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#BestPhotos: 15 top shots you will EVER see

March 24, 2015 08:42 IST

The 2015 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards, the world's biggest photography competition, has announced the shortlists for its Professional, Open and Youth competitions. Recognising and rewarding the world's best contemporary photography, the 2015 competition received the highest number of entries in its eight year history -- 173,444 images from 171 countries.

World Photography Organisation provided Rediff.com with some spectacular shortlisted entries.

Also See: PART-I of the stunning series

Now see the concluding part:

Olympic Faces

Image: Italy's Ludwig Rieder prepares for the training run during the Men's Luge Doubles of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Sanki Sliding Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. The faces of Olympic luge pilots shortly before the race starts during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. A view at the faces of sports heroes which are often puckered, pinched and contorted behind their masks.

Photograph: Sascha Fromm/Germany/Shortlist/Sport/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Headless

Image: Photo taken during Artistic Gymnastics Tournament in Poland. Girls that participated were aged 8-12.

Photograph: Adrian Jaszczak/Poland/Shortlist/Arts & Culture/Open/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Hair

Image: The hair is an intimate part of a person. Hair has some symbolic value: ideas of beauty, strength, eroticism, individuality, sensuality, masculinity, and femininity are closely linked to the hair. “When I bike to school and kindergarten with my children in the morning, we pass a hairdresser’s, which is frequented daily by local residents. I was working intensely on another project at the time, but the idea just gripped me. I started visiting different hair salons to capture the moment where we let other people get intimately close and shape the way the world sees us. When I meet ordinary people, I’m intrigued by the fact that they have so many fascinating stories and interesting personalities. You don’t have to go to distant places to experience drama and the unknown. The odds are, you’ll find both right around the corner. In this case the stories were found at the local hairdresser.” The project is not yet finished -- there is still so much to discover in Copenhagen’s hair salons.

Photograph: Jens Juul/Denmark/Shortlist/Portraiture/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Faces

Image: This series is comparing faces and colours of four different cities which is describing culture of the people are living there. Each Image is a puzzle from different doors in each city.

Photograph: Farid Sani/Iran/Shortlist/Travel/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Underwater Grace

Image: The photographer attempts to capture the underwater grace and juxtaposition of the synchronized swimming team trainings in Singapore.

Photograph: Jonathan Yeap Chin Tiong/Singapore/Shortlist/Sport/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


One hundred and forty centimetres

Image: 1 in 700 babies are born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal abnormality in new-borns. Specialists call it trisomy 21. Down syndrome is not a disease -- it is not curable. People with Down syndrome have often physical and mental impairments that make them different from others. Since 2012 it has been possible to determine by means of non-invasive tests before birth whether a child will have Down's syndrome, as necessary, initiate an abortion. The photo series "one hundred and forty centimetres" raises questions about our relationship with the stigma of "living with impairment," and the technical possibilities to determine this even before birth.

Photograph: Sabine Lewandowski/Germany/Shortlist/People/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Cat mother

Image: Series of images from the life of a photographer's family.

Photograph: Ramil Gilvanov/Rimma Gilvanova/Russia/Shortlist/Lifestyle/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Awards.


Purim Holiday in Jerusalem

Image: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men of the Toldot Aharon Sect celebrate the Purim holiday in the ultra-orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem on March 17, 2014. The festival of Purim commemorates the rescue of Jews from a genocide in ancient Persia.

Photograph: Gili Yaari/Israel/Shortlist/Arts & Culture/Professional/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity

Image: At almost 600 pounds, Hector Garcia Jr finds simple daily tasks like bathing a challenge. He struggled to walk across the hall from his bedroom to the bathroom so that his mother, Elena, could wash him after having cut his hair in November 2010. A month before, Hector started dieting after he realized he was close to his highest known weight, 636 pounds. For years, Hector Garcia Jr. battled severe obesity and all its consequences: the pain, the ridicule and the lost hopes. After years of repeatedly gaining and losing hundreds of pounds, Garcia, who at one point weighed 636 pounds, once again was stuck in the back bedroom of his parents' modest house, in San Antonio, Texas. His weight put him in a category known as severely obese, which makes up about 6.3 per cent of the US population. The rate of severe obesity is growing faster than the rate of people who are merely overweight.

Photograph: Lisa Krantz/United States/Shortlisted/Contemporary Issues/Professional/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Pelican Feeding

Image: These pelicans are resident on the point at Port Vincent on the Yorke Peninsular in South Australia and have become as opportunistic as the seagulls waiting for fish offal.

Photograph: Melissa Little/Australia/Shortlist/Nature & Wildlife/Open/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Welcoming Summer

Image: As Spring draw to a close and the final gusts of the southern breeze peter out, the people of Sydney take to the beach to welcome the summer heat. A national past time, you can say that it has become a part of the Australian culture. The photograph aims to capture the mood of everyone at the beach.

Photograph: David Pereira/Singapore/Shortlist/Culture/Youth/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Euromaidan

Image: Ukrainian protester plays piano on a barricade in front of the riot police line during the continuing protest in Kiev, Ukraine 10.02.2014 Euromaidan was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, which began on the night of November 21, 2013 with public protests in Maidan Nezalezhnosti ("Independence Square") in Kiev, demanding closer European integration. The scope of the protests expanded, with many calls for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych and his government. The protests ultimately led to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.

Photograph: Vladyslav Musiienko/UNIAN/Ukraine/Shortlist/Current Affairs/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Blue Fields

Image: Blue Fields was shot at the Useless Loop solar salt operation situated in Shark Bay, the westernmost point of mainland Australia. The series is part of a larger, long term project, Aesthetics of the Unexpected, which explores the relationships between perception, expectation and reality.

Photograph: Simon Butterworth/United Kingdom/Shortlist/Landscape/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Award


Old Shepherd

Image: An old shepherd that had been surprised by snow storm in Gilan's countryside in the north of Iran.

Photograph: Saeed Barikani/Iran/Shortlist/Smile/Open/2015 Sony World Photography Awards


Everland Korea

Image: Everland is the largest theme park in Korea. This is the open shower in Caribbean Bay.

Photograph: Julia Fullerton-Batten/United Kingdom/Shortlist/Lifestyle/Professional Competition/2015 Sony World Photography Awards