Nature photography is considered one of the good photographs in the outdoor platform in the natural surroundings entailing landscapes, flora, fauna, and natural scenarios.

Since nature photography has a heavy weightage in promoting natural resources sustainably, it has a massive contribution to identifying nature and environmental issues.

Ansel Adams, an environmentalist and the American landscape photographer, stressed that ‘A good photograph is knowing where to stand.’

As the saying goes, a picture speaks for itself, and there is no need for a detailed description. Only one image is enough to express and visualize the scenario of what we click.

Most nature photographs convey a positive message for nature conservation; the natural photos are published in scientific, travel, and cultural magazines.

Once the picture yells the real environmental issues, the globe can identify the issues and prioritize the solutions to the problems.

Significance of environment photography

Nature Photograph requires great passion and willingness to click the environmental issues of specific areas and let the viewers realize their activities upon the environment.

  • It urges considerable attention to keep its environment safe, green, and clean for a prolonged period.
  • The environment associated with photography makes the people feel of their natural importance.
  • It conveys a strong visual message on the raised environmental issues and the solution aimed to halt it soon.
  • It also targets how anthropogenic-induced activities have led to nature and reflect the field-based scenario in the issues raised in nature.

Awarding-winning photographs

In recent days, the interest in nature photography has been increasing tremendously. Many photographers have won the public’s attention by clicking the exemplary photography that promotes nature conservation.

With an honourable mention of Kevin McElvaney’s photograph in 2014 as a featured image, below are the ten awarding-winning pictures on environmental issues.

1. Young environmental photographer award of the year 2021, India

Young photographer Mr Amaan Ali clicked the wildfire photo of a boy fighting against the forest fire near his home in the Yamuna Ghat, New Delhi, India.

The photograph provides a positive message the boy has tried his best to control wildfire through his picture. He may have thought that his house may burn with the large spread of the forest fire.

The photo indicates how the wildfire has increased rapidly in recent days. It urges the government and the people to conserve our forest for a prolonged period and take adequate measures to control the wildfire.

The boy may have become a victim of this devastating wildfire. This photo was awarded the best environment photo by the young photographer illustrating the forest fire as an environmental issue.

young photographer award 2021 - environmental photograph
A boy fighting the forest fire in Yamuna Ghat, India (source)

2. The resilient award 2021, Survive for alive in Bangladesh

Drought has been of public concern in recent years. Due to anthropogenic-induced activities, climate change is more to go.

The drought induced by climate change effects has negatively impacted all living organisms. The photograph of drought effects by Ashraful Islam from Noakhali, Bangladesh, sought massive attention at the international level.

In the award-winning photo, the sheep flock searched the grasses in those areas almost cracked by the soil. The extreme droughts in Bangladesh led the sheep to wander here and there to feed the grasses aimed to search for the grasses in the hole of the cracked soil.

This image critically indicates how the organisms of Bangladesh have gone through the drought effects. The photo shows that the water has dried up, thereby restricting the growth and development of the grasses.

resilient awards 2021 - environmental photograph
The sheep flocks search the grass in the cracked soil (source)

3. Water and security award 2021, West Bengal, India

A photographer, Sandipani Chattopadhyay, won the heart of the national and the globe by clicking the photo of the algal bloom in the Damodar river in West Bengal of India.

The photographer wills to present the positive global alert that the Damodar river has been deteriorating as a cause of irregular monsoon seasons and drought.

Most troublingly, the algal bloom, or in the other sense inferred by the eutrophication, does prevent the deeper water surface from the light penetration and causes devoid the oxygen content for the aquatic organisms to breathe.

Such activities limit marine organisms such as fishes, crabs, and tortoises in the graveyard. Chattopadhyay desires to demonstrate the severe impacts of algal bloom through this photo.

This singly photo may ensure the life of the aquatic living organisms and the beauty of the Damodar river of India upon properly implementing the algal bloom control and the river conservation activities.

water and security 2021 - environmental photograph
The algal blooms in India (source)

4. Hooked pup in Coronado Islands, Mexico

The oceans throughout the globe have been polluted day by day, a dire burning issue. The massive cause behind the pollution seems to be piling up the plastic, chemicals, and other wastes in the deep of the ocean.

Every aquatic organism has the right to survive freely in its natural surroundings. But this fact has been altered by the negative human-caused actions.

The photo of the sea lion being pupped up with a hook embedded in its mouth has attracted attention among the viewers.

The photographer Celia Kujala during her diving around Coronado Island, Baja California, Mexico, had clicked this photo which makes us think about the detrimental impacts that we have approached by plastic pollution.

Therefore, it looks imperative to strictly implement the rules and regulations and ensure the survival of the aquatic organisms by curbing their threat to survive in the existing environment.

As revealed by the photographer, the sea lion was expecting help from the strangers, which makes us realize that it’s too a part of nature like us and has full right to sustain their lives inconveniently.

