Once again, the shortlist demonstrates the vibrancy, diversity and skill of both today's established photographers and, as importantly, the growing army of citizen photographers for whom the awards offer unprecedented exposure and opportunity.

—Astrid Merget Motsenigos, World Photography Awards organizer

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 over 170,000 entries from 171 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 of leaping tigers to dizzying architectural abstractions to snapshot perspectives from all over the world.

LensCulture is pleased to present 38 of the finalists' images. They are best viewed in our full-screen presentation.

Congratulations to all of these finalists and we look forward to seeing the winners announced in April!

— LensCulture

Editor's Note: The winners of all the categories will be announced at a ceremony at Somerset House in London on April 23. All the short-listed images—as well as the winners—will be exhibited there from April 24 until May 10.

Discover more new, inspiring photography every day from cultures around the world at lensculture.com, and on Facebook and Twitter as well as on Instagram.