34 photos by British photographers shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards

The world’s biggest photography competition received a record-breaking 230,130 images from 186 countries.


Competition for the Sony World Photography Awards – the world’s biggest photography competition - is stiff. A record-breaking 230,130 images from 186 countries were submitted, among which the UK entries were up by 135% from 2015.

Which means those shortlisted have to be something special. From photos centred around major news stories to Brits misbehaving abroad, this selection is a vibrant, beautiful and often disturbing snapshot of the world.

Twelve of the Brits are up for the Professional category, which is judged on a series of images; seven are for the Open where amateurs submit one shot; and three are competing for the Youth title. 

After the overall winners are announced on the 21 April, all shortlisted images will be shown at Somerset House from 22 April – 8 May.

For more, check out all the shortlisted images by 270 photographers across 60 countries.

Information on individual photographs is adapted from the photographer's words. 

Image: Toxic Trespass (series) 
Photographer: Giles Clarke  
Category: Professional 

Image: Toxic Trespass (series)
Photographer: Giles Clarke 
Category: Professional 

Toxic Trespass was commissioned in 2015 by The Bhopal Medical Appeal to raise funds for the Children Rehabilitation Clinic in Bhopal, India. 


Image: Black Water (series) 
Photographer: Jason Koxvold 
Category: Professional 

Black Water is a series documenting how war and surveillance become permanently intertwined with contemporary culture. 

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Image: Black Water (series) 
Photographer: Jason Koxvold
Category: Professional 


Image: Feral Children (series) 
Photographer: Julia Fullerton-Batten 
Category: Professional 

Feral children have lived isolated from human contact, often from a very young age. Many end up in the wild to be 'adopted' by animals. 


Image: Feral Children (series)  
Photographer: Julia Fullerton-Batten 
Category: Professional 

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Image: Lion
Photographer: David Chancellor 
Category: Professional 

There are now more captive lions in South Africa than wild ones. 


Image: Lion
Photographer: David Chancellor 
Category: Professional 


Image: Children of Ghana
Photographer: Jack Lawson
Category: Open 

Once Jack took out his camera, local children outside a school in rural Ghana rushed over to greet him. 

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Image: The bridge to Mandalay
Photographer: Lesley Hall 
Category: Open 

Taken at the U Bein bridge in Myanmar from a boat on Taungthaman lake.


Image: Logging on to Love (series)
Photographer: Kate Davis
Category: Professional 

Logging on to Love is influenced by issues surrounding the development of sex robots and cybersex. 


Image: Logging on to Love (series)
Photographer: Kate Davis
Category: Professional 

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Image: Toy Soldiers (series)
Photographer: Simon Brann Thorpe 
Category: Professional 

Toy Soldiers is shot entirely on location in the Liberated Western Sahara, which is in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. 


Image: Toy Soldiers (series)
Photographer: Simon Brann Thorpe 
Category: Professional 


Image: Fractures (series)
Photographer: James Reeve 
Category: Professional 

An abstract study of frozen lake ice, shot in Canada's Northwest Territories. 

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Image: Fractures (series)
Photographer: James Reeve 
Category: Professional 


Image: Something Is There, Somewhere (series)
Photographer: James Reeve 
Category: Professional 

James tries to find beauty in a landscape marked by humanity. 


Image: Something Is There, Somewhere (series)
Photographer: James Reeve 
Category: Professional 

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Image: White Wash 
Photographer: Thomas Hanks  
Category: Youth 

Taken at the peak of barf in the lake district, UK. 


Image: Rugby
Photographer: Lewis Outing 
Category: Open

Taken at a York RI RUFC. Rob Cuthbertson holding the ball, with his York RI teammate Darren Lonsdale.


Image: Belhaven Bridge at Sunset 
Photographer: Grant Ritchie 
Category: Open 

Belhaven Bridge, near Dunbar, Scotland. At high tide this bridge gets cut off; at low tide it crosses a quicksand river bed.

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Image: Noveau riche
Photographer: Talia Rudofsky
Category: Youth 

Taken in Cannes, France 2015, where the woman stood out for not being 'new wealth'. 


Image: Jump
Photographer: Philip Joyce
Category: Open 

Riders warm-up before an event at the Thame County Show.


Image: Wake up call 
Photographer: Alex Ingle 
Category: Open 

It's Easter, and after a large celebratory meal, a moment's peace is an opportunity for a nap. The youngest member of the Nawrot family, having none of it, climbs onto the sofa and prepares to wake 'Dziadzia Jacek' (his grandfather). This brief moment before jumping on his grandfather's legs is one of pure joy.

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Image: The British Abroad (series) 
Photographer: Peter Dench
Category: Professional 

16:43 - British seasonal workers and tourists in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, pose for a group photograph by the outside pool during a party at Club Aqua.


Image: The British Abroad (series) 
Photographer: Peter Dench
Category: Professional 

15:08 - A woman checks on the welfare of a British man slumped across a wall on Magaluf beach, Majorca.


Image: The Stairway to Hell 
Photographer: Tino Solomon 
Category: Open 

Heaven meets hell as the milky way ascends over the Darvaza gas crater in the Karakom desert, Turkministan. 

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Image: California Drought From Above (series) 
Photographer: Lucy Nicholson 
Category: Professional 

California's snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the state's water, was at its lowest level on record in 2015.

A worker walks through farm fields in Los Banos, California, United States, May 5, 2015. 


Image: California Drought From Above (series) 
Photographer: Lucy Nicholson 
Category: Professional 

People play golf on a course in La Quinta, California April 13, 2015.


Image: Mums Not The Word (series) - Kate 
Photographer: Denise Felkin 
Category: Professional 

Mums Not The Word is a photographic project which debates the social stigmatization of why women, whom by choice or for medical reasons, friction against the instinct of childbirth and maternal productivity.

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Image: Mums Not The Word (series) - Jennifer 
Photographer: Denise Felkin 
Category: Professional 


Image: The Ferdos family, Grandfather and Grandchildren
Photographer: Liz Hingley 
Category: Professional 

Smethwick is one of Englandís most ethnically diverse towns. This series goes behind the doors, within just four streets, of densely terraced housing, which were built for the workers of the nineteenth century industrial era.


Image: The Ferdos family, Grandfather and Grandchildren
Photographer: Liz Hingley 
Category: Professional 

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Image: Local Man in St. Lucia 
Photographer: Anna Jolly 
Category: Youth

Caribbean culture. Taken in St. Lucia.