‘Hannes effortlessly weaves narrative and real beauty throughout her series “Strange Women”,’ say organisers [Photo credit: Jill Beth Hannes]

The contest was organised by Getty in a tie-up with Design and Art Direction, a body that aims to promote excellence in design and advertising.

Sarah Thomson, head of art production at advertising agency Fallon London and one of the judges, said: ‘We have a fantastic shortlist of exciting, unusual, evocative, heartfelt, strange and wonderful work by 20 contemporary young photographers.

‘The work is really good, the judges will have a difficult task choosing just one winner.’

The overall winner stands to pocket $5,000 from Getty Images, to put towards ‘a dream photography project’.

Andy Saunders, senior vice-resident of Creative Content at Getty Images, said: ‘I was hoping to see plenty that was original, raw and intriguing, and we have imagery that matches all those qualities on the shortlist.

‘It definitely takes courage to commit yourself to looking at things in a different way, whether it’s personal or a product, so congratulations to all who made it this far.’

The entries of the shortlisted contemporary photographers are on show at The Old Truman Brewery in East London ahead of final judging on Thursday 23 April.

Florian Maas - City Shapes - Berlin, Hamburg, Tel Aviv 2.web

‘Inspired by the shapes he sees in architecture, Maas’s series “City Shapes” presents a world full of abstract silhouettes and stark contrasts.’ [Photo credit: Florian Maas]

Jakub Pasierkiewicz - The Velvety Dawn 2.web

‘The River Medway in Rochester is wrapped in dense fog in Pasierkiewicz’s ethereal series “The Velvety Dawn”, but it’s the glimmers of detail that make these photos stand out.’ [Photo credit: Jakub Pasierkiewicz]