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2022 gallery

All photos were selected and approved in line with the 2022 competition’s rules and selection criteria. 

Mehdi Mohebi Pour, Environmental Photographer of the Year winner​
“I was born in a very green and beautiful province in Iran and photographing nature and wildlife has been something I have loved ever since I picked up the camera. For several years now, I have been photographing and researching the Miankaleh Wetland Project and photographing all the good and bad events that occur in the Wetland."

“The Miankaleh wetland is being destroyed by changes in the climate and it is my duty as a photographer to highlight these problems and create a record for history. I want to prevent the complete destruction of the wetland and the potential environmental disaster by showing the issues and threats to these beautiful natural places. The death of the wetland is equal to the death of the earth and the death of humans.

“I believe ‘The Bitter Death of Birds’ was noticed by the judges because the image shows a scary perspective and the possibility of this happening all over the world. The photo highlights the danger to the planet.”
Fayz Khan, Young Environmental Photographer of the Year winner​
“While I have been doing photography for a few years, I have not dared to believe I could win the Young EPOTY award. Just being short-listed was a huge thing for me … To now win this prestigious award from people who care about sustainability and our planet’s environment is more than a dream come true. That the winning image is from a part of the world that fascinates me is icing on the cake!”

“I love Africa for many reasons, foremost of which is the wildlife and the preserved natural beauty of the continent. My family and I had a trip planned to the Rift Valley, Kenya, in 2020, but unfortunately due to COVID, we were unable to go until this past summer. A helicopter safari in the Rift Valley has been on my “Top 3” list of photography destinations, ever since I saw images of the salt pans of Lake Magadi and Lake Natron. I always knew it would be a special trip, but I never knew how special until I saw with my own eyes the extraordinary colours which change dramatically within a few seconds of flying over the lakes."
Arie Basuki, Vision of the Future category winner
“I am so grateful to win this award and that my photography has been appreciated by the EPOTY jury. It's such an honor that my photos was recognised, as photos from previous years have such strong messages about the environment and human interaction in it. The issue of food security in the midst of global climate change is currently a very prevalent issue. I decided to photograph vertical farming because I wanted to show a different side to conventional farming in general. With vertical farming photos, you can show the other side of farming in buildings that are suitable to be applied in urban areas, where land is very limited with a shorter planting period and free of pesticides and other chemical elements.”
Jonathan "Jonk" Jimenez, Recovering Nature category winner​
“By winning the ‘Recovering Nature’ category, I hope the picture will be shared far and wide, along with the message that goes with it. That would make me even happier than I already am by winning the competition.”

“I travel the world looking for abandoned places reclaimed by nature. These pictures hold a clear aestheticism, but also have a philosophical aspect. They talk about our place on Earth and our relationship with Nature. I always show them in a chronological manner: in her inexorable progression, Nature starts reclaiming outsides before infiltrating buildings and growing inside them. The next steps are collapse and burial. We can then ask ourselves, when Nature and Time take back what Man abandoned, what will be left of our civilization? This winning picture illustrates the growing inside part of the reclaiming process."
Subrata Dey, Keeping 1.5 Alive category winner​
"I have been shooting for the last 20 years and the incident I captured for the competition was so shocking to me. It was such a devastating chemical explosion. I know the danger and after-effects of chemical mishap; because of the reactive effect of the chemical, I could not reach the spot of the chemical container terminal in the first two days. When I was finally able to reach it, the scene just took away my words and tears. I would say 49 lives were killed simply because of poor, or no, management of the container field. Most of them were poor laborers and their lives were worth more than that! ... I believe that we as photographers can share important messages and I dream of a beautiful and ethical world.”
Simone Tramonte, Adapting for Tomorrow category winner
"Receiving this award represents to me an incredible opportunity to circulate the message I wanted to share. Climate change is a challenge that we should all take responsibility for. My goal was to give a positive message of hope. This photo represents the harmony between man and technology as part of a wider piece of work, ‘Net Zero Transition’ which analyses the relationship between man, the environment and innovation, to allow Europe to become the first carbon neutral continent.

