Stunning submissions for world photography awards

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Now in its 14th year, the Sony World Photography Awards are a celebration of contemporary photography, with categories for professionals, amateurs, young people and students.

These are the finest shots submitted so far – from the Austrian Alps to the heart of NYC.

Taken at the Hamburg docks, this photo by Agota Kadar looks towards the cranes at the nearby cargo terminal, and acts as a glass and brick picture frame for the pure blue sky.

A peaceful panorama of the Seiser Alm alpine meadow in Italy’s Dolomite mountains, Ales Krivec used a drone to capture the morning light spilling across mountain, cottage, and field.

British photographer Amish Chhagan depicts the powerful intensity of an adult male lion, from his sinewy shoulders to his sideways stare.

Shot beneath the towering Hochkönig mountain group in the Austrian Alps, this stunning image was the result of a clear night and an hour-long hike. “At about 2am I saw this beautiful landscape,” says photographer Da Fa, “an old hut by the wayside, lit by the moon, with an incredible mountain in the back.”

While Dan Gerard was driving to work, he spotted this little owl staring down at him from the top of a dead tree, and reversed back down the road to get the shot. “One thing I’ve learned,” he says, “always have your camera with you.”

An image taken in the height of lockdown by German snapper Dominique Weiss, this photo shows an empty Swiss town bathed in interlocking layers of light and dark. “It shows the oppressiveness, gloominess, and uncertainty that affect this phase of our life,” says Weiss, “along with elements of hope.”

A host of unusual buildings have sprung up in New York in recent times, and this photo by Gautam Jain captures just two of them. These contrasting facades lie along West Side Highway, next to the Hudson River.

A delightfully mysterious photo, this entry by Graeme Haunholter reads simply: “Basketball court amidst desert sand dunes.”

This was taken on the remote South Atlantic island of South Georgia, where Jack Evans, while on patrol with the British Army, found this male emperor penguin standing proudly in its natural habitat near a disused whaling station.

The Portland Head Lighthouse in Maine has been photographed many times, but rarely like this. “The thick fog had a burst of colour as the sun set in the west,” says photographer Jamie Malcolm-Brown, “it only lasted a few moments, but it created a unique view.”

There’s a delightful geometry to this aerial shot by photographer Khanh Phan, of a woman among tessellating fish trays in the Long Hai fish market in Vietnam. She’s putting out fry trays on the rooftops to dry in the sun, before taking them down to the stalls below.

This all-action image by Australian Lance Morgan shows surfer Mikey Brennan tackling a storm wave off Ship Stern Bluff in Tasmania. Cold, vast, and unforgiving, the waves here rank among the world’s most dangerous.

Taken by German cameraman Luca Pot d’Or, this fluid shot depicts a herd of cattle cantering through the old town of Bagan in Myanmar, weaving between ancient temples and holy shrines.

Which is your favourite of these early submissions? Have you ever dabbled in photography?

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