The Results of the 7th RGS Photo Competition "The Most Beautiful Country"

Фото: Анна Юргенсон/пресс-служба РГО
Фото: Анна Юргенсон/пресс-служба РГО

On June 2, at the Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society, at a meeting of the Jury, the results of the VII Photo Contest "The Most Beautiful Country" were summed up. The winners in 14 main categories and holders of four special prizes have been announced.


Вид на Рускеальский экспресс с горы Хернямяки. Автор: Александр Державин, Санкт-Петербург
Вид на Рускеальский экспресс с горы Хернямяки. Автор: Александр Державин. Санкт-Петербург

The winners in the categories of the main competition will receive 250 thousand rubles each. The winners of a separate competition for photographers under 16 years old – "The Most Beautiful Country in the Eyes of Children" will receive professional cameras. The prizewinners will be awarded certificates of the Russian Geographical Society. The works of the finalists of the competition will be exhibited in Russia and abroad.

The People's Choice Award went to a photographer whose work won in an open online voting that took place from 12 to 31 May on the competition website. VTB Bank has named the winner of the "Reserved Russia" prize for the best picture taken in specially protected natural areas. Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation awarded one of the participants the prize "Russia in the Faces of the Older Generation". The organizers of the competition awarded the "Behind the Scenes" prize for the best video, telling about the creation of a particular picture submitted for the competition. The winner was chosen from 1418 entries.


Волшебный туман. Автор: Юрий Смитюк, Владивосток
Волшебный туман. Автор: Юрий Смитюк. Владивосток

In 2021, 65,661 photographs from 8,643 authors were sent to the photo competition. In addition to Russia, 18 more countries took part in it. The competition, which was originally conceived as a national one, is beginning to acquire an international character. Authors from Italy, Germany, Ukraine, China and other countries sent their photographs of Russian nature. The most popular categories were: "Landscape", "Taken on a Smartphone", "Magic of Water" and "Wild Animals".

The works of the participants of "The Most Beautiful Country" amaze with the depth of expression of their authors' feelings. They demonstrate not only the high professionalism of the photographers, but also a genuine love for their homeland, Russian nature and culture. The pictures virtually come to life before your eyes, return you to childhood, make you remember the best moments of life. It is extremely difficult to make a choice in such conditions; you want everyone to be the winner. Such emotions were expressed by the members of the Jury during the summing up of the results of the competition of the Russian Geographical Society.


Ушки на макушке Автор: Ярослава Меркулова, Сорочинск
Ушки на макушке. Автор: Ярослава Меркулова. Сорочинск



2nd place

3rd place


"Magic Fog", Yuri Smityuk

"Flowers and Wings", Alexander Kukrinov

"Abandoned lighthouse Aniva in the fog", Alexander Usik

Wild animals

"Weightlessness", Ivan Naumenko

"Gossip", Alexey Volkov

"Sweet couple", Sergey Strelnikov

Russia from a Bird's Eye View

"Kazan monastery of the city of Tambov", Valery Gorbunov

"Scream", Nikita Dukhnik

"Koyashskoe Lake", Yan Yankovsky

Magic of Water

"Cosmos", Denis Degtyarev

"Dolphin", Vadim Balakin

"Waves", Dmitry Utkin

Those Funny Animals

"Conductor", Evgeny Mazurin

"All the same, you will be mine", Evgeniya Levina

"Hey, buddy, look at me! Do as I do!", Eva Kostroma

Art of Wildlife (fine-art photography)

