The 2020 competition facts and figures
- 2 age groups : under 16 years and over 16 years for 10 categories
- 21,676 photos and 115 videos received
- 2,844 participating photographers (2,785 over 16 years old and 59 under 16)
- 93 nationalities represented : Afrique du Sud 3 ; Algérie 14 ; Allemagne 28 ; Arabie Saoudite 1 ; Argentine 7 ; Australie 5 ; Autriche 5 ; Azerbaijan 1 ; Bangladesh 10 ; Belgique 85 ; Bénin 3 ; Bielorussie 14 ; Brésil 15 ; Bulgarie 2 ; Canada 22 ; Chine 12 ; Colombie 2 ; Congo 1 ; Costa Rica 2 ; Croatie 2 ; Danemark 3 ; Egypte 6 ; Emirats Arabes Unis 1 ; Espagne 94 ; Estonie 2 ; Finlande 3 ; France 1654 ; Géorgie 1 ; Grèce 4 ; Hong Kong 4 ; Hongrie 26 ; Inde 63 ; Indonésie 4 ; Irak 4 ; Iran 120 ; Islande 1 ; Israël 2 ; Italie 67 ; Japon 2 ; Jordanie 2 ; Kazakhstan 1 ; Kenya 1 ; Koweït 1; Lettonie 2 ; Liban 1 ; Libye 1 ; Lituanie 2 ; Luxembourg 7 ; Macédoine 1 ; Madagascar 3 ; Malaisie 6 ; Maroc 6 ; Mexique 6 ; Moldavie 1 ; Mongolie 2 ; Népal 1 ; Nigeria 6 ; Norvège 1 ; Ouzbekistan 1 ; Pakistan 11 ; Palestine 1 ; Pays-Bas 15 ; Pérou 1 ; Philippines 4 ; Pologne 24 ; Portugal 7 ; Qatar 2 ; République Tchèque 3 ; Roumanie 15 ; Royaume Uni 16 ; Russie 229 ; Sénégal 1 ; Serbie 2 ; Singapour 3 ; Slovaquie 3 ; Slovénie 2 ; Soudan 2 ; Sri Lanka 6 ; Suède 1 ; Suisse 71 ; Syrie 2 ; Taiwan 2 ; Tatarstan 3 ; Togo 1 ; Tunisie 3 ; Turkmenistan 1 ; Turquie 10 ; Ukraine 9 ; USA 41 ; Venezuela 1 ; Việt Nam 4 ; Zambie 1 ; Zimbabwe 1.
Members of the 2020 jury
The Président of the 2020 Jury :
- Cyril RUOSO, Photographer
The 2020 Jury :
- Bertrand BODIN, Photographer
- Olivier LARREY, Photographer
- Tanguy STOECKLE, Photographer
- Stéphane HETTE, magazine Nat’images
- Régis FOURNEL (Coordinateur AFPAN « l’Or Vert »)
- Maud POTIER (Chargée de mission, responsable de la réalisation du festival et du développement pédagogique, chargée du concours AFPAN « l’Or Vert »)
- Stéphane DENIZOT
- Anthony LEMAIRE
- Pascal BOURGUIGNON (Déclic Editions)
- Michel PETIT
The word of the jury
It took two marathon-days to select the best images from the 3524 finalist photos and 26 finalist videos! More than 21,676 photos from 93 countries were sent to the festival this year, which is a record.
The deliberations took place in a calm and friendly atmosphere, even though the passions and the convictions of each member of the jury were expressed. What is certain is that we are unanimously delighted with the prize-list. The photo that won the « Grand Prix of the festival » expresses this opinion, because it emerged as an obviousness, so much the photo makes us live the moment while keeping the poetry of the photographic language.
Our experience as member of the jury of the Montier-en-Der competition allows us to provide you some of our thoughts in order to improve the next editions.
Sometimes, we have seen photos mistakenly deposited in the wrong category, we are not talking here about categories that can overlap according to the interpretations (graphics or landscape categories) but for example we saw birds that have been sent to mammals category… what a shame! Some photographers sent us pictures that were too similar. Think that you must assume your selection, avoid proposing pictures too close to each other. As a photographer, your editing-work must extend your shooting work. Be rigorous in your selection and assume your choices until the end.
