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