News & Features — 18 May 2022 at 12:31 pm

International Photography Competition 2022 – People’s Choice Award

I took this photograph at The Quiraing, Isle of Skye on a walking and wild-camping trip. The lunar landscape is striking, timeless, and transient. The towering pinnacles and platforms continuously shift with landslips and erosion, a process that is refreshingly independent from human involvement. As the race for Space continues and the Moon becomes ever more accessible to those with deep pockets, I hope we have learnt from the footprint we have left on our own planet Earth, and tread lightly in these wild places of Space.  Working as a Doctor in the Highlands, we have the joy of before and after work skiing. Not far from the door and a great way to ski without flying internationally. Ski touring allows us to travel up the mountains without lifts.Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in which tea is still plucked by hand, providing a sustainable model for local employment and caring for the land. This photograph was taken in late afternoon mist, in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Intha fishermen are known across Asia for their ongoing use of traditional, sustainable fishing methods including spear fishing and traditional 'leg casting' techniques. In this picture, an Intha fisherman patiently waits to spear his catch on Inle Lake, Myanmar. The Orange River-Karoo Conservation Area (ORKCA) is a conservation NGO which manages and restores landscapes across Southern Namibia to benefit local wildlife and people. While volunteering at their solar powered Oana Reserve, I was struck by how Martian my rocky landscape felt. Midnight under a full moon felt particularly eerie, making basecamp appear especially remote. Nestled between the mountains that characterise the Nama Karoo Biome, I see the camp as sci-fi representation of life on Mars should we fail to care for our own planet this century.  The Himba Tribe have inhabited Kaokaland, Namibia as semi-nomadic pastoralists for centuries. With little to no influence from the Global North before the late 21st Century, the Himba have resolutely stuck to tradition as the world has developed exponentially. The concepts of money and careless consumerism are remote, but increasingly frequent drought and livestock loss from wildlife-human conflict has forced many into larger cities for their livelihoods.For me, meeting the Himba gave me mixed emotions. Whilst privileged to learn about their truly circular economy and sustainable culture, I could not help but feel my own presence in their homes was indirectly contributing to the very problems they face today.The Badlands are a National Park spread through South Dakota, USA. Known for it’s striking geological formations, it is also one of the world’s richest fossil beds, holding the stories of ancient horses and rhinos that once roamed here. Despite conservation privileges that protect National Parks from oil drilling and fracking, these practices continue right up to the boarders, with demands of always wanting just a little more. We must unravel our dependence on fossil fuels, before beautiful lands like this are turned over for profit. Teaching dentist in Nepal intraoral suturing. A skill that would reduce the need for patients to travel.In the photo there is a fine line remaining before agricultural disaster, reminding us of the fragility and impending damage of the climate crisis. A glimpse into the near future where the only enduring signs of humanity's advances in real estate are the non-compostable plastic bottles.I decided to write a haiku describing this photo that I took in Malaysia:Tragedies of life Growing in isolation Changing tides of timeWorld being divided Vax or no vax, right or left What to trust in lifePoor are forgotten Earth is boiling, no one cares Make the rich richerInevitable World War Three will not be free Wall Street will thank youCries after crisis That's how it feels growing up During past two years Cycling the beautiful Causeway Coastal Path on the north coast of Ireland during sunset.Young doctors make a 'house call' for a patient living in far flung ethnic village in the Philippines, 10 miles up the mountains through narrow mountain trails and rivers. The energy, tenacity and commitment of the youth to serve sustains them. There will always be communities in the world where healthcare access is a big challenge. As long as there are inspiring leaders, adventurous young doctors and sustainable healthcare support systems towards this purpose - nothing is impossible. I snapped this shot in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He was being chained in hot weather. It was so heartbreaking to see these animals suffer. They’ve been taken away from their natural habitats & kept in urban areas to entertain humans. #saynotoanimalcrueltyThe men that guard turtles on the Island of Principe are all previously turtle poachers. They have been recruited by Fundascao Principe to protect the Island's population of 5 species - Green Turtle, Olive Ridley, Hawksbill, Leatherback and Loggerhead. Here they celebrate the year's work with their families and friends.On our way to the vaccination clinic in Madagascar, only accessible by bike… and boat!! The view from the new wharf at King Edward Point Research Station. This view is from the wharf at the British Antarctic Survey Research station on subantarctic South Georgia, overlooking the long-abandoned whaling station at Grytviken. The whaling industry on this remote and harsh subantarctic island decimated the whale and seal populations in the Southern Ocean in the first half of the 20th century. Fur seals were driven close to extinction, and in 1966 the station at Grytviken closed when dwindling whale stocks made it uneconomical to continue. We have learnt from our past: the seas around South Georgia are now a protected zone, but the remains of this industry can be seen in the wrecks of the station abandoned at Grytviken. Since the end of whaling and sealing, fur seal populations have made an incredible recovery from the brink of extinction and now number at an estimated 6 million on South Georgia, which holds 95% of the world's population. The crumbling station is slowly being reclaimed by the island and her inhabitants, and is kept as an open air museum. Whilst working in palliative care in Uganda as part of my FY4 year, I took a break from the city to visit the beautiful Botanic Gardens Entebbe.  