Unanimously, the jury recommend you beware of fashion trends. Except the category “nature revisited” where you have à total freedom of creation, be moderate with the post production cursors and work on a calibrated screen ; our remark for this edition concerns the colorimetry particularly. It seems that an epidemic parallel to that of the coronavirus is spreading and prompts photographers to explore the colorimetric spectrum beyond what the human eye can perceive… Do not forget that this contest (apart from nature revisited category) remains a documentary character, connected to the reality, transcended of course by the photographic act that becomes a distorted footprint of reality.
How far can the deformation of this footprint go so that a photo is always considered a “nature” photo… This is an exciting and wide-ranging debate that has stirred during the jury and will be able to share your discussions during the festival.
The fashion effects concern the treatment but also the choice of subjects. We were disappointed to see that those who travel far to photograph often go to the same places to photograph the same species in the same way. If you want to be innovative, it’s better to be interested in less treated subjects or find an idea, define a singular vision that will show us, in another way, what we have all seen too much. The same fact awaits those who photograph on our territory … we have seen tens, perhaps tens of tens that some name hundreds of… fritillaries. At the same time, we discovered, at the end of the session (the photos are anonymous during the selections), that the large majority of the award-winning photographers had worked close to home … we have interpreted this data as proof that the knowledge of a place related to their naturalists knowledge and their tenacity was fertile ingredients to the emergence of a photo that will surprise us.
If we continue our comments by categories: We would have liked to see more freedom in the “nature revisited” catégory. Let go!
For the « series » category , you had the possibility to deposit 3 to 5 images, we often saw series that could have been better with 3 photos. More is not always better!
For the video category: we are like grown-up childres unless the human being is strictly structured around stories, mythologies (here is another topic of discussion for the festival!) …. Anyway, we love stories, we want to hear stories and that’s exactly what we expected in this category. Too many videos are simple shots that don’t tell much.
In 90 seconds (maximum time given by the rules) it is possible to tell beautiful stories either by a sequence plan where the animal in its attitude is telling us something or by the montage. A category to work on.
Finally, the landscape category is the poor cousins of nature photography. The landscapes in their immobility could give the illusion that they are easier to fix on the gelatin or on the sensors … Nothing of the kind and the art of landscape photography remains an act of great sensitivity. We have surely all experienced the unpleasant feeling of being in an inspiring place while feeling powerless to restore this magic situation … As for animal categories, we can also transcend landscapes that are not clichés. Poppy fields, beaches and waterfalls are not the only places of interest.
Except these comments, what pleasantly surprised us is the level reached by the photographers under 16 years! We said « Wow! » several times and their photos have often transported us in their careless universe but also with an eagle-eye. The selection was difficult for some images, we would have liked to keep more to encourage the work of these young photographers. But a contest is not an exam and a beautiful image may not be retained if an another beautiful image brings a little more… in any case, all our encouragements to this young generation !
The final round of selection in some categories has been à real heartbreak. Several photos would have deserved a very sincere award…
Finally, we were pleased to note at the end of the judgement that many nationalities are represented in the selected photographs.
Photography is a tool for transmitting messages, a sensitivity, an eye, an emotion.
Thus, that common animals, but persecuted by Human, as foxes and badgers in this awarded-list, seem to us symbolically very strong. Remember that 600,000 foxes and 12,000 badgers are voluntarily killed each year in France under horrific and incomprehensible circumstancies. The photo can also be a political act.
This word from the jury would not be complete if we did not thank all the team of Afpan, the technical committee of the contest which kindly organized these two magnificent.
This word from the jury would not be complete if we did not thank the team of Afpan, the technical committee of the competition which organized with benevolence these two magnificent days.
The jury would like to adresse a special thanks to Maud for leading this men’s team with an all-female mastership…
Continue to make us dream and do not hesitate to think outside the box, even on a common topic. Photographically yours