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Incredible Sony World Photography Awards shortlist might give you the travel itch

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Inspiration abounds in the incredible entries from this year's Sony World Photography Awards.

With a record number of entries, the Sony World Photography Awards committee announced this week the shortlist for the 10th annual competition — and the impressive selection of worldwide shots is enough to make anyone get the travel itch.

The 2017 contest saw 227,596 entries, the most images submitted since the annual contest launched in 2007. “There was a truly global reach to the Sony World Photography Awards judging this year — the images were more diverse and broad ranging than I have ever seen before,” said Zelda Cheatle, chair of the professional jury and a curator from the United Kingdom. “In its 10th year, I can confidently say that the Sony World Photography Awards and the fine art of photography are doing extremely well.”

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The contest is divided into three different divisions: Professional, open, and youth. Each division includes 10 shortlisted photographers and 50 commended artists in several individual categories, including wildlife, culture, and street photography. The final winners will be announced on April 20.

Photographers from 183 different countries submitted work and the narrowing short list makes represents 49 countries, with the most recognized images coming from Italy, Germany, the U.K., China, and Russia. This year’s competition saw a significant increase in the entries from a number of areas, including China (70 percent), Myanmar (183 percent), Vietnam (108 percent), and the Philippines (71 percent).

Another contest stat points to growth in photography — the youth division had 56 percent more entries than the previous year.

“This year, more than any other, the entries to the Sony World Photography Awards have shown great integrity and are characterized by their considered approach,” said Scott Gray, CEO of the contest’s founder, the World Photography Organization. “Beautiful works of photographic art, not snapshots, have been presented to the judges and I am delighted to see that our esteemed juries have chosen to reward the pure skill, artistic interpretation and thoughtfulness of the photographer, rather than simply the subject matter the photographer has captured.”

The panel of judges will continue narrowing down the shortlist to select a final winner for the $25,000 cash prize and several smaller prizes in April. The entire gallery of short listed photographers — including shots beyond the OPen category featured here — is available at the Sony Photography Awards website.