It’s squeaky bum time in the photography world.
Over 200,000 photographs were submitted to the open competition of the 2023 Sony World Photography Awards.
Now the winning and shortlisted category entries have been announced ahead of the overall winning open competition image being revealed on April 13.
The standard? Breathtaking. As you’ll see from our pick of the pictures that have picked up accolades.
Scroll down to see a leaping stoat, a bounding hound, epic mountain landscapes, bizarre architecture and enchanting woodland scenes.
Selected winning and shortlisted images will be shown as part of the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House in London from April 14 to May 1, 2023.
This stunning picture of a leaping stoat is shortlisted in the ‘Natural World & Wildlife’ category. It was taken by Spanish photographer Jose Manuel Grandio, who offers this explanation of the spectacle: ‘Scientists have often witnessed stoats engaging in displays like this, but opinions are divided about what motivates the leaps and twists. Sometimes, the dances are performed in front of a rabbit or large bird in an apparent attempt to confuse or distract potential prey. But on other occasions – as here – there is no prey animal in sight. A third hypothesis is that it is an involuntary response to a parasitic infection’
This stunning image, taken during a dog agility competition in Italy by Italian photographer Francesco Junior Mura, is shortlisted in the ‘Motion’ category. Mura says: ‘The first obstacle of the course is the one I prefer most of all, because this is where it all begins. It is where the bond between human and dog is expressed in such a clear way, by such a magnetic look; where you can see the power of the dog’s muscles contracting and releasing energy at the handler’s every nod’
Shortlisted in the ‘Travel’ category, this haunting image by Polish photographer Pawel Jagiello shows a church tower in Italy protruding out of a body of water. Jagiello explains: ‘In 1950 the Italian village of Curon was flooded to create the artificial basin of Lake Resia, to power a hydroelectric dam. Today, the only visible remnant of the village is the 14th-century church tower jutting from the water’
This spellbinding image of the moon seemingly rising from within a volcano-like mountain was taken by Spanish photographer Jordi Coy, who reveals that he took the shot from 10 kilometres (six miles) away. The image is shortlisted in the ‘Landscape’ category
A magical shot of the ‘Santa special’ Christmas train on the Dartmouth Steam Railway in Devon. It was taken by UK photographer Adrian Pearce and shortlisted in the ‘Travel’ category
Breathtaking autumn colours in Patagonia captured by Canadian photographer Bing Li in an image that is shortlisted in the ‘Landscape’ category
This image by Italian photographer Angiolo Manetti is shortlisted in the ‘Architecture’ category. It shows a complex in Amsterdam called ‘Valley’, designed by Dutch architecture firm MVRDV – which created the controversial Marble Arch Mound in London. Valley features three ‘peaks’ – the tallest of which is 100m (328ft) high. MVRDV says that the spectacular development is ‘reminiscent of a carved-out block’
A beach seller sitting down next to his stall in Puglia, Italy, in an image by Italian photographer Lorenzo Grifantini that is shortlisted in the ‘Street Photography’ category
The judges were impressed enough with this image by Greek photographer Giorgos Rousopoulos to declare it the winner of the ‘Landscape’ category. Rousopoulos says: ‘I had to stop and gaze at this stunning view during a hike in Pindus National Park, Greece. The peak in the distance is Mount Tymfi, which stands at a height of 2,497 metres (8,192ft)’
Chinese photographer wins the ‘Motion’ category in the Open Competition with this incredible shot of a cowgirl taking part in a barrel-racing competition in Ontario, Canada. Zho explains: ‘Barrel racing is a competition where cowgirls ride quickly around barrels. The one that does this in the shortest time wins. Every time a horse reaches a barrel it needs to brake sharply, turn around the barrel and then race to the next one. The whole race is exciting, especially at the turns’
A stunning drone image by German photographer Albrecht Voss of the Monte Rosa Hutte in Switzerland, which sits at an altitude of 2,989m (9,809ft) and can accommodate 120 guests. The image is shortlisted in the ‘Architecture’ category
This spellbinding image by amateur Hungarian photographer Tibor Prisznyak is shortlisted in the ‘Natural World & Wildlife’ category. It was taken in Prisznyak’s home country
This image, shortlisted in the ‘Architecture’ category, shows an extraordinary house sandwiched between two rocks on a spit of land on the coast of Brittany, France. The photo was taken by UK photographer Robert Bolton
An incredible picture of the Pass Museum in Austria, shortlisted in the ‘Architecture’ category. It was taken by German photographer Margit Lisa Roeder, who says: ‘The Pass Museum on the Timmelsjoch is located at an altitude of 2,509m [8,231ft] and documents the history of the Alpine region between Tyrol and South Tyrol. It has the spectacular shape of a boulder and was built by the South Tyrolean architect Werner Tscholl in a very daring place. In search of unusual alpine architecture, I became aware of this impressive concrete building. I obtained permission to spend the night there because the pass road would close overnight. Suddenly, heavy dark clouds appeared, which then seemed to cling to the mountains. Strong wind and freezing cold snow showers surprised me. The atmosphere was incredibly intense. The museum seemed to loom menacingly out of the mountain, like an observer seeing everything and everyone’