CIWEM and WaterBear have launched The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2023 competition in partnership with Nikon Europe and MPB, and supported by Arup.
The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2023 is open for submissions from amateur and professional photographers of all ages from around the world.
The Environmental Photographer of the Year competition showcases the most inspirational environmental photography from around the world. The award celebrates humanity’s ability to survive and innovate and showcases thought-provoking images that call attention to the impact and inspire to live sustainably.
Categories & Prizes
- Environmental Photographer of the Year: The top award will be granted to a single photo that furthers people’s understanding of the causes and effects of environmental change and social inequality, highlights solutions to the climate and ecological emergency, and inspires them to live sustainably.
- This category is open to professional and amateur photographers of all ages, from all over the world. The winner will receive a £5,000 cash prize in addition to an interview in CIWEM’s Environment Magazine, a profile on WaterBear’s website, and a feature on Nikon Europe’s website.
- Nikon’s Young Environmental Photographer of the Year: In partnership with Nikon, this award showcases the best in environmental photography through the lens of young photographers aged 21 and under.
- Additional £1,000 cash prizes are awarded in the following four categories:
- MPB Vision of the Future: inspiring and thought-provoking interpretations of the future environment as told through a photographer’s lens
- Recovering Nature: innovative nature-based solutions and conservation initiatives that are bringing nature back from the brink
- Keeping 1.5 Alive: action-focused photography that highlights the urgency of curbing global warming
- Adapting for Tomorrow: showcasing how communities and nature are finding a way to live with the effects of the changing environment.
- If any of your photographs are selected for publication, you will be contacted by the end of October regarding next steps. The winners and shortlisted entrants will be announced in November.
- The competition is open to both amateur and professional photographers of all ages and from around the world.
- Each entrant may submit up to three (3) still photographs.
- All photographs submitted must have been taken on or after 01 Jan 2022.
- Each photo must be submitted under one of the categories published on the competition website.
- Each photo must be submitted with a completed form in English answering the below requirements accurately and in full:
- Photographer information
- Photo details, including but not limited to the date and time the photo was taken, a description of the photo (incl. a description of the observed scene and its background story), and an ethics statement.
- All entries should be a faithful representation of the original scene and maintain integrity of the photo’s content and context. Some digital adjustments and editing is allowed, and you must endeavour not to deceive the viewer or misrepresent reality.
- Entries with overlay signatures, watermarks or stencils will be disqualified automatically.
- Entries must be submitted as digital files only, in a high-res JPEG format with a maximum file size of 199MB. If selected, entrants must be able to supply images as RAW files or original JPEGs.
- CIWEM takes no responsibility for entries that are lost, delayed or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason. Proof of delivery of the entry is not proof of receipt.
- Story: does the story resonate? is it worth telling? Is there more to the story? Could it be further developed (e.g. a documentary)?
- Creativity: did the photographer show originality and imagination in identifying and pursuing their story? Is it repetitive or is it bringing something new to the discussion?
- Relevance: is the story relevant to EPOTY, the specific audience, the larger public audience? Is it newsworthy? Does it deserve more attention?
- Technical: did the photographer use their arsenal of tools effectively to express their idea? Examples: colour, composition, perspective, lighting, focus, exposure, contrast, etc.
- Difficulty: does the photographer rise to the challenge(s) set – if any – by their circumstances? Examples: motion / lighting conditions (incl. weather) / viewpoint / any inherent danger / special techniques or equipment (e.g. night photography)
- First and second impression: does the photo spark an immediate reaction? Does it make you want to find out more? Does it linger in your mind’s eye? Do you want to tell others about this photo and its story? Does the photo hook the viewer into the story?
- Translating the story into a visual: is the story recognisable in the photo? Can the viewer understand what the photographer is saying? Is there a clear connection between the photo and its caption?
- The jury panel – to consist of professionals from the worlds of wildlife and conservation photography, photojournalism, and photo editing – will review, score, and select photos in two phases. No information about the photographer’s identity is provided to the jury at any time during the judging process.
- Phase 1: independent review and scoring
- The jury members review and score a long list of images that meet the competition criteria as stated in the rules and conditions and passed the internal pre-screening (and the ethics panel, where applicable). In this phase, each jury member reviews submissions independently.
- Phase 2: panel review and winner selection
- All jury members meet virtually to review and discuss the highest-scoring submissions. During this phase, the panel decides on the two grand prize winners, the category winners, and the exhibition shortlist.
- Phase 1: independent review and scoring
For more information, visit Environmental Photographer of the Year 2023.