PA2F Environmental Photography Prize celebrates biodiversity with one pic.
Updated: Mar 15
The peculiarity of a photograph to touch the soul is well known. The figurative semiotics has been studied over time, including any visual element as a representation of the world with correlated denotations and connotations. The photographer, being amateur or professional, can be considered a full-fledged communicator who can therefore affect the way of thinking up to mark an epochal turning point in some cases. The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (PA2F), created in June 2006 by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and strongly committed to boost an unprecedented relation with Nature on all scales through pioneering global projects and initiatives, is being launching a new intriguing edition of Prix de Photographie Environnementale (Environmental Photography Award). The open-air exhibit from the 1st June until the 29th June 2022, celebrating its second edition, is set in a new iconic location, the renewed Larvotto Beach putting on the spotlight thirty-six best photographic pieces of art with Mother Nature as the common ground.
"This second edition was marked by the participation of more than two thousand photographers from all over the world, with a good balance between amateurs and professionals. The best shots are shown in this brand new sea promenade that welcomes for the first time an exhibition", pointed out Olivier Wenden, Vice-President of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
"This second edition was marked by the participation of more than two thousand photographers from all over the world, with a good balance between amateurs and professionals", Olivier Wenden, Vice-President Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
“Photo contests are essential because they allow us to give a voice to endangered creatures and habitats", Daisy Gilardini, president of the Jury and skilled conservation photographer.
“Photo contests are essential because they allow us to give a voice to endangered creatures and habitats. By their ability to reach a very large audience, they help to raise the awareness on a large scale. This year’s photograph award contest is a striking illustration of the devastating anthropogenic consequences resulting from our consumer society. The duty of committed photographers is to stimulate emotions of the public to move them from apathy to action. That’s exactly what this year’s winning photo does”, pointed out Daisy Gilardini, president of the Jury and skilled conservation photographer specialized in the Polar Regions.
About two thousand photographers from all over the world have joined the photo contest sending their works through Photocrowd, a targeted digital platform active in the month of February 2022. After careful examination over a total of 8 thousand photos, the Technical Jury declared the winner of 2022 edition and the first classified contestants in the various categories: Humanity versus Nature, Towards a Sustainable Future, Polar Wonders, Life Under the Surface and Beneath the Canopy. “Tears” by Easa Muhammed Jamsith (Sri Lanka) captured the Jury’s heart depicting a sad and disruptive image that shows, at the same time, the humanity of a living being. On the 5th January 2022, an elephant was about to die because of acute intestinal obstruction after eating plastic-contaminated food on an illegal landfill on the edge of the forest in Oluvil. The pain was so strong that the poor Himalayan creature could not get up and started crying. A powerful image that makes you think.
‘NET ZERO TRANSITION (II)’ by Simone Tramonte (Italy), award-winning for the category ‘Towards a Sustainable Future’ highlights a true excellence of ecotechnology: H2orto, the largest hydroponic greenhouse in southern Europe, located in Ostellato (Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy). A. 31 hectares, totally fueled by LED lights where tomatoes grow organically throughout the year protected by external pollutants within a 100% circular economy circle. A leading case of environmentally friendly innovation towards a more conscious future. ‘Pacific Red Sockeye’ by Yung Sen Wu (Taiwan), sponsored by REPOSSI, showing an incredible snapshot of the wildest nature where two salmons swim against the current in crystal clear water in the Canadian forest.
The podium for the category ‘Beneath the Canopy’ goes to ‘Glowworn’ by Haikun Liang (China). The sinuous dance of thousands of fireflies in the Guandong forest by night makes this photo unique and “perfectly executed”, as stated by Nick Danziger, member of the Jury, photojournalist, honorary member of the Royal Photographic Society and winner of the Ness Award by the Royal Geographical Society. In the category ‘Polar Wonders’, an amazing photo shoot in Port Charcot (Antarctica) by Kirstin Jones enhances the march of Gentoo penguins, considered as an endangered species, to reach their colony. This pic, taken on a grey, cold and wet day, reveals the the speed of the photographer in capturing the right moment. In an unexpected split second the three gentoo penguins are bravely climbing a rocky mountain to join their colony. Moreover, having only three penguins, odd number and synonym of 'perfection', helps to attract the visitor’s eye.
Last but not least, the audience’s ‘coup de coeur’ (favourite work) went to ‘Black & Wild’ by Mathieu Courdesses (wildlife photographer from France), for having been able to seize the right moment when a silvery-baked gorilla was showing off his chest in the wild forest of Rwanda (Africa). After a long walk on the trail of a gorilla’s family, finally a tambouring sound and then the spotting of the oldest male, ‘king’ of the Volcanoes National Park. But to take the photo it was necessary his permission. The photographer made a loud noise from the very core of his vocal cords. Immediately after a grunt gave him the consent.
"Everybody sees beautiful pictures, but you need also to feel reality and reflect on the human impact on wild nature", Kathleen Richter, jury member photographer, animal lover and conservation advocate
"Photographers like me, constantly seeking for realistic photography, are in a position to approach environmental differences so that you can really shows things as they happen at that precise moment", Frederick Dharshie Wissah, jury member, award-winning environmental & humanitarian photojournalist and philanthropist.
"Last year, my photo 'Gorilla by the Water' was awarded as the photo of the year. It was really exciting since I had never received a grand prize for one of my photos before...unfortunately I had to follow the event online due to covid-19 restrictions but it was so interesting to have so many people impacted by your photography as for all participants this year", stressed at the press conference visit, Kathleen Richter, jury member photographer, animal lover and conservation advocate. "Everybody sees beautiful pictures all time but when we saw 'Tears' we thought 'Wow, this is the winning shot!', since there you can also feel the reality and reflect on the human impact on wild nature", she added. "I agree with Kathleen, every time I look at the poor elephant in the landfill I find new elements of the story", reaffirmed Frederick Dharshie Wissah, jury member, award-winning environmental & humanitarian photojournalist and philanthropist. "Photographers like me, who are constantly seeking for realistic photography, are in a position to approach environmental differences so that you can really shows things as they happen at that precise moment, something that enhances the visual narration and increase empathy in the understanding", he added.
"The photos sent this year gave me a very positive impression, offering a great variety of images with different cuts and photographic techniques", underlined Sergio Pitamitz, jury member, award winning wildlife and conservation photographer - "generally speaking, I noticed a particular sensitivity to the environment, including the award-winning photograph whose storytelling is able to convey a message and make people react, showing the photographer’s ability to fully grasp the moment", "to be effective an image must include a story depicted through many elements that make understand what is happening notwithstanding the perfect aesthetic; via Social Media we are everyday bombed by amazing pictures, but very often useless. This open-air exhibit setting is then perfect to share the photographer’s experience with anyone who passes by", he added.
"To be effective an image must include a story depicted through many elements that make understand what is happening notwithstanding the perfect aesthetic", Sergio Pitamitz, award winning wildlife and conservation photographer
The PA2F Environmental Photography Award is constantly underlining the importance of respecting the natural world which makes our Planet Earth awfully good in every single element. 'Hope' is then the key to envisage a future where climate change effects will be radically reduced and various ecosystems will become totally resilient. To do this the key is to be united. In fact, “it is up to each and every one of us to make this world, where we would coexist in a more responsible and prosperous way, possible. Now is the time for action”, as reiterated by the prior target of the 2022 edition of this unique photo contest. ***
To make a virtual tour of the exhibition please visit this link: Environmental Photography Award 2022
Article about Maurice Abbati