Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016


The overall winners have been announced in the 2016 Atkins Ciwem environmental photographer of the year competition, an annual international showcase for both amateurs and professionals highlighting the very best in thought-provoking photography and film that tackles a wide range of environmental themes.

The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 is awarded to Sara Lindström for her imposing photograph ‘Wildfire’. Swedish-born Sara picked up photography while studying in South Africa, and is now based in the Canadian Rockies.

Her projects have seen her travel across more than 50 countries, capturing the beauty of the more remote corners of the earth.

Lindström_Sara-minIt was an exceptionally warm day in July in southern Alberta when I came across this massive pinkish smoke plume rising high towards the sky. The big flames were thriving on the dry land and had me completely mesmerized in fear and awe.” She wins the prestigious title of Environmental Photographer of the Year and £3,000.

The winning photographs and film will be among 60 works on display at the Royal Geographical Society in London from 29 June to 21 August 2016.

Launched in 2007 by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), the Environmental Photographer of the Year competition provides an international showcase for the very best in environmental photography and film, by both amateurs and professionals.

The competition aims to inspire a global audience to think differently about contemporary social and environmental issues, including sustainable development, pollution and human rights.

Indian photojournalist SL Kumar Shanth collects the Atkins Built Environment Award 2016 for ‘Losing Ground to Manmade Disaster’, which depicts the damage being wrought on the coastline at Chennai, the biggest metropolis in Southern India, by a combination of man-made and natural forces. 

Kumar SL_Shanth-minJanet Miller, cities and development director, commented: “Shanth Kumar’s photograph acts as a powerful reminder of the potential risks at stake when human actions disrupt natural processes, particularly in areas of rapid and unplanned urban expansion.”

Luke Massey is awarded the Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 for his bold photograph ‘Poser’.

Massey_Luke-minPeregrines were extirpated in Illinois in the 1960s but in the 1980s a reintroduction programme began and now 22 pairs nest in Chicago alone”, he explains.

“One pair have chosen a Chicagoan’s condo balcony as their nest site and in 2015 I followed them as they raised 4 chicks to fledging.”

Described by naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham as an ‘exceptional young man’, Luke dedicates his photographic skills to drawing attention to the plight of wildlife under threat.

The CIWEM Changing Climate Award 2016 is presented to Sandra Hoyn for her moving photograph ‘Life Jackets on the Greek Island of Lesbos’.

5_Lesbos-minThis image depicts the major humanitarian crisis of our time, each of the life vests representing a refugee and their journey…This image serves as a warning and reinforces the need for us to act now and think globally” Terry Fuller, CIWEM Chief Executive “

Pedram Yazdani wins the Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award 2016 for his arresting work ‘Sand’.

Yazdani_Pedram-minThe Salt Lake Urmia could be a symbol of what will happen soon to Iran – it is going to be dried out”, explains Yazdani.  “The biggest salt lake in the Middle East, it now contains only ten percent of the original amount of water, as a result both of climate change, and of dam and well construction.”