This year's Sony World Photography Awards garnered a whopping 300,000-plus submissions from more than 200 countries. This massive assortment of images has now been reduced to a stunning set of winners, which together shine a light on everything from South Africa under apartheid to the Persian tradition of using animal carcasses in sport.

Sorted into two primary contests, Professional and Open, the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards attracted entries from those who takes photos for a living and those more of an enthusiast persuasion. Among the latter group was Bulgaira's Veselin Atanasov, an IT specialist and self-taught photographer who took out the Open category with this beautiful image of Central Balkan National Park in the autumn.

Winner of the Photographer of the Year Award was Britain's Alys Tomlinson, whose series Ex-Voto depicted the characters and landscapes of religious pilgrimage sites around the world.

Under the Professional banner, awards were also handed out for sub-categories including Architecture, Contemporary Issues, Sport, Still Life and Landscape. Awards were also handed out for Youth Photographer of the Year (for photographers between 12 and 19) and Student Photographer of the Year (student photographers under 30).

Jump on into the gallery to see these fantastic images in all their glory.

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