We are delighted to announce that for the second year running, esteemed photographer, filmmaker and environmentalist Jim Brandenburg will be chairing the competition.
Read Jim Brandenburg's foreword
Joining Jim are the following judges:
- Ingo Arndt, wildlife photographer (Germany)
- Sophie Boulet-Gercourt, executive, Biosphoto (France)
- Luciano Candisani, wildlife photojournalist (Brazil)
- Tui De Roy, naturalist, wildlife photographer (New Zealand)
- Richard Eccleston, Art Editor, BBC Wildlife magazine (UK)
- Ruth Eichhorn, Director of Photography, GEO magazine (Germany)
- Lisa Lytton, Director, Paraculture Books, Director of Digital Editions, National Geographic Magazine (US)
- Koji Nakamura, underwater photographer, President, Japan Underwater Films (Japan)
- Elio Lello Piazza, natural history picture editor (Italy)
- Anna Sever, director, picture editor, ASA Agency (Spain)
- Igor Shpilenok, wildlife photographer (Russia)
- Hans Strand, landscape photographer (Sweden)
- Jan Vermeer, wildlife photographer (The Netherlands)
- Steve Winter, wildlife photojournalist and Director of Media, Panthera (US)
Jim Brandenburg, photographer (USA)
Jim has travelled the world as a photographer with National Geographic magazine for several decades. A Minnesota native, his extensive body of work has been published throughout the world and his photographs have won a multitude of national and international awards. Four of Jim’s images were recently chosen for inclusion in a unique collection representing the 40 most important nature photographs of all time. He was the recipient of the Kodak Wildlife Photographer of the Year award and has twice been named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographer's Association. He has also won the World Achievement Award from the United Nations Environmental Programme in Stockholm, Sweden in recognition of his use of nature photography to raise public awareness for the environment.
Jim has published many bestsellers including: Chased by the Light, Looking for the Summer, Brother Wolf, White Wolf, and Minnesota Images of Home. He has also published 5 young adult books: To the Top of the World, Scruffy, An American Safari, Sand and Fog, and most recently a National Geographic book entitled, Face to Face with Wolves. Because of his love of the vanishing North American prairies, he formed the Brandenburg Prairie Foundation; the Foundation’s goal is to raise funds to preserve, restore and promote native prairies in Minnesota.
Jim’s work can be seen on his website, by visiting the Brandenburg Gallery located in Ely, Minnesota, or the non-profit gallery in Luverne, Minnesota, benefiting the Brandenburg Prairie Foundation.
Ingo Arndt, wildlife photographer (Germany)
Ingo was born 1968 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. From a very early childhood, he spent all his spare time outdoors soon realising that photography was a useful tool in environmental protection. After finishing school in 1992, Ingo plunged into the adventurous life of a professional photographer, travelling around the world for extended periods, as a freelance wildlife photographer, and focusing on animals and their habitats. In the past few years, he has been mainly on assignments for GEO Germany. Through his work, Ingo wants to stimulate his audience and show them the magnificence of nature. Ingo’s photographs are mainly published in international magazines including GEO, Stern, National Geographic and BBC Wildlife. He has received numerous awards for his photography including Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and his photo story on Animal Feet was awarded the World Press Photo Award 2005. In 2006, Ingo received the German Award for Science Photography and in 2008 and 2012 the GDT Fritz Pölking Award. Ingo has also published 13 books to date including Logbuch Polarstern (2005), Monkeys and Apes (2007), Nomads of the Wind (2008) and Tierreich (2010).
Sophie Boulet-Gercourt, executive, Biosphoto (France)
A passionate scuba diving enthusiast, Sophie Boulet-Gercourt is the managing director of Biosphoto, one of the leading European agencies in nature and wildlife photography. She is also a member of Syndicat National des Agences Photographiques d’Illustration Générale (SNAPIG), France’s copyright syndicate for photo agencies, and actively campaigns to protect photographers’ intellectual property rights. After four years of relief work travelling throughout the world, discovering nature through a new perspective and realising the power of images, Sophie met the founder of Biosphoto, Catherine Deulofeu, and joined the team.