The net-zero transition has already begun and it is meant to be the next industrial revolution. I firmly believe in the communicative power of photography. Telling a story through photographs has an enormous potential to deliver messages, stimulate curiosity, wonder, or awareness in the viewer."
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“Everything photographers do is to mitigate the fact they are telling someone else’s story. There is no pure ethical photography practice: all we can do is strive is to be as ethical as possible”

Introducing the 2022 ethics panel

Savannah Dodd

Savannah is an anthropologist and photographer, and founding director of the Photography Ethics Centre. This organisation aims to raise awareness about the ethics of taking and sharing visual media. Savannah is a member of the Ethical Journalism Network’s UK Committee and of the board of Source Magazine. She is currently pursuing her PhD in anthropology at Queen's University Belfast where she is examining the ethics of archiving photographs in a post-conflict context.​

Shaminder Dulai

Shaminder Dulai is a 13-time Emmy-nominated, award-winning photo / video journalist, writer, editor, educator, curator and creative technologist with 20+ years of experience producing stories. He crafts journalistic narratives with intimacy, immediacy and impact, empowering communities to make informed choices and understand complex issues with empathy. He has led departments at NBC, Newsweek, PBS Seattle, and worked on teams at The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Hearst Newspapers and many more. ​

Melissa Groo

Melissa is a wildlife conservation photographer and writer. She writes for Outdoor Photographer magazine, and is a contributing editor to Audubon magazine. She’s an Associate Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers. Melissa regularly advises on ethics in nature photography, and she is particularly passionate about promoting ethical fieldcraft that honours wild animals and keeps their welfare and wildness paramount. Melissa’s work has been published in Smithsonian, Audubon, National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, National Wildlife, and Natural History.

Vanessa Okoth-Obbo

Vanessa is a journalist and communications professional with a passion for storytelling, multi-media production and cultural criticism. She has extensive experience in freelance reporting and external communications in post-conflict development contexts; her work has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, the Village Voice, Pitchfork, MTV News, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian and more. She is a graduate of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.​

Aidan White

Aidan is the President of the Ethical Journalism Network, a global campaign promoting ethics, good governance and self-regulation in media. He is a journalist and was formerly General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists. In 2003 he founded the International News Safety Institute. He has been an adviser on media policy to the United Nations and the Council of Europe and has written extensively on media standards. He is the author of the book To Tell you the TRUTH (2008), and he wrote Human Rights and a Changing Media Landscape (2011).

Ethics proceedings

The panel was active at two different stages within the competition proceedings.

  1. We shared updated competition rules and guidelines with the panel, reviewed their comments and updated the rules and guidelines according to their recommendations.
  2. The ethics panel was involved in the selection process after submissions closed and before the judging panels received any photos to review, where they disqualified any photos that did not comply with our ethical standards.

Through this process we hope to ensure that any photos selected for publication have a robust grounding in ethical photography practices, and represent their subject matter with dignity and respect.

Introducing the 2022 jury panel

Roie Galitz

Roie is a world-renowned wildlife photographer, environmental diplomat, entrepreneur and public speaker. Roie’s passion is in the great outdoors, photographing endangered wildlife and habitats, but that has also made him more aware of nature's distress as human activity increases its influence. Galitz is a Greenpeace Ambassador, a Nikon Europe Ambassador, as well as an ambassador for Gitzo, Sandisk Professional and Lowepro. Roie has founded several companies with the love for photography, creation and our amazing world at heart. He serves in executive and advisory boards on sustainability and pressing environmental issues.

Matilde Gattoni

Matilde is an award-winning French-Italian photographer based in Barcelona who covers social, environmental and human rights issues around the world. She has worked extensively in the Middle East, South and Central Asia and Africa, covering topics such as droughts, illegal mining, mass migrations, large scale land grabbing and climate change. Her work has been published in more than one hundred newspapers and magazines worldwide. In 2014, Matilde co-founded the agency Tandem Reportages with the aim to produce independent, in-depth stories on relevant contemporary issues such as the mass exploitation of natural resources and the relationship between mankind and the environment.

