Wiki Loves Earth 2014 winners announced

Wiki Loves Earth, a photo contest of natural monuments, became international for the first time in 2014 and was held in 16 countries. The contest is over now, and after the careful evaluation the international jury is happy to announce the winners

First prize: Carpathian National Park, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine | by Dmytro Balkhovitin

Wiki Loves Earth is a photo contest of natural monuments, where participants picture protected areas and upload their photos to Wikimedia Commons. The goal of the project is, on one hand, to capture under a free license as many natural monuments and protected areas as possible, and on the other hand, to contribute to environment protection by raising public awareness.
After years of successful Wiki Loves Monuments organisation there was an idea of a similar contest for natural monuments. The idea of Wiki Loves Earth was born in 2012, and it was implemented for the first time in Ukraine, where the contest was held from 15 April to 15 May 2013.
In 2014, Wiki Loves Earth was joined by 15 other countries from four different continents – Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Most of countries organised the contest from 1 May to 31 May 2014, while some countries extended the contest period till 30 June, and Serbia was the last to finish on 15 July. During the contest, over 70,000 pictures were submitted by more than 3,000 participants.
Similarly to Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves Earth was organised through numerous national contests, coordinated by local volunteers. The national juries then submitted up to 10 pictures to the international stage of the contest. With 16 participating countries, the international jury had to consider a total of 156 candidate pictures.
The international jury was composed of seven photographers, most of whom were experienced in nature photography: Diego Delso (Spain/Germany), Muhammad Mahdi (Tanzania/India), Julián Monge-Nájera (Costa Rica), Susanne Plank (Austria), Esther Solé (Spain), Oleg Zharii (Ukraine) and Wikimedian Wikimk (Macedonia). Their profiles can be found in the jury report. After several weeks of evaluation they have selected the following images:
The first prize goes to the view of Carpathian National Park from Hoverla, Ukraine by Dmytro Balkhovitin. This photo gives an exciting view from the highest point of Ukraine — Hoverla — towards Carpathian National Park, one of the largest in Ukraine. The jury was particularly impressed by the composition of the photo and its lighting with great crepuscular rays.

Second prize: Serra dos Órgãos, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | by Carlos Perez Couto

The second prize was attributed to the photo of God‘s Finger Rock in the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, Brazil. This image by Carlos Perez Couto depicts the best known rock formation in the park, which is also symbol of Brazilian mountaineering and of the entire state of Rio de Janeiro. Breathtaking landscapes are completed with excellent composition that even reminded to one juror of Chinese paintings.

Third prize: Mukri Nature Park, Rapla County, Estonia | by Janno Loide (Amadvr)

An image of Estonia’s Mukri Nature Park by Janno Loide (Amadvr) was awarded the third place. This original almost monochromatic image represents an autumn fog over the marshes of Estonia. In addition, the jury appreciated the good representation of the red colour of the sky together with high level of detail.

The remaining photos receiving the awards are the following:

Fourth prize: Mount Shaan-Kaya, Yalta Natural Reserve, Crimea, Ukraine | by Oleksandr Chernykh (A4ernyh)

Fifth prize: Mount Krchin, Mavrovo National Park, Republic of Macedonia | by Martin Dimitrievski

Sixth prize: Aekingerzand, Drents-Friese Wold National, Netherlands | by Ubrerprutser

Seventh prize: Novyi Svit Sanctuary, Crimea, Ukraine | by Vitaliy Bashkatov (Vian)

Eighth prize: Zuivskyi Regional Landscape Park, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine | by Vitaliy Bashkatov (Vian)

Ninth prize: Haizer, Djurdjura Massif, Bouira Province, Algeria | by Chettouh Nabil

Tenth prize: Aïn Legradj Cascade, Bordj Bou Arréridj Province, Algeria | by Chettouh Nabil

Eleventh prize: Mount Kukul, Carpathian National Park, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast & Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine | by Volodymyr Khirash (Хіраш Володимир)

