In the pitch dark of the African night, a herd of cape buffaloes gather at the watering hole for a drink, taking care to stay by the edge to avoid the crocodiles lurking in the depths.
In Gangiova, a village in Romania, a doctor places her stethoscope to the chest of a newborn baby, listening intently for the beating of his tiny heart.
These are just some of the moments judges for the Sony World Photography Awards have picked out for this year’s shortlist.
For the 2017 competition, photographers entered 227,596 images across the awards’ Professional, Open and Youth categories.
The Open competition winner will receive $5,000 (about £4,000), Sony digital imaging equipment and flights and accommodation to the awards ceremony at Somerset House in London
Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation, said: ‘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.
‘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.’
A herd of buffalo visit a watering hole for a drink in the middle of the night at Zimanga Private Game Reserve, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. This is one of the shortlisted images for the Sony World Photography Awards. Photo by Andreas Hemb
Seen by few, but beloved by billions, the giant panda is one of the most recognised animals on the planet. In this photo, taken by Ami Vitale in China, a man wearing a panda suit cradles a cub in his arms
A school of fish churns above the sea bed, sucking the sand upwards in a tornado effect. This image was taken by Christian Vizl, from Mexico
A girl sits in the shell of an old car in Gyumri, Armenia, which still bears the scars of a devastating 7.0 Richter-scale…