Winners of the Sony World Photography Awards
Gorgeous photos of a monkey deep in thought, a hunting eagle with its handler and the bottom on a giraffe have each taken out a spot in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards 2020.
The images - captured by Jan Simon, of Czech Republic, Kyaw Bo Bo Han, of Myanmar, and Marcus Westberg, of Sweden - are winners in the contest's National Awards, which aims to support photographers across 63 countries and regions.
One photographer from each nation was honoured for one stand-alone image.
Mr Westberg said he had to spend several days in a hide in Onguma Private Reserve, near Etosha, Namibia, to capture his image of wildlife at a waterhole.
"I knew if I was patient enough I would have a good chance of photographing giraffes as they came in to drink, but I never imagined any of them would squeeze in between the hide and the waterhole! This presented me with a different perspective than I had envisioned.
"Patience, and a willingness to sit quietly in nature is often reward in itself - although in this case I was delighted to leave with an image like this."
An winner closer to home was photographer Adam Stevenson's entry and image of a kookaburra surveying the sweeping devastation of the NSW bushfires.
It had also taken out a top prize in the Sony World Photography Awards 2020's National Awards.
The image was taken with an iPhone X near his home at Wallabi Point.
Stevenson called the picture - one of over 345,000 images entered in the contest - 'That's Nothing to Laugh About'.
He said: "As I watched the sun set through the smoke, a kookaburra appeared and allowed me to walk right up to it. We shared a moment, watching the sun fade behind the apocalyptic scene … he was laughing."
Other winners in the National Awards include Roberto Corinaldesi's picture of swimmers from above, Tien Sang Kok's picture of a hundred horses galloping, Abbas Alkhamis' image of a horse breeder and horse in Abu Dhabi and Lakshitha Karunarathna's stunning picture of an Eurasian Otter in the waters near Bourne in Lincolnshire.
Those picked will now be given the chance to exhibit their work at the renowned Sony World Photography Awards 2020 exhibition, which takes place at Somerset House, London, from April 17 to May 4.
Another image which stood out from the crowd, which also took home a place as a National Awards winner, included Abhijeet Kumar Banerjee's shot of two rhinos mating in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in India.
"We were on a jeep safari and suddenly we encountered this pair of Indian one-horned rhino mating," he said. "Needless to say, it was a unique and rare opportunity."
Hwanhee Kim claimed second place in the National Award for the Republic of Korea for his image of a boy on a raft in the Solomon Islands.
"Although the weather was a little unfriendly, he seemed happy to meet some new faces," he said.
The overall winner of the Photographer of the Year 2020 title will be announced on April 16.