Sustainability Photographer of the Year Competition 2019 – Winner Announced

The winning photograph along with two runners-up have now been chosen from 78 competitive entries and it was a very close call.

Themes, issues, and challenges around the topic of sustainability can be conveyed in many creative ways, and this in turn helps to raise awareness of our work which is so vital. There are so many facets of sustainability that can be expressed, and so many ways to view and share these themes through photography, it is always fascinating to see your submissions.

Engagement in this competition truly helps to further the cause of sustainability and put our work on the map, as well as being great fun and having the potential for accolades!

This annual competition is not only an opportunity to display technical skill or creativity, but a reminder of the importance of the link between sustainability and arts/photography. All the images were recognised at the Sustainability Showcase event on 20 June 2019 at the Sheldonian Theatre. 

Congratulations to Hermione Grassi whose photograph ‘Education Lights the Way’ was very deserving of first place.


Student on a bike, Hermione Grassi

'Education lights the way' by Hermione Grassi, Winner, Sustainability Photographer of the Year competition 2019


Hermione explains this image: ‘The image aims to encapsulate a number of themes from the University’s Environmental Sustainability policy areas, notably sustainable travel, community and education, research and knowledge transfer. Linking aspects of the unique community of Oxford with the necessity of sustainable living aims to emphasize the need for sustainable action in day-to-day life. The photo shows a silhouetted scholar cycling down a street lamp lit road. The scholar’s gown and mortarboard underline the need for appropriate education to ensure a sustainable future and the striking focus of the individual, and the juxtaposition between the dark silhouette and the warmly lit alleyway, reflects the immense power that education has.

The position of the scholar in the centre of the field of view mirrors the central importance of sustainable action, and the tunnelled view of the street highlights the obvious and required route that needs to be taken to escape the current environmental situation. The movement of the cyclist towards the hopeful light underlines the importance of education in offering a glimmer of hope for the future.’ 

Runners-up and short listed entries

We are also delighted to say that Karl Dudman and Mihnea Dumitrascu are the two runners-up. Click on the links below to see their amazing work and what it means to them! Please take a look too at some of the highly commended images that nearly made it to the top three.

Solar power on a house in Morocco

'Remote and Renewable', Karl Dudman, Runner up in Sustainability Photographer of the Year competition 2019

Karl explains this image: ‘We had been driving for many hours along rugged tracks and through vast stretches of desert when we stopped in this village for mint tea and fresh biscuits. The place consisted of only a few dozen one-storey, clay built houses, yet was full of mounted solar panels. Morocco has launched a huge campaign to develop solar as a leading source of energy, and for countries this close to the equator it has always made eminent sense to do so, if issues of access and infrastructure could be overcome. To see solar technology springing up in tiny and remote villages like this is surely testament to how far renewables have come.’

The radcliffe camera surrounded by stars

'The Radcliffe Camera surrounded by stars', by Mihnea Dumitrascu, Runner-Up, Sustainability Photographer of the Year competition 2019


Mihnea explains this image: ‘If is possible to see the stars around the Radcliffe Camera, it is because Oxford has a really good environmental management. Indeed, the stars would not be visible if there was more pollution.’

Bee flying away from purple flower

‘Bee Flying Away’, Vikki Rose


The Thames with trees and beautiful light

‘A Journey along the Thames’, Mihnea Dumitrascu

Sand dunes set against a blue sky

‘A Line in the Sand’, Karl Dudman


Swallow perching on a wall

‘Swallow’, Vikki Rose


Solar panel in the morning light

‘Under the Morning Sun’, Dam-Tan Nguyen


Purple flowers against a grassy mound

‘Purple Aliens’, Karl Dudman


Radcliffe Observatory with reflection in large puddle

‘Radcliffe Observatory on Reflection’, Karen Morecroft


We are very much looking forward to next year’s competition! Stay tuned to find out about our current and future activities by following us on social media @OxfordEnvSust.

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