On October 14 begins the work application process for the VI Photo Contest of the Russian Geographical Society "The Most Beautiful Country" - the largest Russian wildlife photography contest. Tens of thousands of people participate in it - both professionals and amateurs. Over the five years of its existence, more than 440 thousand pictures have been received for the contest.
Any person regardless of place of residence, citizenship, age can become a participant in the competition. The only condition is that the photographs must be taken in Russia.
It was the democratic nature of the contest that made it so popular. Everyone has a chance to win. A physician, a teacher at an orphanage, a system programmer, and a head of the commercial department for the wholesale of petroleum products are just a few of the professions of the winners of our competition, in addition to, of course, professional photographers.
In many ways, this nature of voting determines the special approach of the Russian Geographical Society to the formation of the jury of “The Most Beautiful Country”. Together with the well-known photographers, people from other fields of art - film directors, actors, art critics, who have their own view on the artistic value of photographs - evaluate works. This year, a similar balance will also be kept.
It is already known that, in addition to the RGS President Sergey Shoigu, the director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Marina Loshak, musician and TV presenter Sergey Shnurov, famous photographers Sergey Gorshkov, Sergey Bermenyev, and others will be on the competition jury.
This principle of jury formation allows the contest to go beyond the professional community of photographers. “I like the energy of an amateur even better, than a professional,” says Marina Loshak, member of the jury, director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. “It is closer to me because it’s nothing blinkered, limited in scope. These are people, who sometimes don’t know about the secrets of the profession and therefore give out direct, vivid, unexpected emotion. And the pure, open emotions are important to me."
This year the works for the competition will be accepted in 10 categories. Most of them are traditional, which are popular among the contestants: "Landscape", "Wild Animals", "Macroworld", "Underwater World", "Those Funny Animals", "Russia From a Birds Eye View", "Many Sided Russia", "Taken on a Smartphone."
But every year the RGS experiments and introduces new categories. This year, the category "Live Archive" will appear for the first time. The contest participants will be asked to take modern photographs repeating archival photographs of the 19th - first half of the 20th century. More than 400 source photos for this category were selected in the archives of the Russian Geographical Society, as well as in the archives of the partners of the competition - the TASS news agency and the Russian State Archive of Film and Photo Documents.
Another new category - "Photoproject" - will be, more likely, interesting to the professionals. A series of photographs (from 4 to 10 works) are accepted for the competition, united by a common theme or a visual representation.
“The Audience Choice” Award has been established - its owner will be selected by direct online voting from among the finalists of the competition.
The partner of the competition is PJSC “RusHydro”. In honor of its 15th anniversary, the company established a special category "Water Energy of Russia". It will feature photographs reflecting the operation of “RusHydro” hydroelectric power stations.
For the second year in a row, as part of the competition, a separate competition is held for young photographers up to 16 years old - "The Most Beautiful Country Through The Eyes of Children." They will be able to send photos in four categories: "Landscape", "Animal World", "World of People" and "Macroworld".
The applications will be accepted until January 31, 2020. Finalists (10 in each category) will be determined by the Expert Commission of the competition, which includes 12 professional photographers. Then the jury of the competition will choose the winner in each nomination from among the finalists.
The winners of the photo contest “The Most Beautiful Country” will receive 250 thousand rubles each, and the winners of “The Most Beautiful Country Through the Eyes of the Children” will receive professional cameras. The works of all the finalists will be regularly featured in photo exhibitions that take place in Russia and abroad.
“Such competitions give the opportunity to make more and more discoveries, even for those who travel a lot around the country, and have already seen a lot of things, and once again understand that there is no country more beautiful than ours,” said the President of the RGS Sergey Shoigu.