I was moved by the depth of passion and commitment the photographers show to society through their work.

Dominique Green, Chair, Documentary Jury

The Sony World Photography Awards, an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organization, has recently announced its shortlist of winners. This year marked another record-breaking wave of participation, with over 230,000 entries coming from 186 countries, making it the world’s biggest photography competition.

As the entry numbers might indicate, this year’s shortlist is defined by its sheer internationality: from the 270+ photographers on the list, nearly 60 countries are represented in total.

Originality and a strong sense of empathy stood out for the judges across the shortlist. From the thousands of submissions, subtle themes also appeared for the judges: the delicate handling of intimate, private moments by photographers; the capturing of the major public stories dominating the news, from the conflict in the Ukraine to the endless lines of refugees in search of a better life in Europe; and the use of new technologies and equipment to create inventive work, including drone and underwater photography.

LensCulture is pleased to present 50 of the finalists’ images. They are best viewed in our full-screen presentation. Congratulations to all those who made it on this year’s shortlist and we look forward to seeing the winners announced in April!


Editor’s Note: The winners of all the categories will be announced at a gala ceremony in London on April 21. All the short-listed images—as well as the winners—will be exhibited at the Somerset House in London from April 22 until May 8.