The Best Photos From Sony’s 2017 World Photography Contest.

ony has already announced the shortlist of the best photos competing i... Read more

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1. Masayasu Sakuma from Japan submitted this ethereal image of diamond dust for the Open Competition, Nature category.

1. Masayasu Sakuma from Japan submitted this ethereal image of diamond dust for the Open Competition, Nature category.

This photo was taken in February in Nagano-ken at an altitude of 1,700 meters in February, which is the coldest month of the year in Japan.
Since diamond dust can only be seen during the winter, it took the photographer four years to capture that diamond dust, which is usually white, as it turned orange as the morning sun rose.

2. Ami Vitale of the U.S. posted this adorable photo for the Natural World, Professional category.

2. Ami Vitale of the U.S. posted this adorable photo for the Natural World, Professional category.

Giant pandas, which are only found in central China, have come dangerously close to being extinct because they're shy and tough to breed while in captivity.
But after years of research, the giant panda is no longer endangered.
But tell us this photo doesn't make you want to go...
aww.

3. Pier Mane of Italy shared this glimpse of life above and below the water for the Open Competition, Culture category.

3. Pier Mane of Italy shared this glimpse of life above and below the water for the Open Competition, Culture category.

Mane captured this in the Solomon Islands which is known for its pristine reefs and world-class diving.
It's also one of the few remaining places where local indigenous tribes are scattered throughout the archipelago.
This image captures villagers, their canoe, the reef, and one amazing sunset in the background that is simply magical.

4. Luo Pin Xi of China submitted this gravity defying photo for the Professional, Sport category of the contest.

4. Luo Pin Xi of China submitted this gravity defying photo for the Professional, Sport category of the contest.

Here we see two Shaolin Kung-fu masters daring to defy the laws of physics as they race across this wall.
But it takes time to master such a technique and given Kung-fu's profound influence on the culture and its history, you can tell that this form of martial arts takes a great deal of work and dedication.

5. Li Song of China shared this photo of medicine taken to the extreme for the Professional, Contemporary Issues category

5. Li Song of China shared this photo of medicine taken to the extreme for the Professional, Contemporary Issues category

Song took a photo of an eleven-year-old boy from Harbin, who arrived at the Changchun weight loss center to lose a few kilos.
The child has suffered from Prader-Willi Syndrome since he was 3, and it's a condition that causes extreme weight gain.
So here we see Hang undergoing fire treatment to burn the excess fat and it looks absolutely agonizing.

6. Yuan Pen of China, took this photo of what hard work looks like for the Professional, Sport category.

6. Yuan Pen of China, took this photo of what hard work looks like for the Professional, Sport category.

This photo was taken in a sports school in Jining, in Shandong province, in China.
Here we see Liu Bingqing and Liu Yujie, twin sisters, who love gymnastics so much that they're willing to endure a lot of pain to push their bodies beyond their limits.

7. Christian Vizl of Mexico submitted this photo under the Professional, Natural World category, and it's very fishy.

7. Christian Vizl of Mexico submitted this photo under the Professional, Natural World category, and it's very fishy.

If you ever wondered what lies beneath the waves under the sea, then check this out.
It's like Vizl put a bunch of living sea creatures in stasis long enough to photograph them.
Some might even say that it looks like a tornado of fishes.

8. Alexander Vinogradov of Russia submitted this photo of Anastasiya Marinina for the Open Competition, Portrait competition.

8. Alexander Vinogradov of Russia submitted this photo of Anastasiya Marinina for the Open Competition, Portrait competition.

Wow! So gorgeous, this model looks like a young Natalie Portman when she starred in "The Professional" back in 1994.
Her eyes speak so much.
It's like she's an old soul, which is probably why Vinogradov chose her for this photo.

. Andreas Hemb of Sweden submitted this photo in the Open Competition, Wildlife, and it's total bull.

. Andreas Hemb of Sweden submitted this photo in the Open Competition, Wildlife, and it's total bull.

It's simply stunning, almost like you're looking at a bunch of statues or skeletal remains.
But they're real.
Though some of you might have to look twice at this shot, it simply is a fantastic capture.
It sort of makes you think of the work of Salvador Dali.

10. Barry Tweed-Rycroft of the United Kingdom submitted this breathtaking underworld for the open competition, Architecture category.

10. Barry Tweed-Rycroft of the United Kingdom submitted this breathtaking underworld for the open competition, Architecture category.

It's like you're literally in the film "Inception." Reflections in puddles literally make for the best photos, and this photographer has clearly proven that.
This was very nicely done.
It's like there's another world right under our feet.

11. Asger Ladefoged of Denmark submitted this photo under the Professional, Daily Life category.

11. Asger Ladefoged of Denmark submitted this photo under the Professional, Daily Life category.

And it literally proves that boys will be boys.
This is what happens when 28 school kids from a sixth grade class from the Copenhagen school, Oster Farimagsgade meet controversial Danish therapist Carl-Mar Moller and are encouraged to play freely without rules.

12. Francesco Russo of Italy submitted this flowering photo for the Open Competition, Nature category.

12. Francesco Russo of Italy submitted this flowering photo for the Open Competition, Nature category.

Shot in the Sibillini Mountains National Park in Italy, this flowery landscape is absolutely dreamy.
It's almost like it was captured from the original "Wizard of Oz" film with Judy Garland.
Who knew something this beautiful actually existed in the real world?

