Sony World Photography Awards, the prestigious photographic competition, organised for the ninth time in the year 2016, is searching for the best photographers from around the world.

Applications are completely free of charge through the website, both new and already acclaimed photographic talents are invited to join with their works competing for a prize in one of the five competitions - "Professional", "Open", "Youth" "Student Focus" and "National Award", which reveals the best photographer within each country.

"I would recommend the Sony World Photography Awards to all photographers who want to highlight their work," said John Moore, 2015 L'Iris d'Or/ Photographer of the Year.

The Open competition will be chaired by Jael Marschner, Group Picture Editor, Time Out (UK) and the Student Focus competition will be judged by Simon Bainbridge, Editor, British Journal of Photography (UK); Mark Murrmann, Photo Editor, Mother Jones (US) and Matthew Tucker, Picture Editor, BuzzFeed UK (UK).

The competition deadlines are:

Professional: 12 January 2016 - For serious photographers, 14 categories across two genres judged on a series of work

Open: 5 January 2016 - Open to all, 10 categories judged on a single shot

Youth: 5 January 2016 - For young photographers aged 12-19, three categories judged on a single image

National Awards: 5 January 2016 - Looking for the best single shot by a local photographer from over 50 countries.

Student Focus: 4 December 2015 - For emerging photographic talent studying any degree level photography course, supported by the British Jouranl of Photography

Each year the awarded shortlisted and winning photographers are given global exposure and recognition and have the opportunity to promote and sell their work via the World Photography Organisation. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 21 April. Prizes include the latest Sony digital imaging equipment, inclusion in the 2016 awards' book plus cash prizes of $25,000 for the overall Professional winner and $5,000 for the overall Open winner.

All winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited as part of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House, London from 22 April – 8 May.

Dec. 4, 2015 Living photo: Uroš Florjančič

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