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The 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

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The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organisation, has recently announced its shortlist of winners. This year's contest attracted more than 122,000 entries from 170 countries. The photographs are being judged in six different competition categories, including Professional, Open, and Student Focus. The organizers have been kind enough to share some of their shortlisted images with In Focus, gathered below. Winners are scheduled to be announced in March and April. [40 photos]

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The calm of both human and animal. The things we miss as we are preparing. My partner was getting her flippers on and I was already prepared and ready to get in so I swam out to see if I could get this shot, I could have never imagined that in a million years I would have a turtle just cruising by at the moment I stuck my head under. How blessed. (© Nathan Wills, Australia, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards)
The calm of both human and animal. The things we miss as we are preparing. My partner was getting her flippers on and I was already prepared and ready to get in so I swam out to see if I could get this shot, I could have never imagined that in a million years I would have a turtle just cruising by at the moment I stuck my head under. How blessed. (© Nathan Wills, Australia, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards)
One Day in History. Portraits of children and youths who survived the massacre on the island of Utoeya outside Oslo, Norway on 22nd of July 2011. "I bear my scars with dignity, because I got them standing for something I believe in." Ylva Schwenke, age 15, from Tromso¸ hid by a path called "the love path". She was shot in the shoulder, her stomach and in both of her thighs. (© Andrea Gjestvang, Norway, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
I took this photo in spring 2012 in Rome, my hometown. It was taken with a monorail view camera (5x6 film) and manually developed, after it was scanned and post produced. I took care of the entire process and working on film, it took me quite many tries to have the perfect shadow and exposure; I had to go back to the location several times to and always hope it was sunny enough, once I spent the whole day in front of that wall, just to check at which time of the day the shadow was looking more geometrical, eventually I decided on 2pm. (© Martina Biccheri, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
A huge wasp measuring 2.5 inches in length, visiting the banana tree in my front yard. (© John Matzick, USA, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Melissa Wu of Australia practices during a diving training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Center in Olympic Park, on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (© Adam Pretty/Getty Images, Australia, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
"Love Grows" is an ongoing project that started in 2011, representing the two most important moments in a woman's life; pregnancy and maternity. These are moments of complete change, both physical and psychological, a change of identity that can take on different connotation for better or for worse. I think it's an experience that leads up to an ancestral connection with nature that accompanies the woman to a deeper understanding of herself. (© Michela Taeggi, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
A view from Szczeliniec to Owls Mountains and Klodzko valley, Poland. (© Pawel Uchorczak, Poland, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Photo from the Portraits category, Youth Competition. (© Berta Vicente, Spain, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Colorful field on the Plain of Castelluccio di Norcia in springtime during an explosion of blossoming. Italy, 2012. (© Roberto Bettacchi, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Ghoramara island is located on a delta region in West Bengal. Due to the dramatic increase in sea level, resulting from the effects global warming since the 1960s, the shores of this island are being perpetually washed away. Since the 1980s more than 50% of the territory has vanished due to erosion by the sea. Many of the people still living on the island are farmers and fishermen who depend on the island's resources for their livelihoods. According to a civil servant I met, in 20-25 years the Indian government could abolish the island and has already formulated a plan to evacuate villagers to another island named Sagar. However, this evacuation plan does not ensure any financial support or compensation for those having to relocate their lives. I situated villagers on the shore and took portraits of them in juxtaposition with the beauty of the vanishing island. There will come a day when these people will have no choice but to move out of their homeland. (© Daesung Lee, Korea, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Part of a series about gorillas. These apes losing their natural habitat due to the greed and diseases of humankind. (© Regis Boileau, France, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
On the edge of Oklahoma's Ozarks, where prairies ascend to rolling hills, an outgrowth of American tradition thunders in the air. Under a summer sun, gun enthusiasts peer down the sights of devastating weapons at the annual Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show (OFASTS), one of the country's largest fully automatic machine gun expos. In the valley below, explosive-laden cars, airplanes, and old appliances lie in wait; incendiary prizes for the sharp or lucky. Story Rush, a kindergarten teacher from Greenwood, Alaska, fires an M1919 Browning .30 caliber machine gun on the first night of OFASTS. "It is such an adrenaline rush," she explained with after stepping back from the weapon. She had traveled to OFASTS for the first time with her husband and eight-year-old son. "I grew up hunting with my Dad so guns are nothing unusual for me," she said. (© Pete Muller, United States, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Ways in the sky. Branches aligned in a forest of poplars. (© Jose Ramon Moreno, Spain, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Portrait. (© Ali Asadi, Iran, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Face to face with a whale shark. (© Christian Vizl, Mexico, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Havana, Cuba. Havana weather in July and August counts as brutally hot. Short but heavy rains are very common and welcomed by locals, especially kids. (© Val Proudkii, USA, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Tree. (© Marek Andrzejewski, Poland, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Native Doctor Lekwe Deezia claims to heal mental illness through the power of prayer and traditional herbal medicines. While receiving treatment, which can sometimes take months, his patients are chained to trees in his courtyard. They are not given shelter or protection from the elements. One patient tells the photographer they are sometimes beaten for no reason. The Niger Delta, Nigeria, October 2012. (© Robin Hammond, New Zealand, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
