A peeping owl, a mesmerising volcanic eruption and a leopard’s intense stare: The 2023 Sony World Photography Awards reveals the best single images from 55 countries taking part
- Over 415,000 images from over 200 countries were submitted to the Sony World Photography Awards 2023
- More than 200,000 were entered into the Open awards, from which the national awards winners were picked
- MORE: Scottish photographer’s incredible images of her home country show just why its landscape has it all
Since its 2007 inception, the Sony World Photography Awards has been a platform for some of the world’s most powerful photography.
Unsurprisingly, this year is no exception.
Over 415,000 images from over 200 countries and territories were entered into the 2023 contest and over 200,000 were entered into the Open competition. From the latter bundle, the judges have now selected – and revealed – the national award winners.
The National Awards program is an initiative that was established by the World Photography Organisation and Sony to support local photographic communities around the world, with 55 countries taking part this year. New to this year’s awards are four new ‘Regional Awards’, which put the spotlight on the breadth of photographic talent in a range of European countries.
Among the overall prizewinners, there’s a sweet picture of a peeping owlet in Bangladesh, a dramatic shot of a volcanic eruption in Ecuador and a transfixing picture of a leopard staring intently at the camera in Sri Lanka.
Scroll down to see MailOnline Travel’s pick from this year’s winners and finalists…
Titled ‘Glare of a Predator’, this mesmerising picture of a ‘magnificent’ Sri Lankan leopard resting in a tree was captured in Sri Lanka’s Kumana National Park. Impressing the judges, it has earned photographer Rajeev Abeysekara the national award for Sri Lanka. Abeysekara recalls how the leopard ‘stared’ at him through the branches, adding: ‘It was an unforgettable encounter’
LEFT: The moon rises over snow-coated trees in Finnish Lapland in this otherworldly photograph by Roberto Pavic, who wins the ‘Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina Regional Award’ this year. RIGHT: This eye-catching photograph shows a female diver gliding alongside a sea turtle off the coast of Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands in this picture by Thien Nguye n Ngoc. The photographer, who has earned the national award for Vietnam, describes the scene as ‘a harmonious coexistence between human and nature’
LEFT: Photographer Kevin Moncayo captures Equador’s mighty Sangay volcano in this epic photograph. He says: ‘Sangay has been active for the last couple of years in Ecuador, sending ash to cities that are hundreds of miles away.’ The photographer, who takes the silver medal in the Latin America National Awards, adds that he waited for 72 hours to take the shot at dawn, when the clouds and the stars were visible at the same time. RIGHT: This spellbinding photograph was taken in early winter in the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. Filip Hrebenda, who was behind the lens, says: ‘Winter in the mountains has its charm, even at night. The patterns formed in the frozen lakes are natural artworks in their own right, and help the creativity of the artist who is trying to capture them.’ Hrebenda has been shortlisted for the ‘Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, the Romania & Moldova Regional Award’
Titled ‘Captivating Eyes’, this picture of a spotted owlet was photographed from underneath a hide at the National Botanical Garden of Bangladesh. Protap Shekhor Mohanto, who is the national award winner for Bangladesh, says: ‘During the day these amazing birds tend to hide in nests made in the holes of tree trunks, but they sometimes peep out to observe their surroundings with their captivating yellow eyes’
This wintry shot, titled Wonderland, has earned photographer Yawar Abbas the national award for Pakistan
This stunning picture of the hot springs in eastern Turkey’s Guroymak district has earned Erhan Coral the national award for Turkey. Herdsmen are known to take their horses and their buffaloes into the springs in the winter months. Coral notes: ‘The hot springs maintain a temperature of about 40 degrees Celsius, even when the outside temperature is as low as minus 14 degrees Celsius’
This powerful shot shows the ski jumper Timi Zajc in motion at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Final in Planica, northwestern Slovenia, last March. It was captured by the photographer Andrej Tarfila, who has been shortlisted for the ‘Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina Regional Award’
This picture shows daredevil diver Stefan Jevtic leaping from the Mostar Old Bridge into the Neretva river in the city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the 456th high-diving competition on the bridge. Photographer Armin Durgut explains that on the day, a total of 31 divers leapt from the bridge. Durgut has been shortlisted for the ‘Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina Regional Award’ thanks to the dynamic shot
Illimani, a mountain near the city of La Paz in western Bolivia, is the subject of this awe-inspiring shot by photographer Reynaldo San Martin, who has been shortlisted in the Latin America National Awards. Describing the image, San Martin says: ‘The majestic peak of Illimani stands like a guardian of La Paz city. I took this photograph at sunset to capture the beautiful contrast of blacks and oranges’
A red-eyed tree frog walks slowly through the rainforest in northern Costa Rica in this colourful shot by Manuel Rodriguez, who is shortlisted in the Latin America National Awards
LEFT: This atmospheric picture of a person riding their bike next to the Yangjaecheon, a stream in Seoul, has bagged photographer Gyu Seob Shim the national award for South Korea. He reflects: ‘The path was surrounded by trees that were so dense the road could not be seen, so it felt like he was riding into a deep forest.’ RIGHT: A grazing deer in Japan’s Nara Park, set in the city of Nara, is beautifully captured in this picture by photographer Kyujin Jeong. Reflecting on the foggy November morning that the picture was taken, the photographer – who takes second place in the national award for South Korea – recalls: ‘It was so peaceful’
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