Sony World Photography Awards 2016: Shortlist revealed from war and droughts to Brits abroad and cybersex

There's an eclectic mix this year after a record 230,103 images were submitted from 186 countries 

From the hard-hitting photos telling major news stories to private moments captured delicately, the Sony World Photography Awards shortlist honouring the best behind the lens is strikingly wide-ranging.

The 2016 judges were impressed by the original and strong sense of empathy showcased in a record 230,103 images from 186 countries, making whittling the submissions down no easy task.

Twenty-one British photographers are included on the shortlist across three levels - Professional, judged on a series of images, Open, judged on a single shot and Youth, for photographers aged 19 and under.

Giles Clarke’s piece focuses on severely disabled children in Bhopal, India, who were born to parents contaminated by water poisoned in the 1984 Union Carbide gas tragedy, while Lucy Nicholson’s image demonstrates the devastating effect of California’s four-year drought on its farming community.

'California Drought' by Lucy Nicholson is shortlisted in the Environment category

David Chancellor examines wildlife trophy hunters in the wake of Cecil the Lion’s controversial death and Peter Dench tackles Brits abroad with his photo portrait of “one nation, slowly turning pink under a foreign sun”.

Peter Dench draws attention to the Brit abroad stereotype in his series of photos

Kate Davis is shortlisted in the Conceptual category for “Logging on to Love”, an exploration of the development of cybersex and sex robots, while Liz Hingley ventures behind the doors of one of England’s most ethnically diverse towns in the People category.

'Logging onto Love' by Kate Davis is shortlisted in the Conceptual category

Scottish photographer Alex Ingle snapped a joyous moment between a grandfather and grandchild, Philip Joyce shot show-jumping and 15-year-old Talia Rudofsky followed the ‘nouveau riche’ along La Croissette in Cannes, France.

'Nouveau Riche' by Talia Rudofsky is shortlisted in the Youth Portrait category

The overall winners will be revealed at a ceremony on Thursday 21 April, with the photos going on display at London’s Somerset House from 22 April until 8 May.