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Sony World Photo Awards: Fantastic award-winning pictures

The National Award winners from the Sony Photography Awards have been picked from over 300,000 images. Here is a selection of some of our favourites.
The National Awards project was set up by the World Photography Organisation to support local photographers around the world, with people from 51 countries taking part this year. This dramatic photo of lightning was taken by Raphael Barbar and won the prize for Switzerland. Raphael said: "I took this picture from the Salève, a mountain near Geneva. I was coming home from work when I saw the storm, so got out to take some pictures."
lightning strike over GenevaRaphael Barbar/SWPA2021
This one is called Fluorescent Tiger and was sent in by Hui Pin Lai from Taiwan who said: "The tiger is an important symbol in Taiwanese culture. Here, I used fluorescent paint to depict its essence."
Fluorescent TigerHui Pin Lai/SWPA2021
What a calming image this is of a leaf blowing near to the famous Mount Fuji in Japan. You can see why Thai photographer Saowanee Suntararak called it Autumn Float. Taken at Lake Kawaguchi, it won the prize for Thailand.
Leaf blowing near to the famous Mount Fuji in Japan.Saowanee Suntararak/SWPA2021
This photo is called Poems For Sisters and was taken by Hardijanto Budyman from Indonesia. It was submitted with this poem: "You are angels in disguise, Side by side or miles apart, Sisters will always be connected by the heart."
two sisters sitting togetherHardijanto Budyman/SWPA2021
Aljaž Žnidaršič's photo called Julian Alps won for Slovenia. Aljaž said: "My friend and I were on our first climb of the winter. We’d hoped to ascend three mountains on the same ridge, but because of the conditions, we had to turn back before the final peak. This image expresses the struggle we faced in deciding whether to turn round or continue."
mountain climberAljaž Žnidaršič /SWPA2021
What a dramatic scene! Called First Breath, photographer Brian Mena Laureano explains it shows sunrise on the slopes of the Popocatepetl volcano - the second highest peak in Mexico.
sunrise on the slopes of the Popocatepetl volcanoBrian Mena Laureano/SWPA2021
Is this a match with hundreds of players or a strange pitch invasion? No, it's neither. It's actually people saying their prayers. Due to the coronavirus pandemic in Turkey, places of worship are closed. This photo by Mehmet Aslan, called Astroturf, shows men using the pitch to pray while following social distancing rules.
many people praying on football pitchMehmet Aslan/SWPA2021
Some nature pictures now and this portrait of a wild fox won a prize for Davide Giannetti from Italy. Davide says: "Following a hard rainfall in the National Park of Abruzzo, I spotted this wild red fox looking for food."
wild red foxDavide Giannetti/SWPA2021
This photo was taken by Yoganathan Yoke from Malaysia. Yoganathan explains: "This photograph of a long-tailed macaque, also known as the crab-eating macaque, was taken in the mangrove forest of Kuala Gula, Perak. I went there one evening, hoping to photograph birds or snakes, when I saw a group of macaques foraging in the mud for their last meal of the day. A ray of light from the sunset fell on this macaque just as it looked up. I felt it looked like a gesture of hope for the future."
long-tailed macaqueYoganathan Yoke/SWPA2021
This photo of a snake... hang on, that's not a snake, it's actually a road! Although it's called Autumn Snake, photographer Hiroki Nose from Japan explained: "This is an aerial photograph of a mountain road in Hakone, Japan. The path, when seen from the sky, looked like a snake. Photographed in autumn, the leaves of the coloured trees were extremely beautiful."
curling mountain roadHiroki Nose/SWPA2021
What a blur! This photo called The Mevlevi Dancer by Abdelhamid Fawzy Tahoun shows the movement of the Tanoura - an Egyptian dance, performed in circular motions. Abdelhamid says: "Its performers believe that all movement in the universe starts and ends at the same point, so this is reflected in the dance, with the continuous spinning making them appear like planets moving in space."
Egyptian dancerAbdelhamid Fawzy Tahoun/SWPA2021
Last of all, one for the stargazers and space fans. Simply called Night, photographer Matti Virtanen from Finland was aiming to capture the 2020 Perseid meteor shower but said:. "I may not have managed to capture any meteors... but I did get this night shot, which is full of wonder." We agree, Matti!
the night sky over FinlandMatti Virtanen/SWPA2021