Deforestation in the Amazon in Brazil. After declining from major peaks in 1995 and 2004, the rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased sharply in 2016. (Daniel Beltrá)

Each year, thousands of photographers enter one of the most prestigious photography competitions: the World Press Photo. This year, 4,548 of them from 125 countries submitted 73,044 images. Out of these entries, 42 photographers have been selected across 15 categories.

While only five photographers will compete for the top title of World Press Photo of the Year, the others will share the limelight at an April ceremony in Amsterdam. Here is a selection of the best photographs shortlisted.


People are thrown into the air as a car plows into a group of protesters demonstrating against the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, on Aug. 12. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress)

A young white rhino, drugged and blindfolded, about to be released in Okavango Delta, Botswana, after its relocation from South Africa for protection from poachers. (Neil Aldridge)

Rapidly rising incomes in China have led to a changing diet and increasing demand for meat, dairy and processed foods. The food and agricultural industry is under pressure. (George Steinmetz for National Geographic)

The tightening of the Balkan route into the European Union stranded thousands of refugees attempting to travel through the country to seek a new life in Europe. Many spent the freezing Serbian winter in derelict warehouses behind Belgrade’s main train station. (Francesco Pistilli)

Traditionally, girls in the Zanzibar Archipelago are discouraged from learning how to swim. The Panje Project provides opportunities for local women and girls to learn swimming skills in full-length swimsuits, so that they can enter the water without compromising their cultural or religious beliefs. (Anna Boyiazis)

Djeneta, right, has been bedridden and unresponsive for 2½ years, and her sister Ibadeta for more than six months, with uppgivenhetssyndrom (resignation syndrome), in Horndal, Sweden. It is a condition believed to exist only among refugees in Sweden. (Magnus Wennman/Aftonbladet)

A crowd awaits the start of the Pyongyang Marathon at the Kim Il Sung Stadium, while an official guards the exit, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Roger Turesson/Dagens Nyheter)

Humans are producing more waste than ever before. Differences between waste management systems documented between 2016 and 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia; Tokyo; Lagos, Nigeria; New York; São Paulo, Brazil, and Amsterdam investigate how societies manage — or mismanage — their waste. (Kadir van Lohuizen/Noor Images)

In early July, after months of fighting, the Iraqi government declared the city of Mosul fully liberated from Islamic State, although conflict continued in pockets of the city. Thousands of civilians were killed during the battle for Mosul, while large areas of the city were left in ruins. (Ivor Prickett for the New York Times)

“Clearance operations” against Rohingya Muslims in Burma, also known as Myanmar, conducted by the Burmese army led to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing into Bangladesh on foot or by boat. In Bangladesh, refugees were housed in makeshift settlements. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A group of Rohingya at the Leda makeshift settlement in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, watch as houses burn just across the border in Burma. (Md. Masfiqur Akhtar Sohan/NurPhoto Agency)

Deforestation shown in the Amazon in Brazil. (Daniel Beltrá)

Orphaned and abandoned elephant calves are rehabilitated and returned to the wild at the community-owned Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in northern Kenya. (Ami Vitale for National Geographic)

Runners in the Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. (Erik Sampers)

Rockhopper penguins live up to their name as they navigate the rugged coastline of Marion Island in the Indian Ocean. (Thomas P. Peschak)

Read more on In Sight:

Six photographers take us behind the scenes of Washington’s shutdown showdown

This Instagram account is putting the spotlight on animal extinction

The heartbreaking story of an old man and his cat

In Sight is The Washington Post’s photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.