What better way to mark the World Photography day today than celebrating the contemporary photography of our beautiful and endangered planet with the winning images of Planet Earth Life Framer photography awards.
Open to amateur, emerging and professional artists from around the globe, this independent photography prize showcases images chosen across diverse themes by globally-known judges.
Citing Henry David Thoreau’s notion that “heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads,” the competition asks: “What comes to mind when you think of Planet Earth? Is it the vast stretches of wilderness, the intricate ecosystems that breathe life into our existence, or perhaps the sad damage that humankind wreaks on it?”
These prizewinning images of our shared planet, its landscapes and our influence on them both celebrate Earth’s splendour and acknowledge the indelible mark humanity leaves on it. From untouched snow-covered jungles to pristine rolling sand dunes via endless blue ocean, we’re confronted by the breathtaking beauty of a planet too vast and varied to ever know in full.
And yet colossal open-pit mines, towering concrete barriers and raging forest fires remind us of the pressures we exert in our unfettered quest for human progress – the latter more relevant than ever as heat waves sweep across swathes of Europe, Asia and the United States. These images act as both a source of awe and a call to action. Heaven is under our feet and it’s worth protecting.”
All the winning images can be seen here.
This image of a lonely tree thriving in a drought-stricken Austrlian landscape symbolizes the resilience of the natural world and the innate ability of life to adapt and endure even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
The tree stands like a lone soldier on the battlefield at dawn, its exposed tree roots in contrast to the softly lit, misty background as the dusty terrain offers little but sand and dirt.
An emotional and powerful image capturing the resilience of a western chimpanzee amidst the aftermath of a bushfire. The scorched earth and charred vegetation serve as a stark reminder of the challenges for wildlife in the face of environmental disasters.
This destruction is happening to our ‘shared home’, the Earth we inhabit along with many other species. Yet it is only the human species causing the environmental changes and loss of biodiversity to our planet.
In West Africa, population growth is accompanied by the expansion of bush farming and the West African chimpanzee, already a critically endangered species, is under increasing threat.
Chimpanzees are vital to the well-being of the forests and, by extension, to the local people who, in addition to farming, depend on forest resources for their livelihoods.
Chimpanzees spread fruit, plant seeds and prune trees, maintaining and helping the forest to regenerate.
There is a subtlety to this scene of natural wonder — most of the images online of ‘Rainbow Mountain’ suffer from over-saturation — however here the photographer chooses to give the earthy tones dominance and allow the spectrum of color from the mountain to naturally radiate and reflect in the daylight.
In the foreground, the horseman walks towards the mountain pass as the exposed layers of the minerals echo his horse’s coat of colors.
An astonishing, otherworldly scene as shape and shadow momentarily skew perspective. This viewpoint of the earth’s natural formations, taken from above, is a reminder of how much more of this world there is to explore and appreciate.
A paradise of white sand dunes, blue skies and crystal waters offers a pure experience of freedom at Lençóis Maranhese National Park in Brasil.
While hundreds of tourists reach the dunes every day, each can find his own path in the immensity. Loneliness is rendered both soft and powerful at this exciting sandscape.
Winter scenery of the Armenian South Highlands provides a dense, jungle-like forest contrasted against the rugged mountains in the foreground. The image seems like a curious juxtaposition as a winterscape setting appears where dry, arid scenes normally greet a visitor.
A ghostly figure looks as if painting and photography have merged in a scene of task and tradition.
Marquesas, in French Polynesia, is the farthest inhabited archipelago from a continent.
Derived from that of the cowboys, a unique equestrian culture inherited from colonial times has developed particularly on the island of Ua Huka, nicknamed The Horse Island.
Vohi Brown, is one of the last few proud horsemen to live with horses. Horse riding has slowly but surely been replaced by gleaming Japanese pick-up trucks even on those “end of the world islands.”
In this photo, Vohi is on a horseback night hunt for wild pigs, a way to sustain his family with fresh food and to maintain a close connection with the wild.
The little girl’s apparent disinterest in the burning horizon is an alarming sign of how common these disastrous sights have become — as if a reflection of the general public’s reaction of indifference to the climate crisis.
Due to global warminh, these wildfires are now dangerously more common worldwide and countries that would never have normally experienced these infernos are now firefighting — literally, figuratively and politically — on an annual basis. The arresting photograph comes with a stark warning.
Smoke from this fire casts a shadow on Las Vegas about 60 miles away. “There’s something about the shot…the way my daughter isn’t looking…captures a certain kind of emotion of the planet crying and no one paying attention,” the photographer writes. “This fire likely won’t make the news. I posted this with a Native American proverb: ‘We do not inherit the earth from out ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’”
A veil of ominous mud has covered each surface in the aftermath of a flood, heightening the reality of the fallout from the climate crisis when all the known imagery becomes unrecognizable.
Beneath the children’s feet are trampled, wilting shrubs — presumably vibrant in the right conditions, but here they wither and decay — and the dreary grey sky anchors the somber tone, adding a feeling of hopelessness to the scene.
The towering chimneys and tall, industrial fencing are a reminder of decisions made by previous generations — decisions without consideration for the health of our planet or the future of following generations.
Boundaries between urban and wild are blurred by the photographer in this concept of landscape in a monochrome perspective. The detail of foliage, the shape of the trees and many forms of flowers fill the scene, almost as reminders of a land in transition.
Little Skellig Island is a dark, rocky outcrop inhabited by Ireland’s largest bird: the Northern Gannet. Massive migration occurs between May and September, making it the second-largest Gannet Sanctuary in the world. It is nature preserved and uninhabitable by man.
A giant rock that juts out of the Atlantic Ocean proudly accommodates its more than 1,000 inhabitants.
A project in Japan to record the ancient landscapes of the country uses the wet plate process to inspire a sense of awe and more acute awareness of the wonders of our planet.
A vast vista of unusually shaped, natural rock formations envelop the landscape. The solo observer appears both isolated and comfortable in the surroundings, absorbing the atmosphere and appreciating the moment.