The 2015 Sony World Photography Awards, the world's biggest photography competition, has announced the shortlists for its Professional, Open and Youth competitions. The 2015 competition received the highest number of entries in its eight-year history – 173,444 images from 171 countries.

Those in the awards' Professional categories will now compete for a $25,000 (£16,000) prize and the coveted L'Iris d'Or/ Photographer of the Year title, which will be announced at the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony on 23 April. All winners will receive the latest Sony digital imaging equipment.

The winning and shortlisted images will go on show at Somerset House in London from 24 April to 10 May and will be published in the 2015 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.

In this gallery, IBTimesUK publishes a selection of the 208 shortlisted Professional photos. And take a look at the Open shortlist. To see more, go to www.worldphoto.org.

2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Ukraine, Kiev, Euromaidan: Vladyslav Musiienko, Ukraine, Current AffairsVladyslav Musiienko, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Ukraine, Kiev, Euromaidan: Vladyslav Musiienko, Ukraine, Current AffairsVladyslav Musiienko, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Ebola Crisis Overwhelms Liberian Capital: John Moore, United States, Current AffairsJohn Moore, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Ebola Crisis Overwhelms Liberian Capital: John Moore, United States, Current AffairsJohn Moore, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Black Days of Ukraine: Valery Melnikov, Russian Federation, Current AffairsValery Melnikov, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Black Days of Ukraine: Valery Melnikov, Russian Federation, Current AffairsValery Melnikov, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity: Lisa Krantz, United States, Contemporary IssuesLisa Krantz, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
First Sight: Brent Stirton, South Africa, Contemporary IssuesBrent Stirton, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Acid Survivors in India: Jordi Pizarro, Spain, ConceptualJordi Pizarro, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Swedish Dads: Johan Bavman, Sweden, PeopleJohan Bavman, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
La Ville Noire - The Dark Heart of Europe: Giovanni Troilo, Italy, PeopleGiovanni Troilo, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Glasgow, Second City of The Empire. On the run up to the Scottish Referendum: Dougie Wallace, United Kingdom, PortraitureDougie Wallace, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Glasgow, Second City of The Empire. On the run up to the Scottish Referendum: Dougie Wallace, United Kingdom, PortraitureDougie Wallace, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Child Victims of First World War : Vova Pomortzeff, Russian Federation, Still LifeVova Pomortzeff, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Paradise Lust: Liza Van der Stock, Belgium, PeopleLiza Van der Stock, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Cat-mothers: Ramil Gilvanov, Russian Federation, LifestyleRamil Gilvanov, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Cat-mothers: Ramil Gilvanov, Russian Federation, LifestyleRamil Gilvanov, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Animal Behaviour: Kimmo Metsäranta, Finland, Still LifeKimmo Metsäranta, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Aerial Views Adria: Bernhard Lang, Germany, TravelBernhard Lang, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Clubs in Italy: Massimo Siragusa, Italy, ArchitectureMassimo Siragusa, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Shadow City: Ronaldo Land, Brazil, SportRonaldo Land, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Blue Fields: Simon Butterworth, United Kingdom, LandscapeSimon Butterworth, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Northern Lights: Clas Kristensen, Norway, SportClas Kristensen, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Restricted Areas: Danila Tkachenko, Russian Federation, LandscapeDanila Tkachenko, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
Overnight at the Beach: Adhi Prayoga, Indonesia, TravelAdhi Prayoga, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards
2015 Sony World Photography Awards
When I am Laid in Earth: Simon Norfolk, United Kingdom, LandscapeSimon Norfolk, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards