The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organization, has recently announced its shortlist of winners.  This year witnessed record-breaking participation, with nearly 140,000 submissions by photographers from 166 countries.

There are three separate contests within the larger Awards: Professional, Open (for enthusiasts, judged by a single image), and Youth. Within each contest, there were many categories: from the traditional — landscape, portraiture, reportage — to the non-traditional — "Smile", "Split-Second", "Low-light".

This led to an astounding variety of work, from all corners of the globe. Some of the highlights included photographs from the largest religious gathering in the world, real portraits of fake (wax) people, shots of Camorra life in Naples, and nature pictures from Svalbard, one of the northernmost islands in the world.

LensCulture is pleased to present all 65 of the finalists' images. They are best viewed in our full-screen presentation.

Congratulations to all of these finalists!

— LensCulture

Editor's Note: The winners of all the categories will be announced at a ceremony in London in April.