Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (@FPA2) has been fostering nature protection, sustainability and green ethics for fifteen years. Then this key institution, in direct contact with major international decision makers and stakeholders, has decided to deepen through a substantial photo contest the main theme: ‘Humanity & Wildlife: crossed destinies, shared territories’ in order to celebrate better future achievements.
The Environmental Photography Award, at its first edition, has just had a great success of public and 1,400 photographers from all over the world took up the challenge and sent about 6,000 striking photo shoots within three categories: 1. Incredible Wildlife, 2. Wildlife in Crisis and 3. Reasons for Hope. What best represents the wonder of Nature? How can you hit the viewer’s attention on the Environment affected by human impacts? How to demonstrate that Man can live ‘peacefully’ with other living beings? These are the premises from which all the participants started developing their ideas.
The most beautiful snapshots (more than forty) are being shown in world premiere until the 1st June 2021 in the relaxing setting of Jardins des Boulingrins, next to One-Montecarlo and the Casino.
HelloMonaco paid a special guided tour on Wednesday the 5th May 2021. All pics were selected by a quality Jury made up of accomplished photographers and representatives from prominent institutions committed in the sustainable turnaround.
“Gorilla by the Water” by Kathleen Ricker, photographer fond of Ugandan mountain gorillas, was ranked first. This stunning image “has perfectly captured the magic of the moment when the gorilla forgets her presence to concentrate on crossing the river in the heart of the sumptuous Ugandan forest”, as underlined by Jean-Michel Krief, experienced chimpanzee photographer, part of the Jury.
“This photo contest is truly centred on the beauty of Nature, wildlife in danger and it raises the seeking for hope, boosting a harmonious coexistence with the natural realm, without moralizing”, highlighted Olivier Wenden, Vice-President of FPA2 and jury member, in his opening speech – “we set ourselves the parallel objective as for the decision makers invited to give concrete responses for the respect of the environment and human health which strictly depends on it as the present moment is witnessing ” – “respect towards animals was a must in selecting the best outcomes, mostly settled in natural reserves or geographical areas particularly ecological”, he added.
Any naturalist photographer needs knowledge to get a good result. But what are the win-win ingredients? HelloMonaco asked Nick Danziger (N.D.), established British photographer, author and documentary film maker, particularly attached to Monaco, acting as Juror.
HelloMonaco: What makes a ‘green’ shot really unique?
N.D.: It is a combination of several elements: composition, light and context. ‘Filling the frame’ is the special part which affects the feeling you can inspire. The millisecond can make the different just as being at the right place at the right time. Moreover, being familiar with the local habitat, knowing well further patterns of fauna and a certain amount of luck, can help you a lot. You can spend months to get a picture and fail many times. But you really succeed in the very moment you feel part of the Nature without interfering in it.
“Enchanted Forest” won the podium in the first category. An extraordinary night view by Lincoln MacGregor, biologist, researcher and wildlife photographer from Australia, depicting the very moment a Wombat (Australian marsupial), running about a dense forest, was lit up by fairy tale bioluminescent mushrooms, nicknamed Ghost Fungi.
The first place for the second category went to “Traces of life in the realm of death”, a meaningful photo, shot in March by Maxim Sayapin on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. In a completely natural environment a bird nest made of human marine litter jumps to the eye. A warning to all of us to take care of our Planet.
“The stag above the highway” was awarded the first prize in the third category. “This photograph is the result of a 5-month project with the hope of obtaining a unique image which I had been dreaming of for years. It is telling a story about how humans and animals can coexist and evolve around a structure (wildlife crossing over A10 highway, Charente-Maritime) which allows ecological continuity”, pointed out Emmanuel Rondeau, French producer, writer and photojournalist.
Besides the technical judgement, an extra podium for the Public Award was decided by the popular vote. “Hidden from the sight” by Mitchell Lewis won the first category for the unusual pose of a majestic Red Deer stag. “The funny thing was that he was looking straight at me; no doubt he had spotted me long before I spotted him”, admitted the photographer.
“Captive” by Maxime Aliaga dominated the second category for the tremendous emotional power of the young orangutan close-up behind the bars of a cage to raise awareness of illegal trafficking in wild animals with special reference to Indonesia and Malaysia. Great tenderness aroused from “Love in the Jungle” by Mathieu Courdesses, winner for the third category. A scene of great ‘humanity’ between mother orangutan and son deep in the Sumatran jungle still preserved from deforestation.
“…After staying a while longer, a feeling of trust settled, and I was able to take this little moment of grace between the vines”, stressed the Wildlife photographer.
For further information about ‘Humanity & Wildlife: crossed destinies, shared territories’, please visit: https://exposition.fpa2.org