The winners of Conservation Photography Competition 2019 conducted by the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) and supported by Wijeya Graphics and Ranveli Resorts were announced and rewarded at the Gala Dinner hosted by the WNPS. The competition attracted over 600 entries and the organizers were pleased with the numbers considering the fact the “Conservation Photography” is a new area of wildlife expertise with, hitherto, most wild life photographers concentrating on capturing the ‘pretty picture’ rather than on its conservation message. The entries were judged by a panel of renowned conservationists cum photographers, L J Mendis Wickramasinghe, Rukshan Jayewardene and Lakshitha Karunarathna. The ultimate measure of a successful conservation photograph is in creating a tangible focal point for the advancement of the conservation of a species or habitat.
Conservation Photography has become an important medium of engagement and of education, by perfectly illustrating, even by shock and horror, why there is an urgent need for change, and the bleak future that humanity would face if it did not. Its powerful pictures show how unrestrained human activity and unplanned development impacts the environment, wildlife, the wilderness and the general health of the planet. If nothing is done about it, and soon, these may also prove to be the final pictorial records of species that once maintained the vital checks and balances that kept the Earth and its systems inequilibrium. Conservation Photography can also show places and instances where humankind has shown foresight and reason to protect the environment and all its creatures so that future generations will have them to marvel at, and benefit by their continued existence.
The financial support given by Wijeya Graphics has been vital to the WNPS in conducting this inaugural 2019 Conservation Photography Competition which, it hopes, will become an annual event. A major objective of the competition is to attract young photographers, in particular, to stimulate their minds to the very real dangers posed by the destruction of habitat, of the environment and of all of the creatures that depend on them.