Twelfth prize: Nationalpark Kalkalpen, Upper Austria, Austria | by Isiwal

Thirteenth prize: Pool of Cortalet, Aiguamolls de l‘Empordà, Natural Park, Catalonia, Spain | by Mikipons

Fourteenth prize: Ezumakeeg, Lauwersmeer National Park, Netherlands | by Bayke de Vries (Baykedevries)

Fifteenth prize: Mount Thaletat, Bouira Province, Algeria | by Chettouh Nabil

Winners were determined by the 7-person jury. Each participating country could nominate one member to the international jury, although only 5 countries used this right. Two further jury members were added by the international organising team to increase diversity of the jury.
156 nominations were submitted to the international organising team by the national juries of the 16 participating countries. Each country was allowed to submit up to 10 images, but some countries decided to submit less images. Andorra and Spain submitted their images in a double nomination. The jury selected and ranked the photos in several stages by means of a dedicated web tool.
The full report of the international jury, explaining the work of the jury, selection process and presenting the results together with comments of the jury, is available here.
Congratulations to the winners and thank you for everyone who worked on organisation of the contest this year!

Mykola Kozlenko,
Wikimedia Ukraine / WLE International team.

All photographs in this post are published by their authors under CC BY-SA 3.0. Click the photos for details.

Introducing the International Jury

All 16 participating countries have already announced their national winners (you can look at the gallery of nominated photos), so now it’s time to introduce people who will select the winning photos — the international jury!

The international jury is composed of seven people representing different parts of the world and having different backgrounds. What they have in common is their passion for photography and enthusiasm to select the best photos of natural monuments. Meet our jurors:

  • Diego Delso is a Spanish electrical engineer, amateur photographer for 20 years and a Wikimedian since 2007. He has uploaded over 11,500 pictures to Wikimedia Commons. Almost half of those pictures have been recognized as Quality Images and around 150 pictures as Featured Pictures. He was a jury member of Wiki Loves Monuments in Spain (2012) and Thailand (2014) and part of the international jury in 2013.
  • Muhammad Mahdi is a photographer and an avid contributor to Wikimedia Commons. He was born in Tanzania near the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and is currently living in Bangalore, India. He has more than a hundred of featured pictures on both English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, especially nature shorts. He was a jury member of Wiki Loves Monuments in 2012.
  • Julián Monge-Nájera is a Costa Rican ecologist, scientific editor, educator and photographer. For many years he has acted as scientific adviser for the BBC and the National Geographic Society. He is regional Editor of the United Nations’ Global Environmental Outlook (“GEO Report”) and author or co-author of 20 books published by several Costa Rican universities, Oxford University, the National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) and Tropical Nature Press.
  • Susanne Plank lives in Vienna and loves nature, photography and good looking photos of nature. She is 49 and she is active in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects since 2011, both in writing articles and uploading photos. She is an active of Austrian photography community and was a member of pre-jury at various photo contests.
  • Esther Solé is an art historian and photographer from Lleida (Catalonia, Spain) and active contributor to Catalan Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. She previously served as a Wikipedian in Residence in Lleida’s Museu d’Art Jaume Morera and Barcelona’s Fundació Miró.
  • Oleg Zharii is a professional photographer from Ukraine. Apart of being professor of Mechanics in Kyiv National University, he is an experienced photographer and winner of numerous photo contests. He has authored a book on HDR and panoramic photography, several photo albums and had photo exhibitions in Kyiv, London (UK) and Nairobi (Kenya). He was a jury member of Wiki Loves Earth 2013 and Wiki Loves Monuments 2013 in Ukraine.
  • [[User:Wikimk]] is coming from Macedonia and is interested in photography since the age of 15. He is an active contributor to Macedonian Wikipedia since 2008 and its administrator from 2009. He is one of the founders of Wikimedia Macedonia and was a jury member of Wiki Loves Monuments in Macedonia.