From a young Nepalese woman with her baby tied upon her back, to a girl in a pretty frock in a wooded area surrounded by swarms of butterflies, they are photographs that show worlds apart.
Some of the pictures - taken from around the globe - would not appear out of place in children’s tales such as the Secret Garden or the Chronicles of Narnia. Others show the paradoxical reality of some of the world’s most frugal people, enjoying the technological advances of the western world.
Monks are pictured in a barren landscape on an iPod in Malaysia and tigers, appearing almost magical, are pictured bounding through the snow in China. The images are among dozens of stunning entries that are shortlisted in a global photography competition, the Sony World Photography Awards.
All of the entries are vying for a top spot in this year’s awards.
And with just one month remaining for professional and amateur photographers to submit their images, the competition is getting extremely tough.
Already submitted are an array of photographs taken across the world - including an atmospheric close up of Birmingham’s Bullring and a British bus stop packed full with people.
Waiting at the bus stop has people from all walks of life and all generations, from teenagers to pensioners. Some are injured and some look more frail than others. Another photograph shows a heron in the Maldives preparing for take off and bathers in a choppy sea in Singapore about to be hit by a big wave. Some of the photographs are so vivid and colourful, they even appear to be photo-shopped. Professional photographers will compete for the title of L’Iris d’Or plus $25,000 (£15,500). Meanwhile amateur photographers will scoop the Open Photographer of the Year 2013 title, plus $5,000 (£3,105).
British photographers Palmer and Pawel, 2012 category winners, said: ‘The awards allow you to reach a much wider audience, they open doors and enable you to take advantage of opportunities that otherwise might not be available. –DM