Unfortunately, not a lot of care was taken to avoid litter and I thought this was a striking image of a young monkey playing with a tobacco wrapper which said in large lettering at the top “causes cancer”.  From the plastic wrapper to the consequences of smoke and toxins this picture illustrates something so beautiful being tainted by human kind’s actions. A fractional portion of the Zemu glacier’s immense ablation zone makes even Kanchenchunga (8,586 m) appear to crouch. Education is an adventure that we should be supporting for all children. Here in a rural Zambian pre-school, recycled bottle tops are cutting landfill and instead filling tiny brains with knowledge.   These up-cycled footballs, made from plastic bags around villages, would be thrown and kicked between huts for hours. Children would go on mini-adventures, exploring nearby rural villages and hills with these trusty toy cars in tow. Mountains are poorly accessible playgrounds. Stunning panoramic views reward the committed traveller who drives long distances across the country in search of the best hills. By choosing to live and work in close proximity to your favourite adventure spots, you can reduce your carbon footprint. If you pick the right workplace, you might even be able to plan your hiking route from the window… (Carneddau mountain range, Snowdonia, photographed from Ysbyty Gwynedd / Gwynedd Hospital)More and more extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis have led to increasing disruption across the globe in recent decades. What may look like a peaceful UK winter photograph is a moment of tranquility following the 2018 ‘Beast from the East’ storm which claimed 17 lives in the UK and a further 78 across Europe. We must act now to address climate change and reduce the impact caused by these dangerous weather events. (Film photograph taken in the Wye Valley, England on 18/03/2018) donations from sailors and visitors help to crowd fund for electricity for the small village which lies alongside the river Gambia. In return for contributions a personal mark, image or picture to be remembered forever. In 2017, a devastating and unusual wildfire almost completely destroyed Pinhal de Leiria, Portugal. It was a ten thousand hectares pine forest which protected the towns from the sands brought it by the strong Atlantic breeze for almost 800 years. It was an integral part of my childhood and harboured rich flora and fauna. The charred tree reminded me of the remnants of the alveoli tree of the lungs which provided oxygen for this entire region. Wildfires are increasingly common and devastating and scientists agree that this can be attributed to climate change.This photo makes us wonder what it is you are looking at. Are these sands dunes? Are these hills? They are in fact snowed hills in Iceland and it highlights how fragile our ecosystems are and how previously extremely cold places might soon be very different due to the effects of climate change.A tingle in the toes spreads right up to your nose. Quickly, grab hold of it! Wherever you are. Whoever you are. Up and out the door, pulled into the early morning sun. Hop on one foot, toes squeezed into neoprene booties. Grab your paddle and your boat and you're off. Sharp breath in as cold water hits your feet but there's no stopping you now - there's adventure under your skin. You seize the feeling and for an hour or two the world is yours alone.  In line with the upcoming COP26 summit, a group of health professionals and healthcare students, took their time out of their busy schedules and marched the streets of Leeds calling on our leaders for climate action now at the Global March for Climate Justice.  A society I started, Leeds Healthcare Students for Climate Action worked in collaboration with the Leeds City Council to organise a day of tree planting, bringing together people from all backgrounds, from children and their families, students from various levels of education and the community members of Leeds coming together to raise awareness on the importance of the climate action. A woman sits by herself, in the middle of the road in Piccadilly Circus, London. Expressing her fear for the future of her children due to the climate crisis.  Just an example of one of my favourite local spots to visit, no flights or long travel journeys needed. Proximity and familiarity with an area can make it much easier to then stay out later to get images like this where the full moon can be a lovely backdrop to a pair of red soldier beetles. 

We are proud to present our shortlist of finalists from our International Photography Competition with Eco Medics. The shortlist represents the best entries that we felt were both high quality images and encapsulated the theme of “Sustainable Adventure”.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award is now closed and the winners have now been announced.

We have loved looking through all of your entries. Thank you to everyone who entered for taking the time to share your images and thoughts. As the climate crisis continues, we hope they lead to further discussion and consideration on the ways we choose to adventure and the examples we all set.