The Environmental Photographer of the Year competition awards those who use their creative voices to document the state of the planet. The 2018 contest saw entries from 89 countries. In the end, five photographers were selected as winners for their powerful storytelling abilities and high-quality technique. The annual contest is run by The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), a leading independent Chartered professional body for water and environment professionals.
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Iranian photographer Saeed Mohammadzadeh took home the title of Environmental Photographer of the Year for his incredible image of an abandoned ship sitting in the salt of the evaporating Urmia Lake. The beautiful, yet frightening, image demonstrates the deadly combination of climate change and man’s destruction of nature. The extreme salt is not only destroying habitats, but harming local residents as dust storms kick it up.
“There is a finality about this year’s winning image that I find chilling. The water once used for many purposes has gone and the decaying state of the ship suggests that the water will not return,” shared Terry Fuller, CIWEM Chief Executive and judge of the competition. “Why was this ship left stranded? Did the owners not know or believe that the water levels were declining, or did it happen so quickly that they did not have time to adapt?”
While many images show destruction, there are also photographs that give us hope. Ümmü Kandilcioğlu’s image of a man making straw from reeds, for instance, shows that sustainability practices are still taking place on a variety of levels. Aside from the five winners, several others were selected as “high commended” images. From a man floating in a river of trash in India to a macaque in Malaysia clutching a plastic bottle, the photographs are an emotional reminder of how much we need to resolve to clean up the environment.
The winning photos from the Environmental Photographer of the Year contest were selected among entries from 89 countries.
Five other photographers were highly commended for their strong environmental messaging and high-quality photography.
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My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by CIWEM.
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