Showcasing the very best in environmental visual media, Earth Photo’s main objective is to encourage discussion about the world by telling stories about our planet, its inhabitants, and our treatment of both.
Jonk has won the 2020 Earth Photo competition for his stunning series Coffee Shop, Abkhazia; Hotel, Portugal; Swimming Pool, Italy and Theater, Abkhazia, which depict abandoned spaces reclaimed by nature. His series of images also won the competition’s Place category.
Jonk and the five other category winners were selected from over 2,600 submissions by an expert panel of judges, chaired by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Marissa Roth. She said of Jonk’s winning work: “We chose Jonk’s compelling photographs as the overall winner because of the high degree of skill and vision that they represent, and also because they exemplify Earth Photo by straddling the duality of human coexistence with nature”.
Yanrong Guo won the People category for her striking image Miss taken of a pipe-smoking man in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, the largest settlement of ethnic minority Yi people in China.
Yi Sun won the Nature category for his work Dryland Farming, Study 7, which depicts an aerial view of interlaced tractor lines carved into a Spanish farm suffering from drought.
Sean Gallagher won the video category for Cambodia Burning, a short film revealing the impacts of rampant deforestation decimating the forests of the South East Asian country.
Charles Xelot won the Changing Forests category for his work Dead Tree, which was taken of a contorted grey trunk, two years after a human-caused forest fire destroyed the landscape.
Joe Habben won the A Climate of Change category for In Moleca, an image which documents the effects of the ‘Acqua Alta’ (high-water) which transpires annually in the city of Venice.
Director of the Society, Professor Joe Smith, said: “Earth Photo plays a unique role in the landscape of photo competitions. Just like the subject of geography, Earth Photo invites photographers and filmmakers, and their audiences, to take an integrated, whole-system view of the relationships between humans and their world. The responses are varied in location, subject and approach. But these images, taken together, invite a range of responses, including curiosity, wonder, care and concern.”
Mike Seddon, Chief Executive of Forestry England, said: “We’re delighted to have developed this competition with RGS-IBG again for another successful year. We have received breath-taking images from entrants all over the world and the six chosen winners have showcased the very best in environmental visual media. Their works connect us with our planet and opens discussions around the major environmental challenges that we face today.”
Chair of the Earth Photo judging panel and photographer, Marissa Roth, said: “When we first launched Earth Photo in 2017, our over-arching aim was to inspire serious-minded photographers from around the world to share their work as a means of creative expression at a time when climate change is gaining traction as an urgent concern, but also as means of revealing their awe, hopes and fears, amidst the diversity of the planet.”
This year’s Earth Photo submissions, of which there were over 2,600, once again exceeded our expectations for the photo competition, and we are very grateful for this.”
The Earth Photo exhibition of all of the shortlisted images can be viewed online at www.rgs.org/earthphoto. A physical exhibition can be seen in Forestry England forests, including Grizedale in the stunning Lake District, Dalby Forest in the Yorkshire Moors, and Moors Valley Country Park and Forest in Dorset, between now and spring 2021. The exhibition will also be on display at the Society in London in early 2021.
Notes to editor
The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective through developing, supporting and promoting geographical research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, public engagement, and geography input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer’. www.rgs.org
Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests. As England’s largest land manager, they shape landscapes and enhance forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission. www.forestryengland.uk
Emma Parker and Penny Harris created Parker Harris in 1990. Their partnership is now one of the leading visual arts consultancies in the UK. A small dynamic team, they pride themselves in expert creation and project management of visual arts projects spanning all disciplines and all scales. Their clients range from trusts and foundations, SMEs and multinationals to charities, arts organisations and individual artists. www.parkerharris.co.uk
Earth Photo is an innovative international photography competition and exhibition developed jointly by Forestry England and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). The project reflects the organisations’ common interest in enabling a better understanding of the world around us through their complementary disciplines of the environment and geography. www.earthphoto.world
The shortlisted artworks and the winners are selected by an expert panel of photographers, curators, geographers, environmentalists and writers, chaired by award-winning photographer Marissa Roth and including, Matthew Arnold, Photographer; Katie Burton, Editor of Geographical magazine; Tim Flach, Photographer; Vron Harris, Lecturer and artist; Magdalena Herrera, Director of Photography, Geo Magazine France; Simon Norfolk, Photographer; Michael Pritchard, Director, Education and Public affairs, Royal Photographic Society.
Exhibition dates include Dalby Forest, Yorkshire from 17 October 2020 - 21 February 2021, Moors Valley Country Park & Forest, Dorset from 24 October 2020 - 21 February 2021 and Grizedale Forest, Cumbria from 19 December 2020 - 25 April 2021. The full shortlist will be exhibited at Royal Geographic Society (with IBG), London from 18 January – 31 March 2021.