13. Maximilian Conrad of Germany captured the perfect storm for the Open Competition, Nature category.

13. Maximilian Conrad of Germany captured the perfect storm for the Open Competition, Nature category.

It's like a green monster in the sky and back on May 16, 2016, a high precipitation supercell storm led the way to a massive tornado over the town of Stratford, Texas.
The structure and color of this storm are as seemingly unreal as it is beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.

14. Zhu Jianxing of China submitted this glowing invasion in the Open Competition, Travel category.

14. Zhu Jianxing of China submitted this glowing invasion in the Open Competition, Travel category.

You can't get more magical than this.
It's like a fairy invasion heading like a swarm of lights towards that unsuspecting house.
But it isn't a trick of light or an enhanced image.
It's just nature at its finest.

15. Lars Sivars of Sweden submitted this photo of a Manhattan sunset for the Open Competition, Architecture category.

15. Lars Sivars of Sweden submitted this photo of a Manhattan sunset for the Open Competition, Architecture category.

It's the second part in a New York Trilogy, which Sivars calls "NYC Light" and was shot from Queens across the East River.
It's almost like the sun is trying to force its way in between the massive buildings.
Simply breathtaking.

16. Frederik Buyckx of Belgium submitted this photo of a white winter to the Professional, Landscape category.

16. Frederik Buyckx of Belgium submitted this photo of a white winter to the Professional, Landscape category.

Buyckx states that there's a peculiar transformation of nature when winter comes and snow and ice start to dominate the landscape.
This photo series, which was taken in remote areas of the Balkans, Scandinavia, and Central Asia reflect how isolated animals and humans are when faced with the harsh conditions of this whiteout.

17. Eugene Kitsios of the Netherlands submitted this intimidating photo for the Open Competition, Wildlife category.

17. Eugene Kitsios of the Netherlands submitted this intimidating photo for the Open Competition, Wildlife category.

Just look closely into its eyes.
Trust us, it's difficult to look away.
It's like there's no escape.
This beautiful meanie is looking at us and judging us for being filthy humans.
If you ever found yourself confronting someone who owes you money, you should bring this bird.
One look at it and they'll be forking over all their cash.

18. Dina Alfasi of Israel submitted this heavenly photo for the Open Competition, Street Photography category.

18. Dina Alfasi of Israel submitted this heavenly photo for the Open Competition, Street Photography category.

It's a lovely capture, which looks more like a Norman Rockwell painting than anything else.
It's like the man's traveling towards a fantasy world high above the sky.
Now that's amazing.

19. Carloman Cespedes Riojas of Peru captures this heartbreaking moment for the Open Competition, Portraits category.

19. Carloman Cespedes Riojas of Peru captures this heartbreaking moment for the Open Competition, Portraits category.

The image was intended to be a criticism of modern relationships and the distance between human beings in their daily interactions.
But most of us can come up a variety of stories from this photo alone.
One could be a story of "the morning after" regret or it could be a reflection of an unhappy couple early in the morning.

20. Tom Jacobi of Germany submitted this gray landscape for the Professional, Landscape category.

20. Tom Jacobi of Germany submitted this gray landscape for the Professional, Landscape category.

It took Jacobi two years and six continents to search for a monochromatic landscape like this one.
This mystical place seems thousands of years old and yet the rock face has a modern aspect to it as well.
In fact, its lack of color makes this place seem almost peaceful.

21. George Mayer of Russia captured the image of the perfect woman for the Professional, Portraits category.

21. George Mayer of Russia captured the image of the perfect woman for the Professional, Portraits category.

Arranging the delicate balance between light and darkness wasn't easy, but Mayer managed to split this perfect figure of a woman in half.
One half was light which made her both naked and vulnerable, while the other is just a shadowy silhouette which makes appear both complete and monumental.

22. Julien Chatelin from France captures this long, lonely road in Western China for the Professional Architecture category.

22. Julien Chatelin from France captures this long, lonely road in Western China for the Professional Architecture category.

The photograph captures the growing rift between the rural areas of Western China with the more modern, vast, and newly-built mega cities.
Chatelin considers this photo a visual exploration of the impact of the region's economic development on the landscape as it heads progressively forward into the future.

23. Sandra Hoyn of Germany shared this seedy photo for the Professional, Daily Life category.

23. Sandra Hoyn of Germany shared this seedy photo for the Professional, Daily Life category.

The image, which Hoyn named "The Longings of Others" was taken at The Kandapara brothel in the district of Tangail.
It has existed for about 200 years and often includes sex workers as young as 12 who have no freedom or rights and belong to a madam.
But once the woman has paid her debt she is free to leave, but is forever scarred by the experience.

24. Eduard Korniyenko of Russia shows us what bodybuilders must do to compete in this photo for the Professional, Sport category.

24. Eduard Korniyenko of Russia shows us what bodybuilders must do to compete in this photo for the Professional, Sport category.

Is he being painted? The answer is yes.
It turns out that in bodybuilding competitions, people are painted in a shiny-brown-golden paint to make their bodies look good and their muscles stand out.
Who knew?

25. Ivor Prickett of Ireland shared a photo of what it's like to get caught in the crossfire for the Professional, Current Affairs And News category.

25. Ivor Prickett of Ireland shared a photo of what it's like to get caught in the crossfire for the Professional, Current Affairs And News category.

In what may be one of the most heartbreaking images, Prickett captured this photo which reflects the results of the battle for Mosul, where civilians are often caught between Iraqi and coalition forces one side and the Islamic State group fighters on the other.

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