With just one month until entries close, the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards has released some of the stunning entries from its Open competition. In addition, the judges share their advice to photographers keen on entering the world's largest photography competition. The 2016 competition received a record-breaking 230,103 images from 186 countries. The
Photographer of the Year title was won by Iranian photojournalist Asghar Khamseh, and the Open Photographer of the Year title was awarded to Kei Nomiyama from Japan.
IBTimes UK presents a selection of the stunning photos submitted so far, in the hope they may inspire you to enter. See www.worldphoto.org for details. Peter Dench, UK – Portraits: Two goths share a portion of chips on Southend promenade Peter Dench/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Peter Csakvari, Hungary – Still Life: X-Flies Peter Csakvari/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Jian Seng Soh, Malaysia – Street Photography: Going Home. 'I took this photo during summer in Kyoto, Japan. Before I get off the bus at the next station, I gave my seat to this young elementary student with heavy bags and she immediately fell asleep. I took this photo without even having time to look at the viewfinder because the bus passengers were pushing towards me as most of them were getting off at this station.' Jian Seng Soh/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Stefanos Chronis, Greece – Architecture: 'Inside the Scottish National Museum I noticed a very harmonious symmetry. The master plan was to redevelop the Victorian building and further integrate the architecture, and in 2006 two museums were formally merged as the National Museum of Scotland. The old Royal Museum building closed for redevelopment in 2008, before re-opening in July 2011.' Stefanos Chronis/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Placido Faranda, Italy – Nature: Solidified Lava River vs Forest. Aerial view from a drone, Etna, Sicily. Placido Faranda/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Mohamed Shaiful Azre Allias, Malaysia – Motion. 'Hundreds of student hoist flags during the 59th Malaysia Independence Day celebration at Merdeka Square on 31 August 2016 in Kuala Lumpur.' Mohamed Shaiful Azre Allias/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Mankichi Shinshi, Japan – Culture: Waiting a Next Turn. 'After I heard that it is one of the most crowded places in the world, I decided to visit the beach in Qingdao, China. But Qingdao in May was chilly and foggy – it was still off-season. This photo captures wedding photo sessions around the sea.' Mankichi Shinshi/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Jelena Kostich, Serbia – Architecture: Panopticon #1, the prison San Vittore Milan Jelena Kostich/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Liam Thomson, UK – Wildlife: 'A deer rests in the golden autumn scrub as ravens joust and play around him. One whispers in his ear. The scene with the deer alone was captivating, but with some patience and observation it was a pleasure to be able to capture the contrast of the kinetic movement of the birds with the still calm of the deer.' Liam Thomson/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Jari Siltala, Finland – Culture: Carnival 'Sheriff' in Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife Jari Siltala/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Noel Guevara, Philippines – Wildlife: Feeding Frenzy. 'Wolf snappers feeding on plankton. German Channel, Ngemelis Island, Republic of Palau. Taken in miso soup visibility but one of my favourite shots from the trip. I took this while the three mantas we were shooting were making a huge U-turn for another pass at the cloud of plankton. This was at around three metres and the energy was electric all around.' Noel Guevara/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Gutescu Eduard, Romania – Culture: Shepherd from Transylvania. 'In the Carpathian mountains in the region of Bran village I found this authentic shepherd. His name is Dan and it was a real joy to listen to his life story.' Gutescu Eduard/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Eugénie Sophie Berger, Austria – Travel: : Colourful Senior Moment, Tel Aviv Beach Eugénie Sophie Berger/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Brandon Yoshizawa, Japan – Nature: 'A shot at 50mm to compress the golden aspen grove and the mountains and to show some of the dust lane details of the Milky Way. I took this during the late autumn season after a fresh snow storm hit the Eastern Sierras. The shot consists of two exposures to capture the details of the foreground bull still keep the Milky Way and stars sharp without trailing.' Brandon Yoshizawa/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Adit Merkine, Israel – Wildlife: 'I was lying on the bank of Kerkini Lake, Macedonia, the most important wintering habitat of the Dalmatian pelican in Europe. At this time of the year the Dalmatian pelicans are in their breeding plumage. A group of five Dalmatian pelicans came closer and closer, probably looking for some fish from the fisherman on shore. They stopped for a short time in a lined row staring at my camera, like posing for a family shot. It was very exciting and I took the shot.' Adit Merkine/Sony World Photography Awards 2017 Andrzej Bochenski, Poland – Architecture: Al Ain, a city in the desert, United Arab Emirates Andrzej Bochenski/Sony World Photography Awards 2017
All entries to the Sony World Photography Awards are free at
www.worldphoto.org. The deadline for the Open competition – rewarding the best single images across 10 categories – is 5 January 2017. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 20 April 2017. Prizes include the latest Sony digital imaging equipment, inclusion in the 2017 awards book plus a cash prize of $5,000 (around £4,000) for the overall Open winner.
All winning and shortlisted images will also be exhibited as part of the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 21 April to 7 May 2017. The exhibition will also feature a special curation of work by the awards' 2017 Outstanding Contribution to Photography recipient.
The awards' judging panels are made up of industry experts who below offer advice to those entering the 2017 competition.
Russ O'Connell, picture editor, The Sunday Times Magazine (UK), 2017 Professional competition judge:
"I want to be blown away by seeing a portrait or image that immediately invokes an emotional response, not a pastiche of a famous portrait or replication of a photographer's style that has come before."
Damien Demolder, photographer and journalist (UK), 2017 Open and Youth competitions Chair of Judges: "Try not to shoot images that have been done a thousand times before and which only copy and emulate others. Your life and your experience are different to everyone else's so use your individuality."