Luciano Candisani, wildlife photojournalist (Brazil)
Luciano’s photo stories on wildlife and biodiversity conservation are published internationally in magazines including National Geographic, GEO and BBC Wildlife. One of the pictures of his recent coverage of caimans for National Geographic won him the first place in the Cold-Blooded Animal’s category of the 2012 Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He has also won the prestigious Abril Journalism award for his story on the rare and critically endangered Muriqui Monkey, a work that led the support for this species conservation in the Atlantic Rain Forest of Brazil. He is the author of 6 photography books and has been nominated Fellow of the International League of Conservation photographers (ILCP).
Tui De Roy, naturalist, wildlife photographer (New Zealand)
A naturalist/writer, wildlife photographer and conservationist, Tui spent her childhood in the Galapagos, educated by the islands’ nature and the scientists studying it. Passionate about conservation, she has published more than ten wildlife books, and her work has appeared in major publications in more than 40 countries. Tui’s many awards and accolades include the Charles Darwin Foundation Medal for important contributions to conservation.
Richard Eccleston, Art Editor, BBC Wildlife magazine (UK)
Richard has been Art Editor for BBC Wildlife for the past three years. He has more than 20 years' experience in editorial design, working in the US and UK, covering a wide range of subjects including fashion, technology, motoring and nature. He has worked extensively with leading photographers and has won numerous awards. He was a judge for the Society of Publication Designers Awards in New York.
Ruth Eichhorn, director of photography of GEO, Germany
Ruth has been the director of photography of the GEO magazines, based in Hamburg, Germany, since 1994. She oversees a department that shapes the photographic direction of the different magazines, working directly with contributing photographers from around the world. From 1988 to 1994, Eichhorn worked out of the New York office for German GEO, as their bureau chief. Before that she worked for a number of different German magazines as a photo editor. Ruth has curated and organised numerous exhibitions and edited a range of photography books. She was part of many international juries around the world, amongst them the World Press Photo Award, and the UNICEF Photo of the Year award.
Lisa Lytton, Director, Paraculture Books, Director of Digital Editions, National Geographic Magazine (US)
Lisa is a designer, picture editor, book packager, and app developer, publishing as Lightbox Press and Paraculture Books. She has previously been a senior acquisitions editor for National Geographic Books, and a senior design editor for National Geographic Magazine. She has produced over 100 books, including ones with institutions like the National Trust, the Schomburg Center, the National Archives, and the Newseum. Her packaged books and apps have garnered awards including the Prose award for Great Plains: America’s Lingering Wild by Michael Forsberg, and first place in the tablet category, Best of Photojournalism, APPA, for the photography app, The Long Shadow of Chernobyl by Gerd Ludwig. She most recently packaged One Cubic Foot by David Liittschwager released in 2012 by University of Chicago Press.
Koji Nakamura, underwater photographer, and President of Japan Underwater Films (Japan)
Koji was born in Tokyo in 1947 and is now the president of Japan Underwater Films Co Ltd, which he established in 1978. Since 1975, he has been active as an underwater cameraman of both still photography and cinematography. He has documented a great variety of aquatic animal stories on film for over 100 TV documentaries. Koji’s main work includes underwater filming for human documentaries, motion pictures and commercial films. He has filmed dynamic underwater nature worldwide in Canada, the United States, Spain, France, Norway, Turkey, Israel, Madagascar, Tahiti, Japan etc. His camera-eye explores the unknown underwater world, capturing the ecology of marine mammals and fishes, and especially, impressive breeding behaviours. From 1996 to 2008 he worked for the art exhibition, Ashes and Snow, by Gregory Colbert as an underwater stills photographer and cinematographer. In 1992 Koji’s Swimming Elephant was awarded the All Japan Radio and Television Commercial Confederation Award.
Elio Lello Piazza, natural history picture editor (Italy)
From 1981 to 2007, Lello contributed to the prestigious Italian journal, Airone, initially on the monthly Photographing Nature column before becoming Photography Editor in 1987. Since 2006, Piazza has also contributed to Gardenia and Bell’Europa magazines, focusing on columns dedicated to wildlife and travel photograph, and has published a number of practical photography books. With his degree in Mathematics, Piazza has also followed an academic path, researching and lecturing primarily at the Milan Polytechnic, and publishing books on mathematical analysis for engineers to a series on probability and statistics.
