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TPA/RPS Environmental Bursary

The Royal Photographic Society in partnership with The Photographic Angle is offering a 1-year bursary to support a photographic project that will promote environmental awareness.  Applications are invited from anyone living or studying in the United Kingdom with a talent for taking photographs and an interest in the environmental concerns that we face today.

The bursary will provide £3000 to assist with travel expenses, photographic equipment and other project-related costs. We are looking for a creative interpretation of the subject as well as documentary and editorial photography. In addition to the funding you will also have your portfolio printed by Metro Imaging and a portfolio review with their Creative Director Prof Steve Macleod.


To see further information please click here

Past recipients

Joanna Vestey Profile

Joanna Vestey, 2021/22 Recipient

About Joanna's bursary-funded project:

"Foodtopia looks at the utopian future of our food. In this series of photographs I explore what it might look like to provide healthy, sustainable food for everyone without harming the environment while simultaneously contributing to the health of the planet.

“How can farming help to address climate change and protect biodiversity while continuing to feed an expanding population?” was a question posed at a recent UBS European Conference. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation, by 2050, farmers will need to increase food production by 60% in order to feed nearly 10 billion people. A challenge made harder by degraded soils, and the rise in increasingly extreme weather events caused by climate change.

Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive of Sustain said; “We are entering a decade in which we must achieve a radically different way of organising ourselves and organising the food system: one that restores nature, averts catastrophic climate change and ensures that everyone can live and eat well.” For this work I photograph those leading the way and pioneering emergent solutions across the UK, solutions such as urban farming, vertical farming, hydroponics, regenerative agriculture, re-wilding and cellular agriculture to name just a few."

Ngadi Smart
CREDIT: Ngadi Smart

Recipient 20/21

We are delighted to announce this year's bursary winner is Ngadi Smart.

Ngadi Smart is a Sierra Leonean photographer based in London, who focuses on documenting cultures, subcultures and intimacy. 

Ngadi's website
Cathy Hyland
CREDIT: Cathy Hyland

Recipient 2019/20

The Environmental bursary will enable Catherine Hyland to travel to the Himalayas in order to make a new photographic series and a short film about the water crisis there and how an ingenious idea to build artificial glaciers at lower altitudes using pipes, gravity and night temperatures could transform an arid landscape into an oasis. 



Click to see more of Cathy's work
Harry B
CREDIT: Harry Borden

Over 30s Recipient 2018

Harry Borden was the over-30 bursary recipient. Harry collaborated with the writer Mireille Thornton, to produce Four Hugs Wide and Into the Trees.  The work explores our relationship with the arboreal through stories of people who love, live and work with trees and woodland across Great Britain. The project considers a world where people acknowledge our species as part of a larger ecosystem and live their lives accordingly.

Marcus Doyle
CREDIT: Marcus Doyle

Ready to apply?

Apply for a bursary

Meet the selectors

Cristina Mittermeier

World-renowned conservationist and photographer Cristina "Mitty" Mittermeier believes that stunning visual storytelling is the key to unlocking critical action to help heal our ocean and save our planet. Beginning her career as a marine biologist in her native Mexico, Mitty soon discovered the power of imagery in ocean advocacy work. She went on to become an internationally recognized National Geographic photographer, public speaker, and founder of The International League of Conservation Photographers. In 2014, she co-founded SeaLegacy, an expedition and storytelling studio that creates powerful visual content to move people from apathy to action. She expanded on that work in 2020 with the formation of Only One, a digital action platform built to support and uplift the ocean conservation community while driving action to achieve measurable, sustainable and equitable returns for people and the ocean.

Mittermeier is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and was named one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year in 2018. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Smithsonian Conservation Photographer of the Year Award and the Imaging Award for Photographers Who Give Back. In 2021, she received the Seattle Aquarium's Sylvia Earle Medal and Travel + Leisure's Global Vision Award. She was also named one of the 100 Latinos Most Committed to Climate Action. and aligns with Rolex's Perpetual Planet initiative. In June of 2022, Mittermeier will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa, from Simon Fraser University. 

Adrian Stone

Adrian has many years experience of photographic judging, both nationally and internationally.  He has facilitated developmental workshops for camera clubs, and acts as a mentor to promising young photographers.  

As PTA's curator he produced many of the exhibitions currently on display,  and he sits on the RPS selection panel for awarding  RPS environmental bursaries. He also enjoys working with the exhibition crews in setting up TPA's exhibitions, which are open to the public with free entry across the UK.

Adrian works with Peterborough Cathedral where he runs photographic masterclasses to established photographers. 

June Cadogan

I work both as a Corporate Event Producer and as a Photographer and I’m committed to promoting women in photography.  My photography practice is influenced by an interest in community especially in my local area - Harrow. The central concerns of my work are themes of community, diversity, memory and belonging drawing from local archives, the Internet, and personal narratives. I have an MA in Photography and Urban Culture from the Goldsmith University and a BA in Photography from the University of Westminster.

As well as being a member of the RPS Women in Photography group I am also a member of an all female collective called FORM, our work has been shown throughout the UK including Brighton Photo Festival and FORMAT Derby.