Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 announced

26 June 2016

Competitions, Exhibitions

© Sara Lindström The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 has been awarded to Sara Lindström for her photograph ‘Wildfire’. Swedish-born Sara picked up photography while studying in South Africa, and is now based in the Canadian Rockies. Her projects have seen her travel across more than 50 countries, capturing the beauty of the more remote corners of the earth. She said: “It was an exceptionally warm day in July in southern Alberta when I came across this massive pinkish smoke plume rising high towards the sky. The big flames were thriving on the dry land and had me completely mesmerized in fear and awe.” She wins the prestigious title of Environmental Photographer of the Year and £3,000.

The winning photographs and film will be among 60 works on display at the Royal Geographical Society in London from 29 June to 21 August 2016. The exhibition will then tour to Grizedale Forest, supported by Forestry Commission England, from 3 September 2016 until 1 January 2017.

Launched in 2007 by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), and sponsored by Atkins, one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition provides an international showcase for the very best in environmental photography and film, by both amateurs and professionals. The competition aims to inspire a global audience to think differently about contemporary social and environmental issues, including sustainable development, pollution and human rights.

Luke Massey was awarded the Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 for his bold photograph ‘Poser’. “Peregrines were extirpated in Illinois in the 1960s but in the 1980s a reintroduction programme began and now 22 pairs nest in Chicago alone”, he explains.  “One pair have chosen a Chicagoan's condo balcony as their nest site and in 2015 I followed them as they raised 4 chicks to fledging.” Described by naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham as an ‘exceptional young man’, Luke dedicates his photographic skills to drawing attention to the plight of wildlife under threat.

The Environmental Film of the Year 2016 goes to Sergiu Jiduc for his film ‘The Karkoram Anomaly Project, Pakistan’. Jiduc’s film documents the surging glaciers observed in the world’s highest mountain range, and the subsequent devastation caused by the little understood ‘Glacial Lake Outburst Floods’.

Indian photojournalist SL Kumar Shanth collected the Atkins Built Environment Award 2016 for ‘Losing Ground to Manmade Disaster’, which depicts the damage being wrought on the coastline at Chennai, the biggest metropolis in Southern India, by a combination of man-made and natural forces. 

The CIWEM Changing Climate Award 2016 was presented to Sandra Hoyn for her moving photograph ‘Life Jackets on the Greek Island of Lesbos’. Hoyn, a German photojournalist, concentrates on social, environmental and human rights issues. Her winning photograph depicts the discarded life vests used by refugees to cross to Greece from Turkey, and hints at the enormity of the crises and dangers faced by the refugees. 

The exhibition shows at the Royal Geographical Society from 29 June–21 August 2016 at 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR (main entrance on Exhibition Road).  See more at: www.epoty.org

Image: © S L Kumar Shanth / ‘Losing Ground to Man made Disaster’