Daisy Gilardini

Daisy is a conservation photographer who specializes in the Polar Regions, with a particular emphasis on Antarctic wildlife and North American bears. She is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), the SeaLegacy Collective, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a fellow of the Explorers Club, Greenpeace Antarctic Ambassador and Canadian Geographic photographer in residence. Daisy’s images have been published internationally in leading magazines such as National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Canadian Geographic, Nature’s Best and Outdoor Photography, among many others.

Victor Moriyama

Victor is a photojournalist and a regular contributor to The New York Times, covering South America and the Amazon rainforest. His works document the processes of violence that prevail in social and environmental relations in Brazil, including agrarian conflicts, deforestation and conservation of tropical forests, and acceleration of climate change. Victor created the project @historiasamazonicas, a community of Latin American photographers committed to documenting contemporary processes taking place in the Amazon and defining the present. His idea is to expand world knowledge and engage global society with problems within the largest tropical forest in the world.

Wacera Njagi

Wacera is a photo editor at Everyday Africa. Their work blends hands-on design for photo, art direction and media project management, utilising varied communication mediums, design disciplines and research techniques. Wacera has collaborated with storytelling teams at World Press Photo Foundation, Black Women Photographers, Code For Africa, The ICRC and others. Through their role at Everyday Africa, Wacera strives to make stories that convey a more accurate view of daily African life than what is commonly seen in the media.
EPOTY 2022 judge Daisy Gilardini comments on the winning photo, The Bitter Death of Birds
“I found this image particularly touching due to its stillness. Contrary to one of the basic rules of photography, the rule of third, which suggests to place your subject in one of the thirds, the photographer decided to frame all the elements right in the centre. By doing this, the immediacy is even more poignant. The dead bird in the foreground is right in your face and leads to the two people behind in the background cleaning up the other dead birds.”
EPOTY 2022 judge Victor Moriyama comments on the winning photo, The Bitter Death of Birds
"This is the image that most connects me with my training base, which is photojournalism. It shows a very impactful and shocking situation. I believe in the power of sensitizing global society through the images made by journalists and this image brings together all the elements for that."
EPOTY 2022 judge Daisy Gilardini comments on Beautiful But Hostile Colours On Earth
“I love the way the movement and different colours combine to create a unique pattern in this wonderful image. While the beauty of the image catches your eye, reading the caption opens your eyes to a sad reality. The image is both compelling and frightening in the way it shows that something beautiful can be toxic and dangerous at the same time.”
EPOTY 2022 judge Victor Moriyama comments on Beautiful But Hostile Colours On Earth
"This photo synthesizes a very evident transformation of planet earth. Photographing climate change is a very difficult task and the image manages to overcome the challenges."
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Competition rules

The competition closes on August 31st. If any of your photographs are selected for publication, you will be contacted in early November regarding next steps. The winners and shortlisted entrants will be announced in late November.

Before entering, please read the Rules and Guidelines carefully as all entrants have to acknowledge acceptance of them during the online registration process.