Anna Sever, director, picture editor, ASA Agency (Spain)
Anna’s professional career began in the 1980s as a photographer and correspondent in Indonesia, working for Paris Match magazine. After graduating in Photography from the San Francisco Academy of Art College in 1987, Anna developed her interest in combining artistic and commercial photography, and in working with great international photographers. After a period at Collins Publishers as photo editor, she managed Peter Menzel’s photo studio and business, deepening her knowledge of strategies for marketing and the international distribution of photographic projects.
Since returning to Spain in 1995, Anna has directed ASA (Anna Sever Agency), an agency that represents, distributes and produces photography. She also exclusively represents in MINDEN PICTURES in Spain.
For several years she also represented the National Geographic Image Collection in Spain. In 2005, in response to the evolution of the stock photography market, Anna created ASA Contents, changing her agency’s concept.
ASA continues to represent the work of carefully selected major international photographers in Spain.
Igor Shpilenok, wildlife photographer (Russia)
Igor is a conservation photographer and founder of the Bryansk Forest Nature Reserve in western Russia. Igor uses his camera and popular blog to portray Russia’s vast but largely unknown system of protected areas to the world. For him, ‘my camera is my most faithful companion in the struggle to conserve Russia’s wilderness.’ For the past 6 years, his main focus has been Kamchatka, one of the planet’s last great wilderness areas. Igor is a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has twice won Wildlife Photographer of the Year categories. He is a regular contributor to National Wildlife, Russian Life, National Geographic-Russia, GEO and BBC Wildlife magazines among others. In 2009, Igor photographed the rare saiga antelope for the Wild Wonders of Europe project. Recently, his work was featured in outdoor exhibits in central Berlin and Moscow. An English version of his popular Russian blog (read by over two million Russians monthly) is available at http://wildlife-photo-russia.blogspot.ru
Hans Strand, landscape photographer (Sweden)
Hans was born in 1955 in Marmaverken, Sweden. After a 9-year career in mechanical engineering he decided to make a dramatic change and to devote his life to landscape photography, which had long been his hobby and passion. It is a change he has never regretted. He has always felt drawn to the untamed and unmanipulated that is nature. As Hans has said, ‘the wilderness is the mother of all living things. It is always true and never trivial.’ Over the years, he has had the entire world as his workplace, photographing everything from the vast expanses of the Arctic to steaming rainforests and dry deserts. His work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions and published in many international photography magazines. He has also received several awards for his photography including the Hasselblad Master Award in 2008. He has published 3 books of landscape photography. Hans also has a great passion for classical music and is a connoisseur of fine wines.
Jan Vermeer, wildlife photographer (The Netherlands)
Jan is a passionate wildlife photographer, not surprising when living in the middle of the woods, heaths and spacious sand drifts of the Dutch Veluwe. These elements of nature form a source of subject matter that cannot be ignored. The interest in nature is wide; its extensive diversity is exposed in all of its aspects. This approach gives depth to his photography. Colour and form are fundamentally determining in his images and form a strong basis for every photograph. Jan regularly travels to far-away places, looking for unspoilt nature. He overcame the immense cold to take photographs from remote Antarctica and Arctic regions like Spitsbergen, Russia and Iceland. Over the last few years he has focused more and more on Africa. The attraction of the vast amount of wildlife in a colourful world inspired him to spread around the beauty of nature.
Steve Winter, wildlife photojournalist, Director of Media at Panthera (US)
Steve is a contributing photographer to National Geographic Magazine and the Director of Media at Panthera, a non-profit organisation focused on wild cat conservation. After graduating from the Academy of Art and University of San Francisco, Steve’s childhood dream became a reality when he began his career as a photojournalist for Black Star Photo Agency. Since then, he has produced stories for GEO, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, and Natural History among other publications. Steve became a National Geographic Society photographer in 1991, covering many subjects for the magazine, including Russia's giant Kamchatka bears, tigers in Myanmar's Hukaung Valley, life along Myanmar's Irrawaddy River, jaguars in Latin America, and snow leopards in Ladakh, India. Steve became Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2008. More recently, he has won Picture of the Year’s 2012 Global Vision Award and the Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award, for his story on the state of tigers.