It is not so easy to convey in pictures all the charm and diversity of Russian nature, the richness of its traditions, and the charm of the culture of the peoples inhabiting our vast homeland. But every year thousands of photographers do a noble deed – they gift the results of their hard work to the people, help fill in the blanks on the map of Russia, coloring them with bright colors of photos. On August 18, the award ceremony for the winners of the RGS’s competition "The Most Beautiful Country" was held at the Festival of the Russian Geographical Society in Moscow's Zaryadye Park.
“I want us all to travel with a camera in our hands, take pictures of these unexplored areas, show them. Photography and geography are consonant. And the contest "The Most Beautiful Country" combines these two things. Today we will see the best photos of the most beautiful country. I want to congratulate all the photographers on this wonderful holiday. I know how hard it is to get a good photo! It takes a huge amount of work, a huge amount of time spent in nature, imagination, and the ability to communicate with technology, with animals. And the most important thing is to press the button at the right moment. The result is the best photo. Russia is the most beautiful country! Travel around Russia, shoot in Russia, and send photos to the competition of the RGS,” Sergey Gorshkov, a member of the Jury of "The Most Beautiful Country", the best photographer of the world in 2020 according to Wildlife Photographer of the Year, addressed the audience and participants of the ceremony.
The chairman of the Union of Wildlife Photographers Viktor Tyakht admitted that he feels a little awkward on Geographer’s Day, because he had a four in geography in the eighth grade and there is no way to fix it now. And yet he is sure that he was at the main geographical event of the year for a reason, because the RGS Festival invites everyone to discover Russia anew.
And photographers, in his opinion, are very lucky people. Firstly, they have the opportunity to make these amazing discoveries. Secondly, the most interesting thing is to show the beauty of your native country to others by pressing the shutter button of a camera.
“It's addictive. The first 10 years are a little hard. Then it presses itself," Tyakht added.
According to the winner in the category "Landscape" Nikolay Vasiliev, the message in the title of the RGS’s contest "The Most Beautiful Country" is absolutely correct.
“We have a lot of beautiful things. Our country is really the most beautiful, but a lot of people do not know this or know little. It is necessary to get rid of these blank spots," Vasiliev stressed.
“On this hot summer day, I would like to express my warm words of gratitude to everyone involved in organizing the contest and winning it,” said Konstantin Shatenev, winner in the category “Wild Animals”.
“Firstly, a big thank you to the Russian Geographical Society, and secondly, to the brown bears. They have become my main characters for 10 years. To my family and friends who were waiting for my return from long and dangerous journeys, and the wonderful nature of Russia. We have the most beautiful country! Pick up your cameras and shoot, shoot, and shoot!” he encouraged.
Alexander Razumov, the winner in the category "Art of Wildlife", noted that he is neither a professional photographer nor a professional traveler. He is a design engineer.
“But I like to travel, like everyone else. Thanks to our nature! And most importantly, thanks to the organizers and those people who appreciate and support us,” said Razumov.
The main value of Russia has always been its people. Those who brought glory to the country with their labor, heroic deeds, defended the motherland with their own lives during hard times.
“I think the topic of veterans of the Great Patriotic War is very important. We must remember them, honor and respect them. Thanks to them, we now live and enjoy life. Let the city of Verkhneuralsk know that their hero Ivan Vasilyevich Meshcheryakov is now at an exhibition in Moscow," said Yulia Borovikova, winner in the category "Faces of Russia".
The winner of the People’s Choice Award Alexander Mikhailenko admitted that he did not expect to win such a prestigious competition, but he is very glad that he was supported by the voting participants on the website of "The Most Beautiful Country".
“Many thanks to the people who voted for my work!” the winner of the contest thanked.
Andrey Podkorytov, whose work was recognized as the best in the category "Behind the Scenes", was also grateful for the high appreciation of his work. It was inspired by the extraordinary beauty of the Putorana Plateau.
“This is an amazing place. I had the chance and was lucky enough to visit there nine times in different seasons – winter, summer, autumn. I completely fell in love with this place; and for those who have not been there, I recommend visiting at least once. I'm sure you won't regret it!” Andrey Podkorytov invited people to travel.
For the fourth year in a row, the organizers of the contest "The Most Beautiful Country" also held the most touching part of the ceremony – awarding the winning photographers under the age of 16. According to the Jury members, the works of young photographers are sometimes on par with the pictures of venerable masters.
You can see an exhibition of photos of all the winners and finalists of the competition of the Russian Geographical Society "The Most Beautiful Country" at the special venue of the RGS Festival in Zaryadye Park until August 28. Come fill in the blank spots on your own map of Russia and enjoy the best pictures any day!