With its spectacular variety of submissions the Sony World Photography Awards never fails to disappoint, and the 2019 competition is shaping up to be the most impressive to date. Alongside announcing a strong professional jury for its 2019 Awards, a selection of the best submissions so far have just been revealed showing an astounding array of images from photographers all over the globe.

Last year's Sony World Photography Awards delivered a record-breaking 320,000 submissions spanning over 200 countries and territories. Submissions for the 2019 awards don't close for another few months but thousands of images have already come in, and this small selection just released suggest the exceptional standard of quality holds strong.

The competition is primarily divided into two categories, Professional and Open. The only real difference between the two categories is that the Professional group is judged on a body of work or series of images (5 to 10 photographs can be submitted), whereas the Open group concentrates on the power of single images. Within each category there are 10 different sub-categories spanning a broad array of genres and styles, from Architecture and Street Photography to Portraiture and Travel.

The 2019 jury is an impressive assortment of high-profile professionals from several different fields including Emma Lewis, an assistant curator at the Tate Modern in London; Oliver Laurent, Foreign Photo Editor at The Washington Post; and Brendan Embser, Managing editor of Aperture magazine.

Chair of Judges for 2019 is Mike Trow, a remarkably accomplished photographer and current Picture Editor at Vogue magazine. With entries still open Trow suggests potential entrants should try to avoid cliche and choose their submission category carefully.

"Photography techniques and styles are getting more adventurous and dynamic, so technical excellence is also necessary," says Trow. "To impress this world-leading panel of judges will take your best output, and the ability to edit your work so it is coherent, dynamic and beautiful."

Submissions for the 2019 competition close in early January with winners announced the following April.

Take a look through our gallery at all the incredible and inspiring early highlights from the 2019 competition.

View gallery - 24 images