See the photographs that stood out from the 60,000 entries into this year’s Nature Conservancy Global Photo Contest.
Words by Caitlin Hennessy
The past year the word ‘nature’ has become somewhat of a buzz topic, enticing more advocates and photographers to join the movement of conservation. This year’s number of entries to the Nature Conservancy Global Photo Contest broke the charity’s record with 60,000 separate contenders from over 100 countries.
Sub-categories of water, people and nature, wildlife, landscape and cities, and nature, created an incredible context for the imagery in the photo prize. Showcasing the immense beauty that our earth holds, each award-winning image provides a new insight into the enormity and power of nature.
Founded in 1951 The Nature Conservancy began the competition to raise awareness and “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.” The winning image depicts two stallions playing in the water of Camargue, France. Photographer Camille Briottet described the image as ‘the power of the animal kingdom.’
The other twelve shortlisted photographs provide varying insights into the fragility of the Earth’s environment. Runner-up prize-winner Andre Mercier shot an eerie glacier that recently broke off from the Vatnajokull Glacier at Jokulsarlon Bay, Iceland, imprinting a contextual reflection of chilling global warming statistics.
“Plastic was once worshipped, now it destroys everything we love. Nature connects us all, we have a duty to protect her.”
A similarly home hitting image photographed by Australian Aristo Risi shows a plastic bag floating in the waters of Shell Harbour. In the artist statement, Risi provides insight into the context of the plastic. “Plastic was once worshipped, now it destroys everything we love. Nature connects us all, we have a duty to protect her.”
“Nature will always reclaim what we abandon.”
In a contrast to the shocking factual imagery of global warming and plastic awareness is one of Mother Nature triumphing and proving its extraordinary power. Shot in the United Arab Emirates by American photographer Jesse Yang, ‘Reclamation,’ reveals a house seemingly engulfed in raw sand. “The eeriness of exploring this ghost town in the United Arab Emirates went away after an hour or so of exploring. But, I still felt uneasy about entering some of these ‘homes.’ It felt like I was trespassing, so I tried being oddly respectful. The Arabian Desert obviously didn’t feel the same way, reminding me that nature will always reclaim what we abandon.”
You can view the rest of the winners and read more about the photo contest over here.
At Urth we are always amazed by the power of photography in the role of conservation ambassador. Caitlin Hennessy has written about photographers using their imagery to raise awareness of the need to respect our planet for us before, you can find those articles here.