Leaping wildebeest and cuddling cats: the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards shortlist (from TheVerge)

photo awards, horses, (img credit: WPO)

139,554 photos from 166 countries were submitted to the seventh annual Sony World Photography Awards, and now the organizing committee has revealed its shortlist of the very best. Split into professional and amateur groups, the images span the full breadth of wild, still, and human life: from Kenyan wildebeest to Inuit whale hunters. While the photos themselves are invariably compelling and emotive, their subjects are not always beautiful, touching on serious themes like deprivation alongside more sanguine levity.

The entire shortlist will be exhibited in London’s Somerset House for 18 days in May, though the winners will be announced earlier, with the Open and Youth category victors announced on March 18th and the Professional section getting its own gala event announcement on April 30th. Sony’s contribution to the cause will be to award digital imaging equipment to the photographers whose images are chosen as the best.

Here you will find our favorites from the selected shortlist, alternating between the pro and amateur photographers. The competition’s rules do allow for some photo retouching — and modern cameras are capable of boosting things like shadow detail and color vibrancy at the moment of capture — though there’s a separate Enhanced category for cases of extreme post-processing manipulation.

Hint: Use the ‘s’ and ‘d’ keys to navigate

  • WILDEBEEST MIGRATION

    Wildebeest migration

    © Bonnie Cheung, Hong Kong, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • BIG CAT, LITTLE CAT

    Big cat, little cat

    © George Logan, United Kingdom, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category.

  • A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

    A light in the darkness

    © Neville Jones, Australia, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • SUMATRAN CATTLE RACE

    Sumatran cattle race

    © YongSheng Zheng, China, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category.

  • WARRING HORSES

    Warring horses

    © Ngai Bun Wonh, China, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • SHELTER FROM A SANDSTORM

    Shelter from a sandstorm

    © Juan Carlos Ruiz Duarte, Spain, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • THE KNIGHT AND HIS STEED

    The knight and his steed

    The photographer describes this shot, captured in Costa Rica, as “love, tendereness, hope and passion, all together.” (© Nicolas Reusens, Spain, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category)

  • BUGBROS

    Bugbros

    © Hasan Baglar, Cyprus, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • METAMORPHOSIS

    Metamorphosis

    An abandoned industrial site near Venice, Italy. (© Axel Fassio, Italy, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category)

  • UJUNG GENTENG

    Ujung genteng

    © Michael Theodric, Indonesia, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Youth category.

  • THE CHALLENGES OF PHOTOGRAPHY

    The challenges of photography

    © Hairul Azizi Harun, Malaysia, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • BIELLA, ITALY

    Biella, Italy

    A landscape photograph capturing an “undirected intimate moment.” (© Sharon Derhy, Israel, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category)

  • TATE MODERN

    Tate Modern

    “A solitary figure casually studies a row of artwork on the opposite wall without realising that he has also become part of a piece of artwork.” (© Colin Hogan, United Kingdom, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category)

  • SELF-PORTRAIT IN TEMPORARY HOUSES

    Self-portrait in temporary houses

    © Anna Di Prospero, Italy, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category.

  • SAMSARA

    Samsara

    © Wolfgang Weinhardt, Germany, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • KNOWLEDGE

    Knowledge

    New public library in Stuttgart, Germany. (© Marcus Bayer, Germany, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category)

  • ABSTRACTURE

    Abstracture

    Abstract architecture in Kyoto, Japan. (© Sandro Tedde, Italy, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category)

  • SOMEWHERE ON A DISAPPEARING PATH

    Somewhere on a disappearing path

    © Iveta Vaivode, Latvia, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category.

  • OKTOBERFEST IN MUNICH

    Oktoberfest in Munich

    © Li Hao, China, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • OVERHEAD

    Overhead

    © Kacper Kowalski, Poland, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category.

  • BARDENAS REALES DE NAVARRA

    Bardenas Reales de Navarra

    © Inigo Cia Da Riva, Spain, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • TYPHOON HAIYAN AFTERMATH

    Typhoon Haiyan Aftermath

    © Daniel Kitwood, United Kingdom, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category.

  • TERRACED FARMING

    Terraced farming

    © Minwei Yan, China, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Open category.

  • ICELAND

    Iceland

    © Emmanuel Coupe-Kalomiris, Greece, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards, Professional category.

 

read more: http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/6/5385468/sony-world-photography-awards-2014-shortlist

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