Thanks to the rise of CCTV and smartphones, cameras are literally everywhere these days – the first thing people do when they go to a photography exhibition (if the gallery assistants permit) is to snap away at the shots on show. The result – within but also beyond the gallery world – is a hyperdocumented world, where very little goes uncaptured on camera, probably never to be looked at again but preserved for posterity all the same. 

As a consequence, the judges have a lot of material to munch through when they come to select the best of the previous year’s work for the annual Sony World Photography Awards: for this year’s prize, there were over professional and amateur 122,000 entries from 170 countries. The results of the judges’ deliberations are now on show at Somerset House in London. There’s a surprising amount of black and white work – try Jens Juul’s lovely portrait essay ‘Six Degrees of Copenhagen’ or Nenad Saljic’s curiously flattened-out, deeply mystical shots of the much-photographed Matterhorn. All that B&W contrasts nicely with the oeuvre of the winner of this year’s Outstanding Contribution to Photography award, William Eggleston, who is widely credited with introducing colour to art photography. 

The 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition will run at Somerset House until 12 May.

Somerset House, South Building, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

All images courtesy of the gallery.