On July 28, at the RGS Headquarters in Moscow, a meeting of the jury of the VI photo contest "The Most Beautiful Country" took place. Due to the difficult epidemiological situation, the meeting was held in the format of a Zoom conference. For the first time in history, the finalists of the competition took part in the meeting. The names of the winners were announced on voting day. The works of the winners are published in the gallery below.
The annual RGS photo contest "The Most Beautiful Country" is dedicated to the preservation of the wild nature of Russia and to teaching to respect the environment. For six years of the competition, the number of submitted images exceeded half a million. In 2020, 59,538 photographs from 8645 authors were sent to the photo contest. The finalists of the competition were traditionally determined by an expert commission consisting of 12 professional photographers.
The participants of the VI Photo Contest "The Most Beautiful Country" competed in 11 categories: "Landscape", "Wild Animals", "Macroworld", "Underwater World", "Those Funny Animals", "Photoproject", "Russia from a Bird's Eye View", "Many Faces of Russia", "Taken on a Smartphone", "Live Archive", " Water Energy of Russia". TASS and the Russian State Film and Photo Archive became partners of the “Live Archive” category. The special category "Water Energy of Russia" was established by the official partner of the competition PJSC "RusHydro", and was timed to the 15th anniversary of the company.
For the second year in a row, within the framework of the main competition, a children's competition was held - "The most beautiful country through the eyes of children" - for photographers under 16 years old. They competed in four categories: "Landscape", "Animal World", "World of People", "Macroworld". Children sent 11,340 pictures to the competition - three times more than last year.
The jury selected the winners of the competition from among the finalists. Each member of the jury could select three favorite pictures from among the 10 finalists in each category for the adult competition and 5 for the children’s. The photos that received the most votes are the winners.
The jury included the Director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Marina Loshak; musicians, Nikolai Rastorguev and Sergei Shnurov; theater and film actress, Elizaveta Arzamasova. In addition, the photographs were evaluated by the titled masters of photography Sergey Gorshkov, Maxim Marmur, Ivan Kurinnoy and Elena Pakhalyuk. The permanent member of the jury is the President of the Russian Geographical Society, Sergey Shoigu. The jury was headed by Konstantin Leifer, a well-known photo editor who collaborated with the photo services of the world's largest news agencies.
Sergey Shoigu, “We still need to learn and learn lot about Russia. And the task of the Russian Geographical Society is to show our country, help to study it and, most importantly, love it.
For example, the RGS conducts expeditionary activities and works to protect rare species of animals. So, as part of the study and conservation of the snow leopard, we have installed several dozen camera traps in the Sayan Mountains. They produced incredible footage - not only leopards, but also bears, roe deer, wolverines and other animals were photographed. The picture quality of today's camera traps is incredible. And there is a huge amount of such materials throughout the country. Maybe we should make such a category as well?
"Water Energy" is a very interesting category. But I would suggest expanding the boundaries of the category: add not only hydroelectric power plants, but also waterfalls, floods - everything related to the power of water."
Konstantin Leifer, "The competition is alive and changing. I think two new categories – "Live Archive" and "Photoproject" – are extremely interesting. "Photoproject" is generally a breakthrough category. People put a lot of sincere feelings into their work. For example, a person photographed blooming Meshchera in Ryazan Oblast - words cannot convey how beautiful it is. I think that next year some categories will leave us, some will appear. Follow and participate! "
Marina Loshak, "I am ready to start every morning by viewing such photographs - it gives new energy! I cannot evaluate the technical result of the work, but as a person who deals with art every day, I can look at the pictures with the eyes of an artist who chooses a certain vision and realizes it. We see the artist's loving view of the world. The feeling, that is inside a person, cannot be hidden, it is absolutely obvious. I envy people who can turn on deep love meditation within themselves to get such pictures. And, of course, when you see all these places, you really want to go there."
Maksim Marmur, "Russia is the most unphotographed country in the world, which means that we still have to gather here again and again, admire the most beautiful country. It is good that the contest is advancing. And that the children's category competes with the adult in the quality of images and in the incredibly fresh perspective."
Nikolai Rastorguev, "Our country is huge. There are incredibly beautiful places in it that cannot all be visited in a lifetime. What strikes me about some of the photographs is the sense of how hard they are to get. How much effort, courage, attentiveness, instant reaction is needed.”
In addition, everyone could vote on the website of the photo competition for the winner of the People's Choice Award. Alexey Levashkin became the winner with a photo of funny owls.
Interestingly, this year the finalists were able to participate in the jury meeting for the first time. The winners personally received congratulations in the Zoom conference mode. The winner in the "Many Faces of Russia" category, Alexander Romanov, could not hold back tears of joy; and the young photographer Andrei Koporulin, who won in the "Animal World" category of the children's competition, was delighted.
All winners of "The Most Beautiful Country" contest will receive a cash prize of 250 thousand rubles. The winners of "The Most Beautiful Country Through the Eyes of Children" will be awarded with professional cameras. The pictures by the finalists of the competition will be presented at exhibitions in Russia, abroad and in the online format.
The works of the winners of the competition can be seen in the gallery.