Yes, yes, yes to this fine selection of powerful environmental photography! Would you just look at these photos?
The arresting images of this year’s Environmental Photographer of the Year are beautifully composed and rich in feeling in their own artistic right. Yet each piece of stunning art is with a heavy message - depicting a stark, and often bleak, depiction of environmental destruction and environmental catastrophe.
Climate change is not a statistic, or some far-off future, it is happening now and these very changes have been captured – from waiting for the tidal wave either to recede or crash again into your Bangladeshi flooded living room; to ramshackle shacks about to slip out of the slum and into Lagos’s lagoons; the remnants of a vanishing glacier’s former coverage; yet another plastic bag of the millions used daily entangled up in the terrain; and whole villages abandoned due to toxic waste. These images are a wake-up call to humanity’s destruction of the planet and her ecosystems.
‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ album was one of the late twentieth century’s most successful artistic outputs as the world’s second best selling album. Would it not be terrific if the artistic images showing ‘the Morbidly Dark Side of the Earth’ gained similar currency and widespread artistic appeal? Photography is an artistic medium ripe for wide dissemination, easy to share digitally on social media and to visually support key findings to catalyse environmental action by households, consumers, policy-makers, investors, and business people alike. Humans have a remarkable neural ability to remember images. Our brains have a superior overall memory for pictures than text.
In our changing planet of higher tides it is high time to make millions of people acutely, immediately, and viscerally aware of the dangers and deprivations facing people and our planet. We are enacting an ecocide! The planet is in peril because of our careless actions, lack of responsibility, and conspicuous consumption. I salute the organisers of such an important environmental photography competition and the talented judges who have selected some utterly astounding imagery by talented photographers.
Two years ago I went to see the shortlisted photographs of 2013 Environmental Photographer of the Year in an exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). I’m happy to know the RGS will again exhibit the stunning artwork of this year’s competition too. From June 22nd until July 10th the winning entries and extraordinary 111 shortlisted artworks of the 2015 competition these photographs can be viewed.
Open to all professional and amateur, national and international photographers of all ages, the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year is an international showcase for the very best in environmental photography and film. The competition encourages entries that are contemporary, creative, resonant, challenging, original and beautiful, but most of all, pictures that will inspire people around the world to start taking care of our environment. The works will be displayed at the Royal Geographical Society in London in June 2015, followed by a tour to forest venues nationally, supported by Forestry Commission England.