are decorated with sheets depicting landscapes of Kazakhstan © Tomasz Padło, Poland, Shortlist, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

About 20 miles from Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan sits the antiquated Metsamor nuclear power plant. The plant (located in a town also called Metsamor) has long been a cause for concern for at least two reasons: it was built without containment vessels, and it sits in a seismic zone. In fact, it was closed in 1989 after a devastating earthquake hit nearby. In 2011, National Geographic even suggested that it might be the world’s most dangerous nuclear plant. I visited the town in January to document its way of life. What I found was 10,000 people (1,000 who still work at the plant) living in a town of old Soviet buildings, caught in suspension between doubts and fears, between poverty and survival, between life and death © Stefano Morelli, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Luigi, a young Sicilian. The economic crisis and high unemployment rate is redirecting young Sicilians from small rural communities back to their lands and working in agriculture. Luigi helps his father cultivate small fields and take care of their farm animals. There isn’t a day in which he doesn’t dirty his hands to try to save some money to assist his young fiance’, a Romanian national
that he met while working in the fields and can now pay for her trip back to Sicily and start a new life together © Roselena Ramistella, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Hasn’t man always, throughout history, been seeking for protection against a threatening outside world? Even in the contemporary, we still build walls, fences, hedges around us. We create formulas of ‘safe havens’, designed to take away deeply rooted fears and insecurities, while providing a perfect illusion (of self-protection). There is so much visual narrative to be found in the way we build, the way we domesticate the landscape © Paul D’Haese, Belgium, Shortlist, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Photographic and scientific studies of a group of orangutans at the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center in Indianapolis, Indiana demonstrate the individuality of each primate as well as a clear awareness of self. There is obviously a sentient being looking back through the lens. Orangutans and humans share 97 percent of their DNA sequence © Mark Edward Harris, USA, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

“Lubo” is my infant name. Through finding “him”, I would like to fill the gap of the loss of my memory. This project is continuity of my personal emotion. I linked my growing experience and emotion, expressing the relationship between space and time of photography. I moved to many places along with my father’s working place changed. (My father is a soldier) With times passed, I felt vague about my memory. As a result, I was looking forward to finding the memory I lost and getting it back © Hanlin Wang, China, Shortlist, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

This image belongs to an overarching project that has engaged with environments as varied as hydropwer plants (EDP, Portugal), space facilities (The European Space Agency) and car factories (BMW Plant Munich) and whose main goal has been to examine and re-evaluate our relationship with technology and industry and its impact on our social and cultural consciousness © Edgar Martins, Portugal, Shortlist, Professional, Architecture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Every day, before sunset, thousands Palestinian workers spend between two to four hours clumped togheter to cross the so-called “CheckPoint 300”, that divides Bethlehem and Jerusalem, in order to go work in Jerusalem and surrounding areas © Eduardo Castaldo, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Creative (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Only 30 kilometers from the front line of the war in Eastern Ukraine, the Internat in Kremennaya is home to over 100 mentally and physically handicapped orphans. The war has placed an extra burden on the staff as they must accommodate additional children from nearby separatist controlled territory. These photographs were shot with a 4×5 camera after the students’ autumn pageant © Christopher Occhicone, USA, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

“I do not remember anything about the ceremony of circumcision, I was not even a year old. About what it did to me, I only found out when I was older. I remember that I was so upset and offended by my mother, when I found out, that I did not talk to her for a very long time. I already knew by then that it was bad. We were told about this in school, and on television more than once. I’m glad that today the operation is banned. I myself could not do without the consequences – my stomach often hurts, and the doctor says that maybe it’s because of circumcision. But I was lucky compared to my younger sister – she was constantly experiencing pain during urination and did not go to school for months. Everything was so bad that Mama herself decided not to do the operation to my other sisters. It’s too early for me to think about marriage, I must finish my studies first. I’m not afraid of the future much, because I do not know what I will feel with my husband and whether it will hurt me. But I think that every woman deserves a good man. And I will never circumcise my children.” © Asha Miles, Russian Federation, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Zamira Myrabekova of Kazakstan is held underwater by the strong Russian defence during the Women’s Water Polo Group D preliminary round match between Russia and Kazahstan on day 7 of the 2017 Budapest FINA World Championships on July 20, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary © Adam Pretty, Australia, Shortlist, Professional, Sport (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Childhood friendship © Md.Tofazzal Hossain, Bangladesh, Shortlist, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

