Highlights from the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Cat-mothers
© Ramil Gilvanov/Rimma Gilvanova, Russia, Shortlist, Lifestyle, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Old Shepherd
© Saeed Barikani, Iran, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Ukraine.Kiev. Euromaidan
Ukrainian protester plays piano on a barricade in front of the riot police line during the continuing protest in Kiev, Ukraine on October 2, 2014. © Vladyslav Musiienko / UNIAN, Ukraine, Shortlist, Current Affairs, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

On the Tundra....
© Simon Morris, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Smile, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Pelican Feeding
© Melissa Little, Australia, Shortlist, Nature & Wildlife, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

Blue Fields
The images were shot from a light aircraft flying at between 4,000 & 5,000ft. The height was crucial in order to flatten perspective by using long focal lengths. Time of day and cloud cover were also critical, the abstract effect being heightened by complete lack of signifying shadow. © Simon Butterworth, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Landscape, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Award

Underwater Grace
© Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong, Singapore, Shortlist, Sport, Professional Competition, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

BLNgold
© Alexander Klebe, Germany, Shortlist, Panormaic, Open, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

First Sight
West Bengal, India. October 21, 2013. Blind girls Sonia, 12, and Anita Singh, 5, are born into poverty with congenital cataract blindness. They must accompany their parents everywhere as they cannot be left alone without risk. The surgery to cure this is simple and takes 15 minutes but because of the level of poverty in this family they have been unable to pursue the necessary operation. India has more than 12 million blind, the majority of which suffer from cataract blindness. Poverty is the main reason these millions of people are trapped in this condition. Donor funding has recently enabled both sisters to finally go for this operation. This essay is an attempt to tell the story of their lives before surgery, during the operation to regain their sight and after as they begin to discover light. © Brent Stirton, South Africa, Shortlist, Contemporary Issues, Professional, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

The World Photography Organization just announced the shortlist for the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. Creating a shortlist was no small feat. This year submissions swelled to a record 173,444 photographs from 171 countries. Shortlisted images will be on view at Somerset House in London from April 24th through May 10th, and Winners are announced April 23rd. You can see all shortlisted photos online in three categories: Professional, Open, and Youth.

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