2017 photography competition inspiration

As you can tell, at GCT we are passionate about all wildlife found on and around the Galapagos Islands. Most of the mammals, birds, reptiles and fish found in Galapagos are unique and incredibly interesting in both looks and behaviour. GCT believes that one of the best ways to raise awareness of an area or species in jeopardy is to showcase its beauty and wonder. With public awareness comes interest and care, and with interest and care comes encouragement of governmental legal protection for that species. Some of the most critically endangered plants and animals on the planet live in Galapagos and knowledge of these creatures is the key to their protection. Education, both of local and global populations, is paramount and we use imagery to attract attention and heightened interest in the species across the Archipelago. By submitting your Galapagos images to our photography competition, you can help us achieve this.

The launch of GCT’s annual photography competition has seen some great entries so far.

Every year, a photograph is submitted that surprises us; a bird showing a movement rarely seen, a rare species depicted as clear as day, an animal striking a funny pose or a stunning vista. One of last year’s images, Iguanas by Jane Savage, was incredibly eye-catching, encompassing fantastic composition, form and unusual animal behaviour. A large group of marine iguanas are draped along driftwood as opposed to their usual black lava. Pitched against a dramatic sky, stood regal and tall, the image is fantastically unusual and has gained much attention.

Iguanas © Jane Savage


The competition entries will be judged by three judges; Monty Halls, our president, explorer and TV presenter who has visited the Islands multiple times, Tui de Roy, an established professional photographer and former resident of the Islands with a wealth of knowledge concerning all Galapagos wildlife, and Paul Sansome, an award-winning professional landscape and wildlife photographer.

Monty Halls has shot thousands of frames during his trips to the Islands, and offers some tips for the Galapagos photographer to encourage creativity to make the image stand out. ‘It’s almost impossible to take a bad photograph in Galapagos – the stark beauty of the Islands, the deep blue of the water and equatorial skies, and of course the unique wildlife, make it a photographer’s dream. However, whilst it’s difficult to take a bad photograph, it’s doubly so to take a really outstanding one, an image that stands out amongst thousands of others.’ – Monty Halls

We encourage amateur photographers to enter this competition in order to build confidence and skill. Having a piece of work featured in an international photography competition is a great way to improve a budding photographer’s portfolio! Paul Sansome advises ‘Look beyond the beauty of the subject and see if your images offer a storytelling element. Use the competition categories for ideas.’ 

Tui de Roy is constantly astounded by the beauty of the Archipelago; ‘It’s quite extraordinary how, year after year, Galapagos keeps delivering more wonders of natural history. And likewise how visitors with ever more enthusiasm and dedication succeed in capturing those extraordinary moments, later sharing their amazing shots by entering this competition. That’s why I look forward so much to seeing those exciting entries!

Our judges will consider the originality, composition, clarity, technical excellence, overall impact and artistic merit of each of the short-listed images. If your trip is between now and the closing date, Paul has some tips to help you get the most interesting shots. ‘With the rare and beautiful nature to photograph in Galapagos, it is easy to get drawn into taking portrait shots. Some of the best nature photography, however, depicts an animal or plant within its environment or captures a fleeting moment of behaviour.’  

Monty adds, ‘I really look forward to seeing the entries to this year’s competition and hope that they capture the essence of the Islands as previous competition winners have certainly done. Good luck to everyone – it is certainly one of my great pleasures to review the entries as they arrive. May the best picture win!’ 


The overall winner of the competition will receive: two tickets to 2017’s Galapagos Day, a year’s free membership to GCT, a signed copy of Henry Nicholls’ book The Galapagos: A Natural History, and the winning image will appear in the 2018 GCT calendar (if image is shot using landscape orientation). Entrants may submit a maximum of five images and only digital images greater than 2MB and 1600 pixels on the shortest edge will be accepted. We do not accept printed photographs, slides, or CDs submitted. The winner of the 2016 competition was Evangelina Indelicato, whose stunning image of a Galapagos Flycatcher was a beautiful addition to the GCT 2017 calendar.

Galapagos flycatcher © Evangelina Indelicato

The final date to submit your entries to the competition is midnight of Friday 9 June 2017. To enter your image into the competition, please click here. Whilst entry into this photography competition is free, we would like to encourage all entrants to make a donation to the Galapagos Conservation Trust of a suggested £5.