In Southern Thailand, an elderly Western lady brings her dog to the beach © Thanasorn Janekarit, Thailand, Shortlist, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Naba’a, Beirut, Lebanon, October 2017. Rita shakes during a fit in Catherine’s apartment. She claims to be possessed by demons and sometimes reacts violently and falls into trance during Catherine’s visions. Catherine is a Naba’a resident who claims to have visions of the Holy Mary and Saint Charbel. Every Tuesday morning believers are invited to her house for prayers. Often during these evens she experience a trance-like state and the Holy Mary speaks through her. Virgin Mary reports messages addressed to the whole of humanity but also private messages of people who have died to their families © Lorenzo Tugnoli, Italy, Shortlist, Open, Culture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

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

The picture was taken on a foggy December morning in Ratingen, Germany. The cover of these straw bales spontaneously reminded me of Christo’s veiling artworks. This motive is a good example that the particular can be found in everyday life © Klaus Lenzen, Germany, Shortlist, Open, Still Life (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

In China, new senior middle school students would have their military training at the beginning of the first year’s school term. We all have memories during everybody’s training time. I helped a school to shoot for the record of their training time in September 2017 © Xiaoxiao Liu, China, Shortlist, Open, Culture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Photographed at Pamirs in Nanjiang in 2017, I captured the moment that this woman was shaking a blanket © Jianguang Zhou, China, Shortlist, Open, Enhanced (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

California sea lion pups are some of the most charismatic and engaging animals on our planet. One moment they might be utterly mischievous: nibbling on your dive equipment while whirling all around you… then they can suddenly change to be completely serene. It is rare in nature for a completely wild animal to demonstrate such trust in an unknown human, and I felt truly honoured during this short interaction. Los Islotes, off the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico © Will Clark, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

This is a sequence photo of the Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, taken at Painted Hills, Oregon. The solar elements in this sequence were taken at five minute intervals except the diamond rings which were about one minute before and after the max totality. The positions of those elements roughly represents the actual position at on the sky © Wenjie Qiao, USA, Shortlist, Open, Enhanced (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

I was about to leave the Sequoia National Park when from the corner of my eye I saw a beautiful clearing bathed in a fog. Without thinking too much, I ran with the camera to take some pictures. When I reached the clearing, I heard the crack of broken twigs and I was afraid it might be a black bear. Fortunately when I turned around I saw a curious mule deer walking towards me; soon others joined him and we just stood there together for a while and watched each other © Justyna Zduńczyk, Poland, Shortlist, Open, Wildlife (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Teenagers wait for their turn to enjoy a ride at Disko, one of the attractions of Nicolandia amusement park in Brasilia, Brazil, on March 24, 2017 © Gustavo Minas, Brazil, Commended, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Students playing soccer near a coal-fired power plant in Poca, West Virginia on August 30, 2017. For a story that explored the ways local businesses and non profit groups in coal country(both in Appalachia and out west) are trying to create work in new fields, such as alternative energy © George Etheredge, USA, Commended, Open, Landscape & Nature (2018 Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

This is a photograph of a young girl my age named Lillian in my hometown of Milford, Ohio, USA. This image was taken early in 2017 in my basement studio. She holds a naturally strong demeanor reflected within the photograph © Jenna Bellonby, USA, Commended, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

August 2017, near Saint-Tropez in South of France. A few weeks ago, a huge fire took place and burned everything. My memories of this place that I have shot months before with an old Rolleiflex, sand and water, shadows and lights are all that stay after the flames of July. From La Croix-Valmer, the fire, blown by the wind had destroyed; this peaceful place, this paradise preserved from the real estate pressure of the french riviera. I thought it was obvious to come back with my previous photograph, my print of undamaged nature and to compare it with the reality of climate change: everyone, everywhere is concerned © Martin Varret, France, Student Focus, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards