Wow! The photos for this year’s Earth Photo competition are incredible! This is one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world and I get so excited to see all the entries!
It was actually this competition that got me interested in photography in the first place, when I was about twelve, and we went somewhere on a school trip (I don’t remember where) which had an exhibition on the year’s Earth Photo winners. It was amazing and inspiring to see just what photography could be, because before that, all I’d ever seen were the photos in the news, magazines, or on the front of expensive food we couldn’t afford at the supermarket. Our food almost always came from a blue-and-white tin.
You can find the photos for this year’s winners here.
First place was won by French photographer Jonk, whose work on abandoned spaces is breathtaking. In the lead photo in the BBC article, I’m blown away by the level of skill demonstrated. I would have made a different choice about how to frame the image, so I’ve definitely learned something, here! The lighting puts me in mind of Studio Ghibli imagery, but made real.
Clicking over to the Royal Geographical Society, which hosted the competition alongside Forestry England, the rest of Jonk’s collection is visible. The “Swimming Pool, Italy” is especially breathtaking. The diving board is a poignant reminder of what a precipice humanity is on right now with regards to the climate.
The People category was won by Yanrong Guo, with an image entitled “Miss” which was a photo of one of the Yi from the Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, which is in Sichuan province, about 300 miles southwest of Chengdu.
But I think one of my favourite entries was the winner of the Nature category, which was “Dryland Farming, Study 7”, Yi Sun’s aerial photograph of Spanish farmland during a drought. At first glance, it looked like a space landscape or an abstract painting. When you look closely at the photo, you can see the wheel marks from where the tractors have gone around corners.
When I first looked at it, I wasn’t as amazed with the winner of the “Changing Forests” category, entitled “Dead tree #1”, as I think there are better and more evocative ways the prompt could have been interpreted, but when I looked a second time, I decided that actually, I am impressed by the lighting.
The A Climate of Change category winner, Joe Habben’s image of high water in Venice, was also, from a technical standpoint, something for me to learn from. Getting the sky to not be over-exposed while getting that level of detail in the water’s reflection is amazing. When I got married, I found out a lot of professional wedding photographers can’t manage to capture the detail in a white dress on the background of a bright day. The challenge in having two bright objects, both of which are actually best detailed in different camera settings, is tricky.
Which one is your favourite?