180,000 photos down to 80 projects: the World Photography Awards pro shortlist

Sony World Photography Award 2023
(Image credit: Bruno Zanzottera)

The World Photography Organisation has revealed the shortlist and finalists for the Professional competition of the World Photography Awards, sponsored by Sony. 

This year's submissions are as diverse as they are creative, depicting everything from ostentatious buildings to magical abstract landscapes and thought-provoking series on real-world issues. 

• These are the best professional cameras that are relied on by pros for their capability and robustness

Throughout the competition, photographers explore themes of achievement (Al Bello, US), female empowerment (Lee-Ann Olwage, South Africa), abandoned industry (Fan Li, China), climate vulnerability (Federico Kaplan) and so much more. 

(Image credit: Jerome Delay)

The Professional competition challenges entrants to submit a photo project of five to ten images, interpreting one of the ten categories: Architecture & Design, Creative, Documentary Projects, Environment, Landscape, Portfolio, Portrait, Sport, Still Life, and Wildlife & Nature. 

For each category, a first, second and third-place winner has been selected alongside several high-commended shortlisted photographers who have shown exceptional story-telling abilities. 

Now in its 16th year, the SWPA is one of the most popular photography competitions in the world. This year it received more than 415,000 images from 200 countries and territories – and more than 180,000 photos were entered in the Professional competition alone, which is the highest number ever recorded.

Professional, Creative (Image credit: Juliana Jacyntho)

Judging the professional competition is a panel of esteemed photographers, curators and editors including Mariama Attah, Elisa Medde, Sujong Song and chair of the jury, Mike Trow. Speaking on behalf of the jury, 

"Finding original and different viewpoints photographically is challenging," said Trow, "but ever more rewarding as photographers embrace global visual trends and at the same time explore their own culture and history."

The overall winner of the Sony World Photography Award 2023 will take home a cash prize of $25,000 plus a range of Sony imaging equipment, and will be featured in the 2023 exhibition taking place at Somerset House in London, Egland, from April 14 to May 01. 

Head to the World Photography Awards website to see the full list of finalists and shortlisted photographers. 

Professional, Environment (Image credit: Simone Tramonte)

Professional, Landscape (Image credit: George Steinmetz)

Professional, Creative (Image credit: Noemi Comi)

Professional, portfolio (Image credit: Jack Gasiorowski)

Why not check out the best Sony cameras or browse the best Sony lenses and choose from a range of primes, standard zooms and telephoto lenses 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.