    1. The competition is open to both amateur and professional photographers of all ages and from around the world.
    2. Entries must be received by 23:59 British Summer Time (BST) on 31 August 2022.
    3. Each entrant may submit up to three (3) still photographs.
    4. All photographs submitted must have been taken after 01 Jan 2021.
    5. Each photo must be submitted under one of the categories published on the competition website.
    6. Each photo must be submitted with a completed form in English answering the below requirements:
      1. details about the date and location where the photo was captured;
      2. information (optional) about the photographic equipment and camera settings used at the time the photo was taken (ISO, shutter speed, aperture, focal length);
      3. description of the photo’s content, its context or background (including declaring any staging for artistic or creative ends);
      4. a clear explanation on how this work fits the selected category’s criteria;
      5. an ethics statement (optional), describing any ethical considerations encountered when taking the photos
    7. 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 (see the digital guidelines in section 7 of the competition rules), but entrants should understand that the objective is to remain faithful to the original scene, and to never deceive the viewer or misrepresent reality.
    8. Entries with overlay signatures, watermarks or stencils will be disqualified automatically.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    1. Entrants must be the sole author and owner of the copyright for all the entries they submit, or they must have obtained permission from the copyright holder to submit the entries on their behalf. A copy of any such written permission must be supplied to the organiser on request.
    2. This year, CIWEM will not accept photos of children and young people under the age of 18 while we research and develop a framework that will allow us to showcase photos of children in a responsible and accountable manner.
    3. Entrants must obtain all permissions needed prior to submitting their entry. This includes abiding by national and international law, and acquiring permits and permissions for accessing the area where the photograph was taken. Where there is a clear public interest that might justify a different approach, a rationale may be requested by the Ethics Panel. Entrants who are unable to provide sufficient evidence or a rationale for lack of evidence upon request will be disqualified. More information about the Ethics Panel can be found on our website.
    4. Entrants must obtain full consent from any people featured in their photo. Entrants guarantee that all people have expressly and unequivocally consented to the capture of their likeness for the photograph, as well as for its reproduction, distribution, and public communication. Entrants unable to provide evidence upon request will be disqualified.
    5. Entrants must apply ethical practices in the collection and presentation of photos. Photographers should consider the rights, safety, and wellbeing of humans and wildlife. They must be able to describe steps taken to minimize negative physical, emotional, or behavioural impacts from their work to ensure photos do not exploit people or remove their humanity.
    6. People and communities should be represented as accurately as possible while avoiding the perpetuation of stereotypes. All entries must be submitted in the spirit of raising public awareness, not exploitation of public sympathy. Entrants have a duty of care and are responsible for ensuring the rights, safety, and wellbeing of all people and wildlife portrayed in their photos are respected.
    7. Photos that raise ethical or consent concerns may be required to submit additional information or evidence for review by the Ethics Panel. The Panel’s decision is final and binding and no further correspondence will be entered into. More information about the Ethics Panel can be found on our website.
    8. While CIWEM will make reasonable efforts to ensure that all evidence is accurate and up to date, CIWEM makes no warranties or representations regarding the accuracy, correctness, reliability, or otherwise of such information, and assumes no liability or responsibility for any omissions or errors.
    1. Judges appointed by CIWEM will select the competition winners and the shortlist of exhibition photos. More information about the Jury can be found on our website.
    2. CIWEM reserves the right to cancel this competition at any stage.
    3. CIWEM reserves the right to amend, remove or introduce additional judging categories, including prizes and conditions, at any stage during the competition.
    4. Any entrant found to not comply with the competition rules at any stage of the competition will be disqualified and any prizes awarded will be forfeited.
    5. The decision of CIWEM on all matters relating to the competition is final and binding.
    1. Submissions from anyone born on or after 31st August 2001 are automatically entered into this category. Photographers outside this age range are ineligible for this award.
    2. Proof of date of birth may be required upon request.
    3. For entrants under the age of 18, written permission from the parent or guardian is required upon entry.
    4. Terms and conditions of the Young Environmental Photographer of the Year award:
      1. The winner will receive one Z Series Mirrorless camera and two NIKKOR Z Lenses of the winner’s choosing, to a total cost price value not exceeding €6,000.
      2. The Organiser reserves the right to change or otherwise amend the prize on grounds of reasonableness and fairness.
      3. The prizes are as stated are not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.
      4. Nikon reserves the right to substitute the prize to an equal or greater value should circumstances make this necessary.
      5. Please allow 28 days for delivery of the prize subject to availability and sale start dates.
