May 29, the jury of the Most Beautiful Country photo contest met at the Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society in Moscow.
The Most Beautiful Country photo contest is an annual media event of the Russian Geographical Society aimed at the preservation of Russia’s nature and promotion of respect for the environment. There are neither age nor location limits to enter the contest. The main condition is that photos submitted to the contest should have been taken in the territory of Russia.
The entries were evaluated by Sergei Shoigu, President of the Russian Geographical Society, Konstantin Ernst, producer and General Director of "First channel", film director Andrei Konchalovsky, Zelfira Tregulova, art historian and General Director of the Tretyakov Gallery, sculptor and artist Dashi Namdakov, famous photographers Ivan Kurinnoy, Denis Budkov, Andrei Narchuk. The chairman of the jury, as in previous years, was the famous wildlife photographer Sergei Gorshkov.
The jury selected the winners in the following categories: "Indigenous and small peoples of Russia", "Russia in persons", "Landscape", "Wild animals", "Birds", "Underwater world", "Russia in the bird's-eye view", "Cultural heritage", "World in our hands", "Caves", "Macroworld", "Those funny animals". In addition, the best work of a young photographer under 16 was selected.
Commenting on the voting process, the jury noted that it was a very difficult task to choose best works from many excellent pictures.
"We chose three photos out of ten in each category, but it often was possible to choose the five best photos," said Konstantin Ernst. "It seems to me that having images of such high quality, the Russian Geographical Society can distribute their annual photo album around the world, so that not only people of this country, but also foreigners could see the unique beauty of Russia."
"Photography is an amazing art form that allows those who have vision, sense of taste and experience to find interesting angles, moments, motives and put it into the camera eye," said Zelfira Tregulova. “This is a really rare form of realization of the creativity and aesthetic sense that so many people have. And if we talk about how to film a rare animal or to dive under water, then it is also a kind of getting over yourself, that not everybody is able of."
Andrei Konchalovsky noted that the photos that captured moments of life, the inner world of a person, the character and emotions were more interesting than just beautiful portraits or landscapes. He also stressed that when evaluating children's photos he paid attention to the ability of a child to see the world from an angle or view that is unusual, inaccessible to an adult.
"Someone runs around volcanoes, someone is watching a bear near its den, someone spends much time under the water to shoot strange marine animals…And all this is to show how beautiful the nature, people, history of Russia is", summed up President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu.
Sergei Shoigu offered to hold a separate photo contest for children starting next year, as well as to introduce a new category “Amateur photos taken with a mobile phone”. Thus, next year not only owners of professional photo equipment, but also owners of smartphones will be able to take part in the contest.
The award ceremony will take place in autumn. You can see photos of the contest 2018 finalists on the website at photo.rgo.ru.
It should be noted that the IV Most Beautiful Country photo contest was held from December 19, 2017 to April 3, 2018. More than 45 thousand pictures were submitted to photo.rgo.ru.
The photos of finalists and winners were selected anonymously – the experts and the jury didn’t see the names of photographers.