Earth Photo is an innovative competition and exhibition developed jointly by Forestry England and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) which reflects the organisations’ common interest in enabling a better understanding of the world around us through our complementary disciplines of the Environment and Geography. Earth Photo will focus on photographs or films which describe one of the following subjects; People, Place, Nature and Changing Forests. The best in each category will be awarded £250 each, as well as recognising emerging talent through a Next Generation Award.

We believe that photography has a profound national and international influence and that a picture is worth a thousand words; images continue to influence public understanding of the world around us and convey meaning and emotion beyond the barriers of language.

Earth Photo’s main objective is to reveal the story behind the pictures: informing, entertaining and engaging audiences of all kinds and encouraging conversations to begin about their subjects. Earth Photo will enable the viewer not only to appreciate a single or group sequence of images, but also to understand the ‘back story’ to a picture.


The Earth Photo exhibition will be a free exhibition presented to audiences at the Royal Geographical Society, London from July to August 2019 and on a national tour to a number of Forestry England forests.


First Prize: £1000 will be awarded to one outstanding photographer.

Winners will also be selected for each of the categories and awarded £250 each:

  • People
  • Place
  • Nature
  • Changing Forests

A prize will also be awarded for a Short Film.

The overall Earth Photo 2019 Winner and all the other prize winners will be announced during the exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society, London. One of the world’s finest collections of photography, artwork and mapping which records over 500 years of travel, people, place and geographical discovery from the 1480s to the present day.


The exhibition and awards will be selected by an expert panel of selectors from the fields of Photography, Film, Geography and Environment.  The selection panel of distinguished photographers, curators, geographers, environmentalists, and writers will be announced shortly.  The panel will be chaired by the award winning photographer, Marissa Roth. Other members of the panel will include:

Enzo Barracco – Photographer

Vivien Godfrey – Stanfords

Vron Harris – Artist

Magdalena Herrera – Director of Photography, Geo France

Karen Noble  –  Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California

Simon Norfolk – Photographer

Paul Presley – Geographical Magazine

Michael Pritchard – Director, Education and Public Affairs, The Royal Photographic Society

James Whitlow Delano – Photographer


The competition is open to all professional and amateur, national and international photographers of all ages. Entrants are invited to submit up to 10 still photographs or films. All photographs and films entered must have been completed since 1 January 2018.  All entrants must ensure that the quality of their entries meets the competition’s criteria as stated in the Rules and Guidelines.

Entry is by online submission through this website, and deadline for entry is by 10am (BST) on Tuesday 7 May 2019. All entrants are asked to ensure they have read all Rules and Guidelines before entering.

The competition’s overall themes and categories are People, Place, Nature and Changing Forests.

This could include but not exclusively images representing:

  • Human connection to the natural world
  • Sustainable environmental and economic development
  • Natural and social value of the environment
  • Biodiversity
  • Health and well-being connected to the environment
  • Extreme events and environmental destruction – flooding, drought, deforestation and other weather extremes
  • Adapting to the effects of a changing climate
  • Resilience and Innovative solutions
  • Natural resources – security and conservation
  • Human resilience and facing adversity

In addition to the photography categories there is also a prize for short films between 5 seconds and 5 minutes long. Please see Help & FAQs section for further guidance.

Please provide a CV (2 x A4 sides maximum) and a short statement about yourself and your submitted images/films. If selected for exhibition, the organisers will ask you for a more detailed description for the catalogue and publicity purposes.


An Entry Fee of £15 will be charged to each entrant.


At the first stage, entrants are asked to submit up to 10 still photographs or films and a completed entry form. All entries must be in line with the Digital Specifications as detailed in the Rules and Guidelines. The judges are looking in particular for pictures that show the dynamic link between environmental and social issues in a way that makes us think differently about the world around us. The categories are People, Place, Nature and Changing Forests.  Individual entries will be judged anonymously, and the judges will concentrate on looking for the following five qualities in submitted entries:

  • Impact – does it illustrate immediate, subtle or resonant messages?
  • Creativity – is it unusual, thoughtful, beautiful, subversive or ironic?
  • Originality – is the subject treated differently and is the subject matter new?
  • Composition – consider the perspective, balance, clarity of meaning and focus of statement
  • Relevance – consider current environmental issues
  • Technical quality – consider clarity, focus, lighting, exposure and colour

All entrants will be informed if they have been selected for exhibition by 30 May 2019, by email. All finalists will be contacted by the exhibition organisers regarding further details for providing final exhibition quality image or film files, and further details about the exhibition dates and events. See Digital Specifications section of Rules and Guidelines for further information. Stills images will be checked for proof of authenticity.


Tuesday 7 May 2019, 10am (BST)Deadline for entries
30 May 2019Results announced
3 June 2019High resolution images sent to the organisers
6 July - 22 August 2019Exhibition of final images at Royal Geographical Society, London
11 October 2019 – 20 January 2020 Grizedale Forest, Cumbria
July 2019 - January 2020The exhibition will also be shown in two additional forests in England. Dates TBC

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