    1. Photos previously entered into other competitions are permitted, however entries that have won a top prize in a competition on or before the time of entry are not eligible.
    2. The photographer retains the copyright to all their entries into the Environmental Photographer of the Year. The photographer will be credited. The entrant agrees that CIWEM will not be liable in the event of inadvertent omission of the credit.
    3. Entrants agree to participate in related publicity and to the use of their name and entry for the purposes of advertising, promotion, exhibition, transmission and publicity of the competition and CIWEM without additional compensation.
    4. Entrants grant CIWEM a non-exclusive sub-licensable licence to reproduce, publish, exhibit and communicate their entry to the public by exhibiting the entry through all media throughout the world for five (5) years in relation to the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition and CIWEM’s charitable activities. This includes but is not limited to: the competition judging process; an exhibition and tour (including virtual); inclusion in an Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition catalogue or book; online galleries; private viewings, websites and microsites, corporate communications, on partner’s network platforms and apps, reports, promotional, press, PR and marketing activities including digital and social media (paid and organic) and press and marketing materials, educational support and brand ambassadors, all of which are associated with the Environmental Photographer of the Year and CIWEM’s charitable activities and public benefit remit; and associated merchandising.
    5. CIWEM is allowed to pass on any entry to online and print publications and to its partners to be used either for editorial or image-based promotion and exploitation only by CIWEM and its partners in relation to the Environmental Photographer of the Year, with full credit given to the photographer.
    6. CIWEM’s use of the photographs may further include third party licensing (including further licensing opportunities to partners) to generate revenue, however, if CIWEM’s use is for ancillary purposes, it shall consult in good faith with the entrant about an appropriate share of revenue.
    7. Entrants accept that their entry may be exhibited by CIWEM, or in other exhibitions organised or attended by CIWEM and by the partners as part of the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition. CIWEM reserves the right to reproduce any entry for exhibition purposes.
    8. CIWEM cannot accept liability for the misuse of entries and or failure of any third party to comply with the Environmental Photographer of the Year’s credit guidelines.
    9. Entrants are granting CIWEM permission to sub-license its rights to Partners of the Competition under the same terms and conditions contained herein.
    10. CIWEM may grant to its partners of the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition (detailed on this website) the right (including but not limited to) to reproduce any entry from the exhibition in their own marketing, publications, use in exhibitions (including virtual), on websites, microsites, corporate communications, reports, promotions, digital media, social media (paid and organic), private viewings, online galleries, press and PR, brand ambassadors, marketing, education support and the partners promotion of their partnership of the Environmental Photographer of the Year.
    1. Initial entry: all still photographs must be submitted as JPEGs, saved at a high-quality level with a maximum file size of 199MB. Each image file must be named with your surname, first name and brief title (e.g. SmithJohn_Title.jpeg). Whilst image titles may be too long to be used as image names, a section of your title would be adequate.
    2. Proof of authenticity: original digital camera RAW files will be required if your image is shortlisted. Digital images captured as JPEG are allowed, providing the original un-retouched JPEG is available for inspection. Any work created from more than one original (e.g. stitched images), must be declared as such, and the original captured images should be available for inspection when requested.
    3. Printing: for printing in all media and for inclusion in an exhibition, a high-resolution image (preferably TIFF) will be requested if your image is selected.
    1. The following digital adjustments are allowed:
      1. removal of sensor dust spots and chromatic aberration, and lens vignetting
      2. levels, curves, colour, saturation, contrast work, shadow and highlights, neutral density gradients (in moderation)
      3. cropping, sharpening, including selective sharpening, dodging, burning, and toning (in moderation)
      4. panoramas i.e. panoramas created from several images that have been taken from the same location and at the same time, and then combined or stitched using digital techniques, resulting in a wider view than can be achieved with most wide-angle lenses. (NB: stitched panoramas must be declared in caption information)
      5. multiple exposures are only allowed if this is a feature of the camera and the result is one single file. Entrants must state in the caption if their image is a multiple exposure.
    2. The following digital adjustments are not allowed:
      1. adding or removing animals, parts of animals, plants, distractions, people etc.
      2. composites and sandwich shots that add elements
      3. pixelation
      4. images that have been digitally manipulated outside of the allowed adjustments.
    1. The personal data of entrants will be managed by CIWEM in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018.
    2. CIWEM will collect personal data about entrants (and when applicable, parents/guardians) at the time of entry, and as otherwise provided in order to administer the competition and its associated activities only.  View CIWEM’s privacy policy at