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Capturing the Galapagos

  • Written by  Helen Taylor
  • Published in Geophoto
Leon Dormido, San Cristobal Leon Dormido, San Cristobal Eric Williams/GCT
13 Apr
Annual competition looks to celebrate island life in all its glory

The Galapagos Conservation Trust has launched its annual Galapagos Photography Competition with a closing date of Friday 8 June.

The competition, which was first launched in 2001 and is open to all, includes five categories that cover the immense breadth of the archipelago’s biodiversity: Animal Portrait, Animal Behaviour, Botanical, Landscape and Man in the Archipelago.

Walking on water - a storm petrel (Image: McKenna Paulley/GCT)Walking on water - a storm petrel (Image: McKenna Paulley/GCT)

Photographs in the Animal Portrait category will focus on animal character and personality, while Animal Behavior entries aim to reveal an animal’s unseen or unusual behaviours. Botanical entries depict Galapagos flora from cacti and mangrove to algae and lichen, and Landscape images will showcase the archipelago landscape with its volcanic highlands, sloping forests, lagoons and windswept shores. The final category – Man in the Archipelago – will reveal the relationship between the Galapagos and its inhabitants, focusing on tourism, local life or visiting scientists.

As well as showcasing the natural beauty of the volcanic islands, which lie some 620 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the competition aims to raise awareness of the environmental issues facing the region today.

Lisa Wheeler, a conservationist at the GCT says: ‘Island species are particularly vulnerable to extinction and there are a number of environmental issues facing the Galapagos islands right now, from the natural threats of volcanic eruptions and El Niño weather events to human-introduced threats such as invasive species, climate change and plastic pollution. This competition allows us to showcase the Galapagos while telling the story of why this archipelago is threatened and how we are supporting its conservation. The beauty of the natural world is something that cannot be replaced and we use inspiring imagery, such as the photographs entered in this competition, alongside compelling conservation stories to help raise awareness of the Galapagos and its threats.’

Hunter Great (Image: Ivan Dario Vasquez/GCT)Hunter Great (Image: Ivan Dario Vasquez/GCT)

The Galapagos Conservation Trust is the only UK charity to focus exclusively on conservation and sustainability in the Galapagos.

Judges will be looking for images that are unique, interesting, engaging and well-composed, and this year’s the panel includes GCT president and TV wildlife presenter Monty Halls, as well as award-winning wildlife photographer Tui de Roy, and award-winning fine art and travel photographer Paul Sansome.

Of the competition, Halls says: ‘It’s impossible to take a bad photograph in the Galapagos – the stark beauty of the islands, the deep blue of the water and equatorial skies, and of course the unique wildlife make the area a photographer’s dream.’

Swallow-tailed gull (Image: Carlos Cuenca Solana/GCT)Swallow-tailed gull (Image: Carlos Cuenca Solana/GCT)

As well as having winners selected by the judging panel, this year the charity will also open voting to the public for the Public’s Choice category. Shortlisted images will be exhibited at the annual Galapagos Day held at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in October 2018, and will also feature in the GCT 2019 calendar.

Find out how to enter the competition here

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