- 17 October 2023
The Royal Society of Biology has announced the winners of this year’s Photography Competition, with two amateur photographers named as Photographer and Young Photographer of the Year.
The Photographer of the Year competition invites amateur photographers aged 18 and over to submit photographs based around a particular theme, for a chance to win £1000. The Young Photographer of the Year competition is open to those under the age of 18, and offers a prize of £500.
The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Nature and Climate’, which saw entries capturing how life on earth is being affected by the climate, weather and seasonal changes.
'Boulders Beach Penguins' by Louise Pask, RSB's Young Photographer of the Year
The winning entry for Young Photographer of the Year, taken by Louise Pask, who took an image of the effects of climactic and seasonal changes on the African penguins of Boulders Beach in South Africa.
These birds migrated from Antarctica during a period of cooler climate and the penguins arrived at Boulders Beach in 1982 due to overfishing in neighbouring beaches, Boulders beach provided a safe environment for breeding due to its large rocks. They have adapted to the mild temperatures of the region, however, climate change is affecting the availability of food for the penguins and causing population declines, which is a threat to the survival of the species.
Commenting on her recent win, Louise said: “I feel incredibly grateful about winning this award, I took the photo during my travels in South Africa. The wildlife there is stunning and phenomenal, particularly the penguins on the beach which took me by surprise however after further research I discovered they are under threat from loss of habitat and declining fish stocks.
“I felt this picture captured a moment in time and I hope highlights these precious creatures in their natural environment.”
'Glacier Requiem' by Paul Sousa, RSB's Photographer of the Year
The winner for the Photographer of the Year is Paulo Sousa, who took a photo of Rhône Glacier, a significant entity in the Swiss Alps, which has been covered in UV protection sheets as intervention to slow the glacier's rapid melting due to climate change.
The protective layer, an unconventional sight in such a natural landscape, offers a physical representation of the impact of global warming on our planet, which is emphasised by the presence of a small figure in the grand scheme of the landscape, walking atop the grey sheets.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Royal Society of Biology for the incredible honor of being awarded in this photograph competition,” says Paulo, “I am delighted that the picture I took of the Rhone Glacier resonated with others and that I could share this unusual scenario with a broader audience.
“Glaciers remind us of the delicate balance between nature and humanity, serving as both sentinels of climate change and a source of life-giving freshwater for countless communities. The importance of glaciers extends beyond their icy beauty; they are vital indicators of our planet's health and the legacy we leave for future generations.”
The winners of the competition will be announced at the RSB Annual Awards Ceremony on 17th October at the Houses of Parliament, as part of this year’s Biology Week.
Harriet Gardiner from Campaign for National Parks and one of the judges for this year’s competition said: “It was an honour to be invited to judge for this year’s photography competition and I was blown away by the standard of the entries which made the job of choosing the winner very difficult! Climate change can sometimes feel like a challenging subject to capture but each photo managed to uniquely communicate a different story and all of the entrants should feel very proud of the work they produced.”
The competition was also judged by Claude Barbé-Brown from Wiley and Alice Campain from CABI.
The runners up and other shortlisted entries are below:
Young Photographer of the Year: Runner-up
Photographer: Isaac Savage
Title: Flooded Footpath
Location: Clifton Ings, York, UK
Photographer of the Year: Runner-up
Photographer: Daniel Shipp
Title: White Hot Home
Location: Bunaken Island, Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia
Photographer of the Year: Shortlisted
Photographer: Maia Tochilashvili
Title: Frozen Plants
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
Photographer of the Year: Shortlisted
Photographer: Mostafijur Rahman Nasim
Title: Buffalo herd searching food in river coast in Bangladesh
Location: Bogura, Bangladesh