Maurizio Biancarelli, Bruno D’Amicis, Luciano Gaudenzio
The project L'Altro Versante is rooted in the wish to explore Italy's natural heritage, celebrate its unique beauty and raise awareness for the urgent need to conserve habitats and species. Convinced that the best images are created on one's doorstep, we decided to leave more exotic regions alone and instead turned to travelling our homeland slowly and in a reflective mood. Doing this, we tried to rid ourselves from any preconceptions we might have, to look at our home area as if for the first time.
For this project we selected more than 100 places across Italy, among them some of the most beautiful, most fragile and least known regions. Our travels, no matter how long or short, required a lot of careful planning, preparation and financial support, but also creativity, patience, spirit of adventure and commitment. In the end, our efforts paid off. The Italian mountains have unveiled some of their secrets, which we are now going to share with an international audience, who all too often are stuck with a postcard stereotype of Italy coined by the hills of Tuscany and the canals of Venice.
"The giraffe is beautiful, it's a ladder ... between the ground and the sky, the grass and the sun." (Marc Alyn)
When it comes to conservation, the giraffe is often forgotten. Although the giants of the savannah are protected in many African countries, their population has decreased by 40% in the past 30 years. Poaching (for skins and meat) and habitat destruction (deforestation, population movements) are the main reasons for their decline. At the end of 2016, they have been included in the list of endangered species.
It is impossible for me to imagine the African savannah without their haughty silhouettes. It would be like removing the "f" from the word "Africa", like the Arctic without polar bears, the ocean without whales, the Indonesian forest without orang-utans.
My exhibition TWIGA (giraffe in Swahili) is a cry of the heart, a cry of love for these majestic and endearing African icons.
NABU (Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union)
About 2,400 kilometres east of Germany, in southern Russia, the majestic mountains of the Greater Caucasus rise into the sky. This is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Western Caucasus. Here, plants and animals have been undisturbed for many centuries. The World Heritage Site of Western Caucasus is home to numerous different mammals and birds as well as to more than 3,000 plant species. Many of them are not found in any other region of the world. NABU has been working in this region since 1993.
Cooperating with governmental and non-governmental partners, we focus on the conservation of the Caucasian bison and Caucasian fir forests as well as on developing eco-tourism and environmental education.
The NABU exhibition Natural treasures of Caucasia now brings the breath‑taking mountain world of the Caucasus to Germany. The large‑format prints make this unique nature paradise an almost real experience. All four photographers (Dmitry Andreev, Alexey Bibin, Alexander Perevozov and Sergei Trepet) are directly involved with conservation work in the region; with this exhibition, they hope to contribute to the NABU's efforts to raise public appreciation of this last indispensable refuge.
Jon A. Juarez Garcia
My life changed dramatically in 2016 when I got a job looking after refugee children at the old British military barracks in Spandau, Berlin. It was quite stressful in the beginning as everything was new for everyone involved, different cultures clashed, and everyone had their own deeply personal history.
I used to spend some time after work at the old warehouses nearby, trying to relax and at the same time getting some images for a project on the urban life of foxes. One day, the kids spotted me there. They asked why I was carrying a camera and why I had not taken them along. I wanted to protect my little island of peace and tried to get rid of them, but it was impossible. They stayed.
Looking back today, I am very grateful for their persistence; in the end, they became the project because they were the heart of the barracks.
The ecosystems of the earth presented by the best images of an international competition
BioPhotoContest is a competition dedicated to the diversity of biomes, the large ecosystems of our planet. It aims at inspiring photographers to deal with characteristic biotic and abiotic aspects of large habitat areas contributing to their conservation through photography.
The photographs are divided into six categories: forests / rivers, lakes and marshes / deserts / steppes, savannah and prairies / oceans and coastal areas / polar ice caps and glaciers. For three days, the jury evaluated submissions from more than 36 countries. The quality of the composition and technique was an important criterium, but also the value the images might have for the conservation of the related region.
The winners in the six categories are (in alphabetical order): Claudio Ceresi (ITA), Emmanuel Graindépice (FRA), Arnfinn Johansen (NOR), Balázs Ravasz (HUN), Mauro Tronto (ITA) and Hugo Wassermann (ITA).
In medieval times, the appearance of Siberian jays was considered a warning of looming misery. It is, however, one of the most fascinating bird species I ever chose to photograph. Quite contrary to their reputation, these birds provided me with the most beautiful moments ever.On my trip around Scandinavia in the autumn of 2018, I had intended to concentrate on landscape photography. While on a hike through a coniferous forest, I accidentally noticed three Siberian jays who seemed to follow the same path.
The sun lit up the birds' plumage in wonderful shades of orange that contrasted with the gnarled trees. Looking at this scene, I could not help myself: I abandoned my original idea and instead dedicated my time to a series on Siberian jays.
About the photographer: Florian Smit (26) lives not far from Bremen, Germany. He has been a freelance nature photographer since 2015.
naturArt, the association of Hungarian nature photographers, was founded in 1989. Since then, a huge number of outstanding nature images has been created. Presenting these images in an exhibition is of course a very subjective matter. We have, however, sought to choose a selection of the very best of naturArt, representing Hungarian nature photography.
The founders of naturArt wanted to create an organisation that would help convey the beauty of nature through ethically sound and visually appealing images. For 25 years we have been organising the competition Nature Photographer of the Year. Without false modesty, it has arguably become the leading nature photography competition of the region, promoting quality and creativity while maintaining a transparent jury process.
No doubt, this is reflected in the new talents turning up every year and Hungarian photographers being increasingly awarded in international nature photography competitions.