Hooked pups - environmental photograph
The sea lion of Mexico pupped up with a hook embedded in its mouth (source)

5. Water, equality and sustainability award in the year 2019

The photographer Dharshie Wissia has clicked an eye-opener photo, making us think more about deforestation’s lack of drinking water.

This click critically indicates that the boy is drinking dirty water. Since all the water points in his area have dried up as a cause of deforestation, he is compelled to drink such polluted water, the water whose quality has deteriorated.

It could increase the chances of water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, and many more. It provides a considerable message worldwide to curb the deforestation rate, a hot issue globally, and protect the natural water points gifted a part of nature.

water award 2019 - environmental photograph
The boy is drinking polluted water due to a lack of water point resources in his living area (source)

6. Young environmental photograph in the year 2019

It’s very heart-wrenching that our natural pride, rhinoceros, is poached every year in the name of earning more. The photograph clicked by Neville Ngomane demonstrated the wildlife experts dehorn the rhino’s horn. 

Aimed to protect the rhinos from the poachers for its horn, the wildlife experts are on the way to dehorn the rhino so that the poachers will get confused.

The experts also believe it is best to dehorn the rhino’s horn in one to two years to deter the hunters.

It may be surprising to someone; the dehorned rhinos’ horn gradually grows over time. Thus, this click could be exemplary for saving our wildlife and halving the issues of illegal poaching worldwide.

2019 young awards - environmental photograph
The rhino is being dehorned to save species from illegal poaching (source)

7. Cinema environmental photographer of the year 2019

Waste pollution has been of common issue in Nepal and many other countries. The photo clicked by Valerie Leonard illustrates the wastes being piled up in the Sisdol landfill site situated in Nuwakot of Nepal.

In this photo, the waste picker is hurried, seeking and picking the plastic debris and the valuables to sell. The landfill site has been operated since 2005. This photo clearly illustrates the weightage of the wastes in the landfill. It has exceeded the carrying capacity within 15 years of the landfill site operation (till 2020). 

Through this photo, the photographer alerts the people to go through the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) approach in the residential and industrial areas to lower the waste piled up. It can lead us to a safer, cleaner, and greener nation.

cinema 2019 - environmental photograph
The waste picker selecting the waste materials for sale in a landfill site, Nuwakot of Nepal (source)

8. Plants and fungi category award of the year 2020

The photo of the European wildlife photographer, 2020 Marcus Gaiotti, seeks the utmost attention concerning the impacts on the plant’s flowering and fruiting induced by the effects of climate change.

The photo belongs to the desert where a desert rose has shredded its foliage during the dry season. It is expected that flowering and fruiting is the natural process of any plant species.

Still, the photo indicates the flowers stains their foliage even in the no-flowering season and lack the leaves. Early flowering of the desert plant is sure the cause of the climate change effects on vegetation.

Most troublingly, the early fruiting could alter the plant-pollinator interaction and the reproduction rate and may cause variation in the genetic morphology of the species.

plant and fungi 2020 - environmental photograph
Early flowering of the desert rose during the dry season (source)

9. Cinema environment photographer of the world, 2018

Bangladesh is the country with no exception to water pollution, the dire environmental issue that the globe is going through. Only the victim could understand what they should suffer from and how he is going.

The photo clicked by Tapan Karmaker in 2018 seeks the highest priority in environmental conservation. The image entails the watermelon seller getting rest on the boat under the pollution of the Burigongga River of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Water pollution is inferred as the vital cause of environmental deterioration. We should understand the life of the watermelon seller compelled to spare his time in the water polluted rivers.

cinema awards 2018 - environmental photograph
The watermelon seller resting on the boat on the Burigongga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh (source)

10. Plastic effect award, 2018

The photographer Calvin Ke 2018 won the heart of people across the globe through his photograph. His photograph demonstrated Malaysia’s southern pig-tailed macaque Borneo who clutched the plastic bottle in his hand.

Plastic pollution is not only limited to urban areas. Instead, it does have created severe impacts on the natural habitat of the macaque.

This photo provides a clear message to protect the species and the habitat associated with the macaques, thereby reducing the plastic pollution that emerges from the residential and industrial areas.

plastic effect award 2018 - environmental photograph
The southern pig-tailed macaque of Malaysia grasping a plastic bottle tightly (source)

(Last Updated on June 27, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Kalpana Ghimire holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from Nepal. She possesses numerous research experiences working in water pollution, community forestry, environment conservation status, and wildlife ecology. She was an internee in the Department of Environment (EIA monitoring and auditing section) under the Government of Nepal. Kalpana Ghimire is an avid traveler, an enthusiastic wildlife researcher, and has a huge passion for working in the environment sector. She loves far traveling to the natural areas, conducting field wildlife research and reading the novels.