A greyhound ends first in his race, and although the lure is right in front of him, he's looks straight into the eyes of the photographer (me) and continues his run. I had to jump for my life taking this picture. Photographed in Belgium. (© Rob Van Thienen, Belgium, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Silk weaving is one of the sources of income in Tosora, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia. (© Fahmy Husain, Indonesia, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Kamara Serbungo, 17, fled Rubabe (Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) when rebel M23 soldiers entered the house of his family to forcibly enlist him. As a refugee in the Kanyaruchinya camp, he fled a second time when the M23 took over Goma. With other displaced persons he's now taking shelter at the Don Bosco parish. (© Colin Delfosse, Belgium, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Welcome to the world of the spider. (© Krasimir Matarov, Bulgaria, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Pilgrims gather to watch as an infertile worshiper is lowered into a baptism pool with a rope held by priests. According to local faith the holy water has fertility powers that will allow her to conceive. Every year, just before Christmas day, thousands of pious Christian orthodox worshipers make a pilgrimage to Lalibela, a small town in Ethiopia's highlands, known as Jerusalem of Africa or Black Jerusalem. Lalibela is famous for its 13th century monolithic churches, carved out of the living rock. (© Gali Tibbon, Israel, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Michael, 63 years old. Diagnosis: Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB), in Kherson TB hospital, on July 19, 2011. He worked as a bricklayer on a construction site. After stomach surgery, he went for a check-up, and a doctor found spots on his lungs. After this he was sent immediately to a clinic, where he has been receiving treatment off and on since 1983. In 1995, the World Health Organization declared a tuberculosis epidemic in Ukraine. Over the past 16 years, the situation has deteriorated even further. (© Maxim Dondyuk, Ukraine, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Barcelona on Carnival in February, 2012. (© Tatjana Bachmistova, Lithuania, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Felix Baumgartner contemplates in the stratospheric capsule during an egress training in Lancaster, California, on February 22, 2012. On October 14, 2012 Austrian skydiver Baumgartner broke the world record for balloon and free-fall height and became the first person to break the sound barrier without propulsion. After jumping from a helium balloon over 39 kilometers into the stratosphere his free fall reached a speed of 1,342 kilometers per hour. (© Balazs Gardi, Hungary, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
A man is arrested by the Rochester police in Rochester, New York, after having assaulted his father with a samurai sword. The crescent is home to 27 percent of the city's residents and 80 percent of the city's homicides. The reasons behind the burst of violence include the lagging upstate economy, a steady migration of residents to the suburbs and a growing number of abandoned houses prone to become centers of drug sales and use. "It's an area of great poverty and high consumption rate of drugs which fuels an incredibly high number of homicides," said the Rochester police chief. (© Paolo Pellegrin, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Aerial view of the surreal world of the desert city of Dubai. (© Johannes Heuckeroth, Germany, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Photo entry from the Culture category in the youth Competition. (© Alecsandra Dragoi, Romania, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
This photo represents an urban environment through an abstract long exposure photo at an urban location. (© Robert Gifford, United Kingdom, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Tradition. (© Reza Nezamdust, Iran, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Two Pieris brassicae rest on a plant, waiting for sunshine. (© Petar Sabol, Croatia, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
An employee of Cinema Pamir sells refreshments during the movie intermission in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 3, 2012. Once a treasured luxury for the elite, Afghan cinemas are dilapidated and reflect an industry on the brink of collapse from conflict and financial neglect. Kabul's cinemas show Pakistani films in Pashto, American action films and Bollywood to rowdy, largely unemployed crowds in pursuit of any distraction from their drab surroundings. (© Danish Siddiqui/Reuters, India, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
People affected with dementia, their families and friends are affected on personal, emotional, financial and social levels. Mirella is 71 years old. She spent 43 years of her life with the only person she loved, 43 years of sharing, difficulties, laughs and beautiful moments; a family, a house, values handed down. For the past few years her days are cyclic, monotonous, due to her husband's illness. She tries to look forward with devotion, strength and love -- as long as there is life there is hope -- even if memories are slowly wasted day by day. (© Fausto Podavini, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Edith, Hellrider, and Dadmonster pose for a photograph. In Botswana, heavy metal music has landed. Metal groups are now performing in nightclubs, concerts, festivals. The ranks of their fans have expanded dramatically. These fans wear black leather pants and jackets, studded belts, boots and cowboy hats. On their t-shirts stand out skulls, obscenities, historical covers of hard-rock groups popular in the seventies and eighties, such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, and AC/DC. They have created their own style, inspired by classic metal symbolism, but also borrowing heavily from the iconography of western films and the traditional rural world of Botswana. Their nicknames, Gunsmoke, Rockfather, Carrott Warmachine, Hellrider, Hardcore, Dignified Queen, may appear subversive and disturbing as their clothing, but they are peaceful and gentle. "We like to get dressed,, drink meet friends and feel free , this music is so powerful . We are lucky to live in a country tolerant and open" argues one of the leaders. A precious rarity for Africa. (© Daniele Tamagni, Italy, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
14 giraffes flee after spotting lions in hunting mode. (© Frederick van Heerden, South Africa, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Return to childhood landscapes. The picture is made in Romania, on the train from Bucharest to Baia Mare in a foggy morning in autumn of 2012. (© Hajdu Tamas, Romania, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Photo taken during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, on in April 2012. (© Ilya Pitalev, Russia, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
I was hanging around Jaipur, when I noticed a cloud of birds in the air. I just instinctively released the shutter. The soul of Sir Alfred Hitchcock lives here, I thought. (© Maciej Makowski, Poland, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #
Pobitra Tapa mourns alone in agony, painful tears of frustration for a life wasting away, withering from HIV and a tumor in her young body. She cried, away from the eyes of her already suffering husband who has been looking after her for several weeks at the Pokhara hospital in Nepal. Losing any sense of hope, this mother of two was once an alcoholic and suspects that she got HIV-tainted blood in a transfusion years ago. Feeling alone and useless, the disease that eats up her body still allows her the strength to show firmness in front of her family but suffer a lonely pain. (© Miguel Candela, Spain, 2013 Sony World Photography Awards) #

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