Picture credit (above): Sara Lewkowicz

Lewkowicz, 31, landed the title with a portfolio of images examining domestic violence.

China photography enthusiast Chen Li won the $5,000 Open category.

Picture credit: Chen Li

Their entries were plucked from nearly 140,000 from 166 countries – the highest number of submissions in the competition’s seven-year history.

Chen Li beats more than 65,000 entries and nine other finalists with an image called ‘Rain in an ancient town’ – depicting people on a rainy day in southern China, captured on a tripod using a slow shutter speed.

The photo (pictured) came top in the competition’s travel category, which was announced in March.

Chen Li, a keen enthusiast for more than 30 years – who was flown to London to collect his award at a gala ceremony tonight – said he was surprised by the win.

Only open to enthusiasts, the Open category was judged by a panel chaired by Nigel Atherton, Group Editor of IPC Photo, which publishes AP.

All the winning images are due to go on show at Somerset House in London from 1-18 May.

Guy Martin, the photojournalist who was injured in an attack in Libya that killed fellow photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros in 2011, is among five Professional category finalists.

UK photographer Scarlet Evans won the Student Focus Award.

Picture credit: Sara Lewkowicz