"Dancing Above Water", Svetlana Ivanenko

"Black and White Geometry", Lyubov Furs

"White Light Line", Mikhail Levinsky

Photo Project

Behind The Ballet, Alexey Tsiler

"Starry Primorye", Anton Komlev

"Chukchi on the east coast of Chukotka", Andrey Shapran

Many Faces of Russia

"Winged Swings", Julia Belyakova

"Magomed from the village of Cherkata", Andrey Smolnikov

"Among Friends", Stanislav Kaznov

Taken on a Smartphone

"View of the Ruskeala Express from Mount Hernyamaki", Alexander Derzhavin

"Foxtail barley and baby's breath", Marina Komleva

"Winter abstraction", Victor Syomushkin

Live archive

"In the Strait of Eira", Vladimir Melnik

"Murmansk Oblast, Kola", Oksana Kuznetsova

"Entrance to the Church of the Resurrection. Kostroma", Leonid Shitov

The Most Beautiful Country through the Eyes of Children


"Triple wave", Olga Barkanova

"February Noon", Denis Abramov "Nature after the rain", Gleb Mayorov

Animal World

"All Ears", Yaroslava Merkulova

"Leader", Tikhon Terentyev

"I see the goal! I see no obstacles!", Daria Elesina

Human World

"With an interesting book, you don't need Minecraft!", Daria Polomoshnova

"Freeze the moment", Sofya Sitnikova

"Boredom", Maya Pekhovskaya


"Chattering snails", Philip Kharchenko

"Sky sheep", Rostislav Gizatulin

"Sea Stained Glass", Rostislav Gizatulin

Special prizes

People's Choice Award

"Nature after the rain", Gleb Mayorov

Behind the scenes

Video clip for the photo "Bowhead whales at dawn", Alexander Medvedev

Reserved Russia

"Dawn in the Oka Nature Reserve", Tatiana Osipova

Russia in the Faces of the Older Generation

"With a great-granddaughter", Julia Popova


Улитки болтушки. Автор: Филипп Харченко. Пенза
Улитки болтушки. Автор: Филипп Харченко. Пенза

It turned out to be a very difficult task to choose the best out of the 65 thousand photographs sent to the competition, according to the President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu.

"The photos are all amazing. I want to once again express my gratitude to everyone who participated in the preliminary selection of the finalists. It is incredibly difficult and hard work", admitted Shoigu.


Тройной накат. Автор: Ольга Барканова. Горная
Тройной накат. Автор: Ольга Барканова. Горное, Сахалинская область

The Jury members almost unanimously noted the incredible "emotionality" of the participants' works. To the actor and director Vladimir Mashkov, all the pictures seemed "brilliant", made "with great love and with anticipation of discovery". According to him, every one of them deserved attention, but one of the pictures reminded him of his childhood, as if “reviving” a picture from the distant past.


Танцы над водой Автор: Светлана Иваненко, Москва
Танцы над водой. Автор: Светлана Иваненко. Москва

Actor Sergei Garmash, looking at the beauty of butterfly wings or mantis colors, refuses to believe that this is "just the result of evolution." I would like to believe in "something greater".


С интересной книгой и майнкрафт не нужен! Автор: Дарья Поломошнова, Зеленоград
С интересной книгой и майнкрафт не нужен! Автор: Дарья Поломошнова. Зеленоград

As emphasized by Anastasia Chernobrovina, Adviser to the President of the Russian Geographical Society on Information Policy, when there is a feeling that you want to vote for almost all the photos, you realize that at the exhibition visitors will not miss a single photo.


Природа после дождя Автор: Глеб Майоров, Саратов
Природа после дождя. Автор: Глеб Майоров. Саратов

"And the feeling that all this is Russia does not leave every time you go on a business trip, shoot a film about it. And I think that photographers who find themselves in these places think, I am the happiest person, I shot this, I am here!" believes Chernobrovina.


Невесомость Автор: Иван Науменко, Уссурийск
Невесомость. Автор: Иван Науменко. Уссурийск


Крылатые качели Автор: Юлия Белякова, Ярославль
Крылатые качели. Автор: Юлия Белякова. Ярославль

The feelings of every citizen of Russia who sees the photos of "The Most Beautiful Country" competition are quite understandable, Sergei Shoigu noted. Some of the pictures made the president of the RGS feel as though he had "been on vacation" in these places.


Космос Автор: Денис Дегтярев, Москва
Космос. Автор: Денис Дегтярев. Москва

The President of the Russian Geographical Society proposed to make more "children's" awards next year, possibly adding a competition for young photographers to each of the existing categories. But the main task of the photo competition is to show the beauty of Russia. The geography of its members could be expanded by the regional network of branches and youth clubs of the Society.


Казанский монастырь города Тамбова Автор: Валерий Горбунов, Тамбов
Казанский монастырь города Тамбова. Автор: Валерий Горбунов. Тамбов

Shoigu is confident that the next competition will be even more "large-scale". But each of them is remembered, starting from the very first. Remembered for "good, serious, great work".


Дирижёр Автор: Евгений Мазурин, Липецк
Дирижёр. Автор: Евгений Мазурин. Липецк


Behind The Ballet Автор: Алексей Цилер, Новосибирск
Behind The Ballet. Автор: Алексей Цилер. Новосибирск

Sergei Shoigu congratulated all the winners and participants of "The Most Beautiful Country" competition.

"Good luck, let's keep moving forward!" urged the President of the Russian Geographical Society.