The VIII RGS Photo Contest "The Most Beautiful Country" has started

Красоты Чатыр-Дага. Фото: Алексей Пацюк, участник конкурса РГО "Самая красивая страна"

On December 27, the Russian Geographical Society opened submissions for the VIII Photo Contest "The Most Beautiful Country". Anyone can become a participant in the project, regardless of place of residence, citizenship and age. The only condition is that the photographs must be taken on the territory of Russia.

Every year tens of thousands of professional and amateur photographers take part in "The Most Beautiful Country" contest. In seven years, more than half a million images have been sent to the Russian Geographical Society.

At the VIII RGS Photo Contest "The Most Beautiful Country" works are accepted in ten categories: "Landscape", "Wild Animals", "Birds", "Russia from a Bird's Eye View", "Art of Wildlife (fine-art photography)", "Faces of Russia", "Macroworld", "Underwater World", "Live Archive", and "Elemental Magic".

The new category "Elemental Magic" was the creative development of last year's "Magic of Water". Here compete the photographers who have captured all the variety of natural phenomena: storms and thunderstorms, blizzards and avalanches, hurricanes and floods. The presence of people or animals in the shot is allowed, but not as the main subject of photography.


Бирюза. Фото: Николай Гернет, участник конкурса РГО "Самая красивая страна"

What should you pay attention to?

For each category, we accept works shot both with a camera and a mobile phone. The presence of urban elements in the shot is allowed as an exception and as compositionally justified details.

In the "Live Archive" category, we offer photographs not only from the archives of the Russian Geographical Society, but also from the project partners. These are photographs of Russia at the end of the 19th – first half of the 20th century. The idea is to take a photo in the same place and from the same angle, to reproduce an archived image many years later. The contestant can also upload their archived photographs and photographs taken based on them. In this case, two conditions must be met – one must be the author of the contemporary photograph and to have the rights to the archival photograph. For example, the author's great-grandfather took it many years ago.

Special prizes

"Behind the Scenes" – the prize for the best short video telling the story of the creation of a particular photograph. Videos about the nature of the places where the photographer was shooting can also be submitted.

"People's Choice Award" – the winner will be chosen on the Internet through an open vote.

"Reserved Russia" – a prize from the partner of the competition VTB Bank. It will be awarded to the author of the best shot taken in specially protected natural areas.


Певчий дуэт. Фото: Нина Стерьхова, участник конкурса РГО "Самая красивая страна"

Young photographers’ competition

For the fourth year in a row, within the framework of the competition, the Russian Geographical Society is holding a separate competition for photographers under 16 years old "The Most Beautiful Country through the Eyes of Children". Young authors can submit works in four categories: "Landscape", "Animal World", "The World from a Bird's Eye View", and "Natural Phenomena".

Determination of winners and prizes

The submissions will be closed on April 10, 2022. The Expert Commission of 15 professional photographers and photo editors will select ten finalists in each category. Then, during May-June 2022, a meeting of the competition Jury will be held to determine the winners.

The democratic nature of the competition also presupposes a special approach to the formation of the Jury. Together with famous photographers, the finalists' works are evaluated by people from other fields of art – filmmakers, actors, art critics, who have their own view of the artistic value of photographs. Their place in the Jury will be one again taken up by the President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu, actors Sergei Garmash and Vladimir Mashkov, the world's best wildlife photographer according to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award Sergei Gorshkov, cameraman of the famous documentaries "Oceans" and "Inhabitants of the Oceans" Philippe Ros. The full Jury will be announced in January 2022.

The main award in each category of the main competition is 250 thousand rubles. Holders of special prizes will receive 100 thousand rubles. And the winners of "The Most Beautiful Country through the Eyes of Children" will receive a quadcopter. The works of the finalists will take part in exhibitions in Russia and around the world.