Competition for the Sony World Photography Awards – the world’s biggest photography competition - is stiff. A record-breaking 230,130 images from 186 countries were submitted, among which the UK entries were up by 135% from 2015.

Which means those shortlisted have to be something special. From photos centred around major news stories to Brits misbehaving abroad, this selection is a vibrant, beautiful and often disturbing snapshot of the world.

Twelve of the Brits are up for the Professional category, which is judged on a series of images; seven are for the Open where amateurs submit one shot; and three are competing for the Youth title. 

After the overall winners are announced on the 21 April, all shortlisted images will be shown at Somerset House from 22 April – 8 May.

For more, check out all the shortlisted images by 270 photographers across 60 countries.

Information on individual photographs is adapted from the photographer's words. 

Image: Toxic Trespass (series) 
Photographer: Giles Clarke  
Category: Professional 

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